The Branch

Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


         Volume 26, Number 1                  Our 57th  year of publication                                     September  2012




 Online Calendar at


5        Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

  Swift Roundhouse, Beacon Falls, Beacon

  Contact: Kay Saderholm (229-8545)


5        The Ediss Book Group: 7:30 pm

         Book: Those Who Save Us

         by: Jenna Blum

         Hostess: Barbara Markell (471-8810)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

6       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

         Hostess: Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

8        Bridge 3: 10:00 am

  Hostess: Carol Mastropietro (221-8862)

         Coordinators: Donna Reichner (298-7732)

8        Trekkers:  9:00 am (Dutchess Mall)

         Stone Crop Farm & Pells Pond Walk

         Organizer:  Peggy Kelland (297-0507)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

10     “The Branch” deadline for October.     

10     Movie Night: Time TBD by show

         Movie: Group members will be notified the

         Thursday before - sign up with         Sue.

         Discussion: Eveready Diner, Rt. 9, Hyde Park

         Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)

         Producer: Diana Gleeson

10     Word Games: 2:00 pm

         Hostess: Barbara van Itallie (462-3924)

         Coordinator:  Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

11     Cuisine: 6:30 pm (note change of date)

         My Favorite Chef Pot-Luck

         Recipes: Betsy Kopstein-Stuts

         Hostess: Ann Smith

         Coordinator: Barbara Van Itallie (462-3924)

12      Mah Jongg: 1:00 - 4:00 pm   

         Hostess: Susan Fink (473-3168)

         Coordinators: Amy Schwed (462-2269) &

                  Gerry DiPompei (635-2050)

13    Monthly Membership Meeting:  7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to     attend!  Details below.





Thursday, September 13, 2012

7 PM

Hellenic Community Center

54 Park Avenue, Poughkeepsie*


AAUW gives us wings which helps us broaden our borders and soar everywhere!  Join us for our annual Open House/Reunion after the summer meeting.  We have a big room with plenty of space and well-lit parking, as well as our usual delicious snacks to enjoy.   It is a terrific opportunity to meet many potential members and your chance to see friends that you haven’t seen in a while.







So, come to the Open House/Reunion at the Hellenic Center!  If you know someone who joined us this past year, make arrangements to come with her.  If you suggested a friend, relative or neighbor join our branch, please bring her with you and introduce her around.  We look forward to seeing you soon and each of us broadening our borders.


*Directions: The Hellenic Center is off Hooker Avenue on Park Avenue between Ziegler Ave and Grand Ave. It is behind the Greek Orthodox Church and next door to Temple Beth-El both of which face Grand Avenue.





Oct 20 Woman of the Year, see below.

Oct 27  District 4 Conference, see below.

Nov 3  “Live Your Dream” Girls Conference, see below.

Apr 7  Fourth Annual “Writers’ Tea,” see below.



Calendar Continued from above.

Online Calendar at

14      Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: In the Garden of the Beasts by Erik Larson

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458) &

                   Tiz Hanson (229-9394)

19      Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess:  Anne Valentino (221-2591)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745) &

                  Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

19      Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: Catherine the Great  by Robert Massie

         Hostess: Arlene Seligman (297-0006)

         Coordinator: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

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

         Book: Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

         Hostess: Judy Harkavy (471-4973)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

22      Aventures en Soleil:

  Tiffany Windows, Troy, NY

  Reservations: Joan Cordani (855-5259)

         Coordinators: Peggy Lombardi (635-9091) &

                  Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

22      Trekkers:  9:00 am (S&S, Rt 9)

         Black Creek Preserve, Esopus

         Organizer: Kathy Brown (486-4605)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

24      Manderley Literary Society:  7:30 pm

         Book: The Faith Club

         by R. Idiby, S. Oliver, and P. Warner

         Hostess: Barbara Lemberger (635-8516)

         Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

         27     Bridge II: noon - 3:30 pm

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

         Coordinators: Cathy Kinn &

                  Janet White (462-6675)

27      Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

  Knitting a Ruffled Scarf  

         Hostess: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Jane Toll (463-2712)       

     Art on the Go: 10:00 am.  Contact Coordinator for date.

         Culinary Institute Grounds and Buildings

         Apple Café for lunch

         Coordinator:  Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

      Tee Off:  Play continues.

