Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Volume 27, Number 9                                                                Our 58th year of publication                                                                 May 2014







Barbara Hugo *876-6686*


Each year we honor members of our branch and others with a donation given in their honor to AAUW Educational Opportunities Fund.  Below is a short paragraph on each.  Join us to congratulate them as they are introduced at the Annual Meeting on May 6.


Jeanette Cantwell – Jeanette has been a member of the AAUW for 14 years.  Over that period, she headed Voter Issues, a Board position in conjunction with Public Policy; led Gourmet for 3 years; was a founding member of Bridge; and is now in her third year as Coordinator of World Travelers, a group she founded.  She is also a member of Trekkers, Movie Night and the Daytime Literature Group, and participates in Soleil.  She played a major role in launching the first Writers Tea now in its 5th year. Jeanette has been an officer of the Poughkeepsie Branch for 3 years, serving as Membership Treasurer.  One of her duties is to manage the national database (Washington DC) for the Poughkeepsie Branch membership.   Jeanette has a deep interest in enhancing the quality of the membership experience and is pursuing a number of creative ways of realizing this goal. She is a retired Physician Assistant and Family Nurse Practitioner, and was educated at Albany Medical College.


Cathleen Kinn - When Cathy Kinn first came to Poughkeepsie in 1985, she knew no one.  Like many, she joined AAUW because of an Interest Group.  “Joining the Manderley Literary Society, I found educated, fun, thoughtful women and I knew my new home would be a good one.  I became active when Jan Jonas, then President, plucked me away from reading and asked me to coordinate the Censorship Project.”  Since then, Cathy has been Membership VP, the Manderley leader, the Aventures en Soleil founder and leader, an Ediss member, the Bridge II leader, and is currently the overall Coordinator for the Branch’s Interest Groups, a Board position.


Ruth Sheets – Ruth has been a leader of Aventures en Soleil for the past 5 years, sharing the coordination in the early years with Peggy Lombardi, and now handling the administration on her own “for the most part.” Aventures en Soleil is one of the most visible and active of AAUW’s Interest Groups with a mailing list of over 200 members. “I’m amazed at how well it all comes together,” says Ruth.  “Everyone who goes has a great time and learns a great deal.”  Ruth was educated at Allegheny College (BS, Computer Science) and Union Graduate College (MS, Computer Science).


Continued below


Music as the Voice of the People*


You are cordially invited to the

Annual Meeting and

Officer Installation Dinner


Date:        Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Time:       Cash bar: 6:00 pm, Dinner 6:30 pm

Place:       Christo’s

                  155 Wilbur Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY  12603

Price:       $40


Make checks payable to: Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.

Please mail reservations to:

                  Margaret Nijhuis

                  9 McAllister Drive

                  Pleasant Valley, NY 12569


Please note the number in your party , entrèe choice for each person, and any dietary restrictions for each person.


Reservations are due by May 1st (No refunds after May 2nd).


Officers will be elected and installed, bylaws approved, budget presented and music of a variety of jandra enjoyed.

*See page 3. 


Come celebrate our branch – the largest in New York State.



Salad of Baby Leaf Lettuces

Make a choice on your reservation of:

1) Grilled Norwegian Salmon with Dill Sauce

2) Black Angus Filet Mignon with Demi-Glace

3) Chicken Francaise in a Light Sweet Sauce

Twice-Baked Potato

Locally Grown Fresh Vegetables


Coffee or Tea


Questions:  845-635-8612 or

Reservations required.



 Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


Apr 29 World Travelers: 7:00 pm

         France/Italy by Linda & Paul Rashba

         Hostess: Lillian DePasquale

         No May meeting.

         Coordinator: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


May 1  Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

         Bethel Missionary Baptist Church

3       Bridge 3: 10:00 am

  Hostess: Noreen Rothman (452-2670)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

3       Friends of Trekkers:  for time contact leaders

         New York City High Line Walk

         Leaders: Barbara Hespenheide (452-3241)

                           & Pat Luczai (463-4662)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

5       Word Games: 2:00 pm

         Hostess: Sue Doyle (914-474-1232)

         Coordinator:  Ellie Charwat (462-7061)

6       General Membership Meeting: 6:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend.

         See details on page 1 & 3. Reservations required.

