Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601



“The Power of Membership”




Volume 28, Number 1                 Our 59th year of publication                              September 2014




Woman of the Year 2014

Maureen Taylor


CO-FOUNDER OF Habitat for Humanity

of Southern Dutchess

(Later Dutchess County)



October 25, 2014

12 noon

Ship Lantern Inn

1725 Rte. 9W

Milton, NY



See below for details...




Live Your Dream Girls' Conference (LYD)

Cecilia Dinio Durkin 


Our 9th Annual Live Your Dream 7th Grade Girls' Conference will be held on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at Dutchess Community College.


This year's theme will incorporate the film, "Girl Rising," which tells the stories of girls across the globe and the power of education to change the world.  The stories are told with the help of celebrated actors such as Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, and Selena Gomez.  Portions of the film will be used throughout the conference to inspire girls to value education and take action.


This year we are also adding information and activities tables during our registration, lunch and pick up in order to give parents and girls resources and opportunity to volunteer and/or complete a service project.


The participation of our members is crucial to the success of the event.  If you are interested in helping to connect or transport the students from schools in Kingston, Newburgh, Fishkill, Pine Plains, and everywhere in between, please volunteer with this year's Chair, Cecilia Dinio Durkin (contact above)


To find out more about LYD – visit , search on Girls’ Conference. ■



Thursday, September 11, 2014, 7 pm

Hellenic Community Center

54 Park Avenue, Poughkeepsie*


The Power of Membership


Join us for our annual Open House/Reunion which starts our 2014-2015 year.  You will see friends you haven’t seen for a while and meet new ones.


Enjoy refreshments provided by our members. Learn about our:

       19  Interest Groups,

       10 Community Outreach/Initiatives,

         7 Annual Events, Scholarships and other activities.


Introduce a friend, neighbor, or relative to our branch.  If you have not done so, submit their names and addresses  to Kay and invitations will be sent to these prospective members.


Contact Kay Saderholm, Membership Vice President, at 845/229-8545 or


*Directions:  The Open House will be held at the Hellenic Center which is located off Hooker Avenue on Parker Avenue between Ziegler Avenue and Grand Avenue.  It is behind the Greek Orthodox Church and next door to Temple Beth-El, both of which face Grand Avenue.  There is a large well-lit parking lot in front of the Center. ■




 Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


3       The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

         Hostess: Helen Buhler (473-0665)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426) or


4       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

         St John’s Lutheran Church, Wilbur Blvd, Poughkeepsie

5       Diversity: 5:00-7:00 pm 

         Planning Meeting – all welcome!!

         Hostess: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish (471-7220)

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish



6       Trekkers: 8:30 am at Lime Kiln Road/I84 Park and Ride

         Cranberry Lake Preserve Hike, Westchester County

         Leader: Roz Werner (462-0630)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)


8       Word Games: 2:00 pm

         Hostess: Barbara Van Itallie (462-3024)

         Coordinator: Ellie Charwat (462-7061)


9       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     “The Branch” deadline for OCTOBER


10     Pedal Pushers: 9:00 am

         Route: Bike over Walkway to Highland side 12-14 miles

         Meeting Place: LaGrange Rail Trailhead, (Page Lumber)

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler


11     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinators: Pat Dogil (454-5441) 

                  & Diana Gleeson (229-8458) 


11     General Membership Program 7:00 pm See above

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend.


15     All those books...: 2:30 pm  See below.

         Book: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

         Hostess: Ruth Kava (471-0480)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)


15     Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

         Book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

         Hostess: Pat Gullick (221-0042)

         Coordinator: Rochelle Friedman (462-4996)


16     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Theme:  Pot Luck using Local Seasonal Ingredients

         Hostess: Susan Ball

         Course Selection: Barbara Lemberger     

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger 635-8516



17     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Susan Fink (473-3168)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745) &

                  Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)


18     Bridge II: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Uno Chicago Grill, Arlington

         Coordinators: Cathy Kinn  &

                  Jackie Prusak (226-6049


18     Court Monitor Training: 6:30 pm See Page 5

         Charwat Room at the Adriance Memorial Library

         Contact: Ann Pinna, 462-3140, 


19     Aventures en Soleil: 11:30 am in Brooklyn

         Brooklyn Heights walking Tour, and

         Brooklyn Historical Society Museum

         Contact: Marcine Humphrey (485-7697)

