The Branch

Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Volume 23, Number 3

Our 55th year of publication.

November 2009



Online Calendar at

4 Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

Hostess: Carole Loizides (452-3208)

7 Girls’ Conference DCC

9 Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

Amici’s Restaurant -“I think that this will be a memorable evening. See you there!” Jeanette

Contact: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

9 Membership Meeting - Amici’s, 6:30 pm

9 Word Games: 2:00 pm

 Hostess: Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

 Coordinator: Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

10 “The Branch” deadline for December

11 Mah Jongg: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Hostess: Janet White (462-6675)

 Coordinator: Amy Schwed (462-2269)

12 Aventures en Soleil: 8:30 am (leave Pok.)

Peabody Museum of Natural History,

Yale University, New Haven, $5.00

 Reservations: Peggy Lombardi (635-9091)

Coordinators: Peggy Lombardi (635-9091) &

Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

13 Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

 Book: A Mercy

 by Toni Morrison

Hostess: Gladys Glick (896-6178)

Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458) &

 Tiz Hanson (229-9394)

14 Trekkers: To be determined

 Amenia Harlem Valley Rail Trail

 Organizer: To be determined

 Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

16 Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

Book: Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance by Lloyd Jones

 Hostess: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

17 Cuisine: 7:00 pm

 Caribbean Cuisine

 Recipes: Pat Luczai (463-4662)

Hostess: Betty Olson (889-4836)

Coordinator: Betty Olson (889-4836)

18 Bridge I: 1:00 pm

 Hostess: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

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

19 All those books...: 7:00 pm

 Book: To the Lighthouse

 by Virginia Woolf

Hostess: Cathy Lane (229-1036)

 Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

19 Bridge II: 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

 Hostess: Janet White (462-6675)

 Coordinators: Cathy Kinn &

 Janet White (462-6675)

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

TBA - weather dependent

 Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

20 Tag Line suggestions deadline! See below.

Contemporary Literature: No Meeting

 Happy Thanksgiving!

 Coordinator: Ann Wade (229-5267)

Pins & Needles: No Meeting

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

 Coordinators: Jane Toll (463-2712) &

 Sue Osterhoudt (889-4469)

Tee Off Play will continue in the Spring.

Coordinators: Dorothy Evangelista (677-9046) &

 Linda Ronayne (897-9745)


Dec 1 Renee Weisman, author of Winning in a Man’s World, Friends Meeting House


Jan 13 Dr. Les Muldorf “returns by popular demand” to do a workshop on Photo Shop Elements

Scholarship & LAF Fundraiser


Monday, November 9, 6:30 pm


Dooley Square, 35 Main Street

 Poughkeepsie 12601

(Plenty of free parking)

Tickets are $50 per person

($15 of which is tax-deductible)


This is an "interactive dinner" presented by CIA graduate Chef Joel Trocino. Chef Trocino will actually set up a "kitchen" in his lovely dining room and prepare all of his delectable cuisine as we watch -- just like a TV show.


Included for the $50 will be:

Several appetizers

2 main courses (½ portion of each)


coffee or tea, a glass of wine or a soft drink

gratuities ...and a booklet of the recipes that he has prepared for us!!!


Proceeds will benefit the AAUW Scholarship and LAF Fund

Reservations: send a check made out to "Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc." to:

Trish Prunty

Dutchess Community College Foundation

53 Pendell Road

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Deadline is November 1st. Guests are welcome. Limited to 55 people.


This will sell out quickly, soooo......if you want to be a part of this great evening send your checks pronto!


* The Rotary Club thought that their "interactive dinner" with Chef Trocino was wonderful!


* Chef Trocino was also chosen to do the food for the opening of the Mid-Hudson Walkway.


Questions? Contact Pat Luczai at 463-4662

If you can't attend, please feel free to send a donation!


Linda Beyer *462-0345*

The fall is jam-packed with wonderful AAUW activities and programs. Don’t miss the Girls’ Conference on November 7th. Come to Dutchess Community College and help out for the day. The girls need you and you will feel very rewarded for your time. Come and enjoy dinner with the “Interactive Chef” at Amici’s to support the scholarship and LAF fundraiser on November 9th. Join a new interest group. Come out and meet our new members.

