Celebrating Our Legacy, Enhancing Our Future


Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601



Volume 30, Number 2                                                               61st year of publication                                   http://www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org

Follow us at  www.facebook.com/AAUWPoughkeepsie2014                                                                                    October 2016



Honor our Woman of the Year 2016



Krista Jones

Executive Director of Sparrow’s Nest of the Hudson Valley


Sunday, October 23, 2016

1-4 pm

Le Chambord

2372 Route 52, Hopewell Junction, NY








Beyond Barriers and Bias – Fulfilling the Potential of Women


Saturday, October 15, 2016


Zion Lutheran Church

153 Nott Terrace

Schenectady, NY


A day of presentations, re-enactments and networking with AAUW women in our district from Adirondack, Albany, Amsterdam/Gloversville/ Johnstown, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and Schenectady.


Schenectady Branch has arranged this interesting day for us.  The current President of Schenectady Branch is Eleanor Aronstein, a former Poughkeepsie AAUW member and “founder” of our interest group, Word Games!!


If you would like to carpool please contact: 

Peggy Kelland *297-0507* smkell45@aol.com





Poughkeepsie AAUW and the Poughkeepsie Public Library presents:

Return of the Victorian Lady –

In an All New Program


Alternative Societies in the 19th Century”


Sue McLane,

 “The Victorian Lady”


October 13, 2016

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm


Please be prompt!


Poughkeepsie Public Library

Boardman Road Branch

141 Boardman Road

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


Sue McLane marks her 25th year of researching and presenting programs.  She is a member of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association.  “Utopia” will tell the stories of some of the alternative lifestyle groups in the 19th century and how that affected women’s experience then and now.  As last year, Sue will be using clothing as a vehicle for her presentation along with other “show & tell” items.

Sue McLane has been a Living History presenter known as “The Victorian Lady” since 1991.  Sue was drawn to the Victorian Era’s simpler way of life and to the study of history itself.  Her love of antique clothing enticed her to discover details about each piece and its origin, which developed her fascination with history.  Sue McLane says that each outfit tells a story and looking at the details explains not only what it took to create it, but opens a window into the past.  Many of her outfits have appeared in movies such as “Out of Africa.”


Continued on below.



The Boardman Road Branch Library is located at 141 Boardman Road between Our Lady of Lourdes High School and the Poughkeepsie Day School. 


Questions: Sandy Goldberg 297-7670 sajgold@aol.com

Betsy Kopstein-Stuts 485-7044 bkopstein@hotmail.com



 Online Calendar at www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org

Contact: Kathy Friedman kfriedman33@gmail.com


3       Word Games: 1:30 pm

         Hostess:  Barbara Van Itallie (462-3924)

         Coordinator: Betsy Vivas (485-2379)

4       World Travelers: 7:00 pm

         Argentina, Chili, Brazil

         Hostess: Sheryl Miller

         Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


6       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

         St. John’s Lutheran Church, Wilbur Blvd., Poughkeepsie

8       Bridge 3: 10:00 am

         Hostess: Joan Dyson (297-1046)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner dlr0804@verizon.net

10     All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Book: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea

         Hostess: Karin Fein (485-7186)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

10     Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference Planning:

         St John’s Lutheran Church, Room 208, 7:00 pm

         All help welcomed and needed!!!

10     “The Branch” deadline for November.

13     General Membership Program: 7:00 pm (be prompt)

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend

          details on below.

14     Pedal Pushers:  9:30 am

         Bike to Millerton, 16 miles

         Meeting Point: Amenia rail trail parking lot, Rt. 343

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler sheilaz@optonline.net

14     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the

                  Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinators: Leona Miller (471-0777) &

                  Vicki Greenberg (462-6763)

15     AAUW-NYS District 4:  Details above and below.

15     Aventures en Soleil:

         Gillinder Glass Factory, Port Jervis, NY

         Send check for $5 (Adult) or $4 (Senior) payable to

         Renie Milliken, 1901 Chelsea Cove Drive South,

         Hopewell Jct. NY 12533, by September 26.  See below.

