The Branch

Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Volume 22, Number 10

Our 54th year of publication.

June 2009



 Online Calendar at

1 Word Games: 2:00 pm

 Hostess: Saranne Ratner (297-9360)

 Coordinator: Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

4 Tee Off: 9:30 am

Vassar College Golf Course

Coordinators: Dorothy Evangelista (677-9046) & Linda Ronayne (897-9745)

8 Art on the Go: 9:00 am - 1 pm

TBA - weather dependent

 Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

12 Daytime Literature: 12 noon

 Lunch at Castillo Espanol, 763 Main St., Pok.

 Reservations: Phyllis Teasdale (454-4582) by June 7.

Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458) & Tiz Hanson (229-9394)

13 Trekkers: 8:30 am at Pok Plaza

 Minnewaska State Park Preserve

 Organizer: Peggy Kelland (297-0507)

 Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

15 Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

Annual Pot Luck Dinner and

Book selection for 2009-2010.

 Hostess: Peggy Kelland (297-0507)

 Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

16 Cuisine: 6:30 pm

 Joseph Horton House, Wappingers Falls

Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208) Assistant Coordinator: Betty Olson (889-4836)

16 Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

 Joseph Horton House, Wappingers Falls

Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

17 Bridge: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

 Hostess: Gloria Gibbs (454-7262)

Coordinators: Linda Ronayne (897-9745) & Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

23 Novice Bridge: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Hostess: Judie Ippolito (233-4297)

 Coaches: Cathy Kinn & Judy Foote

 Coordinator: Jane White (462-6675)

 24 Mah Jongg: 1:00-4:00 pm

Hostess: Flo Mondanaro (454-0352)

 Coordinator: Amy Schwed (462-2269)

Aventures en Soleil: Details will follow by email.

Maple Grove, Pok. Change from original schedule.

 Learn more at

Coordinator: Sue Osterhoudt (889-4469) or

Board Meeting: No meeting in June.

Contemporary Literature:

See you in September!

 Coordinator: Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

Pins & Needles: Enjoy the summer!

Coordinators: Jane Toll (463-2712) &

 Sue Osterhoudt (889-4469)


Thinking Caps

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

 7:00 pm

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church

Wilbur Blvd., Poughkeepsie


Attention All Members!!


Put on your thinking caps and dial them to 'new ideas.'

We need your input for planning next year's programs.


Get in on the ground floor and find out what's in store!

Suggest speakers or events, or just show your support.


Your votes determine what programs will be presented in the future.


Our members have been the source of many fascinating topics in the past and we can't wait to find out what is percolating in your noggins this time.... so please join us!


If you have programs suggestion but can not attend the June 10thmeeting, please contact Pat Luczai (463-4662)




Jun Check our website (Newsletter) for local Summer Activitiesfrom Mary Coiteux.

Jul 10-12 AAUW-NYS Leadership Conference at Hartwick Coll., ALL WELCOME, contact Bergie Lebovitch (298-4045).

Aug 10 “The Branch” deadline for September.

Aug 14-16 RibFest - Chance to “earn” money for AAUW, page 3.

Aug 19 Board Meeting Linda Beyer’s (462-0345)

Sept 1 “The Branch” deadline for October.

Sept Open House TBA. See page 3, Membership Matters

See more AAUW summer activities below!


Linda Beyer *462-0345*

It is difficult to believe that this is our last newsletter for the branch year – already! Looking back, it’s amazing what we have done. We have launched “Equity for Life” (now called EFL) and Diversity (big time). We are now a tax exempt non-profit and have raised our profile in the community. New members continue to arrive (daily) and we’ve received awards for our programs, our initiatives with multiculturalism, and for increasing our membership. We’ve raised money, given scholarships, celebrated a woman of the year, strolled through historic Poughkeepsie, learned about “green products” and family court. That’s not all; we’ve celebrated an historic inauguration and pushed pay equity. We’ve even had a medieval feast. With all this, we still find time to play bridge, hike, sew, read, dine out and in, and travel. I’ve learned to spell Mah Jongg! Best of all, we’ve made new friends, enjoyed old friends, and made life richer for others. What a group, this Poughkeepsie branch! I am so grateful for my year with all of you.

