Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Celebrating Our Legacy, Enhancing Our Future



Volume 31, Number 2                                                               62nd year of publication                              

Follow us at                                                                                             October 2017







Mariel Fiori



12 – 3 pm

Beekman Arms, Rhinebeck


Complete information on page 7 and at




Sponsored by Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.


Moving Forward: Influencing the Future


Ø  How can AAUW members make our voices heard?

Ø  Presentations on
 Health, Education and Governance


Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 8:45 am – 2:00 pm

Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory


Complete information on page 4 and at




Here Comes the Judge .... and Comptroller


Candidates Forum: Tuesday, October 10, 7:00 pm

The Unitarian Fellowship

67 South Randolph Ave, Poughkeepsie


Meet the candidates for State Supreme District 9 (Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester Counties): 

Christi Acker and Linda Murray.


Jim Coughlan and Robin Lois are this year's candidates for Dutchess County Comptroller.  Ms. Lois will be in attendance while Mr. Coughlan will not be present nor will a representative from his office.


Complete information on page 6 and at


FOUR - GO to 4 great events in October!!


Bettering our Community: Using Resources Wisely


Thursday, October 12, 2017, 7:00 pm


The Barn, Vassar College Environmental Cooperative


50 Vassar Farm Lane, Poughkeepsie


Ø  Do we recycle as many eligible items as possible?

Ø  How can extra food be recycled?

Ø  Is there a way to “share” unused items with others?


Our October meeting will help provide answers to these and many other questions about recycling.


Bettering Our Community will be presented by Atticus Lanigan,* General Manager of Zero to Go, and Siennah Yang,* Branch Head of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine.


Additional resources, such as the extensive AAUW list of area recycling opportunities, will also be discussed.*


The program is co-sponsored by the Vassar College Environmental Cooperative.  We hope to see you there!


*Additional information on page 5 and at


Directions:  Turn onto Vassar Farms Lane at the junction of Raymond Avenue and Hooker Avenue (New Hackensack Road).  Follow the road across the small bridge.  The barn is located across the parking lot from the Poughkeepsie Farm Project.  Although the parking lot is adequate, carpooling is recommended.



Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


2       Word Games: 1:30 pm

         Hostess: Barbara Van Itallie (462-3024)

         Coordinator: Susan Doyle (914/474-1232)

2 & 16 & 30     Live Your Dream Conference Committee:

         4:30 pm (note new time). See page 6.

         DCC, Hudson Hall, Room 315. 

3       World Travelers: 7:00 pm


         Hostess & Presenter: Claudette Hennessey

         Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


5       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

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

9       All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Book: A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

         Hostess: Karin Fein,

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

9 & 23 Days for Girls: 3 – 6:30 pm

         Vassar Hospital Conference Room A, page 8.

10     Candidates Forum: 7:00 pm.  Page 6.

         The Unitarian Fellowship

         67 South Randolph Ave, Poughkeepsie

10     “The Branch” deadline for November

10     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

11     Pedal Pushers: 10:00 am

         Bike to Millerton, 16 miles

         Meeting point: Rail Trail Parking lot Rt. 343, Amenia

         Last trip this year, watch for our return in April.

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler

12     General Membership Program: 7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend

          – see details on page 1 & 5.

13     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nyugen

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinator: Leona Miller (471-0777)

14     Bridge III: 10:00 am

         Hostess: Carol Mastropietro (221-8862)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

16     Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

         Book: The Gentleman in Moscow by Thi Bui

         Hostess: Carol Gray (471-1168)

         Coordinator: Shelly Friedman (462-4996)

17     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Cuisine of North Spain

         Hostesses: Blanche Bergman (462-3955) &

                  Sheridan Goldstein (473-3778)

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


18     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Anne Valentino (221-2591)

         Coordinators: Linda Ronayne (897-9745

18     Photography Club: 7:00 pm

         Hostess: Contact Coordinator

         Coordinator: Carol Demicco (845-204-9553

19     Aventures en Soleil:

         Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton CT

         Contact: Pat Luczai (463-4662)

         To hold place send $5 check to Pat Luczai,

         8 Bridgewater Way, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

         Coordinator: Janna Whearty (546-9190)

19     Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

         Shadows on the Hudson, 176 Rinaldi Blvd., Poughkeepsie

         Contacts: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504)

                  Kay Saderholm (229-8545) 