         Coordinator: Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

16     Gourmet: Out & About: 1:00 pm

         Brunch at Blu Point, Newburgh

         Contact: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504)

                  Kay Saderholm (229-8545) Ksaderholm@aol.com

18     Cuisine: 6:30 pm


         Hostess: JoAnn Clark (876-5189)

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


10     All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Book: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea

         Hostess: Karin Fein (485-7186)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

19     Film “He Named Me Malala:” 6:30 pm

         In Celebration of the International Day of the Girl,

         details below

19     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745)      &

                  Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

20     Bridge II: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch ($15)

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn cathy@kinn.org 

22     Poetry & Plays - Emily D to Tennessee: All day

         Trip to Geraldine R Dodge Poetry Festival, Newark NJ

         Coordinators: Jackie Sweeney (518/947-6682) &

                  Barbara Hugo BHugo2@gmail.com

23     Woman of the Year: 1-4 pm

         Details above and below.

24     Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference Planning:

         St John’s Lutheran Church, Room 208, 7:00 pm

         All help welcomed and needed!!!

24     Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

         Book: Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

         Hostess: Pat Gullick (221-0042)

         Coordinator: Rochelle Friedman (462-4996)

25     The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urea

         Hostess: Helen Buhler (473-0665)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

26     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Blackman

         Hostess: Roz Werner (462-0631)

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

26     Mah Jongg & Canasta: Noon - 4:00 pm

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch

         Contact Blanche (462-3955) by October 24

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

27     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

         Project: Brioche Knitting

         Hostess: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)

28     Art on the Go:

         TBA - weather dependent

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)


Diversity, Out of One Many People:

         Contact Coordinator 

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


Movie Night: See you in December

         We are taking a break for Yon Kippur and election day!

         Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)

         Producer: Diana Gleeson


         Contact Coordinator

         Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)




Nov 5: “Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference”

         at DCC November 5.  See below.

Apr 2: Writers’ Tea & Auction, The Links

Apr 21-23, 2017 AAUW-NYS Convention

         Syracuse Doubletree Inn.


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Maria DeWald *266-4960* mfdewald@yahoo.com


I am feeling very motivated as I write this message having just finished our Annual Open House.  The turnout was terrific, the camaraderie palpable, the Board and group leaders and chairs more than rising to the occasion, our current members investigating new possible options as they roamed through the exhibits, and the new and prospective members asking questions with interest.  Many joined on the spot!  Funny thing is, as speakers during our short overview program presented, I felt myself listening carefully as if I were myself a new member.  I watched folks smiling, agreeing with nods as they listened, and, yes, I think I can say, being inspired by what they heard.  It put substance to the words of the AAUW mission and my own theme (Celebrating Our Legacy, Enhancing Our Future).  Thank you to everyone for this great start to our new Membership Year…it was FRABJOUS (yes, a real word meaning wonderful/delightful)!


There were a few “kick-off” moments that evening I would like to highlight to all of you.  First, as I have mentioned, 2017 is the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in NYS, predating the federal law by three years.  We will be hosting a variety of opportunities to CELEBRATE but we began with a raffle, “Purse with a Purpose,” for a limited edition replica of Susan B. Anthony’s bag so very generously donated by one of our Lifetime Members, Joan Monk (thank you, thank you!).  Please see in this newsletter how you can participate as we will continue to sell tickets for a while before the winner is chosen.  The proceeds will be going to our Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF).  Noting this anniversary will also include partnerships with other organizations as well as sharing information on what may be happening in the community.  For example, please see in this edition (page 10) a list of book discussions, Votes For Women, which will be held at Adriance Memorial Library, from September through November on various Tuesdays.


Secondly, as I can say confidently, you all are aware of the coming presidential election this November!  However, you may not be aware that, as a member of National and State AAUW, which is part of your membership, they are conducting an IT’S YOUR VOTE Campaign.  Please go online to their website (http://www.aauw.org/issues/advocacy/ ) and you can find many, many resources including voter guides which break down congressional, gubernatorial, and presidential candidate’s positions on issues impacting women and families, in addition to items on getting out the vote.  Our branch is also conducting a voter registration effort which will deliver registration forms to nursing homes, senior complexes and the like.  Want to help…..please see details in the newsletter.  What better way to follow the AAUW mission of advocacy and to ENHANCE THE FUTURE!


Please introduce yourselves when next we meet, hopefully at the October membership program and/or the Women of the Year event.  It is always a pleasure to talk to our members.  Until then, CELEBRATE, ENHANCE, and BE WELL!



