Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Celebrating Our Legacy, Enhancing Our Future

Volume 30, Number 3

61st year of publication

Follow us at

November 2016




Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW and

Dutchess Community College





6th & 7th Grade Girls’ Conference


Saturday, November 5, 2016

8:30 am – 2:30 pm

Dutchess Community College


If you have a daughter or family, colleagues, and neighbors with girls this age invite them to go to our website  and click on the same picture as you see above to register!! ■


If you have time to help us that day please contact Diana Babington 845/471-5385





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.


“Understanding Islam”


Thursday, November 10, 2016

7:00 pm

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie


The Poughkeepsie AAUW Diversity Initiative is pleased to present Dr Nada Halloway in a discussion of “Understanding Islam.”


The recent developments in the Middle East have led to an explosion of media coverage and publications on Islam and Muslims.  Religious scholars and experts on the Middle East have become cult figures in the debate that surrounds the religion.  The West and more specifically the media seeks to find answers to questions like:


“What created the radicalism that we are seeing today?”

“What rights do women have within Islam?”

“Are revisionists providing a reading of the religion that is at odds with the Quran?”


Dr. Nada Halloway received her PhD in 2004 and an Advanced Certificate in Women’s Studies from Stony Brook, SUNY.  Her areas of specialization include Victorian literature, history, and politics, post-colonial literature and theory and feminist studies, and religion.  She currently teaches at Manhattanville College




Questions: Sandy Goldberg 297-7670

Betsy Kopstein-Stuts 485-7044

Jacqueline Goffe-McNish 471-7220


Directions:  See page 7.



 Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


1       World Travelers: 7:00 pm


         Hostess & Presenter:  Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

         Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


3       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

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

5       Bridge 3: 10:00 am

         Hostess:  Shirley Granda (453-3686)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

7       Word Games: 1:30 pm

         Hostess:  Ellie Charwat (462-7061)

         Coordinator: Betsy Vivas (485-2379)

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

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch

         Contact Blanche (462-3955) by Nov. 7.

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

9       Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

         L’Express, 1840 Hackensack Rd. Wappingers Falls

         Contact: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504)

                  Kay Saderholm (229-8545) 

10     Diversity: Out of One Many People:

         Presenting the program  Understanding Islam, see page 1.

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


10     “The Branch” deadline for December.

10     General Membership Program: 7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend

          – see details on page 1& 7.

11     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinator: Leona Miller (471-0777)

14     All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Book: A Portrait of an Artist by James Joyce

         Hostess: Ruth Kava (471-0480)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

14     Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference Wrap-up:

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

15     Cuisine: 6:30 pm


         Hostess: Bev Nathan (223-3295)

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


16     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess:  Debbie Luders (223-9397)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745) &

                  Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

16     Photography Club:  7:00 pm

         Hostess: Carol Demicco

         8 Rambling Brook Lane, Poughkeepsie

         Coordinator: Carol Demicco (845-204-9553)

17     Aventures en Soleil: 9:30 am

         Dutchess County Scenic and Historic Driving Tour

         Contact:  Barbara Van Itallie (462-3924)

         Coordinator: Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

18     Poetry and Plays - Emily D to Tennessee: 2:00 pm

         Review/discussion of our adventures at the

         Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival

         Hostess: Cathy Kinn, (462-3196)

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

                  Barbara Hugo

21     Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

         Book: The Marriage of Opposites  by Alice Hoffman

         Hostess: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

         Coordinator: Rochelle Friedman (462-4996)

22     The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: My Brilliant Friend  by Elena Ferrante

         Hostess:  Cyd Averill (485-8266)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)




Art on the Go: Will meet December 2!

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

Bridge II:

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn 

Contemporary Literature:

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

Movie Night:

         Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)

         Producer: Diana Gleeson

Pins & Needles:

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)





         Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)

Pedal Pushers: 

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler




Jan 12, 2017: Stuart Shinske, Executive Editor,

         Poughkeepsie Journal, Unitarian  Fellowship of



Apr 2: Writers’ Tea & Auction, The Links


Apr 21-23, 2017 AAUW-NYS Convention

         Syracuse Doubletree Inn.


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Maria DeWald *266-4960*


Even when I don’t get a chance to play bridge, which I love for many reasons, both through my AAUW Bridge II Interest Group and at the Bridge Center, I attempt to read the Poughkeepsie Journal’s bridge column daily and try my luck at it.  It always begins with a quote of some kind which the author somehow relates to the bridge hand in question.  This particular one, written by Anne Frank (the quote not the bridge hand!), appeared a few days ago: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”.


