The Branch

Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Volume 25, Number 9                           Our 56th year of publication                                   May  2012






 Online calendar

1     Word Games: 2:00 pm

        Hostess: Sherry Hudes (462-0220)

        Coordinator: Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

2     The Ediss Book Group: 7:30 pm

        Book: The Gravedigger’s Daughter

        Hostess: Gabriella Drasny (471-5406)

        Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

2     World Travelers: 7:00 pm

        Presentation: Australia

        Karen Haynes & Barbara Van Itallie

        Coordinator: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


3     Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

               Hostess: Mary Lou Davis (223-5544)

5        Bridge 3: 10:00 am

                  Hostess: Joanne Dyson (297-1046)

         Coordinators: Donna Reichner  &

                   Betsy Vivas (485-2379)

        8     Membership Meeting- See below

        10   “The Branch” deadline for June

11   Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

        Book: Little Bee

        by Chris Cleave

               Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

               Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458) 

               & Tiz Hanson (229-9394)

        14   Movie Night: Time TBD by show

               Movie: Group members will be notified the

               Thursday before - sign up with Sue.

        Discussion: Eveready Diner, Hyde Park

        Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)

        Producer: Kim Butwell

         15     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Cinco de Mayo + 10

                  Recipes: Estella Schmidt (452-3477)

                  Hostess: Betty Olson (889-4836)

                  Coordinator: Barbara Van Itallie


16   Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

        Hostess: Joan Fay (633-8856)

               Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745)

               & Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

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

         Book: Moveable Feast

         by: Ernest Hemmingway

         Hostess: Diane Browne-Sterdt (463-3510)

         Coordinator: Kim Butwell (698-1855)


Calendar continued below.


“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I'll rise!”~ Maya Angelou



May 8, 2012

Cash Bar 6:00 pm  Dinner 6:30 pm


155 Wilbur Blvd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


Cost: $40.00 (this is the cost of the meal)

 Make checks payable “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.”

Mail to: Patricia Dogil

66 High Acres Drive

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


Reservations deadline:  May 2, 2011 (no refunds after May 2).


The Poughkeepsie AAUW is proud to present four legendary women from the Hudson Valley who changed American history.   For one evening only, through the magic of performance, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jane Bolin and Katharine Graham will speak to us about their challenges and their triumphs, revealing surprising details of their lives and the status of women in American society. 


Each woman has helped shape our cultural heritage and our society.


*Sojourner Truth, ~1797 – 1883, born  in Ulster County.  Began life as a slave, but later became a leader of the abolitionist and women's rights movements.


Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1815 – 1902, born in Johnstown, educated in Troy.  A foundational figure in the women's rights movement.


Jane Matilda Bolin, 1908 – 2007, born in Poughkeepsie.  The first African-American woman to serve as a judge in the United States.


Katherine Meyer Graham, 1917 – 2001, a Vassar graduate.  Powerful publisher of the Washington Post, Newsweek magazine and others.


This slice of women’s history, performed by AAUW members, will make you laugh, reflect and wonder.  And, it is guaranteed to thoroughly entertain you.  It will transport you to a different  place in time and is bound to awaken your inner feminist!


Come and be a part of this inspiring evening


Other highlights of the evening:

• Elect and install new officers

• Introduce our named Educational Opportunities Fund scholarship honorees

• Announce Awards!



Calendar Continued from above

Online Calendar at


17      Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

  Liberty Public House, 6417 Montgomery St, Rhinebeck

         Starr Institute Building, next to Upstate Theater

         Contact: Kay Saderholm (229-8545) 

19   Trekkers:  9:00 am

        Historic Newburgh Walk

        Meet at Dutchess Mall

        Organizer: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

        Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

21   Manderley Literary Society:  7:30 pm

        Book:  Zietoun

        by Dave Eggers

        Hostess: Barbara Markell (758-9952)

        Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

23      Art on the Go: (Time TBA)

         Riverside location of Mill Street Loft, Beacon

         Coordinator:  Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

23      Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: The World We Found

         by: Thrity Umrigar

         Hostess: TBD

         Coordinator: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

23      Mah Jongg: 1:00 - 4:00 pm  

         Hostess:  Marcy Marlow (462-6555)