20     Poetry and Plays - Emily D to Tennessee: 1:45 pm

         Discussion: How We Became Human by Joy Harjo

         Hostess: Maria DeWald (266-4960)

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

                  Barbara Hugo

21     District IV Program.  Details on page 4.

21     Poetry and Plays - Emily D to Tennessee: 1:30 pm

         Reading by Joy Harjo at the Boardman Road Library

24     The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

         Hostess: Cyd Averill (485-2866)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

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

         Hostess: Margaret Nijhuis, (635-8612)

         Contact Blanche (462-3955) by 10-23

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

25     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

         Hostess: Contact Coordinators

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

26     Bridge II: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Red Lobster, Route 9, Poughkeepsie

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn 

26     Diversity: Out of One Many People: 5:30 pm

         Topic: Contact Coordinator 

         Location: Contact Coordinator

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


26     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

         Project: Origami star box

         Hostess: Joann Clark (876-5189)

         Coordinators: Pat Luczai (463-4662) &

                  Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)

27     Art on the Go: 10:00 am

         Contact Coordinator

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

29     Woman of the Year: Details page 7.


Trekkers: Watch for Tori’s Emails

         Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)



PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Maria DeWald *266-4960*


“You cannot be at home with yourself unless you act.”  This quote by John Lewis rings true for me in every regard.  I know it is also true for our organization as it strives to change the climate for women and girls, just as it must be for every advocacy group.  And, I believe it to be true for every member of AAUW Poughkeepsie in some way.  Let me share a few actions I have noted just in the last few weeks.


As we held our Open House at the beginning of September, action was abundant!  Whether in the form of informative tri-folds or giving up an evening to represent an Interest Group, Initiative or Committee, or bringing goodies to share, it was clear.  It was clear that our capable VPs for Membership, Susie Blecker and Sheila Zweifler, watched over every detail of that evening.  It was clear in the beautiful Membership Booklet, now online, edited by Claudette Hennessey and the new business cards designed by Barbara Hugo and Cyd Averill. These are all big jobs and were all beautifully done.  It was clear even in the short presentations throughout the evening, summing up in a few words what has been months of planning and action on behalf of our membership.


Just in the month of October our Board and our membership will present options for attending our:

Ø Annual Women of the Year Luncheon in recognition of a community activist, Mariel Fiori

Ø the hosting of the AAUW District IV Conference centered on “Moving Forward” to make our voices heard on education, health and governance issues

Ø our New Member Reception, followed by our monthly membership program focused on sustainability through environmental action

Ø  Candidates Forum spotlighting County candidates who seek to make our community better through their actions, as well as help inform our voting actions in November.


I hope we will see your membership in action through your attendance at many of these events.


It is hard not to be motivated and proud of working with such a dedicated, passionate group of leaders and members.  As we get back to AAUW business this fall, may your actions on behalf of AAUW not only strengthen our organization but also help each one of us “be at home with ourselves.”



Susie Blecker *462-7074*

Sheila Zweifler *462-6478*


We want to extend a warm welcome to all of our new members who joined the Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW at the September Open house.  We hope that you will have a wonderful year and enjoy the many activities our Branch offers. Our Branch has 21 Interest Groups and 7 Community Service Initiatives as well as monthly meetings featuring guest speakers.  We have annual events like the Woman of the Year Luncheon, the Writer’s Tea and Benefit Auction, and the Annual Dinner.  We offer something for everyone.  This is an opportunity for you to meet other smart women who share your interests.


The choice of what kind of member you will be is yours.  If you don’t make an effort to join an interest group, a committee, or work with a community initiative group, you will miss the many benefits of AAUW and particularly our Poughkeepsie AAUW Branch.  If you become involved and take an active role in AAUW, you will broaden your horizons and have fun while making many new friends.  We know it is hard to go to a meeting or activity alone.  When we were new members, we felt the same way.  But we were always welcomed by the members and made to feel comfortable.


Your next opportunity to meet other members will be on Thursday, October 12th at 6:00 pm at The Barn at Vassar College Environmental Cooperative at 50 Vassar Farm Lane, Poughkeepsie.  It is the New Members’ reception followed by our monthly meeting at 7:00 pm.  The topic is current recycling projects in our community.  We hope that you will be able to join us.