AAUW is not only about traveling, hiking, eating out, and generally enjoying being with our friends. AAUW is also a service organization with many opportunities to assist with our projects and community partners to sponsor events. We need you to volunteer! The very best way for new members to meet others and to enjoy AAUW is to get involved in helping our organization’s projects succeed. Volunteer to help any Board committee chairman, any project leader, any program event chairman. Send “Letters to the Editor” with your ideas and thoughts. Get involved!

Our new fundraising committee co-chaired by Mary Louise VanWinkle and Trish Prunty has decided on the official name of“Funding Advisory Committee,” which more clearly portrays the job this group will tackle. The group is currently considering some new suggestions for ways to raise funds to support our many projects without raising dues. Please feel free to submit your ideas by emailing or calling Mary Louise or Trish. The committee will study any new suggestion and offer support to those which seem most viable.


The Dutchess Community College Endowment fund is being launched in October. The GOOD NEWS is that the Board alone has already contributed $550 to the effort in honor of Ellenora’s 100th birthday! We are reaching for the goal of $10,000 to establish a permanent endowment at the college. This will fund one of our two committed scholarships every year without our having to do fundraising. Let’s all get behind this worthy effort. Let’s honor Ellenora in the process. Send your donation check made out to Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW, Inc. with a note on the memo line that it is for the DCC Endowment; mail your check to Mary Louise VanWinkle at 61 High Acres Drive, Poughkeepsie 12603. Remember, your donation is fully tax deductible!


In closing, I am thrilled to see our new mission statement from National: “The purpose of AAUW is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.” This statement now contains the word “philanthropy”. This term reflects the current direction of our branch exactly!


Supporters of The Branch!!


Annual contributions from members help defray the expense of publishing The Branch. All patrons and sponsors are listed in each monthly newsletter unless anonymity is requested.

Patrons ($25 or more)

 Catherine Albanese

Linda Beyer

Sharon Clarke

Joan Cordani

Joan Fay

Elizabeth Harrel

Margaret Ruggeri

Sarah Shouse

Phyllis Teasdale

Sponsors ($10 or more)

 Marion Effron

Cathy Kinn

Margaret Lombardi

Esther Reisman

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



Gloria Ghedini

St. Lucia

As soon as I learned that one of my students came from St. Lucia (Caribbean), I asked him about the status of women in high education in his island. Indeed more are pursuing higher studies, although not close to 50%, and those continuing are from urban areas. He also gave me some statistics: education in compulsory for ages 5 to 15. One-third of primary school children continue to secondary school. It is not tuition-free but registration fees are scaled. Primary school commences at age 5 and continues for 7 years. The pupil/teacher ration is 23 to 1. Secondary education begins at age 12 and is completed in 5 years. The adult literacy rate is 90.1 percent for those over 15 years. 84 percent of girls enroll for secondary school compared to 69 percent of males.


Women for Women

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a young woman at Bard who spoke to me about Women for Womenorganization. Then I recalled that I had a note from said organization and I gave them a call which lead to their website: Something seemed to have set a spark and I checked that indeed I had read about this in the book "Between two Worlds" by Zainab Salbi, daughter of Saddam Hussein's chauffeur. In fact, Zainab was the founder. I have joined them and anxiously await my match, a woman from a war-ravaged country who is in need of help to get on her own feet through education. I will let you know more in later articles.



Linda Rashba *297-6923*


Hudson Valley Home Matters (HVHM) is a nonprofit organization founded by Poughkeepsie area residents. We are one of a growing number of “aging in place” membership organizations that enable older adults to stay independent in their own homes by providing quality support and access to pre-screened services.

Under the leadership of a professional executive director, HVHM members stay independent and connected. Our members can serve on the board, volunteer and shape the future direction of the services and programs.


Membership is open to all households with anyone fifty years old or older. Initially we will provide services in the City and Town of Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park, Pleasant Valley, Lagrange and Wappingers Falls. An annual fee covers the cost of our executive director and office.

Joining HVHM gives members an array of services provided by both volunteers and professionals. With one phone call, members receive personal attention, such as assistance with local transportation and shopping arrangements, basic help at home with computers and other electronic equipment, referrals to recommended home health care agencies or providers for home repairs and maintenance. Members have access to social events and cultural programs as well as up to date information on financial planning and timely education topics.