Looking ahead, we must get creative about fundraising. We need to realign our administrative structure somewhat in order to “catch up” with our new membership. We need to reach out more to our new members assuring that their participation in our branch is meaningful to them. We need to search out more branch leaders and welcome ideas from them.

Meanwhile, let’s have a summer rest. Enjoy the warm days and outdoor joys. My thoughts will be with all of you as we recoup and re-energize. See you in September!




Below are the Interest Groups that meet in the summer. The contact numbers are given, the coordinators are listed on page 1 and continued in the first column of this page. Call hostesses for directions, addresses are in your Membership Directory.



 Jul 13 &Aug 10 Mary Coiteux (226-8275)


Jul 8 9:30 am Sprout Creek Farm, Lunch at Daily Planet,

Cathy Kinn

Aug Trip to the Hydro Electric Plant needs to be rescheduled for next year. August is too dry. Let's view this change as an opportunity to tap into our creative and spontaneous side and see what we can come up with. Please send ideas for trips you are excited to take and willing to lead to me at We'll see where this can take us!


 Jul 15 Susan Fink (473-3168)

 Aug 19 Dorothy Evangelista (677-9046)


 Jul 22 Leslie Leventhal (297-4430)

 Aug 26 Amy Schwed (462-2269)


 Jul 29 Susan Fink (473-3168)

 Aug 27 Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

TEE OFF Contact: Dorothy Evangelista (677-9046) or

Linda Ronayne (897-9745)


 Jul 18 Esopus Meadows, Pat Luczai (463-4662)

 Aug 8 Bash Bish Falls, Roz Werner (462-0630)


 Jul 6 Betty Olson (889-4836)


Thank you to the

Supporters of The Branch!!


Your contributions are most appreciated! You make what was a major expense for our branch one that is almost self supporting!

Patrons ($25 or more)


Catherine Albanese

Rita Alterman

Lea Bishop/The Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce

 Sharon Clarke

Joan Cordani

Marion Effron

Joan Fay

Betty Harrel

Margaret Ruggeri

Sarah Shouse

Phyllis Teasdale

Sponsors ($10 or more)

Cathy Kinn

Esther Reisman

 Sweet Wellness Journey LLC/

To add your name or the name of your business to the list, mail a check payable: “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.” to Margaret Nijhuis, 9 McAllister Drive, Pleasant Valley, NY 12569



Sharon Clarke & Irene Keyes


The Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of University Women, Inc., through a grant made possible by the National AAUW and partnered with Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh NY, presented $tart $mart to graduating students. $tart $mart is an initiative of the Wage Project to help address equal pay for women and all workers. Workshop materials are provided by $tart $mart and can be adapted to fit the profile of the different college populations and regions of the country by the presenters, with the assistance of Annie Houle at the Wage Project.

Working with the Directors of Mount St. Mary College's Office of Career Development and Co-Op and Internship Programs and we were able to determine the needs of their students, student profiles, and best timing for the presentations. Discussions determined that two presentations would be best. The nursing graduates' job concerns, course work, and clinical schedules would need a more narrowly tailored presentation. The second presentation would be aimed at a more general presentation with emphasis on Business and Communication majors. There were two presentations, one on February 10th and the other on the 24th.

The goal of the workshop is to help each student get the highest possible salary for their starting job. This helps ensure that they have a competitive base from which to start their earnings for the rest of their life, thus minimizing or eliminating the Wage Gap for women. The workshops help students determine the job titles they are interested in, research and calculate a realistic target salary that meets their personal and professional needs, and basic salary negotiation techniques to help them reach their target salary.

