The Branch 

                     Poughkeepsie Branch of the

    American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


Volume 25, Number 8                           Our 56th year of publication.               April 2012



Online Calendar at

1     Membership Meeting - Writers’ Tea

2     Word Games: 2:00 pm

       Hostess: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

       Coordinator: Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

4     Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

Hostess: Eileen Hayden (485-4399)

9     Movie Night: Time TBD by show

Movie: Group members will be notified the Thursday before - be sure to sign up with Sue.

       Discussion: Eveready Diner, Rt. 9, Hyde Park

       Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)

       Producer: Kim Butwell

10   “The Branch” deadline for May 

10   Bridge 3: 10:00 am

Hostess: Mary Bagley (462-0776) (RSVP to

       Coordinators: Donna Reichner Mintz &

               Betsy Vivas (485-2379)

12   World Travelers: 7:00 pm

       Tour de Monte Rosa (Swiss & Italian Alps)

       Presenter: Joan Newman

       Hostess: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

       Coordinator: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

13  Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

       Book: Unbroken

       by Laura Hillenbrand

The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458)

              & Tiz Hanson (229-9394)

14   Trekkers: 9:00 am at Dutchess Mall

       Madame Brett Park-Beacon Shoreline Trail

       Organizer: Cathy Bala (227-7293) 

       Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

16   Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

       Book: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet

       by Jamie Ford

       Hostess: Kathy Brown (486-4605)

       Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

17   Cuisine: 6:30 pm

       Danish Dinner

       Recipes: Joann Clark (876-5189)

Hostess: Christina Hirsch (876-7802)

Coordinator: Barbara Van Itallie (462-3924)


Calendar continued below...



Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of

University Women, Inc.



April 1, 2012

3:00 - 6:00 pm


The Links at Union Vale

153 North Parliman Road, Lagrangeville


Directions and more details at


Invite your spouse, significant other, friends, and family. All welcome!


Featured Writers


Meet three Hudson Valley authors who will share stories from their books, poems and their lives. Their books will be available for purchase and signing.


Eamon Grennan

Out of Sight...

Sheila Isenberg

Muriel’s War...

Suzanne Vromen

Hidden Children...

High Tea

We will be welcomed with champagne, light drinks and hors d’oeuvres as we arrive and browse the silent auction items. The writers’ presentations will be accompanied by tea, scones, assorted tea sandwiches and petite desserts.

Silent Auction

A silent auction of hand crafted items and services donated by our members, local businesses and craftsmen. Checks or cash only.


Questions for the Authors

All those interested in asking questions of our three authors, Eamon Grennan, Sheila Isenberg, and Suzanne Vromen, will have ample time both before and after their presentations. Their books will be available for purchase and signing, as well.


Reservations [Deadline: March 25, 2012].

Reservation form below.

Additional Information and Reservation form also available at:


Calendar Continued...                                            

Online Calendar at

18   Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm 

       Hostess: Gloria Gibbs (454-7262)

Coordinators: Linda Ronayne (897-9745)

              & Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

18   Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

       The Farm to Table Bistro, Fishkill 

Contact: Kay Saderholm (229-8545)


19   All those books...: 7:00 pm 

          Book: The Charterhouse of Parma

       by Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

Hostess: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

       Coordinator: Kim Butwell (698-1855)

20-22 AAUW-NYS Convention & Aventures en Soleil

       Reservations Assistance: Betty Harrel (462-2141)

       Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, Rochester. More below.

24   Women’s Personal & Professional Development:

       5:30-7:30 pm, DCC, Room # - contact coordinators

       Plans TBD - watch your email and

       Coordinators: Kim Butwell &

             Jacqueline Goffe-McNish

25   Art on the Go: 10:00 am at Stone Crop ($5)

       Stone Crop & Buddist Monastery

       Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

25   Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

       Book: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

       by Helen Simonson

Hostess: TBD contact coordinators

       Coordinator: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

              Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

25   Mah Jongg: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

       Hostess: Gloria Gibbs (454-7262)

       Coordinator: Amy Schwed (462-2269)

January - March: Gerry DiPompei (635-2050)

26   Pins & Needles: 6:00 pm 

       Beading at “I Dream of Beading,” Rt. 55

       Reservations required, call Jane Toll.

       Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

              Jane Toll (463-2712)               

26   Bridge II: noon - 3:30 pm

       Uno (on the arterial) - Lunch ($15)

       Coordinators: Cathy Kinn &

              Janet White (462-6675)

28   Trekkers: 9:00 am Toys-R-Us/S&S, Rt 9, Pok

       Shaupeneak Ridge Hike

       Organizer: Pat Luczai (463-4662) 

       Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

Tee Off: Play will continue in June, 2012.

Coordinator: Terry Schneider (849-1122) &

              Gerry DiPompei (635-2050)

The Ediss Book Group: No April meeting

       Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)






May 8: Annual Meeting, Christo’s. Come and be surprised by what we do this year!

Jul 20-22: AAUW-NYS Leadership Conference

Oct 20: Woman of the Year 2012, mark your calendar.



[Deadline: March 25, 2012]




Phone _______________________


Email _________________________________________


If you are making reservations for more than one person, please list all additional names.


The cost is $50 per person. Enclosed $ ____________ for _____ attendee(s).


Checks payable to: Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.

       [$20 of the admission fee is tax-deductible]


Mail to:

Saranne Ratner

7 Hamlet Court

Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

Questions: 845/297-9360 or


Table reservations may be made only for full tables of 10. All ten names and payment ($50 per person) must be submitted together to Saranne Ratner. All other tables will be open seating.


If you are unable to attend but would like to support our scholarship funds, community initiatives and events then please write a check payable to “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.” and mail it to Saranne Ratner at the address above.






April 20-22, 2012.


Mary Lou Davis,

 candidate for




Details below!



PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                              

Geeta Desai *297-7589*



When I was growing up, my father would take us, my sister, brother and I, to buy a new book every two weeks. His standing instructions to each of us were to choose well: a book that would broaden our horizons and teach us something about the world around us. While my brother and sister took the trip to the bookstore in stride (as they did most things), I used to practically faint with anticipation. I remember my heart beating faster as my dad looked for a parking space within walking distance of the bookstore. Stepping into the store was like stepping onto hallowed ground. My nose tingled with that uniquely wonderful, unmistakable “new book” smell and it was all I could do to stop myself from running up and down the aisles, touching as many books as I possibly could. While my dad waited patiently, the three of us spent hours poring over dozens of books, looking for just the right ones to buy. For the next few weeks, I would read my book at the breakfast table (to my mother’s consternation), during school, between homework assignments, and sometimes, to the detriment of my grades, during gym. During the break between high school and college, which in India is approximately six months, I read all of the works of Charles Dickens.


I think that there is something magical about books: they lift us out of the daily grind of our lives and transport us to a place of higher consciousness, a place of beauty and inspiration. Judging from the growing number of book groups within our AAUW Branch, I know that I share these sentiments with many other members. I also know that we have Branch members who do not belong to book groups but are voracious readers, nonetheless. For them, like me, reading is a solitary pleasure.


Our annual Writers’ Tea, our only fundraiser, is a testament to our collective love of reading. At this year’s Tea, we will listen to the poetry of Eamon Grennan described by the New York Times as the afternoon light hitting ordinary objects, illuminating, clarifying and directing our gaze toward what it is we love but often overlook. We will also have front row seats to Sheila Eisenberg’s insights into her book, Muriel’s War: An American Heiress in the Nazi Resistance and to Susanne Vromen’s deeply moving Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis.


And, to top it all off, we will be hosting a silent auction of items of unparalleled value. So come to the Tea and bring your friends. Luxuriate in the stories and the art of storytelling, bid on the items up for auction and accomplish two things in one fell swoop: you will rejuvenate your spirit and be able to take satisfaction in the fact that your presence will contribute towards funding AAUW’s many worthwhile community programs.