Susie Blecker *462-7074* iblecker@aol.com

Sheila Zweifler *462-6478* sheilaz@optonline.net


A warm welcome to all who joined the Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW at the September Open House.  We hope you have a wonderful year, and enjoy the many activities our branch has to offer.  The best way to guarantee an excellent experience with us is to get involved.  As you’ve learned, the Poughkeepsie Branch supports 20 special interest groups and 8 community initiatives as well as having dynamic speakers at its monthly meetings.  We have major annual events, like our Writer’s Tea and Woman of the Year luncheon, and we also fund several scholarships.  Our national organization lobbies in Washington on women’s issues and our Poughkeepsie Branch is involved in promoting women’s rights around the world.  We offer something for everyone, so whether you like to hike or play bridge, or are interested in women’s healthcare or education this is your opportunity to get involved and get to know other bright women who share your interests.


The choice of which kind of member you will become is yours.  If you don’t make any effort to join our interest groups, committees, or work on any of the initiatives we sponsor, and you choose not to attend our monthly meetings and annual events, then you will forego many of the benefits of AAUW and particularly the Poughkeepsie Branch.  If, however, you make it your business to take an active role in AAUW, you will broaden your borders and have fun while making new friends. 


Our first opportunity to get to know you will be at our October 13th New Member Reception at 6:00 pm at the Poughkeepsie Library located on 141 Boardman Road.  We are looking forward to seeing you there.


The September Open House would not have happened without the help of the following people: Mary Coiteux who was always there when we needed her; Margaret Nijhuis, who printed the invitations and published the membership booklet and provided invaluable help and guidance;  Bev Nathan who took care of the refreshments;  Mary Ann Hogarty, our membership treasurer who did a tremendous amount of work and doesn’t always get the recognition she deserves; our fabulous new president, Maria DeWald, who came early to the open house and stayed late helping out wherever she was needed; and Linda Beyer who we can always count on to help out when she is needed.  I also want to thank all of the volunteers from the initiatives and interest groups who escorted unattended guests and made them feel welcome.




Cathy Augello           Jocelynn Banfield    Martha Brajuha

Martha Conners        Mame Dimock          Roberta Gordan

Joan Kimmel             Patricia McCaffrey  Kimberly Mallen

Marilyn Miklau        Bridget O’Donnell   Michelle Paolicelli

Patricia Phillips        Karla Rauch              Ruth Ray

Lori Scolaro              Mary Temple            Iris Turkenkopf

Lee Ann Vrablik



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


Honor our Woman of the Year 2016

Krista Jones

Executive Director of Sparrow’s Nest of the Hudson Valley



               Sunday, October 23, 2016

                              1-4 pm

                         Le Chambord   

          2372 Route 52, Hopewell Junction, NY


Directions and Complete Biography at




Cash Bar & Hot Luncheon


Name _______________________________________

Phone _______________________________________

Email ________________________________________

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


Meal Choice:

 New York Strip Steak, Sauce Bordelaise                   ____

 Breast of Chicken Francaise                                     ____

Herbed Baked Norwegian Salmon, Maltaise Sauce   ____

**   If you have any dietary concerns, please let us know:

       Vegetarian _______ Gluten Free _______


Price: $50 (includes gratuity)


Reservations and checks due: October 11, 2016

Make checks payable to “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.

Mail to:

Betty Harrel, 28 Laffin Lane, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Questions: Call Betty Harrel    845/462-2141

       Or  bharrel28@gmail.com


Krista Jones has lived in the Hudson Valley for over 20 years, brought to the area as a radio reporter on WDST and WKNY in Kingston.  She later took a position as News Director/morning show co-host on 92.1 and served in this capacity for over 15 years.  After marrying and giving birth to 3 beautiful red heads, the local mom was looking to do something more.  In 2010, one of Krista’s closest friends was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.  Not long after, Sparrow’s Nest took flight.  The 501c3 charity was started in 2012, feeding 4 local families and has grown to an organization that has fed close to one thousand people since its inception.  Krista serves as the Executive Director and sits on many of the board’s committees.  Krista was chosen as a 2014 Pandora Hearts of Today winner, receiving a 25 thousand dollar check to use for the charity.  The charity received the 2014 Organization of the Year Award from the Junior League of Poughkeepsie and the 2015 Headliner Award from the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  The organization was also recognized by the Dutchess County Organization of Women, as Charity of the Year for 2015.