The September Open House would not have been such a success without the help of the following people:


Mary Anne Hogarty, our membership treasurer and Claudette Hennessy, our database manager, who did a tremendous job meeting and registering prospective members, Barbara Lemberger and her volunteers who supplied the refreshments, Bonnie Auchincloss and Pat Luczai who took the photographs, Mary Coiteux who helped set up the room and table arrangements, Mary Scalise-Annis who signed in our current members, Margaret Nijhuis and Sue Osterhoudt who set up the sound system, and Maria DeWald, our President, who brought supplies and always supports us in all our endeavors.  In addition, we would like to thank all the volunteers from the interest groups and community initiatives who escorted prospective members and made them feel welcome. ■


Welcome to our newest members:


Cornelia Girth                    Leah Feldman

Debbie Hansen                  Lata Hotchandani

Kathy MacCarthy              Linnea Masson        

Carolyn McLaughlin        Janice Sabellico

Manjit Sethi                       Marcia Stein Suzanne Ward




My husband, Rolf, and I were the winners of a gift certificate for a night at Bykenhulle House, a lovely 1841 B&B in Hopewell Junction.  This was one of the many amazing items offered at our Writers’ Tea & Benefit Auction last April.


We arrived around 4 pm on a beautiful sunny afternoon.  We were greeted by Maria, the very gracious innkeeper, who gave us a tour of the house (with ballroom) and a look at our beautiful room with brass bed, Jacuzzi, sitting area and antique furniture.  We next had coffee (or tea) with homemade cookies on the patio in the back of the house – a daily occurrence.  We took a walk through the beautifully manicured gardens and generally enjoyed the grounds and the public rooms of the house, all furnished with antiques.


We had dinner in Beacon.  The next morning at breakfast we met the other guests from PA, OR, and CT.  The owner,  William Beausoleil, joined us and totally entertained everyone.  He is 87 years old, an IBM Fellow with 129 patents and publications.  He and Rolf could have talked all day.  Bill has had a fascinating life, one that begs for a book to be written.


We want to thank Vivian Rose for making the initial contact and suggest that all of you look for the certificate in next years’ auction, April 15, 2018.  Whether you want it for yourself or a special gift, it is truly a lovely experience right in our own backyard. ■




Nov 4: Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference, DCC,

         page 6.


         Woman’s Journey From Pakistani Muslim To

         American Muslim" by Sabeeha Rehman, page 8.

Apr 15, 2018: Writers’ Tea & Benefit Auction,

         The Links, page 4

Apr 20-22, 2018 AAUW-NYS Convention, Cortland




Sponsored by Poughkeepsie

Branch AAUW, Inc.


Moving Forward: Influencing the Future


Ø  How can AAUW members make our voices heard?

Ø  Presentations on Health, Education and Governance.


Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017


Location: Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, an urban renewal project in the City of Poughkeepsie (8 North Cherry Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601).  Parking available behind the building.



8:45 - 9:15 Registration and refreshments


9:15 - 9:30 Opening Remarks: Hudson River Housing


9:30 - 10:25 Session One: Women’s Health: The current status of women’s access to affordable health care and the impact of defunding Planned Parenthood.  Speaker from Planned Parenthood


10:35 - 11:30 Session Two: Women and Education: Latest information on status of public schools, charter schools, vouchers and potential State Constitutional Convention.  Speaker from New York State Union of Teachers (NYSUT).


11:30 - 12:15 Catered Lunch


12:15 - 1:30 Session Three: Women in Politics: Getting to 50% - Elect Her: How to support women candidates.

Panel discussion by local women involved in politics. Discussion with question and answer period.


1:30 - 2:00 Closing and Processing: What can I bring back to my branch?


Post Conference: Visit local historical sites or walk on the Walkway Over the Hudson.  (Just 5 minutes away!)  Stretch your legs and finish the conversation.


Registration Fee of $22 will include continental breakfast, and lunch.


Send check payable “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW” by October 15 to

Peggy Kelland

13 Susan Lane

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


District IV includes Adirondack, Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and Schenectady Branches.  Come and enjoy meeting member from these branches.



Linda Roberts, VP Educational Foundation 2017, and Linda Beyer


The Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW awards two scholarships for students graduating from Dutchess Community College planning on continuing their studies at a four-year institution.  We have established an AAUW endowed scholarship at Dutchess Community College which insures the continuation of a DCC Scholarship in perpetuity.  We also fund an additional scholarship, each one for $600.  The recipients this year were Kristin Daniels who will attend SUNY Purchase where she will study business and Amanda Booth who will study education at SUNY New Paltz.


