Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Celebrating Our Legacy, EnhancingOur Future


Volume 31, Number 5                                                       62nd year of publication                        

Follow us at                                                                                      January 2018




Donations are welcomed at the January 11, 2018 program meeting for “Poughkeepsie Teen Closet.”


This year we have chosen the “Poughkeepsie Teen Closet” as our community action project.  We have consulted with Jennifer Burke, and she has requested that we collect pajamas of any size for the closet.


Of course, you are also invited to also contribute to the personal hygiene needs of students.  Poughkeepsie High School social studies teacher Jennifer Burke, Shanna Andrawis and science teacher Demetra Kapogiannis, formed a faculty-led volunteer coalition.  The “Teen Closet” was created to help combat the harrowing statistic that 86 percent of the school’s students live in poverty, of these 14% are homeless.


“When students do not have their basic needs fulfilled, it directly impacts their ability to learn,” says Andrawis.  “For example, they will miss school, or when they do come to class, they may isolate themselves and not be engaged in the lesson.” Students who might feel embarrassed about their financial situation can feel comfortable knowing their requests for items like deodorant and toothpaste are confidential.  They simply send an email and arrangements are made to pick up the goods privately, with no questions asked.


A supportive school board responded by building a closet and providing shelving to stock an array of personal hygiene items, along with brand-new hats, gloves, underwear, socks, and

T-shirts.  The “Teen Closet” has even gained support from the Poughkeepsie Police Department, with one officer spearheading a donation drive through her own social media outlets.  Donations can be directed to Officer Zirbel, City of Poughkeepsie Police department. This has also become an umbrella for other initiatives.


While the teachers are thrilled by the response, the overall goal of the “Teen Closet” transcends providing free shampoo and winter scarves to those who can’t afford them.” adds Kapogiannis, noting the creation of community luncheons that offer hot meals when school isn’t in session and a book drive for early childhood literacy.


Please help these young people, bring or send a pair of pajamas of any size to our January 11th meeting. 





Thomas Roidl


January 11, 2018

7:00 pm


*Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie

67 S Randolph Ave., Poughkeepsie


The Internet has opened up a world of information and opportunity for anyone with a computer and a connection. Cybersecurity expert Investigator Thomas Roidl has over 19 years of experience in law enforcement.  With expertise in the world of hacks, stolen identities, malware, sexual and financial predators and more, Investigator Roidl will bring us vital information about the perils of online activity and cover Internet Safety for children and adults.


Investigator Thomas Roidl has been with the New York State Police for 19 years.  Investigator Roidl began his career as a uniformed Trooper and was then appointed to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).  For the past several years, he has been an investigator with the Computer Crime Unit (CCU).  He serves as a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and is a deputized US Marshall for Regional Enforcement.  He is based with New York State Troopers, Troop K in Poughkeepsie.  Investigator Roidl has a BS from Ohio University.


*Directions: 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.



Monique Jones, 849-1692,

Sandy Lash, 227-4650,  



Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


4       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

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

6       Bridge III: 10:00 am

         Hostess: Carol Mastropietro (221-8862)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

8       All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Book: The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Hostess: Carol Loizides

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

9       Movie Night: Time TBD by show

         Movie: Group members will be notified the

         Thursday before - sign up with Sue.

         Discussion: Eveready Diner, Rt. 9, Hyde Park

         Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)


         Producer: Diana Gleeson

10     “The Branch” deadline for FEBRUARY

11     General Membership Program: 7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend

          – see details on see above.

12     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinator: Leona Miller (471-0777)

15     Manderley Literary Society: 7:00 pm

         Book: The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes

Hostess: Jackie Klein (485-6530)

         Coordinator: Shelly Friedman (462-4996)

16     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Restaurant Dinner, contact coordinator

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


17     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745


17     Photography Club: 7:00 pm

         Hostess: Contact Coordinator

         Coordinator: Carol Demicco (845-204-9553

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

Deep study of the imagists

Hostess: Mary Lou Davis (223-5544)

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

                  Barbara Hugo

19     Extending Girls’ Horizons: 6:30-8:30 pm

“Paper Crafts.”  See below

         Chair: Peggy Kelland *297-0507*

20     Aventures en Soleil: 11:30 pm

Annual Planning Meeting,

Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory

Contact: Janna Whearty (546-9190)


         Coordinator: Janna Whearty (546-9190)

22     Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

         Heritage Food & Drink, Rt. 9, Wappingers Falls

         Contacts: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504)

                  Kay Saderholm (229-8545)  