We found the students to be enthusiastic about the information and techniques presented in the workshops and appreciative of the knowledge and resources given to assist their job searches. It was a rewarding and satisfying experience for the presenters and hopefully for the all the other people involved in this experience.



Peggy Kelland *297-0507*


The members of the Poughkeepsie Branch contributed $530 to the Educational Foundation of AAUW for the EF Walk at the Sagamore. This was the largest donation of any branch in the state. Thank you, everyone!



 Linda Roberts *227-5287*

Want to have a lot of fun, eat great food, and volunteer with your friends, spouse, and/or significant other to help raise money for LAF (Legal Advocacy Fund)?

August 14th -16th

5th Annual Hudson Valley Ribfest

Ulster Fairgrounds


The Highland Rotary uses volunteers from non-profits to work at the event as a fundraising opportunity. The money “earned” is based on the total hours the members of the organization work. All the proceeds are divided among the organizations based on the hours worked. Sign up information will be sent out when specifics are available. AND you get free admission to the ribfest. ContactSharon Clarke *473-9468* if you would like to participate.


$315, earned for LAF at the bookswap, was given at AAUW-NYS Convention in the name of Poughkeepsie Branch. Thanks to everyone who came and gave their support.



Bergie Lebovitch *298-4045*

Here’s the “skinny”! We’re at 284 total membership for this year. 21 of us have recruited 54 new members. That’s 21 out of 284.... Where are the rest of you? It really is fun! You know, as your NYS Membership Vice President, I’m going to be “chasing after you” to set us up again as the #1 Member-get-a-Member branch in the Country- 3 is the Charm and we have a Branch southwest of us who is giving us a real “run for it.”


Take this as a challenge! Make it YOUR personal goal to find at least one new potential member in the next month. When you’ve convinced them to join you at our annual Open House in September, please send their name, address, phone number and email address toAmy Schwed at or call 462-2269. We will be sending out invitations via email and snail mail by the 7th of August so the contact information must be in to Amy by then.

(Invitations are nice but can easily be deleted or thrown away–it is YOUR responsibility to get the prospective member to the Open House and introduce her around or find another member to accompany her – This is the only way that it works!)


Remember back to your scheduling days in College? Remember Prof. TBA? Well, that’s where we are in the preparations for the Open House in September, but we’ll let you know as soon as the committee has had time to get the details worked out. Don’t happy & ever so enthusiastic about YOUR #1 Branch


Membership is a Branch-wide position. WE, all need your help.


AAUW member Celia Serotsky *473-8426*

Interested in visiting and learning about historically and architecturally significant homes in Southside Poughkeepsie? Then, come join us for the Silver Ribbon House Tour sponsored by the Dutchess County Historical Society on June 6th from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. From the mid-nineteenth century Hudson River Bracketed mansion Maple Grove to early twentieth century Victorian and Craftsman style homes, the tour offers the visitor a walk through the history of the City of Poughkeepsie. Most of the homes have been graciously offered for this tour by their current owners. Visitors will start the tour at the Dutch Reformed Church on Hooker Avenue, designed by the same architect for New York City's Cloisters, and will have the opportunity to view the beautiful Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass window. Steven Mann, President of the Dutchess County Historical Society, has done several walking tours of the City of Poughkeepsie for members of AAUW Poughkeepsie Branch. Tickets for the tour are $40 for members and $45 for non-members. This is a self guided tour with interpreters at all sites.


For additional information and to purchase tickets call 845-471-1630 or email the Dutchess County Historical Society at


AAUW members: Alice Bunnell & Jeanne Henderson

The Dutchess Collaborative Re-Entry Project is a task force of local organizations dedicated to helping the recently released ease back into their communities after incar-ceration. We are hoping for woman volunteers to act as:

1. Mentors for returning women, or

2. Liaison to supportive services, or

3. Community educators and advocates, or

4. A source in whatever field of expertise one has.

If you would like to help these vulnerable women in any way, please contact: Bonnie Allen, Program Director (790-5925) or More information



Irene Keyes *227-6689*

Summer is the time of thunder storms. Even if your computer is connected to a surge protector it is wise to unplug ALL computer equipment and also disconnect your internet cable during a thunder storm.



