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 8                                                               61st year of publication                         

Follow us at                                                                                    April  2017





We need you at the Tea!!  This event supports all the wonderful projects and events that you have grown to love as part of Poughkeepsie AAUW.  A great deal of work has gone into making this a lovely afternoon – please come & bring your friends (men and women will enjoy this event).


Following are some additional items from the Auction!


Earrings Donated by Lillian DePasquale

Overnight at B&B

Wine baskets!

Restaurant Certificates!


Items will be accepted until March 25, 2017!


                  Contact Linda Roberts






Writers' Tea & Auction


This event supports our local and national scholarships and our Community Services! 


Sunday, April 2, 2017

2:30 ~ 6:00 pm


The Links at Union Vale

153 North Parliman Rd., Lagrangeville, NY



Jim DeFelice

“American Wife” and “American Sniper”


Lesa Cline-Ransome

“Light in the Darkness: A Story of How Slaves Learned in Secret” and “Freedom’s School


High Tea

We will be welcomed with champagne, light drinks and hors d'oeuvres as we arrive and browse the silent auction items.  The writers’ presentations will be accompanied by high tea.


Silent Auction

A silent auction of hand-crafted items and services donated by our members, local businesses and craftsmen. Checks or cash only.


See below for reservation details.

See below for directions & seating.

See below for menu & program.


Deadline March 22, 2016





 Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


2       General Membership Program: 2:30 pm

         Writers’ Tea & Auction

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend

          – see details throughout the newsletter

3       Word Games: 1:30 pm

         Hostess: Sharon Fleurie (471-7261)

         Coordinator: Betsy Vivas (485-2379)

4       World Travelers: 7:00 pm

         Thailand presented by Karen Goodman

         Hostess: Beth Divine (297-5032)

         Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


6       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

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

10     “The Branch” deadline for May

10     All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

         Hostess: Bonnie Auchincloss

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

11     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

12     Pedal Pushers: 10:00 am

         Bike to Hopewell Junction, 12-13 miles

         Meeting point: Gold’s Gym rail trail parking lot

         Leader: Sheila Zweifler (462-6478)

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler

14     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Books: The Expatriates by Janice Y. L. Lee &

         The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo LeeBook:

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinator: Leona Miller (471-0777)

17     Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

         Book: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

         Hostess: Marge Moran (266-5109)

         Coordinator: Rochelle Friedman (462-4996)

18     Poetry and Plays - Emily D to Tennessee: 12:30 pm

         Edna St. Vincent Millay exhibit, Vassar College

         Meet for lunch at 12:30 at the Beech Tree Grill

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

                  Barbara Hugo

18     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Cuisine of Upstate New York

         Hostess:  Betty Olson (889-4836)

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


19     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Lillian DePasquale (462-4729)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745

20     Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

         Athena’s, 1165 Rt. 55, Lagrangeville

         Contacts: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504)

                  Kay Saderholm (229-8545) 


21-23        AAUW-NYS Convention

         Syracuse Doubletree Inn. 


22     Trekkers: 10:00 am

         The Walkway Over the Hudson Loop

         Meet at the Poughkeepsie parking lot

         Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)

22     Bridge 3: 10:00 am

         Hostess: Carol Mastropietro (221-8861)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

25     The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: H is for Hawk by Gertrude MacDonald

         Hostess: Barbara Markell (471-8810)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

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

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch

         Contact Blanche (462-3955) by 4/26

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

26     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

         Hostess: Anne Valentino (221-2591)

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

27     Bridge II: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Red Lobster, Route 9, Poughkeepsie

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn 

27     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

         Project: Ikebana

         Hostess: Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)      

28     Art on the Go: 11:00 am

         Images of Internment, a photographic exhibition

          at the FDR Library

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

28     Aventures en Soleil: 11:15 am

         Guided tour of Art Galleries in Beacon

         and lunch at a Beacon Restaurant.

         Cost is $25, not including lunch

         Contact: Bonnie Auchincloss (635-5191)


         Coordinator: Ruth Sheets (473-6202)


Photography Club:

         Field Trip – Time and date to be announced.