         Contact coordinators

         Coordinators: Terry Schneider (849-1122) &

                  Carol Mastropietro (221-8862)

World Travelers: Look for October meeting!

         Coordinator: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


Oct 23 Women’s Personal & Professional Development:

           5:30-7:30 pm,  DCC, Washington Hall

           Is Your Budget Being Choked by Your Mood(s)??

               Presenter: Adrienne Haynes

           Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish



Jacqueline Goffe-McNish *297-7589*  


Recently, I was asked by a student who was struggling to read Baldwin’s Go Tell it on the Mountain how one knows when she has made the correct choice for a major.  This student wanted to be an English major, but was having a hard time deciphering the major themes in the text. 


I told her that she would know because it would feel right.  She would also discover that she knew more than she thought she did, and although she was a little scared, she would be successful as long as she committed herself to the task at hand.


Later that semester, when I was nominated for the position of President of the AAUW Poughkeepsie Branch, I decided to take my own advice.  I very much appreciate the confidence that you have placed in me by electing me to the role. 


This feels right.  I am a little scared, but I have committed myself to working hard.  I believe that my experience has prepared me well, as a National Institute Leadership Development Alumnae, New York State Representative to the Women’s Issues Committee for six years, and Chairperson for the local American Association of Women in Community College for five years. 


The theme for the Branch this year is “Broaden our Borders”.  There are three major objectives that I would like us to achieve by the end of the year.  They are to:


1.      Broaden our personal focus and development by accessing programs and activities that improve our lives;

2.      Broaden our appreciation of the diversity of our organization as we recognize and celebrate differences in ethnicity, nationality, religion, choice, stage in life, and culture; and

3.      Broaden the participation of Branch members by providing constructive and meaningful avenues for involvement.


This is an exciting time in the life of the Branch and I am looking forward to being a part of this full and exhilarating experience.




Marge Barton *897-0164*


It is with great pleasure that the Woman of the Year Committee announces the selection of  the 2012 Woman of the Year:



Director of Outreach and Support Services,

Grace Smith House


Judy received her BA in Psychology from the University of Connecticut and her MSW from the State University of New York in Albany.  Currently, she is the Director of Outreach and Support Services at Grace Smith House.  Judy was the Executive Director of Grace Smith House from August of 2004 until June of 2010.  Prior to that she was the Shelter Director with the agency for 10 years.  She worked as a Clinical Social Worker with Emotionally Disturbed children before coming to Grace Smith House.  For a number of years she also co-facilitated psycho-educational groups for men who batter.  Judy has devoted the bulk of her professional work to the issue of domestic violence with a particular focus on community work and public policy.  Judy is also on the Board of Directors of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  Judy strongly believes that a large part of women’s advancement includes increasing activity in the political realm and serving as candidates and office holders.  To further this cause she served as Dutchess County Co-chair of Hillary Clinton's historic 2000 race for the Senate in NY and is a Founding Board Member of the Dutchess Democratic Women's Caucus.  In 2011, Judy was very proud to receive the Woman of Grace Award from Grace Smith House.  We are pleased to say the Judy is a member of Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW and has helped train Court Watch Monitors for our Community Outreach, “Stand Up to Violence.”


Saturday, October 20, 2012

12– 3 pm


Villa Borghese

Widmer Road, Wappingers Falls, NY


Additional Information at


Cash Bar & Hot Buffet Luncheon


Price: $40 (includes gratuity)


Reservations & checks are due: October 13, 2012


Make checks payable to "Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc."        

Mail to:

Mary-Jo Cottrell

PO Box 1440

Pleasant Valley, NY 12569


Questions:  Call Mary-Jo Cottrell  845/635-5175






Announcing the Woman of the Year selection for 2012 brings to mind the other wonderful women we have so honored since 1975.  In 1975, to celebrate Poughkeepsie AAUW’s 50th anniversary, we selected eight women.  Starting in 1978, it was one each year.  You will find this list and  their biographies on our website  select Resources at the top.  Thanks to the work of our historian Eileen Hayden 485-4399 or, Barbara Hespenheide, and Mary King, the list of biographies was completed this summer. 


It makes very interesting reading about 40 truly outstanding women who have been of service to Dutchess County.





Do you have any books your children or grandchildren have outgrown?  Do you like to browse at garage and library sales?