         Coordinator: Amy Schwed (462-2269)

                  January - March: Gerry DiPompei (635-2050)

24      Aventures en Soleil:  1:00 pm NYC

                  Chelsea Art Galleries Walking Tour, $25

         Reservations: Carol DeMicco (831-6653)

         Coordinators: Peggy Lombardi (635-9091)

                  & Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

         24     Bridge II: noon - 3:30 pm

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

         Coordinators: Cathy Kinn &

                  Janet White (462-6675)

26      Trekkers:  9:00 am

         Fahnestock State Park Hike

         Meet at Dutchess Mall

         Organizer: Roz Werner (462-0630)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

31      Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

  Planning meeting for 2012-13

         Hostess: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Jane Toll (463-2712)

Women’s Personal & Professional Development:

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

         Contact coordinators for meeting date & topic

         Coordinators: Kim Butwell &  

               Jacqueline Goffe-McNish

Tee Off:  Play will continue in June, 2012.

         Coordinator:  Terry Schneider (849-1122) &

                  Gerry DiPompei (635-2050)



Geeta Desai *297-7589*  


I have to say that this is my favorite time of year: not only are the crocus, tulips, daffodils, cherry blossoms and magnolia in magnificent bloom, this period of time is bookended by two of my favorite Poughkeepsie AAUW events: the Writers’ Tea and the Annual Meeting.


The much-anticipated Writers’ Tea has come and gone but the memory of that wonderful afternoon lingers on. Perfect in every way, the Tea boasted a beautiful venue at the Links in Union Vale, an elegant tea service and three talented writers. But it was the auction that stole my heart. There were approximately 110 items donated by 55 AAUW members and Interest Groups and several other items by local merchants. The sale of these beautiful items, brought in over $4,000. The total amount raised by the Tea is over $8500, proving once again, that the Writers’ Tea is the perfect fundraiser for our AAUW. Proceeds from this event will again underwrite our local and national scholarships and community programs.


My heart-felt thanks go to the Tea Chairs, Lula Allen and Trish Prunty, all of the Chairs of the various Tea-related committees, including Linda Roberts who so gracefully chaired the Auction Committee, all the committee members and the people who attended the Tea. None of this would have been possible without your help and presence.


But to me, the Tea has come to represent more than just the funding for our programs and scholarships. It has come to symbolize the determination of a group of women that is single-mindedly focused on making the event a resounding success. It affirms my belief that there is something magical that transpires when women come together to fulfill a common purpose. My abiding wish for our AAUW is that we remember that together we can become a force unto ourselves. Whether we are planning the Writers’ Tea or whether we are fighting for our rights, the key to success lies in our ability to work together.


Next up is our Annual Meeting. The program for this evening is also in keeping with the spirit of women, togetherness and determination. The past and the present come together as you meet four legendary women from the annals of American history, each of whom has a story that is at once unique and familiar to all American women. We will hear from Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jane Matilda Bolin and Katharine Meyer Graham. As they talk with humor, integrity and forthrightness about their individual challenges and triumphs, we will be reminded that their journey is still our journey.


Sign up now for this fun, moving, inspiring, creative, “no holds barred”, impassioned evening. Bring your friends. Come and affirm your faith in the collective power of women to move mountains, to advance the mission of the AAUW and to engender a more equitable future. 



June 14: “Program Ideas for 2012-13” (Note this is Thursday)

         Bring your suggestions and creativity to shape our next AAUW year.


Jul 20-22: AAUW-NYS Leadership Conference, see below.

         Geeta Desai will present the featured workshop.  Join us.


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










Amy Schwed *462-2269*


It’s give-away time again!  By the time you read this article or shortly thereafter, you will have received your membership renewal in the mail.  It will include a member profile form and a questionnaire.  Please take a few minutes to fill out everything and return them, with your check, to our assistant treasurer, Jeanette Cantwell.  The information on those forms help us to help you enjoy your participation in everything we do.


Two (2) free national AAUW memberships!