         Coordinators: Ruth Sheets (473-6202)


20     Trekkers: 9:00 am Meet at Toys-R-Us location, route 9

         Hike the Frog Hollow Trail at Shaupeneak Ridge

         Leaders: Peggy Kelland (297-0507) and Karen Haynes

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)


20     Bridge 3: 10:00 am – 12:00 noon

         Hostess: Raina Maissel (297-8466)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner


23     Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

         Henry’s Farm to Table, Milton, NY

         Contact: Kay Saderholm (229-8545)



24     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Contact Coordinators for September plans.

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)


24     Mah Jongg: Noon - 4:00 pm

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch

         Contact Jackie Prusak: (226-6049)

                  by September 22.

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)


25     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

         Greeting Cards- Knitted, crocheted or cross stitch motifs

         Hostess: Jane Toll (463-2712)

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Jane Toll (463-2712)       


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

         Tuttletown Grist Mill & two Galleries

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)


27     Let’s Read Math Workshop: 8:30 am – 2:00 pm

         For teachers of 5th and 6th grade.  See below.

         Anthula Natsoulas, 452-5946,


World Travelers: See you in October

         Coordinator: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)






Oct 25: AAUW Woman of the Year.  See below.

Nov 1: Live your Dream Girls’ Conference.  See above.

Nov 15: 8:30 am - 2:00 pm: "Let's Read Math," 

         Session II workshop for classroom teachers. See below.

Mar 21, 2015: The District IV meeting will celebrate the

         200th birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton at Fort

         Montgomery Community College

Apr 16, 2015: AAUW-NYS Convention, Byblos Niagara Resort and Spa on Grand Island, Buffalo. See below.

April 26, 2015: Writers' Tea. See below.



PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Barbara Van Itallie *462-3924*


I am very pleased and excited to be the AAUW President for 2014-16.  I have gained a great deal from my membership in AAUW, not the least of which is my many new friendships.  I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can, and working together with you in our great organization.


Let me tell you of some of my life experiences that brought me here.


I was a math major in the engineering school of Drexel Institute of Technology, now Drexel University.  I learned to be a computer programmer there too, back in the day when a computer was the size of a living room.  We “girls” were a rare breed in an engineering school, leading me to head the Society of Women Scientists and Engineers at Drexel, to help our voices be heard.


My computer background led me to programming jobs at DuPont and IBM after I married Phil and moved to Poughkeepsie.  But I wasn’t happy with the lack of personal interaction at that type of job, so I completed a Master’s Degree in Math Education at SUNY New Paltz.  I’ve worked as a math and computer literacy educator at several high schools and DCC, but primarily at Marist College through most of my teaching career.


In addition to work and family, becoming actively involved in my community was always very important to me.  I’ve been an active member, volunteer and leader of several organizations through the years, including Planned Parenthood, The Dutchess County Historical Society, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic’s String Competition and more.


After leaving teaching I wanted to go in a different direction and became the Executive Director of the Violin Society of America, learning much about running an organization.


I joined AAUW about 8 years ago after being invited by a friend, and was impressed by the scope and variety of activities and issues.  I joined a number of interest groups, and soon came on the board, first as secretary and then as treasurer. 


And so STEM, education, women’s issues, organizational experience and community service brought me to this present position.  I am happy to be working with all of you and so would like to hear from you about any of your ideas or questions at 845-462-3924 or .


And one more thing I like to say about myself.  I have two sons and each has children.  One family lives in Austin, TX and the other family lives in Australia.  If any of you grandmothers reading this think your grandchildren live too far away, think of me and realize how lucky you are!■




Program Co-VPs: Susie Blecker (462-7074)

         Mary Coiteux (226-8275)


The monthly membership programs not only offer a presentation of general interest for members and guests but provide a time for all to enjoy the company of their fellow AAUW members.  They are usually held on the second Thursday of the month.  When needed, business of the organization will also be conducted at these gatherings.  Join us to discover how we can make a change for the better.  Our Branch programs are free and open to the public so invite family, friends and colleagues to attend. Our schedule usually looks like this: 

7:00 - 7:30 pm Refreshments and informational notices from

         Barbara Van Itallie, Branch President.