When I think about AAUW-Poughkeepsie’s eight current Community Initiatives, it surely brings to mind how very true that is.  The chairs of these Initiatives, on their own initiative, saw a way to improve the world and are doing it every day with AAUW support.  One of the Initiative events which is coming up shortly on November 5 is the Live Your Dream Girl’s Conference.  This Conference, a one-day event (with a year’s planning behind it) for 6th and 7th grade girls, seeks to encourage middle school aged girls to dream big about their futures and how they can improve the world.  Hopefully, it will be a life changing event for this young girls at a critical time in their lives and we all know that inspiring a child indeed changes the world.  Want to help or know some girls who might attend.  Please let Diana Babington know (see page 1)!


One of our new STEM Initiatives will be Math Buddies which already has a team of members ready to begin tutoring math at Krieger School in Poughkeepsie.  Helping foster self confidence and belief that hard tasks can be accomplished, indeed changes the world.  Want to get involved, let Barbara Van Itallie know!


Our annual Women of the Year event celebrates Krista Jones of the Sparrow’s Nest.  What started out as trying to improve the world for a close friend diagnosed with cancer by delivering her meals while she was in treatment, is now a 501(c)3 that has delivered meals to over 1000 recipients since its inception in 2012.  Needless to say, that has changed the world for these women and their families.


I think it is what all our AAUW members do, in big and small ways. They seek to positively improve the world we live in.  What can be more important than that! ■



Linda Roberts *227-5287*


Sunday, April 2, 2017 will be our seventh annual Writers’ Tea & Auction, held once again at the Links in Union Vale. This is the only fundraiser that we do all year to support our various programs and initiatives.  Every year since the first one we have made a considerable amount of money and improved on the event thanks to the support and participation of our wonderful members and the continuing work of our committee.  I really want to thank everyone for the amazing job done last year and the beautiful items that were donated to the Auction.


I will be writing an article every month leading up to the April 2 event.  Besides your attendance at the Tea what we need most from members are items to be included in the Auction.


Some of the best sellers at the Auction have been:


Items for children and babies

Gift cards and certificates from local businesses

Original Art and craft items


Creative gift baskets

Activities: lunches, trips, etc.


All of our Interest Groups have been very supportive by donating items. Some have assembled baskets that have sold well.  We are hoping to obtain some big-ticket items this year, please let us know if you have some ideas.  Last year members came up with some very creative, unusual things for our Auction.


I would like to welcome all of our new members and hope that you will participate in this wonderful event.  There are plenty of jobs for everyone so please contact me if you are willing to help and/or have any new ideas.


Also, I have to thank so many of our members who have contributed items to this event every single year!  In addition, my thanks to my outstanding committee, most of who have been with Lula and me for the last seven years.  I will list the committee members in the next newsletter with their contact information.


All of the proceeds from this event are used to support our wonderful community initiatives and scholarships, the very things that make our branch as wonderful as it is.


If you are interested in joining our long-standing committee please contact me. ■




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,

Sandra Goldberg, 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



Linda Roberts *227-5287*


A memorial scholarship has been established at Dutchess Community College through the auspices of AAUW by Linda Beyer in memory of her mother, Wilda Dible Hunt, who recently passed away.  The official designation of the scholarship is Wilda Dible Hunt Memorial Scholarship.  The description is:  This scholarship is being established by Linda Beyer in memory of her mother who was an advocate of higher education for women.


The scholarship is a one-time designation in the amount of $500. ■



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

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


Hats Off to Carol Loizides who will be showing her work with other artists at the Front Street Gallery, 21 Front Street, Patterson NY 12563.  The work will be on exhibit until early December. ■



Susie Blecker *462-7074*


Sheila and I want to extend a big welcome to our newest members:


Lillian Bowers                           Roz Cooper

Lorraine Schwinger        Gail Sisti


                  Welcome back to:


Beverly Hanna                 Ainsley Roth


We hope all of you enjoy being a part of AAUW and that our organization becomes a big part of your life.


Our new member reception on October 13th was a huge success.  Most of our "newbies" joined us and had an opportunity to get to know each other and our board, as well as being treated to great food and a fantastic program presented by Sue McLane on "Utopia, Alternative Societies in the 19th Century."  As we have said before, the secret to getting the most from your membership in our organization is to get involved, so I was thrilled to see so many of you at the meeting.


We want to thank the following people for making the new member reception a success:  Program Chairs, Betsy Kopstein-Stuts and Sandy Goldberg for presenting a fabulous program; Bev Nathan for putting together a great dinner; the board members who brought the yummy desserts; and Mary Coiteux who is always there to lend us a hand. ■



Pat Luczai *463-4662*


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 (1) for $3, Three (3) for $5, or Five (5) 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.



