The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar

The Victoria Chamber of Commerce on Thursday will host its first Newcomers Social, said Amy Mundy, chairwoman of the chamber's Newcomers Committee. The goal is to welcome first-time Victorians to the community and help them get acquainted.

"It's always hard moving to a new town and not knowing anybody," she explained to the Victoria Advocate. "If you get a call from a friendly person saying, 'We want to welcome you, and here's a little information about Victoria,' I think that just gives them a good feeling about our community."

The endeavor got its start with a focus group, said Randy Vivian, the Victoria chamber's president and CEO. Chamber representatives met with new Victoria school district teachers to get their perspective on area restaurants, businesses and the hospitality industry.

"What we found was that we, as people who have lived here a significant amount of time, know everything about the community. But amazingly, our newcomers don't," Vivian said. "This gives us an opportunity to introduce them to the community and answer questions they might have."

Thursday's event includes free hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar and the chance to mix and mingle with community members.

The event takes place at The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar, 1201 W. Stayton Ave. from 5:30pm to 7 p.m. Thursday. For more information call 361-573-5277..