I run because I can

When I get tired,

I remember those who can’t run,

What they would give to have

This simple gift I take for granted…..

And I run faster and harder


To make reservations using Paypal go to www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org


If you are unable to attend and would like to make a contribution in Krista’s honor, please send it to Betty Harrel at the address above.  Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW is a 501(c)3 organization.



AAUW-NYS District IV Conference


Saturday, October 15, 2016


Zion Lutheran Church

153 Nott Terrace

Schenectady, NY


Program:  Beyond Barriers and Bias – Fulfilling the Potential of Women


9:00-9:30 am   Registration / Continental Breakfast        


9:30                   Welcome - *Eleanor Aronstein, President of AAUW-Schenectady Branch


9:35-10:45       Martha Asselin, PhD, Vice President of Student Affairs, Schenectady County Community College  will speak about gender barriers and bias


10:45-11:00     Break


11:00-12:00     Maxine Getty , retired Senior Master Sargent, US Air Force and re-enactor portraying Mary A.R. Livermore, abolitionist, teacher, nurse, suffragette and writer.


12:00-1:00       Lunch - Networking & hear from SUNY Albany students who have taken part in the AAUW “Elect Her Training” and the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL)


1:00-1:45          A Jewelry Workshop (optional): Create a bracelet for yourself - Donate a bracelet to a woman at our local women’s shelter


*Eleanor Aronstein, former Poughkeepsie AAUW member and “founder” of our interest group, Word Games!!



From the South: Take I-90 (New York State Thruway W) to Exit 25 (Schenectady/RT-7) then get on to I-890 (Schenectady County Memorial Veteran Hwy) 4.1 mi.  Take exit 5 toward Broadway 0.4 mi.  Turn right onto Broadway 0.2 mi.  Turn slightly right onto Millard St 0.2 mi.  Continue on Veeder Ave 0.2 mi.  Continue on Nott Ter 0.2 mi.  Arrive at 153 Nott Terrace on the right. 


Sponsored by the Schenectady Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Funded in part by a grant from AAUW-NYS


RSVP by October 8, 2016


Cost: $25 AAUW members, $27 non-members,

$15 students


(If non-members decide to become members at the conference, not only will that save money for the lunch, they will get 50% off the National dues.)


Send your check payable to “AAUW-Schenectady Branch” with this tear-off form to:


Barbara Aldi, 15 Haviland Drive, Scotia, NY  12302


Name ____________________________________________

Branch ___________________________________________

Phone ____________________________________________

Branch/Position ____________________________________

E-mail Address ____________________________________

If you have special dietary needs, please specify: __________

Will you be staying for our bracelet workshop? ___Yes __No




Saturday, November 5, 2016

8:30 am - 2:30 pm

at Dutchess Community College


To help call Diana Babington dibab@aol.com  471-5385


For girls to register www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org






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, Marguerite Cotter,

Lillian DePasquale, Ruth Gau, Gloria Gibbs,

Elizabeth Harrel, Jacqueline Prusak, Terry Schneider


Sponsors ($10 or more)


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


Continued from above...

The Victorian Lady, Presenting “Utopia”


We are pleased to be presenting a special program for our October 13th meeting being held at the Poughkeepsie Library branch on 141 Boardman Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie.  We are excited to be having the Poughkeepsie Public Library co-sponsor this very important event with us and look forward to future co-sponsorships as well.


Sue McLane marks her 25th year of researching and presenting programs.  She is a member of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association. “Utopia” will tell the stories of some of the alternative lifestyle groups in the 19th century and how that affected women’s experience then and now.  As last year, Sue will be using clothing as a vehicle for her presentation along with other “show & tell” items.


Sue has been a Living History presenter known as “The Victorian Lady” since 1991.  Sue was drawn to the Victorian Era’s simpler way of life and to the study of history itself. Her love of antique clothing enticed her to discover details about each piece and its origin, which developed her fascination with history.  Sue says each outfit opens a window into the past.

Sue restores outfits and sells them at antique shows; this led to film companies requesting many of her period pieces for costumes.  Her outfits first appeared in the 1985 film “Out of Africa” and since then she has sold authentic clothing for use in several films, including the 1997 version of “Titanic”.