7:30 - 8:30 pm The program presentation and a “questions and      answer” period.

8:30-8:45 pm  Any additional announcements and good news.

The location: Unitarian Universal Fellowship of Poughkeepsie

         67 South Randolph Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY

Please check The Branch, our monthly newsletter, and our website for program details.


Our tentative plans include:


October 9: New Member Reception/Communication in the

         Latino  Community

October 25: Woman of the Year honoring Maureen Taylor,

         Habitat for Humanity, Ship Lantern Inn

November 13: Rural Migrant Ministries’ Summer Youth

         Program. How Leading to        Reading Helps Rural

         and Migrant Teen Literacy

 December 11, snow date 12/18: AAUW Branch Activity Night.

         A Taste of Interest Group Activities

January 8, snow date 01/15: Sexual Abuse on College   Campuses.  AAUW-NYS Impact Grant 2013-14

February 12, snow date 02/19: Women in a Man’s World.

         A Personal Perspective.

March 12, snow date 03/19: Common Core Forum. 

         AAUW-NYS Impact Grant  2014-15

April 26:  Writers’ Tea, The Links at Union Vale

May 14: Health Care Initiative. How the Poughkeepsie Branch

         is Helping Underserved Women in Poughkeepsie

June 11:  Annual Meeting/Dinner




Step 1: Check the online calendar from the


Step 2: Contact our branch President

Step 3: Send notification to the editor and

       assistant editor of the newsletter





September Dates:  3 and 17.  Time: 4:30 – 6:00 pm


Areas of need:

* publicity and social media

* snacks

* book project "Mom's Best Advice

* grant writing

* connections for interns/babysitters


For more information or to volunteer, please call

Kay Bishop 797-4834 or Lula Allen 832-7140



Betty Harrel * 462-2141*


were seen throughout Dutchess County this spring and summer when many of the Leading to Reading deliveries were made.  Our book giveaways were met with delight and comments like, “You mean I can KEEP the book?”  Our family reading kits were the “graduation” present at a pre-school center.  Teens at rural and migrant summer program  used the books as their summer reading program.  The LTR string bags will be going off to school this fall, since many of these students don’t have other bags.  Celebrations at the end of the school year included many of our “celebrity” readers who had participated in classroom reading programs all year.


This year we donated books and reading materials to all of the Astor Pre-School Centers, Catharine Street Community Center, Hand in Hand, Tubman Terrace Afterschool Program, Grace Smith House, Abilities First, Rural and Migrant Ministry, Book Buddies, House of Hope, AgriBusiness Child Development Center, Poughkeepsie Day Nursery, Hudson River Lodging, AAUW Healthcare Initiative, and the Community Family Development Center.  We’re gearing up for next year – join us!! ■





A great way to honor someone for a birthday, anniversary or any special event is to donate a gift in their honor to one of our tax exempt funds.


Irene Keyes Memorial Fund

Each year the Irene Keyes Memorial Fund offers a scholarship to one young woman to attend the NCCWSL (National Conference of College Women Student Leaders) conference. The grant provides for the programming, housing and meals for the Washington, DC event.


AAUW Educational Opportunities Fund (#4336)

The national AAUW Educational Opportunities Fund (EOF) is one of the world's largest sources of funding for graduate women, and provides more than $4 million for more than 200 fellowships and grants to outstanding women every year.


There is a form online at (search on Contribution) or mail check payable to “Poughkeepsie Branch, AAUW” to: Diane Jablonski 41 Parkwood Blvd, Pok., NY 12603.  Note in the memo line of your check the name of the fund the donation supports.




Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


With Dave & Mary King’s help we have given our website a new look.  We have changed our colors to be more in line with those on the National website.  The banner is also new.  Dave has added a search function that will allow you to go to the home page and type a few words in the box on the top right side, select “search site” and receive a list of results.  Most pages have been updated over the summer by Joanne Scolaro and Margaret Nijhuis.  Visit




Happy 105th Birthday, Sept 29, 2014

Send a card so she will receive 105 cards from AAUW

Mary Louise Van Winkle, The Branch, Oct 2009

updated by Peggy Kelland, Ellenora’s daughter


Ellenora Mae Pond, who was born on September 29, 1909 in Brooklyn, NY, came from a strong line of women who firmly believed in women’s equity and in education for women.  Her mother, after her father refused to pay for her education, worked as a seamstress to pay her way through normal school and then taught in a one room schoolhouse in Ellenville, NY.  Her grandmother, lying about her age by almost 20 years, was one of the first women auxiliary police officers in New York City during World War I.  Her other grandmother, one of 11 children, left money for Ellenora to go to Adelphi College, then a women’s college, in Garden City, NY, where she majored in economics.


Graduating in the Depression, Ellenora, who initially joined AAUW upon graduation, held a number of jobs in business, including records management, and also found time to volunteer as a Sunday School teacher and a Girl Scout leader. She married Norman Oberhofer who was stationed at Tufts College outside of Boston during World War II, where she did volunteer work with the Naval Officers' Wives and became a mother.  After the war they returned to New York where Ellenora worked as Alumnae Director of Adelphi, and then for 20 years as a fourth grade teacher in North Bellmore.


Widowed for many years, she came to Dutchess County in 1981, where she has been an active volunteer in organizations such as Zion Episcopal Church, Church Women United, Dutchess Interfaith Council, Planned Parenthood, the Older Women’s League, Fortnightly, 28 Club and, of course, AAUW! Several years ago she was named Dutchess County Senior Citizen of the Year.


This September 29, Ellenora will be 105 and since she does not go out in the evening we are asking that each and everyone one of you send a birthday card to her at 52 South Hamilton Street, Vassar-Warner Home, Poughkeepsie , NY 12601.  Would not it be lovely if she received over 105 cards! ■



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.                             

Patrons ($25 or more)


Catherine Albanese, Lula Allen, Mary G. Bagley,

Mary Ann Boylan, Sharon Clarke, Shaileen Kopec, Catherine Pété, Terry Schneider


Sponsors ($10 or more)

Christina Houghtaling, Cathleen Kinn


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




Carol Loizides *452-3208*


All AAUW Members: Our book group, which had been meeting at 7:00 PM, has a new time and a new day

Second Mondays at 2:30.

Our small but enthusiastic group wants to meet in the light of day to share our thoughts and insights about the greatest literature ever written.  We invite you to join us.


Contact Carol Loizides at 452-3208  to learn more about why our members are so excited about our group and our upcoming schedule change. ■




Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

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


“Hats Off” to Peggy Kelland who won election to the Wappingers Central School District Board.


“Hats Off”  to Lula Allen, Kay Bishop, all the volunteers in the Partner for Healthcare Awareness and especially to the young mothers whose art work was displayed at the Young Mothers Group Art Show at the Cunneen Hackett Arts Center.


“Hats Off”  to Carol Loizides whose artwork was displayed with the Long Reach Arts group at the Palmer Gallery at Vassar College


“Hats Off “ to Didi Barrett for her work on legislation that promotes AAUW goals and the good health and well-being of area residents. ■




Anthula Natsoulas *452-5946*


Poughkeepsie AAUW will present two workshops for teachers of the 5th and 6th grade and student teachers from Marist College on Using Children’s Literature To Learn Mathematics.


The workshops will take place on September 27 and November 15 from 8:00 am – 2:00  pm.  These workshops are detailed on our website and will offer a total of ten hours professional development credit.  Go to, search on Math. ■




Jacqueline Goffe-McNish *471-7220*


Chimanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer who studied in America coined the phrase “the danger of the single story.”  This became the title of her book and of many speeches she made on cultural diversity.  She contends that when one set of people concentrate on one piece of information about a particular culture, there is a risk of creating stereotypes and believing that individuals are one dimensional.  She further suggests that this limited knowledge is dangerous since it provides false knowledge and discounts the contributions that have been and are being made by different peoples.  The sentences would always start with; all Americans are…. all Jamaicans are… all women are… all Dutchess county residents are….  This is dangerous since we will not see the need to learn about other culture and begin to appreciate that, although people are different, they are wonderful.