Cathy Lane


As most of you know, the purpose of Educational Foundation fundraisers is to raise money for scholarships for women. Depending on how much money is raised, we generally send four $500.00 named scholarships to the AAUW Educational Foundation each year. We also donate two $500.00 scholarships to Dutchess Community College each year.


The guideline for the Dutchess Community College scholarships are that they be awarded to a non-traditional female student in any discipline transferring to an approved AAUW college. Thanks to Trish Prunty’s research, we also have some information on how that scholarship money was put to use over the last three years. In 2008, one woman applied her scholarship to attend SUNY New Paltz and one woman used it to attend RIT. The two scholarship winners in 2007 went on to Albany Medical Center and The New School. Both scholarship winners applied the money to SUNY New Paltz in 2006.

Although $500.00 is not a huge amount of money, it can make a big difference to women who are seeking a higher education. It is heartening to know that women are making good use of the money that is raised.


Thank you to Carol Loizides and all the members of the Cruise Group: Pat Aglietti, Gerri Battista, Jeanette Cantwell, Gloria Gibbs, Pat Luczai, Betty Olson, Amy Schwed, Eleanor Skov, and Nancy Smith. Thanks also to Nancy Grucza and Bergie Lebovitch who helped out the Cuisine Group. The MEDIEVAL MELODY on April 30th was an outstanding event. The location was perfect, the food wonderful and the music a great pleasure. It was a huge task for these terrific members and all of us who attended truly appreciated the effort!



Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.

Irene Keyes & Betty Harrel


Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc now has a tax exempt number!!!!

That was the last step in our year long process of becoming tax-exempt.


As treasurer, Carol Loizides has the number and the forms you will need to use in making purchases for AAUW projects and events. The forms need her signature. Please contact Carol (452-3208) if you need to make purchases for Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.


Linda Beyer *462-0345*

The New York State Convention Director, our own Mary Lou Davis, worked for many months to organize what became an interesting, informative, fun, and highly successful three day event at the Sagamore Hotel on beautiful Lake George. Her convention team included Betty Harrel, Margaret Nijhuis, Peggy Kelland, Geeta Desai, Irene Keyes, and Amy Schwed. The convention provided an opportunity for branches around the state to interact, network, share best practices, discuss issues of importance to all of us in AAUW, and to vote for new officers. Bergie Lebovitch has been elected to Membership Vice President and joins Peggy Kelland (Program Vice President) and Mary Lou Davis (Convention Director) on the New York State Board. Congratulations, Bergie!


The convention schedule included time to review the proposed changes in the Association bylaws about which members of our branch have expressed many concerns. Sally Chamberlain from the Association’s Board of Directors led a session to review and discuss the proposals. Our branch’s survey results prepared by Liz Moesel and Margaret Nijhuis gave us a powerful tool to convey our members’ opinions to the national AAUW board. It appears that many other branches in New York share our dismay about the possible elimination of an educational requirement for membership. Sally and Eileen Hartman, New York State President, both assured me that they would take copies of our survey to the national convention in late June and share the results before the final vote.


The convention provided many thought-provoking presentations including several on public policy, which were my personal favorites. A presentation by the parents of astronaut Pam Melroy was also very interesting as well as a talk on Eleanor Roosevelt by Kathleen Durham, Poughkeepsie AAUW member and Executive Director of ERVK. Workshop topics were equally exciting, which made it difficult to select only two from the possible choices. Irene Keyes conducted a session on Let’s Read Math which taught how to make math fun and useful to young children.