The Leading to Reading Project is collecting gently used books for several of the Astor Preschool Centers.  Books are placed in the lobby for parents to take home, and previous supplies have been quickly distributed.  The books provide hours of reading fun and help support family literacy programs at each center.


Books can be for pre-school or early elementary school children.  A collection basket will be available at our Open House on September 13th.  With your help, we hope to give another great gift to the parents in our community.


If you have any questions, please contact Betty Harrel at or 462-2141.  Thanks for your support!




Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

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


Hats Off to Mary Lou Davis who received the NYSUT (NYS United Teachers) Retiree Council 13's Community Service award on May 31, 2012.


Hats Off to Didi Barrett who was elected to represent Dutchess and Columbia Counties in the New York State Assembly in a special election this past spring. The first woman to represent this district in the legislature, Didi will be running for re-election in the new 106th District this November.


Hats Off to Maria Rosa.  After 25 years as a Dutchess County lawyer, including almost 18 as Principal Court Attorney to a judge, Maria is running for the position of NYS Supreme Court Justice in the 9th Judicial District, (Dutchess, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam & Orange Counties). This is an important election as decisions in the Supreme Court affect many of us whether we have a case there or not!  You can learn more about Maria by visiting


“Hats Off  to Anne Bragdon, Anne Constantinople, Barbara Mindel, Anthula Natsoulas, Sue Osterhoudt, Linda Rashba, and Wendy  Maragh Taylor, AAUW  members who are doing presentations at the Center for Lifetime Studies this fall.


If you know of a member’s  accomplishment or honor, please let me know so she can be acknowledged for her achievement.




Your donations making a difference!


Dear Ms. Geeta Desai,


Thank you for choosing me as one of the recipients of the American Association of University Women Scholarship. Having grown up in a home where no one ever believed in my abilities to achieve success in anything I did...well, that thought process still haunts my mind at times and I thought that I would never win a scholarship.  The thought that someone, who has never met me and has only read my story believes in me, has reminded me that not all of society views me as negatively as others…This has also reinforced the faith that I have in myself and my own abilities to be successful. I honestly feel that I cannot fully express my gratitude for your generous gift.


…I have … decided to attend school at SUNY New Paltz, in order to be closer to home, should my daughters need me.  I


Continued in the next column…

Continued from the first column..


will work hard at SUNY New Paltz, with the same dedication I have given to Dutchess Community College. Thank you again for your kind generosity and I hope to one day pay it back to future graduates of Dutchess Community College.


Warmest regards,

Samantha Ruffen


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  Marguerite Cotter  Ruth Gau

Betty Harrel  Doris Kelly  Cathy Pété  Esther Reisman

Margaret Ruggeri  Terry Schneider

Mary Louise Van Winkle


Sponsors ($10 or more)

Brenda Schaffer


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



Amy Schwed *462-2269*

Kay Saderholm *229-9679*


Do you want to know how to broaden your borders?  It’s so simple - just get more involved!  Look at everything on the member profile.  Do you have skills that you haven’t used with AAUW yet?  Volunteer your expertise.  Where are your interests - are they in Education?  Public policy?  International Relations?  Community Outreach activities?  Fund raising?   Can your hobbies be integrated within our branch? 


Have you tried different Special Interest Groups?  You can become involved in book groups, cooking, dining out, art, bridge, trips to interesting places, Mah Jongg, movies, handwork activities, golf, outdoor walks and hikes, word games and world travel. 


The more involved you are, the broader your borders will become, and you will interact with many more interesting women.  Plan on attending our monthly meetings, which will be held on the second Thursday this year, and enjoy fabulous programs each month.  Come fly with us all year!


During our 2011-2012 AAUW Season, each member attending a general meeting or events had a ticket entered in a end of year  raffle for a free $49 national membership. The drawing took place at the June meeting and the winner was Fran Raucci!!






Can you wrap a pretty present?  Do you like “scrap booking?”   Would you like to help with the preparations for the Girls’ Conference?  Each year we give the girls a journal which we decorate and a pretty “gift” which we wrap.

I am hosting three work sessions in my home in LaGrange to decorate and wrap 100+ items - August 29 (Wednesday), August 30 (Thursday) and September 8th (Saturday).  We will begin at 10:30 am and end at 3:30 pm.  You may come for one hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, one, two or three days! There will be food, drink, laughter and great conversation.  Get to know some new members!