         Coordinator: Carol Demicco (204-9553

Diversity: Out of One Many People:

         Contact Coordinator

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish




Jun 8: Annual Meeting, Poughkeepsie Grand, 6:00 pm,

         See below

Nov 4 Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference, Dutchess

          Community College


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Maria DeWald *266-4960*


If ignorance is bliss, conscientiousness can sometimes be, if not horrible, unsettling.  It can also be exhausting when ordinary awareness seems to require extra vigilance every day or extra time is needed in trying to figure out where to spend your time or when the normally doable task of staying informed is just more difficult than usual.  I am fairly sure it is not just me feeling this way but being “ignorant” in order to feel “blissful” is surely not an option, at least the majority of the time.


We are all best at something…working with kids, teaching, cooking, gardening, consensus-building.  We are all most passionate about particular issues…battered women’s services, environmental degradation, gender equality, educational opportunities for all, and so forth.  I for one would have trouble if someone asked me to choose only one issue/passion.  But, if that is what it takes to be effective in this time of rapid change, to have the energy to pursue our passions, pick one at least, and, as the famous actor Laurence Olivier said, “Keep your eyes open and get on with it.”!  Between all of us, we can hopefully cover all the issues AAUW cares about.


A personal request is to make sure one of those priorities is the Writers’ Tea and Silent Auction on Sunday April 2.  As most of you know this is our Branch’s ONLY fundraiser.  It serves as the base support for all of our Community Service Initiatives and scholarships/awards.  We have two exceptional authors coming, and the auction is quite unique as it is filled with many items made by our members from beautiful paintings and photos to lovely jewelry to creative baskets. Please try to attend.  It is open to the public so bring your spouse, your friend, your neighbor, your colleague. You will enjoy yourself and help AAUW Poughkeepsie immeasurably.


Also, at National AAUW’s Convention in June, they will be putting forward a Bylaws amendment regarding a possible new membership category.  Look for an email about when and how you can all vote online as members during April.


‘Til then, as we spring into SPRING, be well and be energized………………………Maria



Auction item:

Child’s Tunic

Size 6 – 8

Handmade by

Sue Osterhoudt



Margaret Nijhuis


§  Set your GPS for
153 North Parliman Road, Union Vale, NY 12540

§  Go to  and click on
Writers’ Tea & Auction Directions

§      Follow these directions:



An explanation of seating at the Writers’ Tea & Auction

Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


Just so everyone is comfortable at our Writers’ Tea, we wanted to remind you of the seating arrangement.  There are no reserved tables (except for the authors, of course) just OPEN SEATING.  


Please still get a group of friends from your AAUW interest group or project, family members, colleagues, neighbors, etc together and come a bit early and claim your own seats.  There will be slips of paper available for you to write your name and place it on a table at the seat of your choice.  On the other hand, coming on your own has the advantage of meeting someone new in AAUW!


The dining room will be open when you arrive.  You can “stake your claim” on a seat and then proceed to the wonderful auction area.  




Thursday, June 8, 2017

6:00 pm


The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel


Guest Speaker:


Sandra Opdycke*

When Women Won the Vote


*See below for biography.



8th Annual Writers' Tea & Auction

                           A benefit for the AAUW Scholarship Funds, Community Services and Events


Sunday, April 2, 2017       2:30 ~ 6:00 pm

The Links at Union Vale

153 North Parliman Rd., Lagrangeville, NY

Jim DeFelice


Author of American Sniper, American Wife, Fighting Blind and some fifty other works of fiction and non-fiction.  Jim’s works have appeared and debuted on the NY Times Best Seller List fifteen times.


Lesa Cline-Ransome


Writer of numerous children’s books and winner of many awards, Lesa will share stories from Light In The Darkness: A Story of How Slaves Learned in Secret and the companion book, Freedom's School.  Her newest book, Germs, will be released in 2017.


High Tea

We will be welcomed with champagne, light drinks and hors d'oeuvres as we arrive and browse the silent auction items.  The writers’ presentations will be accompanied by high tea.



Silent Auction

A silent auction of hand-crafted items and services donated by our members, local businesses and craftsmen.  Checks or cash only.