7       The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

         Hostess: Dorothy Evangelista (914-489-8506)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

9       Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinators: Pat Dogil (454-5441) 

                  & Diana Gleeson (229-8458) 

10     “The Branch” deadline for JUNE.

13     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

14     Pedal Pushers:  10:00 am Gold’s Gym Rail Parking

         A New Interest Group, see page 4.

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler

17     Trekkers: for time contact leader

         Stop and Smell the flowers at NJ State Botanical Gardens

          Skylands Manor, Ringwood State Park

         Leader: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

19     Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

         Book: Defending Jacob by William Landay

         Hostess: Patty Rickets (345-9568)

         Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

20     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         The Food of Brazil

         Recipes & Hostess: Betty Olson   (889-4836) 

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger



 21    Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess:  Lillian DePasquale ((462-4729)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745)     

                  & Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

22     Bridge II: 12:15-4:00 pm

         Lesson and Game, $10.00

         The Bridge Center – 24 Park Avenue

         (Hellenic Community Center)

         Coordinators: Cathy Kinn  &

                  Jackie Prusak (226-6049

23     Art on the Go: 12:00 pm

         Pot Luck Luncheon and Planning Meeting

         Hostess:  Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

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

         Book: Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm

         Hostess: Cathy Lane (229-1036)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

28     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

         by Rachel Joyce

         Hostess: contact coordinators

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

28     Mah Jongg: Noon - 4:00 pm  

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch ($15)

         Contact Jackie Prusak: (226-6049)

                  by  May 26.

         Coordinator: Amy Schwed (462-2269)

29     Aventures en Soleil: 10:30 am -12:30 pm

  Harlem Walking Tour

  Reservations: Carol Demicco (831-6653)

  Send $20 check to Carol Demicco,

  408 McGrath Blvd., Fishkill NY 12524

         Coordinator: Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

29     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

  Planning Meeting   

         Hostess: Pat Luczai (463-4662)

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Jane Toll (463-2712)       

31     Trekkers: 9:00 am at Toys-R-Us to car pool

  Lake Minnewaska Mountain Laurel Hike

  Leaders:  Linda Beyer (462-0345)

           & Pat Luczai (463-4662)

  Coordinator:  Karen Haynes (297-5700)



Gourmet: Out & About

World Travelers

Women’s Personal &Professional Development



June 12 – Music of the Holocaust Refugees,

         Dr. Marilynn Smiley, see page 6.


July 25 – 27 AAUW-NYS Summer Conference,

         Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Jacqueline Goffe-McNish *471-7220*   


Music as the Voice of the People


The concept of music as voice is one of the most interesting issues in the New Critics Approach to the analysis of literature.  If one agrees that “art imitates life” then this is one of those perfect examples of life being represented in this cultural artifact, music.  The culture of America displays this concept of music.  Music has evolved out of the people’s desire to “speak” to the issues of their lives.  This May, during our Annual Meeting, we will celebrate those “voices.”  This will include a musical presentation, appreciation of members’ contribution, and distribution of state and national awards.  We will acknowledge that everyone has something to say and should be afforded the opportunity to voice her opinion.  We will be celebrating everyone’s freedom to speak through her “music.”


Deeply rooted in the beliefs of the Poughkeepsie AAUW is the understanding of the need of everyone to have a voice.  This is demonstrated in the multiple interest area groups and community initiatives that are sponsored and funded by the organization.  These are the strongest part of the organization and give the membership the opportunity to express their individual talents.  This is our “music.”  This is our “voicing.”


Let us use the music to celebrate our freedom to voice our opinions and display our talents.  Let us come together and join in the celebration.



Barbara Hugo *876-6686*


At the AAUW-NYS Convention each Branch can designate a member to be honored as their Emerging Leader for the year.  This year our designee is Susie Blecker.  When Mary Lou Davis tapped Susie Becker to join the AAUW and take the position of Co-Chair of Membership Programs at the same time, Susie said yes.  In a way, that is all you need to know about this dynamic, thoughtful, and capable woman. 


Susie regards the monthly programs as an expression of the AAUW’s mission.  Of her year at the helm with her much-admired Co-Chair, Mary Coiteux, Susie says, “I feel like I’m doing something on a broader scale, something that could affect a positive change for women everywhere!”