In addition to the program she will be sharing with us, Sue also has presented such programs as a “Victorian Tea Party,” “Christmas Past: The Traditions of a Victorian Christmas,” “Changing Silhouette of the 19th Century Clothing,” “Wiawaka: Stories from 100 Years on Lake George” and “Passage on the Titanic.”


Sue has received an award for her research and programs from the Capital District Archives Association and an award from Wiawaka the “Great Spirit in Women” for the work she has done on their behalf over the years.


This is a program not to be missed.  We look forward to seeing everyone in October at the Library. Our program will begin at 7:00 pm sharp and end by 8:30 in order to allow the library to do its normal closing procedures.



Barbara Van Itallie, bvanitallie@yahoo.com


Our February 9, 2017 general membership meeting will be on the subject of recycling, after a great deal of interest was shown in this subject at a recent Soleil trip.  In conjunction with this program, we will be preparing a handout on various ways to get rid of things we no longer need or want.  Will you please help!  Please send Barbara Van Itallie, bvanitallie@yahoo.com , any resources that you know of where we can donate, consign, recycle or simply dispose of unwanted items.  Do you have a favorite place to donate unwanted clothes or household items?  Have you used any consignment stores?  Does your town accept difficult to dispose of items such as electronics or chemicals?  Are you familiar with any useful websites?  Brainstorm with us!  Please send as many details as possible about your suggestion like what they take, location, hours, etc. by December 31.  The final list will be distributed at the February meeting.  Thanks



Patricia DeLeo *883-5181* pattide2@optonline.net  


Absentee Ballots ... It's Your Vote.


Calling all voters!  If you haven't already, put November 8 on your calendar.  It is a critical voting time as America will elect new leadership and color Congress with red and blue.   


If you are going to be absent from your county on Election Day, November 8, 2016, or are unable to vote in person because you have a temporary or permanent disability, are a caregiver of one or more disabled or ill persons, detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or in prison for a non felony offense, or a patient or inmate in a Veterans Hospital, you qualify for an absentee ballot in NYS.  Therefore, you can still cast a ballot in the upcoming election.


You must apply for an absentee ballot, the form can be downloaded in English/Spanish at http://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingAbsentee.html.  Upon completion, applications must be mailed to your county board  (Dutchess County Board of Elections, 47 Cannon St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601) no later than the seventh day before the election (November 1) or delivered in person no later than the day before the election (November 7). 


If you do not have access to a computer, you may request an Absentee Ballot by sending a letter to your county board of elections.  The letter must be received by your county board no earlier than 30 days (October 8) and no later than seven days before the election (November 1).  The letter must contain the following information: the address where you are registered, an address where the ballot is to be sent, the reason for the request, and the signature of the voter.  An application form will be mailed with your ballot.  The application form must be completed and returned with your ballot.


If you cannot pick up your ballot, or will not be able to receive it through the mail, you have the right to designate someone to pick it up for you.  Only that person designated on your application may pick up and deliver your ballot.


If you are permanently ill or disabled, you have the right to receive an Absentee Ballot for each subsequent election without further application.  Simply file an application with your county board of elections indicating permanent illness or physical disability.  You will then automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election.


You will receive an absentee ballot at least 32 days prior to the upcoming election.


Your vote is a right and privilege of citizenship.  Respect it by casting your vote either in person or by absentee ballot.  It's your vote; be heard. 



Betty Harrel *462-2141* bharrel28@gmail.com


As always, we’ve had great support for our literacy project.  Recent happenings include:


§ Several members of Mid-Hudson Panhellenic have made donations to Leading to Reading in memory of our long-time member Elaine Crosby.  As a school librarian, imparting a love of reading was very important to her.  Many thanks to those who donated in her name.

§ The Wappingers Congress of Teachers (WCT) recently received a grant from First Book to distribute books throughout the schools.  As they also received a number of pre-school books, they have generously donated those to our Leading to Reading project.  They will be distributed to children from low income families during the coming months.

§ Leading to Reading was part of the Renegades “Collection for a Cause” program.  We had a booth at one game this summer and helped to build AAUW visibility in our region.

§ A special thank you also goes to the Little Kindness Fund, which has made several donations to our project.  They help to support our Books for Babies outreach.


The assistance of our members and community organizations is greatly appreciated!