Reservations---Please RSVP by March 22, 2017


Name__________________________________________________________________                                                                                                                               Phone____________________________




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


The cost is $60 per person/$62 using PayPal.  Enclosed $______ for _____ attendee(s).


Make checks payable to: “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.” [$20 of the fee is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law]

Mail to: Patricia DeLeo, PO Box 542, Plattekill, NY 12568



To make reservations using PayPal, on, select the homepage link to the tea, then select the yellow (PayPal Donate) button and follow the onscreen directions.  When PayPal asks for special instructions to Seller, click in that box and type tea, your phone number and the full name(s) of those included in your reservation.  You do not need a PayPal account to use this method.  You do not have to contact the tea committee separately.  The cost for the event when using PayPal is $62 per person.

Questions:  845/883-5181,


Open seating, no table reservations.


If you are unable to attend but would like to support our scholarship funds, community initiatives and events please write a check payable to "Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc." and mail it to Patricia DeLeo at the address above or use PayPal.

Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc. is a nonprofit organization [501(c)(3)] that works to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. 



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)


Anonymous, Catherine Albanese, Lula Allen,

Carol Barmann, Mary Ann Boylan, Marguerite Cotter,

Lillian DePasquale, Ruth Gau, Gloria Gibbs,

Sandra Goldberg, Elizabeth Harrel, Joanne Long,

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



Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


At the November 2016 program “Understanding Islam” many of you brought items for the residents at River Haven Youth Shelter.  The Diversity Initiative would like to express our appreciation for your help and following is a note from the staff and resident:

To: The American Association of University Women,


Residents and staff of River Haven Youth Shelter would like to thank you all for your very generous donation of cosmetics.  Our current and future residents will definitely utilize and appreciate all of it. We hope you have a wonderful holiday!


From: River Haven Staff & Residents



Jacqueline Goffe-McNish



Memories are made when gathered around the table.


Members are invited to submit their favorite recipe to be published in a cookbook.  This is a cookbook with a TWIST.  Each recipe will be accompanied by a story.  This can be a story about the recipe, the history of the recipe, the significance of the recipe, or a funny story related to the preparing or consuming of the meal prepared from the recipe.


Please submit by April 23, 2017 to:

Jacqueline Goffe-McNish

29 Wood Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603  845-471-7220




*      Our tea starts at 2:30 in the afternoon. 

*      You will be greeted by our wonderful team from “Leading to Reading.” 

*      You may then proceed to the dining room and select your seat for the afternoon (cards will be provided for you to write your name and place it at the seat you desire).

*      Please immediately continue to the auction area where you will be greeted with a glass of champagne or light drinks and a selection of hors d’oeuvres which will be passed to our guests.  All bidding is done at this time.  No bidding after the program starts or at intermission – just raffle tickets.

*      Once the program starts, your first course will be scones with clotted cream and jam accompanied by tea from Harney & Sons Fine Teas.  NEW this year, a garden crudité will be included.

*      Following the first author there will be a short intermission for final raffle tickets sales. 

*      Then back for more food in the form of a variety of tea sandwiches.  There will be a gluten free option (chicken salad on bed of lettuce) but must be ordered when you make your reservation.

*      Following the second author, we will have dessert and fruit.

*     The afternoon concludes with the awarding of the auction items.  Remember to bring your checkbook and be sure to pick up any items that you have won.



Peggy Kelland *297-0507*


We held a "Paper Crafts" workshop at R.C. Ketcham H.S. in January.  16 girls in grades 6-12 made collages using a variety of techniques.  Mary Coiteux, Mary Ann Boylan, Gwen Higgins, and Chris Petty assisted the girls.


On February 10, we presented "New Cuisines" to 15 middle school age girls at Zion Episcopal Church.  The girls learned to prepare and cook historical, regional, and international dishes at stations led by Gwen, Chris, Amelia Roger, Lynda Byrne, and Gabriella Drasny.  We all enjoyed the resulting dinner.