We will be giving away two free national memberships

(worth $49 each) to two lucky women.  The earlier you return your forms with your renewal check, the more chances you have to win a free membership.  All renewals received by May 10th will get three chances in the drawing.  Those renewals received by May 20th will have two chances, and everyone who sends in renewal by May 31st will get one chance to win.  So, it really pays to be an early bird!  You won’t get a worm - but you could win a $49 national membership for the year. That’s much yummier.  If you win, you will receive a refund check from the Branch.


Another free national AAUW membership!


That brings us to thinking about the last meeting of the year, which will be June 13th.  At that time, we will have a drawing from the mystery surprise box for one more lucky woman to win a free national membership!  Imagine - winning a $49 membership because you had the pleasure of attending great meetings and events.  That’s really a win-win situation, isn’t it? 


All members who have been attending monthly meetings and annual events have had tickets with their names put into our mystery surprise box.  May’s end-of-the-year dinner will be the last event that will earn you an attendance ticket to go into the box.  But aside from that, everyone who has ever attended our May dinner and program has been really glad to be there.   Big sisters: be sure to  call your “little sisters” and go together!  All of you - call friends and arrange to car pool or meet at the restaurant.  The meal is always terrific, the camaraderie wonderful and the program off-the-wall-fantastic!  You’ll really be sorry if you miss it!


I look forward to seeing all of you in May.



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  Mary Bagley

Marge Barton  Sharon Clarke  Joan Cordani

Lillian DePasquale  Joan Fay  Ruth Gau  Gloria Gibbs  Sandra Goldberg  Elizabeth Harrel  Susan Htoo

Doris Kelly  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



OUR WEBSITE – check it out!


If you have not visited our branch website at, please do so.  It is

beautiful and will give you lots of information about

our organization.


You will find:

- announcements of our current and future programs

- our monthly newsletters from 2009 to present

- a calendar of all events

- information on all interest groups

- information on all community projects

- links to AAUW-NYS and AAUW (national)

- photos of special events

- much, much more


Our website was designed by Mary and Dave King.  Maintenance of the website is done by Mary King, Pat Luczai, Margaret Nijhuis and Joanne Scolaro.



Ginny Marcus * 223-5246*


On Saturday, March 31, Eileen Hayden and I had the pleasure of attending the Dutchess County Regional Science Fair.  We were there to judge seventh and eighth grade girls' science projects for our branch.


The girls were earnest and enthusiastic, and there were many fine projects on display.  We had a difficult time choosing the winners among such outstanding young ladies.


We awarded the seventh grade prize to Ashley Quinn, from St. Denis/St. Columba, whose project was titled "Where Oh Where Does the Most Bacteria Grow?"  Ashley painstakingly gathered and grew bacteria from 6 common items: the family cell phone, the stovetop, a shower, a home toilet, her laptop, and the steering wheel of her father's car.  She performed 3 trials, and discovered that her laptop had the most bacteria.  (She had predicted the cell phone would have the most.)  She concluded that everyone should be "wiping down" their computers twice a day to cut down on germs.


The eighth grade prize went to Victoria Smith, from St. Mary's in Fishkill, whose project was titled "Here Comes the Sun".  Victoria built a moveable solar tracker, made of wood, with mini solar panels attached.  It was hooked to a battery, which then ran a motor using the sun's energy.  She explained that her father taught her how to drill, and then she constructed the tracker.  It took her several tries to find the right motor to use for her project.  She concluded that we have enough sunlight here in the Hudson Valley to create energy for our homes.


Each girl received a Science Award, and a $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card from our AAUW Poughkeepsie Branch. Kudos to those young ladies!



Doris Kelly


“Show respect for the position.”    I can't tell you how many times I've heard that statement.  We were all taught to respect those in judicial robes.


How can we respect a majority on our Supreme Court, once hailed to be the national ideal of justice, when their decisions are strangling our Democracy?


In May, 2007: Lily Ledbetter  v. Goodyear Tires: A 5-4 vote disallowing a pay equity suit where the Court held that according to Title VII, discriminatory intent must occur during the 180-day charging period.  Following this decision, several members of Congress introduced the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which revised the law to state that if a present act of discrimination pertains, prior acts outside of the 180-day statute of limitations for pay discrimination can be incorporated into the claim.  The law was signed by President Obama in January 2009. 