Our branch, once again, can be called “Platinum.” We received the 21st Century Platinum Award for overall programming and the 21st Century 1st Place Diversity Program Award for the “Beyond the Rhetoric” conference. We received awards for membership: for overall increase in membership and for significantly increasing membership through the “member-get-a-member” campaign. Again this year, our branch received the “Newsletter of Excellence” award. Congratulations to all of you in our branch who contributed your time and energy this year toward making us a distinctive branch in New York State. It takes a membership like ours with outstanding leaders and committed members to receive recognitions such as we have. Our branch was very visible and well-represented by our 17 attendees at the convention. We all had a great time and felt really proud to be a part of the Poughkeepsie branch!

2009-2011 AAUW NYS

Public Policy Action



Biennial priorities for action are chosen according to the criteria of viability, critical need, strong member support, and potential for distinctive AAUW contribution. These priorities were adopted at the Convention in April. These AAUW NYS Public Policy Action Priorities do not preclude members,

branches, or the state from acting on any other issues clearly stated in the AAUW Public Policy Program.


1. To support a strong system of public education in New York State that promotes gender fairness, equity and diversity, AAUW NYS advocates:

» Adequate and equitable funding for quality public education for all students

» Vigorous enforcement of Title IX

» Protection of programs that meet the needs of girls in elementary and secondary education

» Opposition to the use of public funds for non-public elementary and secondary education

» Responsible funding for all levels of education, including early childhood education

2. To achieve economic self-sufficiency for all women, AAUW NYS advocates:

» Fairness in compensation, including pay equity, Social Security and other pension benefits for women

» Equitable access and advancement in employment, including vigorous enforcement of employment anti-discrimination statutes

» Access to affordable, quality, comprehensive health care; and choice in reproductive health care for all women

» Programs that provide women with education, training, and support for success in the workforce and improve

women’s earning potential, including women’s entrepreneurship

» Greater availability of and access to quality, affordable dependent care




The fourth Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference is scheduled forNovember 7th at Dutchess Community College from 8:30-2:30.

Would you like to help?

There are many “jobs” that required 2 hours, some that require no interaction with the girls, but are needed to prepare for the day. Some jobs involve driving, picking up stuff and delivering it! Below are just a few of the “jobs.”


Outreach: Information packets can be mailed to organizations that have contact with 7th grade girls. Help by supplying names of individuals and organizations that can hand out registration information. Pick up and deliver packages to schools.

Facilitators: seek out potential facilitators and refer them to coordinator

Facilitate: Do a workshop! Chaperone - just be around to “watch” (3-5 hours)

Materials: Shop and deliver T- shirts, pick up and deliver yoga mats or similar items (one hour)

Food: Help solicit food for girls- cookies and snacks, water purchase and deliver to conference.

Program Book: Help Margaret, proofing, pick up books and deliver to the DCC.

Folders: preparing folders with handouts, information, and supplies.

Registration Brochure: helps to have someone just volunteer to drive the copies to and from printer!

Decorate and prepare gifts, books (crafting), etc. (begin in August)

Budget/record keeper: need someone to keep a record of the money!

Registration: come for an hour and help sign in and/or out the girls, distribute materials, (T-shirts, folders, books) during registration and opening

Phone callers: call girls/facilitators with a reminder (script provided)

Set up and clean up: the usual (1hr)


If you wish to volunteer, contact : Marcine Humphrey (845/485-7697)



Fourth Annual Poughkeepsie Area Girls’ Conference

 for 7th grade girls sponsored by The Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of University Women, Inc. and Dutchess Community College

November 7, 2009


“Equity for Life” has been working on funding for various community programs, but we still need your assistance. You can help inspire a girl to be strong, smart and bold by sponsoring her attendance at the Fourth Girls’ Conference this fall.


Your help can come in many forms, but we are asking for sponsorship of individual girls. In addition to your sponsorship, each girl will pay $7. We feel this small fee will insure each girl makes a personal commitment to the conference.