Patricia DeLeo *883-5181*  


Sex, Lies and Videotape


If you have turned on a news channel recently, you might think you are watching a remake of Sex, Lies and Videotape, but you are not.  You are watching the 2016 presidential election campaign.


We have become conscripted voyeurs gazing into the Clintons' and Trumps' windows looking at skeletons that should be hidden, not dangled, as bait for political confrontation.  Male genitalia and women's BMI are campaign debates.  Tee shirts at rallies are so offensive they must be pixilated.  Women should not expect to be advised they will be the victim of sexual assault if in the military simply because they are there.  Allegations of spousal abuse, rape, and infidelity smear reputations , destroy personal lives and families.  While some try to keep the level of discourse at a premium, others sputter profanity and lewdness.  Proponents of equal rights, equal pay, education and childcare become lost in the scandals promoted by yellow journalism in print, on television and on the Internet.


New words appear on a screen's news ticker: truth-o-meter, flip-o-meter and fact checker.  The internet's Truth-O-Meter assigns True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False and the most ridiculous falsehoods get the lowest rating, "Pants on Fire."  The flip-o-meter charts a candidate's change on certain issues.  Fact finder assesses truth quotients on a line by line and subject by subject basis.  At one time we relied on objective sources to report the news and deliver verified reports that were fact checked and creditable.  We weren't worried about truth because it was assumed only "the truth" was presented.  Not today's case.  The speed with which current research tools can bring a candidate's history to surface provides immediate contradictions and falsehoods to shadow a candidate's credibility and knowledge or highlight his or her intelligence and "veritas."  The first presidential debate had Clinton bear truth 191 times, deliver falsehood 72.  Trump showcased 82 truthful statements and bore falsehoods 193 times.  The vice presidential debate was similar.  But a new issue emerges: how are we to believe the fact checkers when we know sources are subjective?


Let's go to the videotape!  There are ingrained images that define this election's debate: the mocking of a disabled reporter and a pneumonia sufferer; bullying; stereotyping of Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers; all Muslims as terrorists; the "wall;" homeless refugees; Miss Universe; derogatory descriptions of women; coiffures covered with red ball caps.  Who will forget the faces of Khizr and Ghazala Khan as they movingly described their son’s sacrifice for the United States as they mourned Captain Khizr's death in Iraq while pledging allegiance to the U.S.  There is the endless loop of email servers and tax form demands while discussing if Global warming was invented by the Chinese.  Did you support the war in Iraq?  We have the tape.  There is a recording.  Have you ever been featured in soft porn?  We have the films.  Going to a football game?  We know your stance on violence in America before the opening of the game.  It's on instant replay.


It's time to turn the channel and end the movie.  Instead of the trash and propaganda that has defined this election, we must insist that whoever is president must work a pro women agenda.  AAUW will continue to press for the safety and welfare of women in the military; passage of the Fair Paycheck Bill and other programs to insure economic self sufficiency; constitutional protection of choice; health care for all; education opportunity for girls and women; access to vote for all; social justice for a diverse society.  Only you can change the channel.

Vote November 8!!



Barbara Van Itallie,


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, , 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 




Carol Demicco *845-204-9553*


Do you enjoy taking pictures but would like to improve and help others improve? 


Announcing a new interest group for AAUW. 


We are just getting organized!  We are planning to meet all year.  Our first meeting will be November 16, 7 pm at my house, 8 Rambling Brook Lane, Poughkeepsie.


We will be including such activities as photo shoots, museum visits, guest speakers, helpful tricks for better pictures and a yearly exhibit of our work.


Meetings will give each person a chance to show one or two photos and receive a friendly critic of their work. ■



Barbara Van Itallie


Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW is pleased to partner with Literacy Connections on a new initiative, Math Buddies.  The program is modeled after Literacy Connection’s very successful Book Buddies where volunteers go into elementary school to assist children with reading.


For Math Buddies, volunteers will go to the Krieger Elementary School in the City of Poughkeepsie to help children with math.  In some cases, the volunteer will be sitting in the classroom during the math lesson, helping a child or two to keep up with the day’s lesson or to review.  In other cases the volunteer will take the child out of class to review or practice the math topics as supplied by the teacher. Math Buddies can be provided with classroom materials ahead of time.  Volunteers and teachers together will find a convenient time for this, approximately once a week. 


I personally have done this for several years and find it extremely rewarding.  Assisting the children with math is sorely needed.  Some AAUW members have already volunteered and are beginning this month.  Please contact me if you might be interested in joining us. ■



Hurricane Matthew Relief

Lila Meade *845/797-2123*


Editor Note: AAUW member Lila Meade leads a project at Vassar College for the benefit of the people of Haiti. 