The theme for the Diversity Committee this year is “Out of One many People: Different and Wonderful.  The goal is to educate ourselves about the different peoples in our organization which should lead to the development of a more cohesive group.  The aim of the AAUW is to provide an avenue of growth for all women and girls.  We know that as individuals if we do not feel safe, according to Maslow, we will never feel the need to develop higher order needs like self- esteem and self-actualization.  Our goal this year is to encourage each member to find their “voice” and tell their story as they move towards self -actualization.  This should help us to enhance retention, enrich programming, and booster participation.  We should also have a lot of fun. 

The committee will meet on September 5th to finalize programs for the year.  There are already twelve members of the committee but we are looking for more individuals to join us.  We will have two business/planning meetings for the year but will present a new activity each month.  Some activities being considered are an international ball, a cultural immersion trip to a Caribbean island, holiday celebration from around the world, and presentations by individuals from multiple cultures.  I can be reached at (845) 471-7220 or ■




Pat DeLeo *883-5181*  


Two Steps forward, One Step Back


It has been almost fifty years since Gloria Steinem wrote her satirical essay on how menstruation and child birth would be better funded and government supported if men experienced it rather than women.  Gloria, where is your pen.  We need you again.


But in the meantime we will take the words of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg who tells us of the "blind spot" that the five male Supreme Court Justices utilized in the recent Hobby Lobby decision.  She credits the wives and daughters of previous justices with helping open their eyes and intellects and asks for women to once again educate and demand nothing shy of equality.  What should the conversation be?  There is no room for bias when it comes to women's health care.  A woman and her doctor should be able to choose the appropriate medical option for her without having to consider her employer’s religious beliefs.  While the Hobby Lobby decision addresses birth control, the precedent could expand to blood transfusions, organ transplants, and the treatment of several diseases.  Bader Ginsberg predicted that the decision would create a minefield - and it has.  As election time approaches, ask your candidates their opinions on the Hobby Lobby decision and how their agenda will bring equality to women and children amidst the American health crisis.  Ask them to define their views on separation of church and state.  Ask them about big business's role in providing fair and equitable health coverage.  Ask them about a single payer health program.  And then, remind them about the voters...period!


The voters will be going to the polls.  Have voter registration dates been made public?  Will your district be changing polling locations or hours for the upcoming election?  Are all sites handicapped accessible?  Have announcements been made regarding the procurement of absentee ballots?  Is any special identification required at the polling place?  Has your district announced the type of voting they will be using?  Voting should be a simple procedure...make sure your district keeps it that way.


Social science says it takes a hundred years for a change to become integrated into a society. The women's movement has made significant strides over a century and continues to advocate for equal pay and equal rights despite setbacks along the way.  However, few predicted the Hobby Lobby decision.  It is through due diligence, a continued effort to fight for reform and political activism that we continue to fight for the rights of women and children.  Gloria Steinem's essay is as applicable today as it was in 1978.  Had it really been fifty years!  Question mark!




Betty Harrel *462-2141*

Barbara Van Itallie *462-3924*


AAUW-NYS has hired an attorney to provide legal support for the state organization and branches.  When recently reviewing our branch bylaws, he made several suggestions.  They will place us in accord with the New York State law concerning non-profit organizations which went into effect July 1st. Changes implemented by AAUW at the national level also needed to be included.


The board had the opportunity to go through the bylaws in detail at the Omega Institute retreat in May and made a number of recommended changes.  These will be voted on by our membership at our October meeting.  The proposed changes are listed below.  The current bylaws can be viewed on our website under About Us/ Policies and Procedures.  The current wording is underlined the changes are in “quotes.”


All mentions of Assistant Treasurer changed to “Membership Treasurer”:  Article VII Section 2. Article VIII Section 6, Article XI Section 2


Article VII Section 3 insert “approved by”  before board.  Also remove  Appointments may include: coordinators for women’s issues, international relations, public policy, community, education, cultural, publicity, bylaws, interest groups, and hospitality; a Legal Advocacy Fund representative and chairperson for the Woman of the Year committee .  This will be added to the Working Rules so that changes can be made easily as need arises.


Article IX Section 1:  change  at least 5 to “5-7” members


Article XII Section 4: replace members present and voting. with “total members”


Article XIII Section 1 replace meeting with “program”  Replace Two of these meetings shall have a time to conduct business. with “Two of these shall include a business meeting.”