Please fill out the following form and mail it with your check payable to “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.” to:


Marcine Humphrey

7 Lewis Road

Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

Questions: Contact Marcine at or 845/485-7697


I would like to sponsor a Girls’ attendance to the “Live your Dream” conference.


*Divas$28 materials, gifts, lunch and T-shirt with logo

*Dreamers$20l unch and T-shirt with logo

  *Darlings $8 T-shirt





Phone: ________________ Email:_________________________

Your name will be included in the program book as a donor unless anonymity is requested.


* This is a tax-deductible contribution.




If you have had a change in your address, please be sure to make the necessary changes below so that the Poughkeepsie Branch Membership Directory and our mailing list can be updated.




Home Phone:_____________________________

E-Mail Address: (Keep the Branch updated) _________________________________


Dues: £ $75 Regular Membership £ $59 Honorary Branch £ $0 Honorary Life £ $26 Paid Life

$62 of your $75 dues is tax deductible!


Annual dues must be paid by June 15. Please pay on time, the paper worked required for late dues is tremendous!!!!

Members whose dues are received by May 30, 2009 will be entered into a drawing to receive FREE National Dues (a $49.00 value).


Please make check payable to: “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.” Send check and this form to:

Elizabeth Moesel

600 Commons Way #F

Fishkill, NY 12524


Questions: Call Liz at 845/896-9426 or



Cathy Kinn


The Big Read 2009 will focus on Zora Neale Hurston'sTheir Eyes Were Watching God.


It will begin with an opening reception on Sunday, October 4 at the newly reopened Adriance Memorial Library on Market Street. Zora Neale Hurston's niece and biographer, Lucy Hurston, will discuss her aunt's life and work.


Once again, Marist, Vassar, and Dutchess Community Colleges will be offering Big Read programs on their campuses. For example, the English faculty at Marist will present a panel discussion of The Literary Landscape of “Their Eyes Were Watching God” Tuesday, October 6. Faculty members Dr. Judith Saunders, Dr. Rose DeAngelis, and Dr. Joshua Kotzin will discuss the book in its literary and social contexts. The full schedule will be available this summer at .


Officers elected at the May 12 Annual meeting are listed below with the continuing officers. You will find this list in each newsletter.


Appointed Positions:

Child Care Council Rep. Greta Woo

Community Gwen Higgins

Cultural Interests Mary Coiteux

Diversity Wendy M. Taylor & Sherre Wesley

Education Mary Louise Van Winkle

Historian Marjorie DiDonato

Hospitality Nancy Grucza

Interest Groups Chair Cathy Lane

International Relations Gloria Ghedini

Legal Advocacy Fund Linda Roberts

Newsletter Margaret Nijhuis

Nominating Committee Betty Harrel

Public Policy Marcine Humphrey

Publicity Amy Schwed

Voter Education Jeanette Cantwell

Webmaster Mary King

Women’s Issues Geeta Desai

Woman of the Year Mary Lou Davis


Special Project Coordinators

Leading to Reading Betty Harrel

Girls’ Conference Marcine Humphrey

Diversity Committee Wendy M. Taylor & Sherre Wesley

$mart $tart Workshops Sharon Clarke

Let’s Read Math Coordinator Needed!!!!!!



Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2009-2010


President Linda Beyer 462-0345

Program V.P. Susan Osterhoudt 889-4469 & Diana Gleeson 229-8458

Membership V.P. Bergie Lebovitch 298-4045

Educ. Foundation V.P. Patricia Luczai 463-4662 &  Trish Prunty

Secretary Barbara VanItallie 462-3924

Treasurer Carol Loizides 452-3208

Assistant Treasurer Elizabeth Moesel 896-9426


AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research.


In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in thisorganization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or class.


The Branch is published ten times a year, September through June, by the Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc.. Send articles to the editor: Margaret Nijhuis, (635-8612).