Preferred vendors, selected from recommendations of current members, include those who repair appliances, electricians, handymen, carpenters, and those who plan and plant gardens, and many others. As members ask for services for which we do not have a preferred vendor, we select one, based on thoughtful screening.


HVHM has the support of the Dutchess County Office for Aging, and is developing strategic alliances with area academic, health, cultural and social service organizations. We will build on these relationships to ensure that our members have access to the best care, services and support.


We welcome your participation as a Member or Volunteer. For further information please call our President, Barbara Corona, 297-6814 or Linda Rashba (AAUW member), 297-6923. Our website address is


Pat Luczai *463-4662*


Are you receiving unsolicited email from AAUW for some products such as a recent one relating to Grandparents Day?


If you do not want to receive such email, you can send a note and asked them to remove you from any such notes.


They will respond quickly and do as you ask.




Members to help on committees

for our

Major Spring Fund Raising Event

AAUW's First Annual Writer's Tea

Please Contact: Lula Allen 845/832-7140




Jeanette Cantwell 452-4188


It’s not the drama of last year…….but

Your vote is still very important!!!!


Local and county General Election 2009

Polls are open 6 am – 9 pm


College students, travelers, disabilities, or illness???

You may qualify for an absentee ballot.


 Oct 27 – Last day to postmark application for ballot.

 Nov 2 – Last day to apply in person for ballot.

 Nov 2 - Last day to postmark ballot.

 Nov 3 - Last day to deliver ballot in person to the

 Board of Elections.

Absentee ballot application may be downloaded from:

Questions??? Contact your local board.

Dutchess County Board of Elections, 47 Cannon St.

 Poughkeepsie, 12601 (486-2473)

Ulster County Board of Elections, 284 Wall St,

 Kingston, 12401 (334-5470)


Transportation problems getting to the polls???

Contact Jeanette Cantwell, 452-4188



The incoming District Governor of the Rotary Clubs of Paris is looking for an opportunity for an 18 year old French girl to stay for 3 months in an American home to learn better English and to experience the American way of life. Do you want to be a “goodwill ambassador” while learning about French life yourself? Would you like to house and befriend this young lady?

Contact Linda Beyer for more information at 462-0345 or



Marcine J. Humphrey


As I write this article we are putting the finishing touches on the Conference which is November 7th. We have a new format which includes an opening speaker, Assembly Woman Susan John, 131st Assembly District, who spoke so brilliantly at the NYS Convention last spring.


We have a talented group of individuals from our community as volunteer facilitators: Brenda Hicks, Yoga Instructor; Lydia Biskup, Fashion Lecturer, Marist College; Angela Batchelor, writer, editor and graphic artist; Marisa Gomez-Lewis, Coordinator Teen Life Connections, Center for Prevention of Child Abuse; Allison Bundy-Travis, educator, author and child advocate; and Kat Raynor, Youth Educator, Battered Women’s Services.

Of course, our own members who step forward to plan and assist and the women who sponsored girls make the day possible.

…and even more books

Betty Harrel *462-2141*

Bergie Lebovitch recently received recognition from the Association as the Membership Vice President with the highest recruitment in the country. Part of her award was a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. She graciously donated her reward to the Leading to Reading project. Due to her generosity, we will be able to provide even more books to needy children in our area.


Bergie has earned a big “thank you” and even more smiles as children enjoy their new books!



Betty Harrel *462-2141*

Many non-profit groups use “tag lines” to help identify their organization. These brief (up to 8 words) phrases help to build name recognition and forward the organization’s mission. They appear on newsletters, stationery, and press releases. A good tag line is catchy but demonstrates the focus of the group. AAUW uses “breaking down barriers for women and girls” as the national slogan.


Not to be outdone, our branch would like to develop one to increase our community recognition. All members are invited to send their submissions to Betty Harrel at or 462-2141. The board will select one, and the contest winner will win a small prize.


Submit as many as you wish by the November 20 deadline – and watch for our new tag line to appear!



Betty Harrel *462-2141*


Once again the Leading to Reading committee is organizing wrapping parties at Hudson River Housing. Amid much laughter and chatter, we wrap donated gifts for children living in the temporary housing at the former Edison Motor Inn on Route 55. Members bring their own wrapping supplies and create a small mountain of presents for the residents.


Party dates will be held in early December and all members are welcome to join us. Watch next month’s Branch for dates and sign up early!