Educated at Florida State University, Susie worked in rural schools in central Florida and Georgia when segregation was still widespread.   She taught children during the day and coached their parents at night so they could pass their GED’s.  These experiences were life-defining, and not surprisingly, she is still in touch with two of her students from those years. 


Susie wants to continue working in a leadership role, saying “I see the AAUW as an opportunity to educate people to look beyond their own lives.  It’s been a great year, and I’m looking forward to the next.”  So are we, Susie.


Named Honorees continued...


Jane Toll – Jane has been a member of AAUW for over ten years.  She served as Assistant Treasurer, VP of Program, and has been a member of Trekkers and Mah Jong.  She also very much enjoys Soleil.  Jane has been a member of Pins and Needles for seven years and is now its Co-Coordinator.  Jane explains, “When I was in school, girl’s participation in programs like science and math was limited, so I am very happy to support an organization like the AAUW that does so much to advance both non-traditional and traditional activities for girls and our members.”  Jane got her BS degree from the University of London. 


Diana (Dina) Gleeson – Dina has been a member of Poughkeepsie AAUW since 2006.  In that short time she has served on the board as Co-Program VP and currently is co-coordinator of two interest groups – Movie Night and Daytime Literature.  Dina is a member of the Leading to Reading initiative and Pins and Needles.  She works as a volunteer with the Adriance book sale and is an avid quilter – a member and officers of several needle working groups.  Sue Osterhoudt says of her good friend “she is like the energizer bunny – always doing something.  And always doing it well and with a smile..”  Dina is a retired pharmacist, a graduate of the University of Connecticut.  She has 5 children and 7 grandchildren.


Linda Freisitzer- Linda joined Poughkeepsie AAUW in 1988. She has been a long-time leader of the Contemporary Literature Interest Group, having kindly stepped in when another leader had to leave.  She has also been very active in Leading to Reading virtually from the beginning.  Linda is known for her meticulous records keeping of what was read and when.  She also supports many other AAUW activities such as Membership meetings and special fundraisers.  She volunteered at the Writers’ Tea.  Linda has a broad background in social work in the community and has provided valuable counsel in helping to forward AAUW’s mission locally.  Linda graduated with a BA from Skidmore College.



May 6, 2014

Annual Meeting & Installation Dinner


Join us at Christo’s for good times, good music and good conversation with fellow AAUW members! Come to thank Jackie for two years of service to our branch and come to welcome Barbara as she prepares to lead us for the next two years!


Supporters of The Branch!!


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


Catherine Albanese, Lula Allen, Mary G. Bagley,

Joan Cordani, Marguerite Cotter, Lillian DePasquale, Marion Effron, Joan Fay, Ruth Gau, Gloria Gibbs, Sandra Goldberg, Doris Kelly, Cathleen Kinn

Peggy Lombardi, Jean Miller, Jacqueline Prusak,

Margaret Ruggeri (In Memoriam), Brenda Schaffer, Terry Schneider, Barbara Van Itallie



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



A New Interest Group

Sheila Zweifler


A new interest group called Pedal Pushers will start on the second Wednesday in May (May 14th).  It is for women who have some experience biking.  We will be biking approximately 15 miles on rail trails.  We will start at  10 am (9 am when the weather is warmer) and the ride should last about 2 hours.  Bikers should bring a helmet, water, and a snack if desired.  Please send me your e-mail if you have any interest in joining the group.


Our first trip  will start at 10 am from Gold’s Gym Rail Trail Parking Lot on Titusville Road.  We will bike to Hopewell Junction  12-13 miles round trip


Looking forward to riding together, Sheila


AAUW Girl Scout Project:

"Extending Girls' Horizons"

Peggy Kelland 297-0507


On March 21 we presented a workshop on scrapbooking for girls in grades 6-12.  Mary Ann Boylan and two Girl Scout leaders offered instruction in color coordination, layout, and techniques.  They brought various tools and contributed materials to enable the girls to preserve photos and mementos in an artistic manner, both in regular scrapbook size pages and in a mini photo album.


We will be offering a storytelling workshop for the same age group on Friday, April 11, from 6:30-8:30 P.M. in the R.C. Ketcham H.S. cafeteria.  Gwen Higgins will be sharing stories and facilitating story creation and presentation by the girls.  All AAUW members are welcome to join us.