Article XIV Section 1-3  Change

Section 1. Standing committees shall be program, membership, public policy, finance, Educational Fund, nominating and Legal Advocacy Fund.

Section 2 . Standing committees shall be appointed by the vice  presidents and/or the president and/or the board.

Section 3. Special committees, such as Woman of the Year, may be appointed by the president with the

consent of the board.  to:

“Section 1. a. Committees of the corporation shall be program, membership, public policy, Educational Opportunities Fund, nominating and Legal Advocacy Fund.

               b. The finance committee shall be a committee of the board and shall have at least 3 board members and no non-members.

Section 2.  Committees of the corporation shall be appointed by the vice presidents and/or the president with the approval of the board

Section 3.  Committees of the board may be appointed by the president with the approval of the board.” ■





Ann Pinna *462-3140* 


Background of Court Monitoring Program

As you well know, one of the beliefs of AAUW is gender equality.  AAUW seeks to prevent violence towards women and children and is committed to the fair and thoughtful treatment of victims of domestic violence within the court system.


With this in mind, a court monitoring initiative was established in 2011 whereby interested members could train to become court monitors.  Today, the initiative is still going strong.  Currently, dedicated AAUW monitors faithfully attend court on designated days during the month in order to monitor the treatment of victims in cases of domestic violence.  While in court, monitors fill out specially-created observations forms for each court case regarding key areas of concern.  Data from these forms are entered into an electronic program where results are tallied, analyzed, and conclusions drawn regarding areas that might be improved upon.


At a mutually agreed upon time and in a spirit of collaboration, findings are shared with the judges and other court personnel in the hope of making suggestions for adjustments or improvements in the court system.


Currently, we have approximately 9 monitors, but we are always looking for more.  Some of you have heard about our program and have expressed an interest in it and we now have a new training that will soon take place. 


New Training

Beginning this fall, the AAUW Poughkeepsie Branch will be establishing a partnership with The Fund for Modern Courts in NYC (FMC).  The Fund for Modern Courts had heard previously about our own AAUW court monitoring program and approached us with an opportunity to join them in their court monitoring efforts.  The Fund for Modern Courts is a statewide court reform organization and, like us, is committed to improving the judicial system for all New Yorkers.  They have gone into various courts throughout NYS and have been very successful in improving the administration and quality of justice in the courts.


The AAUW Court Monitoring Initiative has accepted this opportunity to enter into a partnership and collaborate with them for approximately one year.  Beginning on Thursday, September 18th, The Fund for Modern Courts will provide information to AAUW members who are interested in learning more about becoming a court monitor.  They will explain exactly what court monitoring entails and present some new and updated procedures.  Future training sessions will be announced at that time.


If you are interested in knowing more about this new collaboration with The Fund for Modern Courts and are seriously interested in training to become a court monitor in the Poughkeepsie Family Court, then please join us on Thursday, September 18th in the Charwat Room at the Adriance Memorial Library.  Trainers from the FMC will be present to give an overview of their program and supply interested members with information concerning a “new” and expanded  court monitoring initiative.  Please call Ann Pinna (845/462-3140) or sign up at our meeting on September 11 if you plan to come.


NB:  NEW TRAINING TO BE A COURT MONITOR:  Thursday, Sept 18th at 6:30 pm in the Charwat Room at the Adriance Memorial Library.■




Jacqueline Goffe-McNish *471-7220* 


AAUW Poughkeepsie is privileged to be a part of a national and state organization.  Even more is the wonderful opportunity we have to become actively involved with members in the entire state and to learn from these fellow members.  One recent occasion was the gathering at Honor’s Haven in Ellenville for the state Convention in April 2014.  Poughkeepsie Branch was well represented in attendees and it was exciting to see our own members play vital roles in the success of the convention.  Our members served on various committees, did presentations, introduced speakers, and one member, Marcine Humphrey, created all the centerpieces for all the tables in the main conference room.  This was Mary Lou Davis’ final act as president of the state and as Branch members we basked in her effective facilitating of a successful convention.