The scholarships were awarded in May at a Convocation and luncheon held at Dutchess.  Maria DeWald and Linda Roberts attended the event this year and presented the  awards and spend some time with the recipients at the luncheon. 


Each year, The Trudy Hankinson Briggs AAUW Scholarship is awarded and the recipient this year was Noah Fields.  Noah is a continuing student at DCC.  Trudy was president of Poughkeepsie AAUW, 1967-69, and an administrator in the Wappingers School District.  The scholarship was established by her family and has been awarded for many years.


This year The Wilda Dible Hunt Memorial Scholarship, in honor of AAUW member Linda Beyer’s mother was awarded to Stacie Woodard, a continuing DCC student and a mother of 2 children.


Stacie has worked and paid taxes since age 16 and has had a job for the last 12 years working with the developmentally disabled.  She is a single mother and receives no financial help from her family.  She has had years of financial hardship with difficulty paying for basic food and clothing for her children.


Stacie eventually realized that she needed to make changes in her life.  She decided to enroll in Dutchess CC full time despite already having trouble balancing home and work life.


Today, at age 31, Stacie is in her 4th semester at DCC with a GPA of 3.57!  She is a newly inducted member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and has a new-found confidence in herself.  She still struggles to pay bills and to meet basic financial obligations but knows that soon she will have more opportunities.

Linda Beyer wrote “Stacie is most deserving of the scholarship in my mother's name.  Mom would be delighted to know that she has inspired help for a young mother to finish her education and to find her way.” ■


Continued from above...




Barbara Durniak

Betty Harrel


Atticus Lanigan loves the Hudson Valley and enjoys finding sustainable solutions to enhance growth and vitality.  At Zero to Go, an education-based waste management company, she oversees the daily operations and handles personnel assignments.  As a coordinator for zero waste special events, she also provides consultations on managing waste.  She also serves as Administrative Assistant at Dutchess Outreach, an organization dedicated to battling food insecurity.  She holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning and her interests include spending time with her children, bike riding, and creating things from other people’s discards.


Siennah Yang is a senior at Vassar College majoring in geography.  Growing up in Taiwan, she was aware of the harmful effects of food waste.  An activist both in high school and college, she spoke with Robert Lee, founder of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, and resolved to start a local branch.  She contacted donors, enlisted both student and community volunteers, and designed a local system for rescuing food.  Volunteers package food from dining halls, groceries, schools and restaurants and deliver them regularly to food banks, shelters, and community agencies serving those who face food scarcity.  The organization participated in Feeding the Hudson Valley to raise awareness about food insecurity and reducing waste.




A resource was developed earlier this year by Barbara Van Itallie and Mary Ann Boylan “How to Get Rid of Stuff.”  It is available at /Resources/Useful Links



Monique Jones *849-1692*

Sandy Lash *227-4650*




Patricia DeLeo *883-5181*  


Here Comes the Judge .... and Comptroller


Candidates Forum: Tuesday, October 10, 7:00 pm

The Unitarian Fellowship*

67 South Randolph Ave, Poughkeepsie


"When we went to school we were told that we were governed by laws, not men.  As a result, many people think there is no need to pay attention to judicial candidates because judges merely apply the law by some mathematical formula, and a good judge and a bad judge all apply the same kind of law.  The fact is that the most important part of a judge's work is the exercise of judgment and that the law in a court is never better than the common sense judgment of the judge that is presiding."


How many times have you looked on a ballot and voted a party line because you were unfamiliar with the judicial candidates?  Statistics prove most of the electorate votes for judges are based on political party affiliations.  In reality, judgeships are apolitical and candidates may not offer opinions on topics and issues that could appear in their courtroom.  Although the public wants to know their positions, judicial candidates are strictly governed by a code of conduct that prevents them from discussing personal opinions on political and social issues.  The candidates can share their party affiliations and endorsements, educational background, qualifications, job experience, courtroom management, expectations, demeanor and the personal qualities they feel render themselves effective in a court room.


Meet the candidates for State Supreme District 9 (Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester Counties): Christi Acker and Linda Murray.  Take an opportunity to explore the personal nature of the candidates and decide whom will best interpret and execute NYS law.


Comptrollers, on the other hand, may answer questions about social issues although the qualifications for this non-legislative position center on mathematical, administrative, clerical and business skills as well organizational and team approaches.  This position is intellectually skill based yet the formulation of a county budget will reflect the social conscience and awareness of the comptroller.  The comptroller is the chief financial officer of a public body specializing in internal audit functions.