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

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


“Hats Off” to Beth Devine who is being recognized as a Dutchess County Senior Citizen of the Year for 2014.  She along with some other well-seasoned individuals, will be feted at the annual "Celebration of Aging" luncheon at Villa Borghese on May 19th.  Additional information is available through the Office of the Aging.


“Hats Off “to Carol Loizides for her participation in the Howland Cultural Center’s Annual Artist Members’ Exhibition.  Her work was on exhibit through the month of April.



Kay Saderholm *229-8545*


Spring has arrived!  Oh, the calendar told us this more than a month ago – but it has taken a long time for the snow to melt and the temperature to rise. 


This is time for AAUW membership renewal.  You will be receiving your renewal notification in the mail very soon.  Dues for the membership year, which runs from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, are $78.00 – which includes $49.00 for national dues, $13.00 for NY state dues, and $16.00 for Poughkeepsie Branch dues.


Please open your membership renewal letter promptly.  You will see the AAUW logo and my name on the envelope.  Then quickly reply – with a check for your renewal.  Why respond quickly?  Because your name will be entered into a drawing for one of five free national memberships.  The quicker you respond the more chances you will have to win one of these $49 national memberships.



Ten Years of Celebrations!

Elizabeth Harrel * 462-2141*


Since the start of the Leading to Reading project, we have sponsored a special celebration for Children’s Book Week in May.  Volunteers go into pre-school classrooms at the Community Family Development Center and read stories to the children, work with them to create their own classroom books, and help them select books to take home.  We always have an enthusiastic group of volunteers who put together the materials for the classroom books, select the books for the giveaways, serve as classroom readers, or provide support to the children as they’re working on their project. 


The rewards are many – big smiles, looks of disbelief when the children are told they can keep the books, and lots of hugs.  If you’re interested in helping, please contact LTR members Sarah Shouse (462-5663) or Pat Dogil (454-5441 or  We hope to see you there!




LAF Chair

Although Priya Ramamoorthy and Kavya Ramamoorthy are future AAUW members, we celebrate their Title IX championship and the contributions of the AAUW Austin (TX) Branch.   


AAUW has launched a “Title IX Champions Award” which celebrates the vital contributions of AAUW members and branches across the country to Title IX advocacy.  These special young women are being honored for their work.  When they were in eighth grade, the sisters were looking for a project for a National History Day competition.  A classmate’s cousin told them that her swim team didn’t get the same opportunities as the boys’ team.  The girls decided to make their project about sex discrimination in school, and they contacted AAUW for ideas and resources.  The website they created for the competition won first prize in the Junior Website Category.” 

After doing research, the girls found that kids their age are not aware of Title IX or the challenges that women face.  The purpose of their presentation was to motivate girls to appreciate and make use of the opportunities they have, to fight inequalities when they encounter discrimination, and to show them that a federal law is on their side.


The Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) works to challenge sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace.  Its resources range from community outreach programs to legal referrals and backing of major cases.



JUNE 12, 2014

Peggy Kelland 297-0507


The June 12 Membership Meeting at the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship on South Randolph Street, Poughkeepsie, will feature Marilynn Smiley, Distinguished Teaching Fellow at SUNY Oswego.  She will relate the historical background of the 18 months European refugees of the Holocaust spent at Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York, and present representative musical examples of the many extraordinary concerts given by amateur and professional musicians.



Elizabeth Harrel * 462-2141*


Once again, The Little Kindness Fund has made a donation to the Leading to Reading project.  The gift is to be used for books for young children.  It may be through our partnership with the United Way on the Born Learning project or another outreach to local families.


The Arlington Teacher’s Association also donated again to the project.  Through their support, we’ve been able to expand the number of community partners and put books into the hands of even more needy children throughout our region.


Our thanks to the members of both groups for their continued support!




Lula Allen *832-7140*

Linda Roberts **227-5287*


Our 5th Annual Writers’ Tea was another successful fund raiser.  Our profits are “roughly” $6400.  We want to thank everyone

                  who came,

                  who brought raffle tickets,

                  who contributed raffle and auction items or

                  who purchased items from the auction.


Thanks also to all the members of the committee that helped in so many ways to insure the success of this event.