The Sessions were vibrant and informative.  Multiple resolutions were discussed and passed.  There was a celebration of Emerging Leaders and our own Susie Blecker was recognized.  The workshops were Work Life Balance in the 19th Century, Revitalizing Our Branch, Women’s Public health Issues, and It’s my Body: A Political History of Reproductive Rights and Citizenship.  Our main speaker were Patricia Fae Ho, National President of AAUW and Sandy Camillo, AAUW Secretary.  John Conway whose topic was The Evolution of Entertainment at Catskill Resorts was another favorite.  Edwina Frances Martin from the Staten Island Branch was elected as President of the State AAUW, Janice Pfeiffer Russell from the Bath Branch was elected as Vice President for Programming, and Janice Brown from the Jefferson County Branch was elected as Vice President for Development. Poughkeepsie’s Cyd Averill will serve as Communications Director and Mary Lou Davis as District Director.


We all left Honor’s Haven with a sense of accomplishment.  The business of the state had been completed another year and we had had fun.





Jacqueline Goffe-McNish *471-7220*


Retreats provide moments when the individual can remove herself from the everyday environment and take a moment to reflect on the past and plan for the future.  This is very important if there are major concerns in one’s life but even more so if there are major successes and one wants to continue to advance.  May 28-30 was such a time for our local Branch.  The Omega Institute provided an opportunity for the leaders in the organization to take a moment to assess our successes, evaluate our concerns, and plan for the future.  The place was beautiful and peaceful and the accommodations were ideal. 


The retreat began with a general meeting of all the women’s groups who were present at the Conference center.  Here we had an opportunity to celebrate, with other tri-state groups, the major accomplishments we had had in meeting the needs of women and girls in our Branch.  We were also entertained by a drumming group with a spectacular group of women.  This motivated us to begin our deliberations.  Our program consisted of concurrent workshops, general brainstorming discussions on fundraising and member retention, and presentations.  We ended with a final evaluation and a focused plan for programming for 2014/2015. 


One highlight of the weekend was a presentation by Kim Pollard, our state organizer.  Her topic was Re-Igniting the Spirit of the Branch.  She reminded us that growing should not include overstretching.  She helped us to create an “elevator speech” which should include the values of AAUW National as well as the goals to which we aspire to at the local level.  We created the following speech: “AAUW is a national membership organization that is committed to equity and education for women and girls and advocates for positive change.  At the local level, we are a very active organization with opportunities for learning and growing, community involvement, and meeting other women with similar interests” 


Everyone agreed at the end of the retreat that this was a meaningful and effective way to move the organization towards greater success.





Have you noticed on the homepage of our website that you can go directly to the AAUW ACTION NETWORK?  The latest calls to action can to found on the bottom right side.  It will take you to the Two-Minute Activist so that in a short while you can have emails on the way to your representatives!




Writers’ Tea Survey

Lula Allen *832-7140*

Linda Roberts *227-5287*


Last April, 14% of you answered a survey we sent concerning the Writers’ Tea – a great showing since 10% is the usual expected returns.  With your suggestions in hand we are making some changes this year. 



Thank you for your responses.  We are most appreciative of the time you took and your support over the past five years.  We have heeded your advice and we look forward to seeing all of you on April 26, 2015 at The Links.




Peggy Kelland *297-0507*


We are currently planning this year's monthly events in S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). for girls in grades 6-12 throughout Dutchess County, and a four session series in leadership development “Amaze” for girls in grades 6-8. 


Past programs have included team building games, paper crafts, international dance, math games, jewelry making, cooking, storytelling, and scrapbooking.  We hope to repeat some popular themes with new content and to add new topics.  All members are invited to join the committee and/or participate in planning or presenting individual events.


A collaboration with the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Extending Girls' Horizons is an outgrowth of the Girls Conference and the reunions we held for several years.  The Girl Scouts mission statement, "To build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place", made them a natural partner with AAUW in this initiative.  Girl Scouts arrange for the venues, girls, chaperones, transportation, and insurance, while AAUW plans the programs and provides presenters.



Jeanette Cantwell, Membership Treasurer


Congratulations to the 5 winners of the "Free National Memberships."


Doris Kelly

Sandy Lash

Mary Jo Mann

Donna Reicher

Gail Watson


 These 5 members paid their dues early, which made them eligible for a drawing for a free National membership worth $49.  That drawing took place at the June Membership Program.  Shortly thereafter, a dues refund check for $49 was sent by the treasurer to each of these lucky women.  It definitely paid for them to have sent their dues in early! 