23     The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Hostess:  Helen Buhler (473-0665)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

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

         Red Lobster, Route 9, Poughkeepsie

         Contact Blanche (462-3955) by Jan 22

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

24     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: Eggshells by Caitriona Lally

Hostess: Betty Harrel (462-2141)

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

25     Bridge II: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Red Lobster, Route 9, Poughkeepsie

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn  

25     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

         Project: Folded Paper Signature Book

Hostess: Arlene Seligman (297-0006)       

         Coordinators: Pat Luczai (463-4662) &

                  Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)

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

         Contact coordinator

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

27     Days for Girls: 1-4 pm Note change of date and venue.

         Boardman Road Library

         Any questions contact the chair. See below.

         Chair: Sabashnee Govender (914/850-0195)





Diversity: Out of One Many People

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


Word Games:

         Coordinator: Susan Doyle (914/474-1232)

World Travelers:

         Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)




Pedal Pushers: Watch for our return in April.

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler

Trekkers: Walks and hikes return in warmer weather

         Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)





Feb 8, 2018: The Many Faces of Trafficking and What We

         Can Do,” Grace Roebuck, See below

Apr 15, 2018: Writers’ Tea & Auction, The Links, See below

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



PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE               

Maria DeWald *266-4960*


AAUW CEO on Listening Tour


I read in a column a few days ago that those who always seem to be “ten or fifteen minutes late are eternal optimists,” always believing they can get more done than is realistic.  I admit this made me feel better as I am not noted for always being punctual!  It is also resolutions time as we begin 2018, and I suspect I am also not alone when I say that I am much better at making resolutions than accomplishing them.  Nevertheless, it is nice at least to be optimistic enough to make resolutions and to try to fit as much into our days as possible, at least I hope so!


Anyway, I wanted to relate this to the dialogue AAUW’s new CEO, Kim Churches, recently had with the state presidents.  The complete dialogue is posted on our AAUW Poughkeepsie website. (  I can be pretty sure that she is not only punctual and optimistic, but also resolved and realistic.  She has been on a nationwide “listening tour” to assess where we are now, where we want and need to be, and how we will get there as we both celebrate the rich 136 year history of our organization and embark on a Strategic Planning Initiative.  I like her approach a lot for, as Dean Rusk once said, “One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears --by listening to them.”  I hope you will all take the time to listen to her words as she seeks to assure that AAUW can exist well into the future.  This is not as easy as it sounds but is full of possibilities for growth.  I will try to summarize a bit but it all comes down to FOCUS, RELEVANCE and IMPACT.


We all know many organizations that have existed for decades with venerable goals and a mission that is exactly on the right track.  Yet, sometimes they cease to exist for any number of reasons.  Maybe a group that once stood out for its work on a particular issue is now surrounded by many overlapping groups working on similar things and competing for members and funds.  (Did you know, for example, that there are 108 MILLION non- profits in the United States many of whom work on behalf of equity issues?)  Maybe it is trying to be a “Jill of All Trades,” as Ms. Churches heard from a member on her listening tour, concentrating only on “breath” and not enough on “depth,” in other words, too fragmented.  Maybe they were not flexible and adaptable enough to be sustained.


She asks two essential questions: “What are the challenges impacting our ability to achieve more in advancing equity?” and, “How are we differentiated in the equity space?”  She will be asking us those questions and more as a 45 day series of surveys and questionnaires arrives in March and April.  Please give her and us your thoughts on assuring we have a vision that is meaningful, sustainable and effective.  We all have a role in this.  Our founders were a “rebellious bunch” who refused to accept a status quo that was unfair to women and girls.  What better resolution for 2018 than continuing that legacy!


Happy New Year all….




Presenter: Grace Roebuck, Vassar College Sophomore


February 8, 2018

7:00 pm


Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie


Grace Roebuck, a sophomore Psychology major from Vassar College will speak on the issue of Human Trafficking.  About a year ago, Grace co-founded an anti-trafficking organization at Vassar College entitled "The Underground." Starting with a campus wide art initiative, the Red Sand Project, Grace and her team have since gone on to develop many new projects including an anti-trafficking curriculum at a Haitian Secondary School, a theater production on sex slavery, and the return of Red Sand among other things.  During this presentation Grace will elaborate on the primary causes of human trafficking, as well as its many forms; effect on victims; susceptible high risk groups and what individuals and organizations are doing to combat the issue.