Amy Schwed *462-2269*


Have you gotten involved in our branch? Have you invited a friend to attend a monthly meeting with you? Have you discovered new thoughts about a book you’ve read, through exciting questions and debates? Have you tried cooking and tasting new ethnic foods? Have you had the treat of eating at a new restaurant? Have you created something artistic? Have you played mah jongg or bridge and had a fun time? Have you hiked or taken a day trip and enjoyed a new adventure? Have you learned a new craft or improved in one you were already involved in? Have you enjoyed a movie and the subsequent stimulating discussion about it? Have you challenged yourself with different word games?


Have you supported early literacy by becoming involved in “Learning to Reading”? Have you become a part of “My Sister’s Keeper” to promote equality in educational opportunities, health benefits and lack of gender bias in all fields in the Hudson Valley? Have you empowered your lives both at home and/or at work through networking with other women and discovered the many ways available to strengthen your natural talents? Have you helped support the rights of women who suffer because of domestic violence situations? This could happen to your sister, your daughter, your friend. We need to be able to assist any woman caught in the terrible web of violence. Have you done something to help the many women from different cultures in our community to become assimilated and more comfortable in their new environment? Have you contacted your big/little sister and shared an experience with her?


Have you been a participant in the many annual events our branch supports? I hope that all our new members, as well as our “seasoned” members attend the Annual Writers’ Tea on April 1st, for the treat of a lifetime! Unfortunately, I am still in Florida and can not participate this year, so I did the next best thing. I attended an authors’ luncheon down here, sponsored by the Brandeis Women’s group, which featured Maggie Anton, Caroline Leavitt and Joan Nathan. It was delightful - but didn’t compare to what our branch presented (from what I’ve experienced in the past, and what I’ve heard about the plans for this year’s event!) 


So - what’s the bottom line message behind all these questions? Our branch offers so many different ways for members to grow, enrich their lives, and help other women. All you have to do is be involved! And, as an added benefit (as if you needed more) it’s wonderful to make new friends, while keeping your brain active, challenged, entertained and working. It can’t get better than this!!


Support AAUW Scholarship Funds

and Community Projects!

Come to the Writers’ Tea.

April 1, 2012








Doris Kelly


In my past articles I've written about some of the dangerous legislation which continues to be passed in several states and in the House of Representatives.


The AAUW Action Fund has now released its yearly voting record for our Congressional representatives. AAUW Action Fund’s Congressional Voting Record provides information on the positions of senators and representatives on the issues important to AAUW's Mission.


“This voting record provides information about senators and representatives co-sponsorship and votes on AAUW’s issues including economic security, education, and civil rights.”


The bills reviewed were selected on the basis of AAUW’s public policy priorities and principles as adopted at the AAUW convention in 2011.


Using the following link, you can review which bills and amendments were taken into consideration to determine the scores given to representatives. You can also see the scores of Senators and Representatives in the House across our country. This information could be useful when discussing candidates.


What scores did our US Senators and Representatives receive?

Senate: Gillibrand 100%, Schumer 83%

Representatives: 19th Congressional District Hayworth 0%

20th Congressional District Gibson 0%

22nd Congressional District Hinchey 80%


All of the seats in the House of Representatives will be on the ballot this year. Isn't it time we voted for representatives who support our needs? Isn't it time we voted for those who don't attempt to undermine the rights for which women have fought and won during the last century?



April 20 - 22, 2012

Woodcliff Hotel and Spa, Rochester, NY

Peggy Kelland, AAUW-NYS V.P. Program


There's still time; don't miss this wonderful weekend! The registration deadline is March 30, 2012.


Convention registration, hotel registration, and complete information packet are available at or from your branch president. It was also sent by email to those of you who receive the AAUW-NYS Focus by email.

You must register separately for the convention and for the hotel.


This year's theme, "In Their Footsteps," will highlight the contributions of New York State women to the women's rights movement. Guest speakers will include Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, AAUW Lobby Corps Chair Kathy Kelm, and Co-founder of 34 Million Friends of the United Nations Population Fund Jane Roberts. We'll also hear speakers on the Women's History Trail and 2020:Project Women, as well as participating in two sessions of workshops on related topics. Friday arrivals will be able to take a tour of the Susan B. Anthony House.