Jim Coughlan and Robin Lois are this year's candidates for Dutchess County Comptroller.  Ms. Lois will be in attendance while Mr. Coughlan will not be present nor will a representative from his office.  His office was unable to schedule a date due to conflicts.


The Candidate's Forum, sponsored by the American Association of University Women and moderated by The League of Women Voters, is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, October 10, 7:00 p.m. at The Unitarian Fellowship, 67 South Randolph Ave, Poughkeepsie.  Please join us for the opportunity to meet the judicial and comptroller candidates.  Your vote counts.



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. ■



Diana Babington & Lori Scolaro


Ø Volunteer to help November 4!
Contact: Diana Babington, 471-5385 

Ø Register a daughter, granddaughter, neighbor or friend in the 6th or 7th grade!  Send them to our website and they will see the logo of the our Girls’ Conference that will link them to all the information about the conference and everything they need to register.

Ø Contribute to sponsor a girl’s attendance!
□ Diva -       $25 Covers the cost of one girl’s attendance.
□ Dreamer - $15 Buys a girl breakfast and lunch.
□ Darling -   $10 Gives a girl a journal and a memory
                       Diana Babington
                       7 Birkdale Court
                       Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


Honor our Woman of the Year 2017

Mariel Fiori

Managing Editor of La Voz



Sunday, October 29, 2017

12-3 pm


Beekman Arms

6387 Mill Street

(Corner Rte 9 & Market Street)

Rhinebeck, NY


To use Pay Pal/Credit card or to get Directions go to


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 the back.


Meal Choice:

Dutch Style Turkey Pot Pie                   _______  

Tournedos of Pork Tenderloin             _______

Grilled Fillet of Atlantic Salmon           _______

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

       Vegetarian _______ Gluten Free _______


Price: $50 (includes gratuity)/ $52 if using PayPal or Credit Card


Reservations and checks due: October 17, 2017

Make checks payable to “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.”

Mail to:    Betty Harrel

                  28 Laffin Lane

                  Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Questions: Betty Harrel  845/462-2141,


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




Mariel Fiori, MBA, is a journalist, translator, educator and entrepreneur.  She co-founded and is the managing editor of the Bard-sponsored La Voz, which is the only Spanish language print publication serving the 140,000 Latinos in the Mid-Hudson Valley and Catskill regions since 2004.  She co-hosts a weekly Spanish language news radio show for WGXC and WHDD, and is a bilingual business counselor and instructor with Women Enterprise Development Center Mid-Hudson Valley.


Fiori holds an MBA from NYU and a bachelor's degree from Bard College.  Before coming to the United States in 2003, she lived and worked in Spain and Buenos Aires, her hometown,  where she earned a degree in journalism at the Catholic University of Argentina.  She has worked for a variety of media groups in Argentina, Spain and the United States.


Mariel has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, the latest in August 2017 when she was an honoree at the Northern Dutchess NAACP 2nd Annual Freedom Banquet.  She is a member of many organizations including AAUW and has served on various boards.


“Accepting the status quo is not part of my blood, my upbringing or my background. We need to use whatever tools we possess, be it education, network, time or money, to help improve the part of the world where we live. In my case, I do it through my passion for communications”, ―Mariel Fiori.


"THREADING MY PRAYER RUG: One Woman’s Journey From Pakistani Muslim To American Muslim"


November 9

Unitarian Fellowship


Sabeeha Rehman’s voice is a clear, radiant contribution to the national conversation.  She will provide insight into raising a family in Islam in America and reflect on how the United States can do a more effective job of weaving new citizens into its multi-colored tapestry of heritage – a nation of every race, ethnicity, and religion.



Eileen Hayden and Barbara Hespenheide


With the celebration of the centennial of women’s suffrage in New York State fast approaching, it is a prime time to look more closely at some of the aspects of what led to the 1917 legislation and the ultimate passage of the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920.


The Progressive Movement, a reform tradition of nineteenth century America, grew to include the issue of suffrage for women.  Politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, by and large, ignored the push for suffrage.  In the patriarchal society that existed, men were the doers, discoverers and defenders who controlled decision making at home and in the community. Women were expected to marry, rear children, be virtuous and nurturing.  Women could not vote or hold office; nor could they serve on juries.  Women could not sue for child custody upon divorce and employment and educational opportunities were limited.  (We can thank Matthew Vassar for his vision in providing education for women.)  Literature, art and newspaper archives of the period provide us with a view of life for women.  For some it was life in the mills or as domestics or nannies.  For others it was as homemakers.


