Aiken Young Professionals – or AYP – will host its annual third Thursday membership open house on Thursday for new and old members.

From 6 to 8 p.m., members of the community between the ages of 22 and 39 are welcome to learn about the group and its many opportunities, such as community outreach, networking and membership.

The event will be held at the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Depot, 406 Park Ave.

“This is a free event where folks can come to a networking type of event and have an opportunity to meet our committee chairs and learn about what each committee is doing,” Derrick McLane, steering committee chairperson for 2014, said. “This gives everyone an opportunity to find out more about AYP and potentially become members.”

AYP hosts more than 30 networking events – such as social hours, family outings and special events – during the year and has hosted professional development events regarding public speaking and personal wealth management.

During January and February, AYP is offering a reduced membership for $35. Individual member benefits include the opportunity to meet more than 250 young professionals in the Aiken area, involvement in community outreach projects, discounts at local businesses and access to calendar events catered toward young professionals.

“As part of the AYP mission statement, we want to attract and retain young people to Aiken,” McLane said. “Our programming revolves completely around that statement. This group gives more opportunities to get involved and whether you've been here you entire life or been here for six months, this is a way to meet folks in different industries.”

Individuals are asked to RSVP on the Events Registration page at

For more information, call Mandy Collins at the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce at 803-641-1111.

Maayan Schechter is the city beat reporter with Aiken Standard.

An Atlanta native, she has a mass communications-journalism degree from the University of North Carolina Asheville. Follow her on Twitter @MaayanSchechter.