The following day Gwen and I facilitated, "A-Maze," a Girl Scout Journey on relationships for 6th-8th grade girls.  Through interactive games and discussion groups, 34 girls from three counties explored first impressions, stereotyping, friendships, peer pressure, cliques, and bullying.  The enthusiasm of the girls and their leaders said this was time well spent.


On March 5, saw a repeat of the popular jewelry making workshop for the Piggy Bank Bazaar at New Hackensack Reformed Church.  This year, with girls in 4th & 5th grades as well as the older girls, there were 70 participants.  It was again led by Carol Ray and Joan Kavanaugh, with assistance from Girl Scout leaders and AAUW members.


Our final program for this year will be a nature program on the sky, led by naturalist Chris Petty at R.C. Ketcham H.S. (second floor cafeteria) from 6:30-8:30 pm on Friday, April 7.  All AAUW members are welcome to assist or just observe.



Patricia DeLeo *883-5181*  

Guest author: Mary Coiteux


Dear Editor and Branch members,


On February 23, I had the good fortune to attend the Diversity Initiative’s presentation on Undocumented Students.  The speaker told her story about what it is like to be living as an undocumented student.  She has been able to graduate from New Paltz and is currently planning to attend graduate school if her status is upheld by the current Administration.  She is one of the many students who were brought into the country as children and essentially know no other home.


Under current law, undocumented immigrants wishing to attend college are unable to receive state financial aid in most states, are ineligible for federal loans, and their undocumented status prevents them from legally working to pay for college.


I was horrified to learn that whatever her educational achievements are they will not provide her with a realistic path way to citizenship.  Even worse, is her temporary status can be revoked at anytime depending on the wishes of the current administration.  She never knows if deportation is right around the corner.  If she is deported she is very concerned that, although she speaks Spanish, she is not literate enough to continue her education even if she could find a way to support herself in that country she no longer knows.  I shudder to think what it would be like to have no family or social network to fall back on.


I am glad to know that AAUW supports the Dream Act


The DREAM Act would allow undocumented students who entered the United States before age 16 and lived here at least five years to gain permanent legal status and eventual citizenship if they attend college or join the military for at least two years.  Further, these students must display good moral character in order to qualify.  An estimated 65,000 undocumented students each year are denied the opportunity to go to college.  By the year 2018, it is estimated that there will be 16 million new jobs where postsecondary education will most likely be necessary.  As the skill requirements of jobs continue to increase, so too should access to post secondary education for students.


Additionally, in December 12, 2016, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced the BRIDGE Act, bipartisan legislation whose intent is to allow people who are eligible for or who have received work authorization and temporary relief from deportation through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to continue living in the U.S. with permission from the federal government.


We do not know what the plans are for these unfortunate students.  This is why I feel that it is critical to let our representatives know we want them to support a pathway to citizenship for them.



Mary Coiteux



Eileen Hayden & Barbara Hespenheide


In the past few issues of The Branch, we have been delving into the history of the Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW.  Branch archives are a wonderful source of information on our shared past, as well as personal accounts of some of the initiatives that personify the contributions to the community we continue to make.  The following account by Margaret Nijhuis is a fine example.


In March, 1978, Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, City of Poughkeepsie Historian, presented a slide lecture to members of the Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of University Women.  Inspired by Mrs. Carter's presentation, the Branch decided to produce a film that would depict the rich and significant, yet often unappreciated history of Poughkeepsie.  Margaret Nijhuis, then president of AAUW, contacted Dr. James B. Steerman, an independent filmmaker and Director of the Film Workshop at Vassar College, and the film was thus conceived.


Funding came from many area businesses, Area Fund of Dutchess County and Educational Foundation of AAUW and, of course, our own always amazing members.


Although the film endeavored to describe as much of the past as could be adequately presented in a one hour work.  Three important moments in the history of Poughkeepsie provided a focus: the New York State Convention, held here in 1788 to ratify the U.S. Constitution; the construction of the Great Railroad Bridge across the Hudson, completed in 1888; and the urban renewal and cultural rebirth of the city which pointed the way toward Poughkeepsie's tri-centennial in 1987.