In June, 2009: Gross v. FBL Financial Services: A 5-4 vote made it much more difficult for employees to prove age discrimination in employment


In January, 2010: Citizens United v FEC: A 5-4 vote concluding that political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections.  Corporations and unions are people?  Money is free speech?  This ruling has unleashed an outpouring of corporate money to convince the American voter to vote against those candidates who would protect the public interest.  Workers' rights, the environment, public education, equality and equity are all in jeopardy.


In April, 2010:  A 5-4 vote allowing strip searches if a person is being charged with any type of “offense.”  The offenses could include any traffic violation or even littering.  What is a “strip search?”  According to opinions in earlier proceedings, briefs on file, and some cases of this Court, the term is imprecise.  It may refer simply to the instruction to remove clothing while an officer observes from a distance of, say, five feet or more; it may mean a visual inspection from a closer, more uncomfortable distance; it may include directing detainees to shake their heads or to run their hands through their hair to dislodge what might be hidden there; or it may involve instructions to raise arms, to display foot insteps, to expose the back of the ears, to move or spread the buttocks or genital areas, or to cough while in a squatting position.”


Now we are awaiting the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.  The Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of a federal government mandate for American citizens to buy coverage from health insurance companies will not be decided until June .


“AAUW believes that, although not perfect by any stretch, many of the reforms included in the Affordable Care Act will improve the collective health of the American people.  It is our hope that the elimination of preexisting conditions and gender rating in the individual and small groups markets will result in better outcomes for more women . Unfortunately, many women will find that they have less coverage for full reproductive services due to far-reaching limitations in the new law.  AAUW will continue to work to restore full access to all health care for women. “


Some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act which women may lose if the Supreme Court declares the mandate unconstitutional:

1. Insurance Companies Can’t Deny Coverage to Women

2. Women Pay Lower Health Care Costs

3. Women have a choice of doctors

4. Women Can Receive Preventive Care Without Co-pays


A friend reminded me, “When you go to vote in November, think Federal Courts.” The question is what kind of country do we want?




2012 – 2014

Marcine Humphrey, Nominating Committee Chair,


Committee: Mary Lou Davis (chair for next year), Geeta Desai, Gloria Gibbs, Barbara Hespenheide, Ginny Marcus, Amy Schwed


After many months of work, the Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the following nominations for officers:


President – Jacqueline Goffe-McNish

Treasurer - Barbara Van Itallie

Secretary - Peggy Hansen


Jeanette Cantwell has agreed serve as Assistant Treasurer to complete the last year of the current term.  Kay Saderholm will be Co-VP Membership for the remainder of the present term.


The other officers will continue to serve the second year of their term. 


A vote will be held at the May 8, 2012 Annual Meeting, after which the new officers will be installed. Work is continuing on the appointed board positions. 




Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

An expression of admiration for someone's achievement or contribution and our acknowledgment for it.


Hat's Off to members Cathy Celtruda, Norma DePalma, Honorah Hinkle, and Carol Mastropietro for their Art work which will be on exhibition for the month of May. They invite Branch Members to their exhibition opening, on May 4th, 7:00-8:30 pm at the East Fishkill Public Library in Hopewell Junction.




Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


AAUW does not stop for the summer.  There are many activities that continue – Bridge, Mah Jongg, Women’s Personal and Professional Development and many others. 


If you are the leader of one of these activities, please send your meeting information to me by May 10th for inclusion in the June newsletter.  Please note my email.  We do not publish a newsletter in July and August.


If you want to participate in summer activities, check the June newsletter but  these activities are also featured on our website and listed in the online calendar.  All of these, including the newsletter, are available in one location







Over $8500 raised at the Writers’ Tea!!!

Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


The authors were fascinating, the venue was lovely, the food delicious, the auction items wonderful and we made a $8500 profit for our scholarships and community projects.


If you were not at the tea on April first, you missed quite an occasion.  When you see the Tea date for 2013, mark your calendar and be there.