Marcine Humphrey

Support Paid Sick Days to Keep Families Healthy!


Nearly half of American private-sector workers, including 21 million women, have no paid sick days. Urge your members of Congress to pass legislation to keep our families healthy.

The Opt-Out Revolution

Data recently released by the U.S. Census goes against the so-called "opt-out-revolution," the theory that well-educated women are leaving the workforce to become stay at home mothers. According to the Washington Post, the census data shows that women who are staying home to care for their families tend to be less educated and have lower incomes.

Since a 2003 New York Times article highlighted a group of high-achieving women who had decided to leave their careers to care for their children, discussions have soared on this topic, yet census data shows that there is no upward trend of successful women opting out. The women staying home are less educated, they have less opportunity to find well paying jobs that would cover the costs of childcare and offer family friendly benefits with which they could balance family and work life. There are 5.6 million stay-at-home mothers in the US.

ACTION: AAUW's position is that creating work environments that help employees balance the responsibilities of work and family is good public policy - good for workers, good for families, and good for business. Despite the relative wealth of the United States, family oriented workplace policies in this country lag dramatically behind those in much of the rest of the word, including all high-income countries and many middle- and low-income countries as well.

The improvement of current benefits and family leave to include a basic minimum of paid sick days is critical to breaking through economic barriers for women. Urge your members of Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act.



Peggy Kelland *297-0507*

The Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW is a many faceted organization, with monthly programs, interest groups, and community projects where I have made many friends with varied backgrounds, professions, and community involvements. Our branch is also part of a larger organization, the American Association of University Women, with district, state, and national activities in which we are all welcome to take part.


This past summer I attended my first National Convention in St. Louis, where I roomed with three women from the New York City Branch and met many more from around the country while attending informative workshops and meetings where we had the opportunity to influence the Association's organization, policies, and officers. I even sat next to the next Association president, Carolyn Garfein, at lunch.


Two weeks later I went to the New York State AAUW Summer Leadership Conference at Hartwick College, where we spent over an hour with the college president and heard several inspiring speakers, including Poughkeepsie's own Sharon Clark and Joan Monk. Again I gathered friends and ideas from around the state, including a knitting project I passed on to Pins and Needles.


On October 9 I traveled to New York City for a United Nations briefing arranged by Melissa Guardaro and Carolyn Donovan for New York State AAUW members. Among the interesting speakers was a woman, Gina Torry, who had received an AAUW branch scholarship to college years earlier.


Next April 23 - 25 we will hold the annual AAUW New York State Convention in Cooperstown, New York, organized by Convention Director Mary Lou Davis (Poughkeepsie Branch). I hope many of you will take the opportunity to attend the convention and other AAUW events outside our branch.


Before you plan an AAUW event ( interest groups, membership meetings, or project events) check for conflicts with the online calendar at

Select “Calendar” on the left and click through the months.




 (aka Fundraising Development Committee)

Mary Louise Van Winkle (471-3680)

Our New Name


As with many new start-ups the Funding Advisory Committee has struggled with clarifying its mission and goals, starting with how we present ourselves to our public, you, the members of AAUW. We are neither a fundraising committee (the various fundraising activities of AAUW are conducted by committees charged with a particular initiative, such as the Scholarship & LAF Fundraiser on November 9th at Amici’s - see page 1 for details) nor are we a Development Committee. Therefore, we decided that the name Funding Advisory Committee better described our responsibilities. These responsibilities include coordinating our fundraising efforts for the national AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF), DCC and Educational Foundation Scholarships and the various community outreach activities of our Branch’s Equity for Life Committee. The Equity for Life activities include the Girls’ Conference (November 7th, see article on page 4 and do contribute to Divas, Darlings, and Dreamers and plan to volunteer), Leading to Reading, and Diversity Outreach. In addition, the Committee will help coordinate grant applications in support of specific Branch projects and will coordinate the development of new funding initiatives. All of the Branch’s fundraising activities, including individual contributions, appeals for donations from businesses and corporations, and eligibility for many grant opportunities, will now benefit from the recent designation of our Branch as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