Bring your own scissors and leftover craft or scrap book supplies. Please RSVP (so I can have enough snacks) or call 845/485-7697




Our AAUW-NYS District 4 Conference will be

Saturday, October 27

Schenectady County Community College.

The details are still in the works!  Our theme will be a spin-off from the United Nations Secretary-General's UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign which aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.


District 4 is composed of Adirondack, Albany, Amsterdam/Gloversville/Johnstown, Kingston, Oneonta

 Poughkeepsie, and Schenectady branches.  There are 7 AAUW districts in New York State.



Jeanette Cantwell, Assistant Treasurer


Congratulations to Robin Rabideau and Beatrice McCormick, who won the raffle drawing for 2 free AAUW National memberships. After this exciting drawing at the June General Meeting, Barbara Van Itallie, our treasurer, sent each a refund check for $49.


Back in April, all our members were given an opportunity to win this raffle if they submitted their dues early.  For those submitting by May 10th, 3 raffle tickets went into the drawing. As it turned out, both Robin and Beatrice submitted their dues on May 2nd, which entitled them to 3 raffle tickets. And, would you believe, for both of them it was that third ticket that won.  So, it really does pay to send your dues early!!!



Donna Seymour, AAUW-NYS Public Policy Director


We have a feature on the AAUW-NYS Facebook page - The 2012 Election Countdown.


 You will find a calendar of how many days until the election, a quote to inspire (or amuse you), and a tip about how to go about your GOTV (Get Out The Vote) action campaign. "Like" our page at  or just visit it each day, if you are not on Facebook yourself.


You will also find the GOTV newsletters on our website at select Public Policy/…Activist.



Domonique Garrett, 2012 Recipient

My name is Domonique Garrett.  As the recipient of the Irene Keyes Memorial Fund grant, I attended the 2012 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL).  I will admit that I went to NCCWSL feeling nervous, overwhelmed, and without any idea of what to expect.  I read positive stories about student leaders that attended in the past, so I wanted to be sure to get the most out of the conference and have fun as well.

During the Conference, I attended several workshops, attended keynote speeches and viewed a documentary called The Invisible War, an investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of women soldiers within the US military.  It was amazing to listen to Lilly Ledbetter, a keynote speaker and women’s equal pay activist, share her fight for equal pay at Goodyear Tire and Rubber.

NCCWSL has sparked a desire within me to join the fight to give women across the country the opportunity for fair wages. I also want to help lift up the voices of the men and women who fight for our country and are victimized and silenced by the military.  Networking with young likeminded women from all over the country empowered and inspired me to continue on in my educational and professional journey.

My experience at NCCWSL conference was extraordinary. My time on the University of Maryland’s campus was amazing and unforgettable.  I have made lasting connections with several young women. This experience taught me many lessons, but mainly, to strive for excellence.

I left the conference feeling confident that I am a better person and ready to pursue all of my dreams. I thank the women of AAUW for this opportunity.


 Note: Contributions to the Irene Keyes Memorial fund are always welcome. Send a check to Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc., with “Irene Keyes Fund” in the memo line to:                                 

                  Barbara Van Itallie, Treasurer

                                    17 Croft Road

                          Poughkeepsie, NY 12603



From Bergie Lebovitch, plain ol’ garden variety member


1876 National Woman Suffrage Association


Centennial Questions.

Why should women, more than men, be governed without their consent?

Why should women, more than men, be taxed without representation?

Why should women, more than men, be tried without a jury of their peers?

By what right do men declare themselves invested with power to legislate for women in all cases whatsoever?


President, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Tenafly, NJ

First Vice President, Lucretia Mott, Philadelphia, PA

Chairman Executive Committee, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Fayetteville, NY

Corresponding Secretary, Susan B. Anthony, Rochester, NY


I fear that our foremothers are turning over in their graves—where have we “gotten to?”  We are over 50% of the population, yet only 17% of the representative legislative bodies.  Additionally, many of our 17% are literally voting against women’s issues.


If you are in a quandary as to how each of our “representatives” have voted on various issues effecting women, please go to our website  and select Public Policy then Legislative Updates-  there you will find “Issues before Congress” and the “Congressional Voting Record.”  What could be simpler?