Sabashnee Govender *914/850-0195* Sabashnee@aol.com 


The film “He Named Me Malala was shown in the summer and is back by “popular demand” to celebrate the International Day of the Girl.  Join us:


October 19, 2016

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Adriance Memorial Library

Charwat Room (use entrance from parking lot)

93 Market Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


The film presents the young Pakistani female activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, who has spoken out for the rights of girls, especially the right to education, since she was very young.  The film also recounts how she miraculously survived and has become even more eloquent in her quest after being hunted down and shot by a Taliban gunman as part of the organization's violent opposition to girls' education in the Swat Valley in Pakistan.




Linda Beyer *462-0345* lmbchanel@aol.com


AAUW congratulates Grace Smith House on 35 years of service to our community and thanks Michele Pollock Rich, Executive Director, and her staff for all they do for our families.  Please read the heart warning article below by Michele written on September 9, 2016.


My name is Michele, and I have the privilege of being the executive director of Grace Smith House.  For 35 years, Grace Smith House has been providing Dutchess County with domestic violence services.  I happened to be the first person to arrive at the office this morning.  The administrative offices of Grace Smith House share a building with our Brookhaven Transitional Housing Program.  We have 15 apartments, and there’s usually a waiting list for new tenants.  Brookhaven is not just an apartment complex, it is a community.  Our residents become a sisterhood.  Most have come through Grace Smith House’s emergency domestic violence shelters; a few come from our non-residential counseling programs.  Most are mothers with children, but some are alone.  Their sisterhood is based on their strength and common experience.  Each is a survivor of domestic violence.  Brookhaven offers support groups, children’s programming, individual counseling – and a chance for our survivors to re-establish themselves as part of a community.  Isolation is an abuser’s ally.  Brookhaven is an antidote to isolation.  In spring, there are gardens to plant; summer brings community barbeques and our farmer’s market.  Fall rakes leaves and welcomes trick-or-treaters; winter sees neighbors digging out each other’s cars.  Residents stay up to two years at Brookhaven, but the friendships are long lasting.  Healing happens here.


On this unusually warm September morning, a resident met me at my car.  This resident had been with us for over a year.  “Miss Michelle,” she greeted me, in her gentle way, with her patient smile, “We have a woman here.  She was on the bench last night.  Perhaps we can help her.”  I looked to where she gestured, and sure enough, on our garden bench, there was a young woman with a toddler in a stroller and a few small plastic shopping bags at her feet, tied in knots at the top to keep the few precious contents from falling out.  Most victims come to us with very little, or nothing at all.  This individual had come to Brookhaven thinking it was our emergency shelter.  When there was no answer on the office door, she decided it was safer to wait on our bench all night, with a toddler, than go home to whatever awaited her there.  Our residents found her when in the morning when they came out to put their children on the school bus.


In 2015, Grace Smith House answered 1,866 calls to our 24 hour hotline.  Although we housed 105 adults and 87 children in our shelters, we turned away over 400 callers who sought emergency shelter.  As I looked across the parking lot, I did a quick calculation.  Two shelter beds left, two hopeful souls on the bench.  This is not our normal shelter intake procedure, however.  Normally, victims call our 24 hour hotline at

845-471-3033.  The advocate who answers will do a short intake with the caller.  If the caller wants shelter, arrangements are made from there.  If all beds are full, we try to find other shelters or appropriate safe arrangements.


I stood briefly with our resident, and we looked across the distance that separated us from the individual on the bench, thirty feet or so.  Our resident, her children on the school bus and the workday ahead of her, paused for a long second.  She smiled at me sadly.  “You know,” she said, “I remember when it was me, sitting there on that bench.”  We shared a brief squeeze – not a hug, just a little squeeze of sisterhood.  Strength, community and reassurance that is Brookhaven.  “We’ll take care of her.”  It was all my tight throat could manage.  “I know,” she replied.  She nodded, “I know.”


I crossed the distance between us, thirty feet, maybe ten steps or so.  She was feeding her daughter applesauce.  I extended my hand, and I smiled.  “I’m Michele,” I told her.  “Would you like to come inside and have some coffee?”  I had never met her before, but there was a flicker in her eyes I recognized.  A plea for understanding.  A flare of hope.