The film, “A City on the Hudson” premiered at the Bardavon in 1983, to a full house for two showings.  The film was available at local libraries for many years.  It is a project that saw many viewings in the early years.  Technology changes and the color disappeared from the VHS copies.  Today, there are DVD copies available but only in a sepia tone.


In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the film.  In 2014 parts of the film were used in the documentary “Hudson Rising: Stories of Revival from the Hudson Valley” by Jasper Goldman.


In 2016, Jane Watson produced the documentary “Crossing Waters” and used the film as a resource.


This semester Professor Erica Avrami, PhD and the James Marston Fitch Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University is teaching a studio class “PAST AS PROLOGUE: Preservation as a Tool for Social Inclusion Poughkeepsie, NY.”   Our film will be viewed by students as part of the class.  A description of her class is available on our website under Resources/Useful Links. 


Our impact continues.




Sandy Goldberg *297-7670*




AAUW, as a service to our members, will be offering a Defensive Driving Course at Uno’s in the Town of Poughkeepsie from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.


Course will be given by AAUW member Michelle Paolicelli.


Reduce insurance premiums

Reduce points

Take the course with friends and likeminded people for a fun time!


Please let Betsy Kopstein (845-416-4754 or 845-485-7044

know if you plan to attend.


Cost will be $22.00 plus whatever you order for lunch.



Continued from page 3...


Speaker for our Annual Dinner

Judy Linville


Sandra Opdycke graduated from Vassar College in 1957.  After raising three daughters, she worked in mental health for a number of years and then in her fifties, earned a Ph.D. in U.S. History at Columbia University.  Ms. Opdycke taught at Bard, Vassar, and Marist Colleges.  She also wrote a history of Bellevue Hospital and the Routledge Historical Atlas of Women in America, as well as co-authoring several books on social policy.  In retirement, Ms. Opdycke continues to write and is currently working on a book about women’s suffrage.  She is an occasional lecturer at Bard’s Center for Lifelong Learning.


Ms. Opdycke’s talk at the AAUW dinner, “When Women Won the Vote” will describe the 70-plus year campaign that culminated in the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.  She will discuss the notable energy and creativity of the New York State suffrage campaign, 1912-17.  In addition, Ms. Opdycke will highlight dilemmas the suffragists faced that are still relevant today—such as whether to pursue reforms at the state or federal level, how to widen the circle of involvement, and whether the best way to change people’s minds is through conciliation or confrontation.  Having the vote was certainly no magic bullet, but winning it was an essential step forward in the long history of American women’s struggle for equal rights.



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*


Hats off to member Gabriella Drasny for earning her MA in adolescent education.  Gabriella previously taught social studies at the middle school level in Hungary before she came to this country in 1999.  She loves teaching children and is looking forward to her new teaching career in America.



Susie Blecker *462-7074*

Sheila Zweifler *462-6478*


Happy Spring to all our members.  April is the month when our branch begins to look forward to two important annual events. The first is our Annual Writers’ Tea which will be on Sunday, April 2nd at the Links in Union Vale.  We rely on the monies we receive from this, our only fundraiser, to support our many programs and initiatives throughout the year.  Your support of the Tea is vital to the success of our organization. Other details can be found in the newsletter.


Our second event is that it’s AAUW membership renewal time for the coming year, which runs from July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018.  The notices will be mailed the end of April and you should be receiving them at the beginning of May.  The annual dues are $78.  There is a raffle for four free memberships.  We will have a drawing for these freebies at the end of the annual dinner in June.  Make life easy for yourself and the membership committee by immediately writing out a check or paying your dues through PayPal ($80).  The board has decided that if a member has not paid her dues by September 15th, she will not receive the branch newsletter, be able to participate in any AAUW activities, and be listed in the Membership Directory.  Once a member pays, her AAUW privileges will be reinstated.  Thanking you in advance for your help and cooperation.


We want to give a warm welcome to two new members, Maureen Logan and Jan Halsbond.  We hope to see you at our Writers’ Tea and monthly meetings as well as our interest groups and initiatives.  We also want to wish a fond farewell to Mary (Mame) Dimock who is moving to Idaho.


If you have any questions or concerns, please call or email us.


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).