The Vassar Haiti Project serves 7,000 wonderful Haitian people in an area that global aid never gets to and we will be giving funds to artists and artisans who have lost their homes in the south. 


As the ambassador to Haiti just said on CNN “please look for local Haitian Organizations to give to as they are prepared and already on the ground… they will support the money getting to where it needs faster and less likely to be diverted where it shouldn’t go."


A note from our partner on the ground in Haiti:


Dear Meades:

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.  The people lost all their farms and animals. Now they don't have any economic source.  A new challenge for me to assist them.  Keep praying for us please!

Regards and Peace, Père André Wildaine


While he didn’t mention it, we are afraid that homes, roofs and water supplies are damaged which means Cholera.  These are subsistence farmers - so losing crops and animals can mean months of severe malnutrition, and for some starvation and disease that accompany it.  For these mountain villagers it will be the hidden cost of the worst hurricane in a generation and for them much more devastating than the earthquake.  These are the people that sheltered and fed thousands after the earthquake who fled to the hills of Haiti.


If you would like to help us support these efforts, please contact me.  Our organization is fifteen years old and we have enough direct contacts in Haiti that the money will support those in need.  Lila Meade,,



Taken from the Poughkeepsie Journal on Sept. 14, 2016


Millbrook, NY - Phyllis Davison Teasdale died Saturday, September 10, at her home at The Fountains following a brief illness.  She was 93 years old, born November 3, 1922 in Poughkeepsie.  She was a lifelong Poughkeepsie resident, a teacher in the Arlington School District, at Dutchess Community College, SUNY New Paltz and Vassar College, a world traveler and a prolific poet of rhyming verse.


She graduated from Arlington High School in 1939 and from Vassar College in 1943 with a bachelor's degree in Spanish Language and Literature.  In 1941 and 1943 she studied at the University of Mexico.  She later studied at Columbia University Teachers College and the University of Madrid.  She earned her master's degree from Vassar in 1967.


Mrs. Teasdale was an active member of the AAUW, Junior League and the First Congregational Church United Church of Christ Poughkeepsie, and was a volunteer guide for Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College.  She also served as a volunteer translator for Spanish-speaking defendants held at the Dutchess County Jail.


In 1944, she married Maj. John Moffett Teasdale in Poughkeepsie.  He died in 1973.  She is survived by a daughter, Holly Teasdale Brunelli,  and 2 sons Parry Teasdale and Christopher Teasdale.  Her sister, Katherine Jean Davison Moore, died previously.


After retiring from teaching she traveled frequently, eventually visiting at least 25 different countries on five continents.  She also wrote original poems for public occasions and private events, like birthdays and holiday gatherings.  The verse, which she could sometimes recite from memory as her eyesight failed in later years, was specific to the topic and accessible to all listeners.  Among her notes was one typical example:


Arthur-itis, Rheumatiz

- no matter what your ailment is -

hiccups, rashes, flashes-hot

be glad for what you haven't got!


At her direction, there will be a "Celebration of Life" memorial service on April 29, 2017, at the Vassar Alumnae House. Donations in her memory can be sent to Planned Parenthood.


Condolences may be sent to her children at:

Holly Brunelli, 25 Royal Lane, Raymond, NH 03077,

Parry Teasdale, 38 Kinderhook Street, Chatham, NY, 12037,  Chris Teasdale, 11 Dinner Pot Rd., California, NJ, 07830 ■



Jacqueline Goffe-McNish *471-7220*


The Diversity Committee has decided to sponsor two community events as a part of their program for 2016/2017. 


*    A collection of personal hygiene items for the shelter for runaway girls at Riverhaven.  The items for the girls will be collected this year and sent to the home in December.  Our plan is to begin to collect the items in the November monthly meeting.  Please bring deodorant, lotion, soap, tooth paste and tooth brush, small wash cloth, shampoo, conditioner, small comb, or small brush.  We will place one of each item in a container for the girls.  We encourage you to “fill a bag” or bring lots of one item.  Any contribution will be greatly appreciated.


*    A “Holiday Party” will be held early in 2017.  Watch for the announcement in the December newsletter. 




Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie at

67 South Randolph Ave. can be accessed from Hooker Ave. or take Route 9 to Sharon Dr (near Holiday Inn).  At the end of Sharon turn left onto Beechwood then the first right onto Ferris Lane, next an immediate left to S. Randolph.  The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie is on the right. ■


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:                               

NY State website:

Poughkeepsie Branch website: 


AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.


In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership.  There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or class.


The Branch is published ten times a year, September through June, by the Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc.  Send articles to the editor: Margaret Nijhuis, (635-8612).