For all of our members that have renewed, welcome to another active and interesting year with the Poughkeepsie Branch.  I’m proud to report that we're not only the largest Branch in New York State, but that we are among the very largest in the Nation.  By mid-spring of this year our membership had soared to 411 members, and even more have joined since then.  We have definitely earned a position in the community for being a quality organization.  Thank you so much for all of your continuing support.





Linda Roberts *227-5287*


Our branch of AAUW has raised an incredible amount of money over the last five years through our annual Writers’ Tea and Silent Auction.  This is the only fund raiser we do each year and supports all of our Community Outreach and Initiatives.  It also provides us with funds to give deserving women from Dutchess Community College scholarships to further their education as well as funds to support the AAUW Educational Opportunities Fund.  We have a very active group of women in this branch working hard to further  the Mission of AAUW.


For the past five years the Silent Auction part of the Tea has been very successful, thanks to so many of our members and the outstanding Auction Committee.  During this time the committee has been made up of the same members.  I have just surveyed all these people for next year's auction and they have all agreed to do it for a sixth time. Unbelievable!


We are working on restructuring the committee somewhat and will be using some of the data that was collected from the post-tea survey to improve the Auction.  There were many good suggestions and constructive comments made by our members.  Thanks to those of you who participated in this survey.

We have discovered over the years that we have many members who have made donations to the auction every year and consistently purchase items.  The auctions would not have been so successful without them.  Thank you all so much for this.  AAUW would not have been able to do all that it does without your participation.


We would really like to reach out to all of the members of our

Branch to get involved.  The thing that we need the most is for people to help us procure the items to be auctioned.  With so many people in the branch it would be so much more productive if we could spread this job among more people.

If there is anyone who would like to join our committee, please let me or one the committee members listed below know.  Their numbers and email addresses can all be found in the directory.

Co-chairs, Linda Roberts & Ginny Marcus

Gloria Gibbs   Cecilia Dinio-Durkin

Doris Kelly   Barbara Mindel

Donna Reichner   Vivian Rose

Nancy Smith


See you at the Writers’ Tea April 26, 2015.



Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2014-2015


President                              Barbara Van Itallie                462-3924

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                             Katherine Friedman              485-8671

Treasurer                            Diane Jablonski                    485-6228

Membership 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.


AAUW is a national membership organization that is committed to equity and education for women and girls and advocates for positive change.  At the local level, we are a very active organization with opportunities for learning and growing, community involvement, and meeting other women with similar interests.


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).


Please join the Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of University Women, Inc. to:


Honor our Woman of the Year 2014

Maureen Taylor



Saturday, October 25, 2014

12 noon

Ship Lantern Inn

1725 Rte. 9W

Milton, NY




Habitat for Humanity of Southern Dutchess



Maureen Taylor, along with her husband, Richard Taylor, co-founded Habitat for Humanity of Southern Dutchess in 1994.  In 1997 the organization merged with Poughkeepsie to become the Dutchess County Habitat for Humanity.  Maureen has served as assistant treasurer and is presently chair of the Family Support Committee.


Besides her work on Habitat for Humanity, she has been a key supporter of the Hopewell Depot Restoration, a volunteer at the Castle Point VA Hospital, and a Sunday school teacher at the New Hackensack Reformed Church.


The Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW, Inc. is proud to invite you to help celebrate this dedicated volunteer as our 2014 Woman of the Year!

Cash Bar & Hot Luncheon


         Name  _______________________________________________________  Phone  _______________________

         Email  _______________________________________________________

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

Meal Preference:  Chicken ______________   Beef_______________   Fish______________ Vegetarian_______________

If you have any other dietary concerns, please let us know.


       Price: $40 per person (includes gratuity).        Enclosed $ ____________  for _____ attendee(s).


Reservations & checks are due: October 17, 2014


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

Mail to:  Margaret Prescott, 105 Turnberry Court, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


Questions:  Call Margaret at 845-462-5363


If you are unable to attend and would like to make a contribution in Maureen’s honor, please send it to the address above.

AAUW is a 501(c)3 organization.