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, Mary Ann Boylan,

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



9th Annual Writers' Tea & Benefit Auction


A literary benefit for the AAUW Scholarship Funds, Community Service Initiatives and Events.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

2:30 ~ 6:00 pm


Our Authors:

Mihai Grünfeld was born in Cluj, Romania where he lived with his family.  In 1969, at age 18, he escaped to Austria.  He has a Ph.D. from the University of California and is a professor at Vassar College.  We will learn of his extraordinary life through his autobiography Leaving – Memories of Romania.


Jane Lazarre is a prize-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction.  Her memoir, The Communist and The Communist’s Daughter, was published in fall, 2017.  Her previous memoir, Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons, will be the focus of her presentation.


Silent Auction: A silent auction of hand-crafted items and services donated by our members, local businesses and craftsmen. 


Reservations: can be made from our website at any time.   


More below.




In the midst of many reports on the lack of diversity in technology, AAUW is pleased to share solutions for increasing the representation of women in engineering and computing.


A product of a partnership between AAUW and Dell, the Playbook on Best Practices: Gender Equity in Tech equips advocates and employers with actionable steps and a data-driven approach to promoting gender equity in tech.


This publication is available from the homepage or Resources on our website



Susie Blecker *462-7074*

Sheila Zweifler *462-6478*


We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope that you had a healthy holiday season.  The membership directories were mailed.  If you have not received yours, please let us know and we will mail you another one.  Please check the accuracy of your information.  If a correction is needed, please email Claudette Hennessy at  Corrections will be sent out in our February addendum. Changes should also be sent to the interest groups and community initiatives to which you belong.


To our new members, if you have not yet joined an interest group or community initiative, the information can be found in your Membership Booklet or on our website,  On the home page, select programs on the menu at the top.  In the drop down list, you will see Interest Groups, Community Initiatives, Membership Meetings, Board Committees and Annual Events.  By clicking on any of these, you will find information about the group and how to contact the leader.


It is time for New Year’s Resolutions! Why not resolve to attend the monthly membership meetings and participate in an interest group and/or a community initiative program.  It will make 2018 a fuller and richer year. ■



Sabashnee Govender



A huge thank you to everyone that donated items and cash for our Days for Girls project at the November meeting.  Your generosity is overwhelming.  It is a long term project and we can always use supplies.  The list is on our website  Programs/Board Committees/ International or use the search function (International Relations).


Your help is also needed.  We need people who can sew (really just a straight seam, you will have all the help you need and there is usually an extra machine available) but we also need people to cut material and assemble parts of the kit.  You can contribute your skills whenever you have time.


Thank you for your assistance and please come join us to work on kit making.  The next meeting will be Sat., January 27 from 1 - 4 pm followed by February 24 and March 24 from 1 - 4 pm all at Boardman Road Library.  Please contact me if you have questions.



Linda Roberts *227-5287*


Our 9th annual Writers' Tea & Benefit Auction

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Links at Union Vale


This event is the only fundraiser that we do every year and it pays for many of our community service initiatives and scholarship efforts, so we need everyone's help to make it a success.


There are many ways you can help:


*      Procure items for the Auction.

*      Make items for the Auction.

*      Volunteer to work on our Auction Committee.

*      Spread the word about the event and encourage people to attend.

This event has raised a considerable amount of money and gets better every year thanks to the combined efforts of our membership.  We have many talented members who contribute their amazing art and craft creations every year.  Our members also go out into the community to get contributions from local businesses, restaurants, Salons, etc.


If you are out shopping, think about asking businesses that you frequent to donate something.  It is good advertising for them as their contribution will be listed in our program.  It has been our experience over the last seven years that nobody says no to us!  There is a link on our website for our Contributor’s Letter that you can present to potential donors to further explain our mission.                                  


If you would like to be on our committee or help in any way, please contact me or any committee member listed below.  Their contact information is in the AAUW Directory.


Patti DeLeo

Susan Fink

Gloria Gibbs

Marcine Humphrey

Ginny Marcus

Barbara Mindel

Vivian Rose

Suzie Stoller


We will be having a committee meeting in the beginning of January and everyone is welcome to come.  Please contact me for time and location. 


We would love to get everyone involved in this wonderful event and have fun doing it!  COME JOIN IN THE FUN!