There will be opportunities to hear about and influence AAUW's State, National, and District policies; to interact with other members and branch officers from around the state; and to enjoy military bridge, walking, swimming, yoga, and a theatrical presentation of "Momoirs" by the Bath Branch. I hope to meet many of you there!!




Join us for

AAUW-NYS Public Policy Advocacy Day

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

10 AM to 3PM


 In the Legislative Office Building

Room 211-A

198 State Street, Albany, NY 12210


We will be advocating for AAUW issues, such as:

Pay Equity, Violence Against Women and Children,

Child Care and Reproductive Health.




10:00 am: A welcome from Assemblywomen Ellen Jaffee and Addie Russell.


10:30 am: Briefing on effective advocacy techniques from a professional lobbyist and a member of the state legislature.


11:00 am: A panel discussion on the key topics of pay equity, women's and family issues will conclude the morning program.


Each branch should schedule your own meetings with your respective senators and representatives ahead of time for 12:30 to 3:00 pm


The Assembly will issue a Proclamation honoring AAUW that afternoon.


Please join us for an exciting and informative program, followed by meetings with your New York State representatives.

Please make your reservation to attend this important day in Albany at


Visit to learn more about AAUW-NYS.













“HATS OFF”                                        

Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

An expression of admiration for someone's achievement or

contribution and our acknowledgment for it.



“Hats Off” to Ann Pinna and Barbara Mindel! The Town of Poughkeepsie Democratic Committee will be honoring Ann Pinna and Barbara Mindel with the Anna Buchholz Citizen of the Year Award for their years of community service. The event will be on Sunday, April 29, 2010 from 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM at the Dutchess Golf & Country Club on South Rd. in Poughkeepsie. The public is cordially invited to attend the luncheon. Tickets are $50.00. For more information, please contact Gary Levine at or 452-2366.


This is truly an AAUW event, Ann Pinna and Barbara Mindel are both members of AAUW and Anna Buchholz was not only a member of AAUW but our Woman of the Year in 2002.



“Hats Off” to Jody Miller! The Mediation Center of Dutchess County led by AAUW member Executive Director Jody Miller is sponsoring an "Anti-Bullying Walk-A-Ton and Art Show on March 31" at the Walkway Over the Hudson. This is an opportunity for all community members to rally against bullying. For more information see.




            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 Lula Allen Marge Barton

Sharon Clarke Joan Cordani Lillian DePasquale

Joan Fay Ruth Gau Gloria Gibbs Sandra Goldberg Elizabeth Harrel Susan Htoo Jean Miller Lila Mitchell

Jacqueline Prusak Esther Reisman Margaret Ruggeri Terry Schneider Sarah Shouse

Mary Louise Van Winkle


Sponsors ($10 or more)

    Marion Effron Mildred Jones Margaret Lombardi

Marti Shaw


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















WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2012       

Marge Barton *897-0164*



October 20 at the Villa Borghese


Please let the committee know your nomination for the 2012 Woman of the Year!!!!!


Criteria for AAUW Woman of the Year


She has made outstanding contributions to the community in either a voluntary or paid capacity. (Most recipients have served in both ways)


She reflects the AAUW mission: AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.


Branch membership does not disqualify a candidate, but selection should be based on accomplishments outside AAUW.


Woman of the Year Nomination


I would like to nominate: _________________________


Submitted by: __________________________________


Please list the contributions of the nominee to the community on an attached sheet.


Return your nomination to Marge Barton by email or mail to:

 543 Regency Drive, Fishkill, NY 12524



Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2011-2012


President                               Geeta Desai            297-7589

Program V.P.                        Barbara Hugo         876-6686

                                                Shelby Outwater     206-2083 

Membership V.P.                  Amy Schwed          462-2269

Educ. Foundation V.P.         Trish Prunty

                                                Linda Roberts         227-5287

Secretary                               Virginia Marcus     223-5246

Treasurer                              Barbara Van Itallie 462-3924

Acting Assistant Treasurer  Mary Lou Davis     223-5544

Association website:  

NY State website:

Poughkeepsie Branch 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 this organization 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).