This is Grace Smith House.  For 35 years, we have provided domestic violence services, including 24 hour hotline

845-471-3033, emergency housing, counseling, and advocacy.  In 2015, we helped 1,331 individuals file for orders of protection in Family Court.  We facilitated 168 adult support groups, including Spanish language groups and trauma informed therapeutic yoga groups.  Our Prevention and Education team visited all 13 Dutchess County school districts, reaching over 8,000 students with information on healthy teen dating relationships.  Our health care initiative visited doctors and health care professional across the county educating about the signs of domestic violence.  And in 2015, Brookhaven Transitional Housing assisted 17 families continue their healing journey from “victim” of domestic violence to “survivor” of domestic violence.


To learn more about the work of Grace Smith House, visit us at www.gracesmithhouse.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.




For the past few years our December meeting has taken on a new meaning by bringing along a donated gift for a mother at Grace Smith House.  The gifts will be given at the residence by the staff.  A list of gift suggestions will appear in the December newsletter.



Mary Coiteux *226-8275* mcoiteux@frontiernet.net

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


Hats Off to Miriam Zimet Aaron who is being honored on October 20 by the New Horizons Foundation for her work in the community.



Peggy Kelland *297-0507* smkell45@aol.com


In this initiative AAUW collaborates with the Girl Scouts, who provide the girls, chaperones, transportation, insurance, and venues, while we plan the programs and provide presenters. Our series of monthly STEAM events for girls in grades 6-12 are usually held on Friday evenings from 6:30-8:30 P.M. at R.C. Ketcham High School on Myers Corners Road in Wappingers. Other times and/or locations are noted below:


November 4: Game Night (math and language games - board, small group, large group)

December 9: Pins and Needles (knitting, crocheting, needlework, string art)

January 13: Paper Crafts (cards, boxes, stamping, collages, etc.)

February 10: New Cuisines (regional, international) - at Zion Episcopal Church, Wappingers Falls

March 5: Jewelry Making - Sunday 1-3 P.M. at New Hackensack Reformed Church, Rte. 376

April 7: Naturalist (trees, sky)


We welcome members to help with these events. If you enjoy sharing a skill with teenage girls, this is a perfect way to volunteer one time (or more if you wish!)



Pat Luczai *463-4662* pat.luczai@gmail.com


As part of the activities surrounding the celebrations for 100 years of women's suffrage, a commemorative bag was designed for the Susan B. Anthony House by Abigail Riggs.  It’s a limited-edition, faux-alligator, contemporary version of the handbag Susan B. Anthony carried on her many campaigns around the country and to Europe, working for women’s equality.  Joan Monk generously donated one of these limited edition handbags to our branch, which is valued at $250.  It has been decided to raffle this 'Purse with a Purpose' later in the year, with the proceeds going to LAF (AAUW's Legal Advocacy Fund). 


Many of you may have seen our display at September's Open House.  We will again have the purse on view at Membership Meeting, October 13th,  where you can purchase chances.


Tickets are One for $1, Two for $3, or Five chances for $10.


If you are unable to attend the membership meeting, you may send a check to Pat Luczai, 9 Bridgewater Way, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, made out to AAUW Poughkeepsie Branch, Inc. and your tickets will be filled out and added to the drawing.



Renie Milliken  *227-6374* reniemill@juno.com


The Gillinder Glass Factory in Port Jervis is 155 years old.  Today Charlie Gillinder is the 6th generation of the family to operate the facility.  Gillinder Glass produces approximately 50% of all US airport runway lights, substantial parts of aircraft lights as well as commercial and industrial lighting fixtures. 


The Erie Hotel is one of the few structures of the original 14 hotels that had a brisk business during the late 1800's when the railroad was an active part of this frontier town.  The area known as "Grab Point" where New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania meet at the union of the Neversink and Delaware Rivers became very prosperous when travelers going by train from NYC to the Buffalo region would spend the night in Port Jervis. It also became a rather rowdy place not unlike a western frontier town.  The atmosphere and food will make this a fitting end to our tour.  There are shops adjacent to the restaurant and a park across the street.


If you are interested in touring Gillinder Glass with the Soleil Interest Group on Sat. Oct 15, which will include a glassblowing demonstration, and joining us for lunch at the nearby historic Erie Hotel, please contact Renie Milliken,




Judy Elkin *845/471-4778*  jlemsw@aol.com


Are you anxious about this year's elections?  Turn that anxiety into meaningful action by registering women* to vote.


AAUW has a long history of registering voters and getting-out-the-vote.  The "It's My Vote: I Will Be Heard" campaign is in full swing.  The campaign encourages women voters to get active in the political process and by doing so, strengthen our democracy. Come join us!