The profits from the tea fund our donations to the National AAUW and the DCC scholarships.  They also make possible our community initiatives that we are all so very proud to provide.


Pictures from the tea are linked from the home page of our website at


Please complete the tea survey that you have received so that we can better plan for next year.



Kathy Sheehan  *471-7213* 


The Coalition on Elder Abuse in Dutchess County, a program of the Mediation Center of Dutchess County, will hold its 6th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day conference:


Farm & Home Center in Millbrook

Friday June 13 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm






The Champion for Elder Rights and Safety Award will be presented to Marcus Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive.


The keynote speaker will be Nora Dowd Eisenhower, Assistant Director, Office for Older Americans at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, DC.


For more information contact Kathy Sheehan at  or 845-471-7213.


May 6, 2014 Annual Meeting and Officer Installation Dinner


Join us at Christo’s for good times, good music and good conversation with fellow AAUW members!  Come to thank Jackie for two years of service to our branch and come to welcome Barbara as she prepares to lead us for the next two years!




You are cordially invited to submit a nomination…

Pat Luczai (845-463-4662) 


Do you know of a deserving person you would like to propose for our 2014 ‘Woman of the Year’?


Criteria for nominee:

·        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.

Note: Qualifications should not be based solely on accomplishments within AAUW.  AAUW membership is NOT a requirement.


To nominate an outstanding woman for 2014, please use the form found on our Website: under Resources > Woman of the Year


Return your nomination to:

Pat Luczai

by email

or mail to:

9 Bridgewater Way,

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


If you encounter difficulty downloading the form, feel free to contact Pat Luczai for assistance.


All nominations for 2014 need to be submitted anew using the form.  We will no longer consider nominations made in previous years, but your nomination will be considered current for two years after submission going forward.



Elizabeth Harrel * 462-2141*


A possible outreach for Leading to Reading would be to support learners in middle and high school.  One suggestion was made that we contact local schools about providing tutors or helpers in the school libraries for those students who are struggling.


If you’re interested in exploring possible ways to be involved, please contact member Carol Ann Kacherski at or 896-9309.



2014-2015 Budget Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.

Barbara Van Itallie *462-3924*


                  Actuals to           Projected to         Budget       Proposed

                  2/28/2014           6/30/2014           2013-14     2014-15



Dues          5,813.50             29,680.00           28,080.00  28,080.00

Investments   353.75                  400.00                        225.00        400.00

NYS Awards       -                         -                          0.00            0.00

Undesignated Contributions

                      70.50                    80.00                300.00        100.00

Communications Contributions

                    375.00                  400.00                300.00        350.00

Annual Meeting 

                  4,640.00              4,000.00                200.00      4,000.00

Woman of the Year    

                  2,925.00              2,925.00                 200.00     3,000.00

Tea             8,106.75            7,500.00               7,000.00     7,500.00

Tea Auction

                 4,021.00              4,000.00                      -          4,000.00

Tea Raffle 928.00                  900.00                      -             900.00

Other                         -                        50.00                  100.00         50.00

Total               27,233.50             49,935.00             36,405.00   48,380.00



Admin.      160.00                  160.00                 150.00        175.00

Awards/Gifts    -                     100.00                  100.00        100.00

Caring Comm.  -                       10.00                  100.00          25.00

Convention   65.00                  475.00                 475.00        475.00

Directory   893.87                  893.87              1,300.00     1,000.00

Donations       -                                      -                          0.00                 100.00

Dues         4,246.50            23,520.00            22,320.00   22,320.00

Equipment   201.21                201.21                  100.00        100.00

Historian               -                    -                           20.00         20.00

Insurance  1,117.00              1,117.00              1,200.00     1,200.00

Membership and dues collection

                    525.21                925.00               1,000.00     1,000.00

Monthly Meetings

                 1,653.55              1,700.00              1,400.00     1,800.00

Newsletter  135.89                 200.00                  250.00        250.00

Other                     10.00                   25.00                  100.00        300.00

Postage, Mailing

                     31.00                     -                                     -                40.00

Printing, Copying        

                     31.00                     -                            -                40.00

Special Event Expenses        :                                                             

    Annual Meeting

                 4,470.75               4,000.00                   -             4,000.00

    Tea        4,278.93              4,500.00                   -             4,500.00