The committee worked so very hard and they should have our thanks and appreciation:


The Writers’ Tea Committee

Lula Allen, Co-Chair

Trish Prunty, Co-Chair





Gloria Ghedini, Chair

Lula Allen

Mary Lou Davis

Bonnie Kieffer

Barbara Mindel

Jackie  Prusak


Silent Auction/Raffle:

Linda Roberts, Chair

Cecilia Dinio-Durkin

Gloria Gibbs

Doris Kelly

Jeanette Madera

Ginny Marcus

Barbara Mindel

Donna Reichner

Vivian Rose

Nancy Smith


Program/ Invitations:

Margaret Nijhuis, Chair

Linda Beyer

Kim Butwell

Mary Coiteux

Saranne Ratner,


Joanne Scolaro



Margaret White, Chair

Lula Allen

Linda Beyer

Patricia Davis

Leola Mason

Linda Roberts



Mary Coiteux, Chair

Linda Beyer

Verna Carr

Sharon Clarke

Mary Lou Davis

Betty Harrel

Marcine Humphrey

Shaileen Kopec

Judy Linville

Ginny Marcus

Melody Mordock

Margaret Nijhuis

Sue Osterhoudt

Shelby Outwater

Trish Prunty

Saranne Ratner

Linda Roberts



Marcine Humphrey



Leading to Reading:

Meg Banks

Lillian DePasquale

Linda Freisitzer

Betty  Harrel

Joan Newman

Linda Roy

Joanne Scolaro

Sandy Sherman

Sally Taylor

Ann Wade

Flora Wistreich




BUDGET 2012-2013

                                                      Projected          Proposed

                           2011-12 Budget       2011-12 Actuals      2012-13 Budget


Dues                           27846                                           26832*

Investments               120                    160                    150

NYS Awards             50                       0                         50

Undesignated Contributions

                                    500                    25                       100

Revenue Special Events

                                    7000                  7000                  7000**

Other                          0               

Total                           35516                                           34132



Dues                           22134                                           21328***

Administration         250                    71                       150****

Sunshine Fund          50                       180                    100

Monthly Meetings    800                    726                    800

Membership              750                    1172                           1000

Website Hosting       50                       0                         50

Directory                   700                    636                    900+

Convention               450                    450                    450++

Awards/Gifts             100                    100                    100+++

Insurance                   1200                  1034                  1100++++

Historian                    20                       0                         20

Donations                  0                         250                    100

Other                          100                    10                       100

   Subtotal                  26604                                           26198


   DCC Endowment   1750                  439                    0#

   Scholarships and EOF

                                    1750                  2539                  3000##

   Community projects

                                    3500                  3200                  4000###

Total Expenses         33604                                           33198

         Surplus              1912                                             934####


NOTE: This budget does not include specific income and expenses for our special projects and initiatives 

* 344 members  x  $78

** Tea, Woman of the Year

*** 344 members x $62

         (paid to state -$11 each and national $49 each )

**** Supplies, postage, copying

+ Printing plus mailing to all members

++ Ad and president’s expenses

+++ Science Fair

++++ Directors & Officers and liability

# Endowment paid up

## Mostly EOF (Educational Opportunities Fund)

### To be allocated by request

#### Projected surplus end of year


The budget was approved by the Poughkeepsie AAUW board on April 4, 2012 and will be presented at the annual meeting, May 8, 2012.



Personal and Professional Development


July 20-22, 2012

Cazenovia College

Cazenovia, NY


● Join in a fun-filled weekend

● Take part in personal and professional development   workshops by Geeta Desai, Poughkeepsie          Branch AAUW member and Professional         Trainer

● Learn more about AAUW initiatives

● Meet enthusiastic members from across the state

● Bring home specific programs for your branch and      community


Conference fees are $100 for registration online (or $105 for paper registration.)  This includes 2 nights in a dormitory suite, Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner, special events, and Sunday breakfast and lunch.


Mark your calendar. More information will be available soon.


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.                 Kay Saderholm      229-8545

                                             Amy Schwed         462-2269

Educ. Foundation V.P.        Linda Roberts        227-5287

Secretary                             Virginia Marcus     223-5246

Treasurer                            Barbara Van Itallie 462-3924

Assistant Treasurer             Jeanette Cantwell   452-4188

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).