DCC Endowed Scholarship


Our first major effort as a new 501 (c)(3) organization is to establish an AAUW endowed scholarship at Dutchess Community College. Each year the Poughkeepsie Branch has awarded two $500 scholarships to women students graduating from DCC to be applied to tuition at their transfer colleges. This has required that the Branch sponsor fundraisers to support these scholarships each year. The Board has approved the establishment of a $10,000 endowment fund at DCC to assure permanent funding for one of these scholarships. The Board decided that this year all the donations to the DCC Scholarship Endowment will be in honor the 100th birthday of long time AAUW member, Ellenora Oberhofer (see the October Branch for a brief biography of Ellenora). Even though the official kick-off for the campaign will be at the October 21st General Meeting (which will be after this article was submitted for the November Branch), we’re proud to announce that, as of the end of September, $550 has already been donated!!! We will be keeping you posted on our progress towards our long term goal of $10,000 with our Fundraising Thermometer, which shows the total of our current donations.

We invite all of you to join your sisters in the Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW in donating to honor Ellenora on the occasion of her 100th birthday! To do so, please:


Make out your check to: “Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc.” Add “DCC Endowment” in the memo line


Send to: Mary Louise Van Winkle

 61 High Acres Drive

 Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


Note: Now that our Branch is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization, your contribution is tax deductible.


Please contact any member of the Funding Advisory Committee or the co-chairs listed below with your ideas and to volunteer to help with planning and/or working on the Branch’s fundraising activities.


Mary Louise Van Winkle (471-3680)

Trish Prunty


Bergie Lebovitch *298-4045* and the Membership Committee


YOU DID IT! And have we ever been busy....


Please Welcome:


Miriam Zimet Aaron

Dr. Shaheda Azher

Mary Bagley

Catherine Bala

Margaret Banks

Diane Browne-Sterdt

Kim Butwell

Nives Cappelli

Pat Clark

Susan Decker

Patricia Dogil

Leah Feldman

Donna FitzGibbons

Peggy Hansen

Judy Harkavy

Susan Hochhauser

Muriel Horowitz

Sherry Hudes

Kathleen Johnson

Patience Kamen

Betsy Kopstein-Stuts

Naava Koblenz

Sandy Lash

Jeanette Madera

Jane McCarthy

Jean Miller

Rita Minnerly

Donna Reichner Mintz

Sandra Moore

Maria Morgan

Debbie Most

Patricia Noble

June Pierson

Jackie Prusak

Pearl Rainey

Andrea Reynolds

Lorraine Roberts

Louise Rose

Ainsley Anne Roth

Elizabeth Roy

Linda Roy

Gayle Sayegh

Terry Schneider

Gail Simon

Mary Fayne Simpson

Jane Barber Smith

Mary Solomon

Diane Thompson

Elizabeth Vivas

Faith Watson

Renee Weisman

Paula Weinstein

Rosemary Wiley

Gail Whiting


Do you see someone you know? Did you refer any of them? Now it is time to become a Big Sister to one or more of our newest members. Share with them what you most enjoy about the Platinum Poughkeepsie Branch (No. 1 in the Country!!!!) There is a committee forming for this “Sister to Sister” link and WE NEED YOU! Please consider sparing a few minutes a month to contact your “little sister.” If you’d like to participate and don’t know of any of our newest members-consider this an opportunity to“make new friends, but keep the is silver and the other gold” - remember??? We need to know who you are and who you would want to contact. Please contact one of the following: Bonnie Kieffer 297-4245, Gloria Gibbs 454-7262, Amy Schwed 462-2269, and Bergie 298-4045



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

On Saturday, Oct 3rd several members * of Art on the Gowalked across the new Walkway over the Hudson. We showed our Poughkeepsie Branch Membership in AAUW with prominent signs pinned to our backpacks. On our front we each had a styrofoam letter (created by Carol Loizides) that spelled out ART ON THE GO. We were placed right between the water elements and the railroad puppets. We were able to space ourselves so that the letters could be read. All along the parade path, people asked us what we spelled and who we were.


Everywhere we looked, people had huge smiles on their face. We saw several other AAUW members, some of whom had the Branch logo pinned to their clothes. (Many thanks to Irene Keyes for sending out the logo). What a great opportunity for having fun and putting our organization's name out there in the public.


* Elaine Andersen, Mary Coiteux, Norma DePalma, Karleen Dorn, Bergie Lebovitch, Carol Loizides, Carol Mastropietro, and Linda Olsen.


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

Association website:

NY State website:

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