    Woman of the Year

                 2,028.18               2,028.18                   -             3,000.00

Supplies         30.24                 -                             0.00             35.00

Website Hosting                       -                              -                   -


                19,878.33            39,855.26          28,515.00      40,480.00

Obligations:  depending on Tea  proceeds

    Scholarships and EOF         3,500.00           3,000.00      3,500.00

    Community projects                   4,400.00            4,000.00      4,400.00

Total Expenses

                19,878.33            47,755.26         35,515.00      48,380.00


                  7,355.17             2,179.74               890.00           -  


This budget was approved by the board at their April meeting and will be presented at the annual meeting on May 6th.  If you have any questions, please contact Barbara.  





Chair Irene Keyes Memorial Fund Committee


We are pleased to announce that Laureen Scianimanico has been selected as the recipient of the annual Irene Keyes Memorial Fund grant.  She is a graduate of Arlington High School and is currently a sophomore majoring in Communications Disorders at SUNY New Paltz.  The grant covers the registration fee which includes all programming, scheduled meals and housing.  The conference will be held at the University of Maryland on June 5-7, 2014.


Laureen will be joining approximately 1,000 college women from around the world.  She is very excited about attending and stated, “It will be an honor and pleasure to attend a conference where I am working with other college women and leaders while developing skills that will be imperative for my future.”  Laureen has participated in drama and voice at Arlington and was named an “Outstanding Admiral.”  She is a leader in the Teen Gen Focolore Movement which has headquarters at Mariapolis Luminosa in Hyde Park.  She spends her summers at the Town of Beekman Recreation and Parks Department directing the drama program.  Laureen will be sharing some of her experiences with us after her return.


This year we are also sending a donation in memory of Irene Keyes to the national NCCWSL scholarship program so that another young woman leader can attend the conference.



Doris Kelly


The fight for an increase in the federal minimum wage is a pay equity issue. This increase would help narrow the gap between wages earned by women and men.


According to the White House report of March 26, 2014:


Raising the minimum wage is especially important for women because:


●Women in the workforce are more highly concentrated in low-wage sectors such as personal care and healthcare support occupations.

●Women account for more than half (55 percent) of all workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10.

●Women also make up the majority of workers in predominantly tipped occupation.  Under Federal law, employers are allowed to pay a “tipped minimum wage” of $2.13 to employees who regularly earn tips as long as their tips plus the tipped minimum wage meet or exceed $7.25 per hour.

●Women account for 72 percent of all workers in predominantly tipped occupations – such as restaurant servers, bartenders, and hairstylists.

●Raising the full minimum wage and the tipped minimum wage will help reduce poverty among women and their families, as well as make progress toward closing the gender pay gap.

●2.8 million working single parents would benefit from the President’s proposed increase in the full minimum wage, more than 80 percent of whom are women.

●For every dollar that men earn, women earn just 77 cents. Estimates from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers suggest that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation could close about 5 percent of the gender wage gap.


On another wage issue:

The privatization of education won another round this week with the New York State budget.  The budget included a promise to support charter schools.


The Budget increases tuition funding for charter school students over three years: $250 per student the first year, $350 the second, and $500 in the third.  The Budget will also promote the growth of charter schools by addressing their facility needs.  Charter schools will be eligible for Pre-K funding – 


'Addressing their facility needs' translates to requiring school districts to find space for charter schools in district school buildings or pay much of the cost to house them elsewhere. New York City's Mayor De Blasio had insisted the owners of charter schools pay rent and use vacant classrooms where appropriate.  Keep in mind, despite the fact that charter schools receive local, state, and federal funding, a NYS Supreme Court judge determined that charter schools cannot be audited by State Comptroller Di Napoli, declaring that charter schools are not 'units of the state'.


Many of us, who have taught in public schools, see this as an attempt to end public education, thus destroying a career path which has made it possible for mainly women to be able to support themselves.


Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2013-2014


President                              Jacqueline Goffe-McNish     471-7220

Program V.P.                      Susie Blecker                        462-7074

                                             Mary Coiteux                        226-8275

Membership V.P.                 Kay Saderholm                     229-8545

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

Secretary                             Elizabeth Harrel                    462-2141

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.