But with the Seneca Falls, New York, Conference in 1848 as a spur, women became catalysts.  They paraded, picketed and demonstrated for the suffrage cause.  They knew that to change society’s view, they needed the power of the ballot box.  New York State women were in the forefront of this movement.  Locally, Vassar students met to discuss the issue, even though it was a forbidden topic on campus as it was at many colleges in the nation.  Politicians were put on notice and soon began to pay attention to the insistent women.  Even Democrat Woodrow Wilson told them it wasn’t time for such a discussion.  The day prior to his inauguration in 1913 hundreds of women dressed in white marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, demonstrating that it was the right time.  New York legislators did get the message and in 1917, passed the suffrage legislation.


The Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW salutes the women who brought about this important change.  We continue to advocate for the right to vote without impediment. 

                           Vote on November 7!



Sabashnee Govender *914/850-0195*


Thank you to all those who stopped by our table at the Open House.  I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm and look forward to seeing you at our events and work sessions in the coming year

Days for Girls Update

Since the last newsletter we have been continuing to meet on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at Vassar Hospital Conference Room A from 3-6:30 pm.


On 08/15/2017, we had a sew-a-thon in the community day room of Poughkeepsie Galleria. Fourteen ladies took part over the seven-hour day – 9 American Sewing Guild (ASG) members, 4 AAUW members and one person who is a part of this effort because she thought it most worthwhile.  “Twenty-two shields were completed.  Forty-nine liners.  Seven bags were finished.  Participants were involved in cutting, ironing, assembling, sewing, or serging.  Everyone’s efforts made the day run smoothly.  I would like to thank all those who participated in this event and in particular Judy Longacre from ASG who planned and coordinated the day.  Some of our volunteers are also taking work home and meeting in small groups to work on different components of the kits.  In total, we now have 40 Shields, 69 Liners 37 Bags completed


For more information about Days for Girls or if you would like to help please contact me ( or ).  Together we can make a difference and give girls back 5-7 days of school each month. 




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, Marge Barton, Sharon Clarke,

Lillian DePasquale, Ruth Gau, Gloria Gibbs,

Sandy Goldberg, Elizabeth Harrel, Shaileen Kopec,

Margaret Nijhuis, Jacqueline Prusak, Mary Ann Ryan

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



by Patricia Luczai


What do Alice in Wonderland and Mother Goose have in common?  They are the only two statues in Central Park depicting females and they are both fictional characters!


At a time when we are questioning who we choose to honor with public monuments, we might also ask, "who is missing?".  There are individuals and organizations, as well as an ad agency, that are attempting to address the dearth of public memorials depicting women and girls.


The Statue Fund is raising money to erect the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument in Central Park.  Sculptors are called to submit design proposals for the monument.  Interested sculptors can register at to receive the competition specifications that are planned to be released on November 6, 2017.


You can support the fund by making a donation to The Statue Fund, via the website or via mail at: The Statue Fund P.O. Box 150-074, Van Brunt Station, Brooklyn, NY 11215.


Read about other efforts:


Appreciate our local monuments which depict Sojourner Truth in Port Ewen and Sybil Ludington in Carmel. ■



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

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


“Hats Off” to Dr. Pamela Edington.  Her quilt has been chosen to be the cover for the announcement of the Hudson Valley Quilt Exhibition, Mildred I. Washington Art Gallery, Dutchess Community College, October 2 – 22 . ■


Links to the AAUW-NYS newsletter, “The Focus,” and AAUW National magazine, “Outlook,” are available from the homepage of our website




I wish to express my appreciation for the prestigious 2017 Cornerstone Award.  Such a surprise!!  Such an honor!!   It is my pleasure to be associated with diverse, inspiring,  and amazing women.


I know that the creative, energetic members of the Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW will continue to work vigorously to improve conditions in our community and to fight strongly for Women and Girls.  I look forward each month to reading our AAUW news in our fabulous newsletter.



Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2017-2018


President                              Maria DeWald                      266-4960

Program Co-VPs                 Monique Jones                     849-1692

                                             Sandy Lash                           227-4650

Membership Co-VPs                    Susie Blecker               462-7074

                                                      Sheila Zweifler            462-6478

Development VP                  Jocelynn Banfield                 454-5551

Communications VP            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).