New voters must register with the Dutchess County Board of Elections by mid-October.  Therefore it is important to act quickly.  Our mission is to reach women - especially young women - and provide them with voter registration self-mailers and impartial information about candidates.


We will meet to develop effective strategies and to give out materials.  Please send your name, e-mail address and phone number to:

Judy Elkin




*Registering women is our primary goal.  We will certainly be happy to register men!



Elaine first joined AAUW in 1979.  She was a member of the Soleil group and helped with many projects such as Woman of the Year and fund raisers over the years.  We will certainly miss her smiling face and wonderful southern charm.


From Poughkeepsie Journal, August 28, 2016


POUGHKEEPSIE - Elaine Hogan Crosby of Poughkeepsie, NY, died suddenly at her residence on Thursday, August 25, 2016.


She was born in Augusta, Georgia and graduated from the Academy of Richmond County and the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Education.  Elaine was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority.


After moving to New York State, she became a member of the Poughkeepsie Branch of American Association of University Women, the Mid Hudson Alumnae Panhellenic and New Hackensack Reformed Church.  She retired as Library Media Specialist at Fishkill Elementary School.


Surviving family members include her daughter, Celeste E. Crosby (Gary) of Katonah, NY, her brother, Spurgeon G. Hogan (Barbara) of Hillsborough, NJ and her 4 grandchildren, Bobby Johnson, Lauren Johnson, Campbell McKendry and Hunter McKendry.  Elaine was predeceased by her husband Robert E. Crosby and her daughter Catherine E. Crosby.


Memorial donations may be made in Elaine's memory to a charity of choice.  Please visit www.HudsonValleyFuneralHomes.com for condolences.




Goldy Safirstein *616-9417* vibrantartbygoldy@gmail.com


I just started working part time as the Assistant Director to the Executive Director of the Community Family Development Child Care Center in downtown Poughkeepsie for ages 6 weeks to 12 years.  We are one of the largest non-profit day care centers in the county, and we serve families from the City of Poughkeepsie.  One of the issues we have is a lack of qualified staffing.  Would you or do you know of any retired teachers who might like to work either part time or on occasion?  The pay is inadequate, of course, but it's an opportunity to do something concrete to help this outstanding facility in Poughkeepsie.  I thought of AAUW because I know many members are retired teachers and I know there is great community spirit among the membership.  You can email, call, text or give my number to anyone who might be interested.



Ellie Charwat *462-7061* echarwat@yahoo.com


In 2017, it will be 100 years since New York State signed women’s suffrage into law, three years before the United States passed the 19th Amendment. This was a milestone for the state and a transformative moment in American democracy.


This fall, supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities, the Library District will launch a reading and discussion series focusing on the struggle for the vote.  Our book selections provide a window into this chapter of American social progress and a springboard into discussions of women and our society’s past, present, and future. 


The series, facilitated by Dr. Sandra Opdycke, will take place on select Tuesdays at Adriance Memorial Library, in the Greenspan Boardroom on the third floor, beginning at 7 pm.


September 13: Meet and Greet

Meet your scholar and receive the texts for the complete series.

September 27: Seneca Falls and Origins of the Women’s

Rights Movement by Sally McMillen

October 18: Elizabeth Cady Stanton: An American Life

by Lori D. Ginzberg

November 8 (Election Day): Sex Wars: A Novel of the Gilded

Age by Marge Piercy

November 22: African American Women: The Struggle for the

Vote by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn

December 6: Votes for Women: The Struggle for Suffrage

Revisited by Jean H. Baker

December 20: A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot by Mary Walton


Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2016-2017


President                              Maria DeWald                      266-4960

Program V.P.                      Sandy Goldberg                    297-7670

                                             Betsy Kopstein-Stuts             485-7044

Membership V.P.                 Susie Blecker                        462-7074

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

Communications V.P.          Bonnie Auchincloss              635-5191

Secretary                             Katherine Friedman              485-8671

Treasurer                            Diane Jablonski                    485-6228

Membership Treasurer       Mary Anne Hogarty              221-0203

Association website:  www.aauw.org                               

NY State website: www.aauw-nys.org

Poughkeepsie Branch website: www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org 


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, MargaretNijhuis@gmail.com (635-8612).