Please, please, please consider the voting records of ALL of our representatives and cast your votes accordingly.  I used to think “we’ve come a long way, baby” was quite a mantra, but it appears we are regressing through partisanship, 



Mary Lou Heissenbuttel *462-1406*


“SHOUT OUT” to the volunteer monitors in Family Court. 


“SPECIAL SHOUT OUT” to Karen Gomba for researching a computer analysis program and designing the monitors' survey form to fit the program.


“SHOUT OUT” to Joanne Dyson for inputting the data and to Elaine Andersen for helping Joanne and sending out e-mail notifications. 


The project has been greatly enhanced by these extraordinary individuals!!


Women’s Personal & Professional Development

 Go to, select Programs/ Community for more on the plans for 2012-13.  




Betty Harrel *462-2141*


Can you picture 10,000 books?  That’s the number that have been sorted, labeled, packaged and distributed to children throughout our area by enthusiastic members of the Leading to Reading project!


Since the community outreach program started in 2004, numerous community partnerships have been developed.  The focus has been on supporting early literacy programs, but adult books and teen libraries have also been supplied.  In addition, members serve as community readers, wrap holiday  gifts, provide Children’s Book Week celebrations, sponsor Barnes and Noble book fairs, and work alongside the residents at The Manor at Woodside.


New outreach projects are always being developed.  To join this dynamic group, contact Betty Harrel at 462-2141 or 



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

 The Art on the Go interest group has had quite a fun filled summer and looks forward to this coming year’s outings.

Fall outings include:


September 2012, 10 am  Culinary Institute Grounds and Buildings, Hyde Park, Apple Café for lunch.  Contact Mary Coiteux for date.


October 24, 2012, 10 am, Hopewell Junction Depot, Hopewell




Work has begun on the Fourth Annual Writers’ Tea.  The date has been set for April 7, 2013 – so mark your calendar!


We need your help in continuing the success of prior years,  please contact Lula Allen (  or

845/832-7140).  The sub-committees are Authors, Silent Auction/Raffle, Program/Invitations, Venue, and Publicity and they can all use your help.


Join us!  The funds raised are used for Scholarships (both local and national) and to support our Community Initiatives & Projects.



Doris Kelly


When sleeping women wake, mountains move.

         -Chinese proverb


I've talked about the need for women to become more active in the political arena before.


There are those of us who:

1)     believe rallies are important to educate the public and our government officials about the needs of our society

2)     feel writing letters to the editor or to our representatives helps make the public and our officials aware of our concerns,  3)        study the voting records of our representatives to determine who really represents our best interests


and then vote in elections for those who have proven they care about our needs.


Remember to check our “Congressional Voting Record” by going to our website and select Public Policy then Legislative Updates.  There you will find  the “Congressional Voting Record” to see how your representative voted on issues affecting women.


Why do we need to participate fully in our political system?  When we don't, we have elected officials who vote to end protections for our environment, for workers, for women, for our youth, and for our seniors.


What else can we do?  Help voting age citizens register to vote.


Registration Deadline: You can register any time during the year, your form must be delivered or mailed at least 25 days before the next election for it to be effective for that election.


MAIL REGISTRATION – Primary Election

          (N.Y. Election Law Section 5-210(3))

Application must be postmarked no later than August 17th and received by a board of elections no later than August 24th to be eligible to vote in the State & Local Primary.



         (N.Y. Election Law Sections 5-210, 5-211, 5-212)

You may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the State and Local Primary, your application must be received no later than August 17th.


(If you change your enrolment in a party, that will not take effect until after the General Election of that year).


MAIL REGISTRATION – General Election

         (N.Y. Election Law Section 5-210(3))

Applications must be postmarked no later than October 12th and received by a board of elections no later than October 17th to be eligible to vote in the General Election.



         (N.Y. Election Law Sections 5-210, 5-211, 5-212)

You may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the November General Election, your application must be received no later than October 12th except, if you have been honorably discharged from the military or have become a naturalized citizen since October 12th, you may register in person at the board of elections up until October 26th.


Keep in mind:


Single women are one of the country's fastest-growing demographic groups -- there are 1.8 million more now than just two years ago. They make up a quarter of the voting-age population nationally, and even more in several swing states, including Nevada.-from AAUW NYS


Help get them registered to vote.



Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2012-2013


President                              Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


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                             Peggy Hansen               473-8453

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).