Thank you all so much and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season with friends and family and a happy, healthy New Year! ■



Gail Sisti


On Sunday, October 29, 2017, the Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW hosted a luncheon at the Beekman Arms to honor Mariel Fiori as the Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW Woman of the Year.  Sixty AAUW members and friends and family gathered to celebrate her achievements.  She is the managing editor of La Voz magazine and has been an instrumental voice in the Spanish language community in the Mid-Hudson Valley and Catskill regions.  In addition to editing the award-winning magazine, she co-hosts a weekly Spanish news radio show and is a bilingual business counselor and instructor with Woman Enterprise Development Center Mid-Hudson Valley.  She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her efforts and AAUW was happy to add to her accolades. Mariel presented a very informative program to educate those in attendance about issues which impact the Spanish-speaking community.


Join us to work on the event for our 2018 honoree


Each year we select a woman whose efforts in the community have led to a better place for all of us to live. The Woman of the Year committee is now planning a meeting in January 2018 to select our next honoree.  If any AAUW member would like to join this committee or has a suggestion for a potential honoree, please contact co-chairs Margie Ouart or Gail Sisti .



Patricia DeLeo *883-5181*  


AAUW Belongs On the Cover, Not Undercover


I have a problem.

Time magazine awarded its Person of the Year to The Silence Breakers, women who came forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct and "started a movement:" performer, Taylor Swift; actress, Ashley Judd; former Uber engineer, Susan Fowler; lobbyist, Adama Iwu; a strawberry picker and an immigrant from Mexico whose name was changed to protect her identity, Isabel Pascual and the akimbo arm of an anonymous woman, a young hospital worker from “the middle of the country” who fears repercussions if she comes forward with her story of sexual harassment.  


My problem?  Why isn't AAUW on the Time cover?  We have been advocating, encouraging and fighting to end sexual misconduct for years.  We are a major contributor to this movement.  Our position and actions are direct and clear.  "Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964…Sexual harassment describes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature."  As of December 10 the New York Times listed forty high profile men who have been fired, resigned or experienced a fall from power due to multiple complaints filed against each and the number escalates daily.  Our working definition applies in each case.


AAUW Legal Advocacy Program works to challenge sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace.  Our resources range from community outreach programs to backing of major cases.  We support "brave plaintiffs seeking legal redress for Title VIl, Title IX, equal pay, sexual harassment, tenure denial violations, and allocate $100,000 annually to help fund landmark cases such as Wal-Mart v. Dukes and Cioca v. Rumsfeld as well as cases with the potential to set future precedents, such as Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education.”  (Visit for specific descriptions of these cases.)  No problem here.


AAUW has not been part of the "culture of silence."  We broke the reticence rules yesteryear and will continue to advocate not only for the elimination of sexual misconduct but for equal pay, fair wages, healthcare and family leave.  I have no problem with that.


Perhaps journalist Ann Curry offered an interesting perspective.  "The women’s movement got us into the workplace, but it didn’t make us safe once we got there.  And the battle lines are now clear.  We need to move this revolution forward and make our workplaces safe.  Corporate America is quite clearly failing to do so, and unless it does something to change that, we need to keep doing more ourselves."  Public service is no different.  Whoever would have imagined that Congress had a secret but publicly-funded account to pay-off sexual harassment arbitrations?  (I have a problem with that.)


I applaud the bravery and courage of the women coming forth; they promote a contagious and empathetic sharing of the struggles women have suffered for decades.  I celebrate AAUW and its long term past, present and future commitment to the working women.  Those are the missing faces I would like to see on the cover of Time: the women who have been campaigning during the "silence" and supported taciturn victims who felt defenseless and feared retribution. 


Help solve the problem of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct.  Contact your representatives and demand legislation for a safe workplace free of discrimination, intimidation, and financial, physical and psychological threats.  I don't think anyone would have a problem with that.



Cathleen Kinn


We could be using the Alerts bulletin more fully.  If you have any program, activity or event that meets our goals, please send it to  by the 28th of the month.  Alerts are posted by the 1st for that month.  Other organizations like our publicity and we like what they have to offer.


Our monthly programs, open to the public, are posted each month in the Events section of the digital Poughkeepsie Journal.  A link to the program will be posted each month in the Alerts.


For example: 


The purpose of this is so you can easily send it out to others adding a note like Want a ride? Or Interested?


Publicity is up to us all.


A new idea for the Alerts: Since we are such creative, scintillating, cosmopolitan women, how about sharing your Great Finds with the rest of us?  Two of mine would be:


Ø  The Poughkeepsie Grind

Ø  One Day University

Just send the name and the website URL. ■



Join other members of Poughkeepsie AAUW for a fun and informative weekend.

Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*  


April 20 to 22, 2018

Held At Radisson Hotel in Corning, NY


One Year After the Women’s March

Moving Onward: Empowering Women


AAUW & Non-AAUW Members Welcome

Tours of Corning Museum of Glass and

Rockwell Museum on Friday


For more information go to AAUW-NYS website at


Some convention details taken from the Winter Focus.  The Focus is available on our website


The convention location should prove to add an element of fun and discovery for attendees.  The hotel is a very easy walk to the Corning shops and restaurants.  A Friday afternoon tour has been planned to the wonderful Corning Glass Museum.  The convention will kick off on Friday night with the President’s Dinner that will include honoring our 2018 Emerging Leaders and an AAUW National spokesperson will speak about AAUW National’s current vision.


On Saturday, there will be a panel discussion, “Advocacy in the Current Landscape,” that will provide viewpoints on how the changing media landscape affects people’s impressions in this environment.  The panel will be moderated by Crystal Sarakas, a local NPR Radio Show Host, and will include a diverse panel of AAUW Fellows and a Women’s March organizer.


There will be several workshops offered to appeal to different areas of interest: Women’s Health Care & Reproductive Rights, Women Getting a Seat at the Table, Where We Are a Year After the Women’s March, and Media Literacy.  We are very excited about our Saturday plenary speaker, Aasha Shaik.  In her talk, “Vulnerability & Girls: The Keys to Moving the Movement Forward,” Aasha will share her journey and inspiration to promote girls’ rights around the world.  She is currently a student at Rutgers University, in the Honors College and Douglass Residential College.  She is triple majoring in political science, business analytics & information technology, and Middle Eastern studies.  After her sophomore year of high school, she began working at the United Nations for gender equity as a Girl Advocate of the UN NGO Working Group on Girls and for AAUW.



Fundraising for Legal Advocacy Fund


The Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW has volunteered at the Hudson Valley Ribfest for 13 years.  The Ribfest has grown in popularity and competitors come from all over the USA.  Since the Highland Rotary needs volunteers, they offer us this chance to volunteer our time to support AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF).  Our volunteer hours earn LAF cash based on the total hours worked.


Sharon Clarke is retiring this year from the role as volunteer organizer for LAF.  She has done a great service to our Branch and Legal Advocacy Fund and we extend our thanks and appreciation!


THE RESULTS ARE IN - We have received the check from the Highland Rotary for our volunteer hours in August!


The best returns ever!! $629


Much appreciation to Sharon Clarke and all the volunteers who participated this year and all the years we have done this volunteer project.


Marilyn Miklau         Bonnie Auchincloss

Marguerite Cotter     Barbara Van Itallie

Phil Van Itallie          Rolf Nijhuis

Margaret Nijhuis       Sharon Clarke

Maria DeWald          Fred DeWald

Keith Humphrey       Marcine Humphrey

Claudette Hennessy  Connor Hennessy


It is fun, and when your shift is over, you get to buy some yummy pulled pork, brisket or ribs!


Next year, I (Marcine) will be reaching out to the membership for ribfest volunteers.  If you want to know more about LAF contact LAF Chair Janna Whearty . ■



Peggy Kelland *297-0507*

Mary Coiteux *226-8275*


We have had a busy fall working together with the Girl Scouts to bring special STEAM programs to girls in grades 6-12 in Dutchess (and even Orange, Ulster, and Putnam) Counties.  In September we held our ever popular annual "Game Night," featuring math games from AAUW member Anthula Natsoulas's extensive collection.  Chris Petty, naturalist, led a lab on the science of "Trees" in October.  "Fiber Crafts," in November, introduced the traditional skills of weaving and cross stitch.


In December, Mary Coiteux taught Morse Code beading to create holiday bracelets.  Mary explained to the girls that jewelry conveys many meanings.


Then, using round and bugle beads as the Morse Code alphabet letters, the girls chose a particular person to make the bracelet for and created a word or sentence as their message.  Additional beads were added and a meaningful charm finished the bracelet off.  Some of the messages included holiday themes, and shared friendship characteristics and activities,


Members Peggy Kelland, Lynda Byrne, Gabriella Drasny, Gwen Higgins and Girl Scout Leaders helped the girls design and produce their finished project.  The excitement and cooperation shown by the participants was very satisfying to see.  The ideas expressed were lovely as a finished piece.


On December 16 and January 6 Gwen Higgins and Peggy Kelland conducted our full day workshop "A-Maze", a Girl Scout Journey for 6-8 grade girls.  It covers first impressions, friendships, peer pressure, cliques, and bullying in an alternating series of games, small group discussions, and journal writing.


Extending Girls' Horizons is an outgrowth of the Girls Conference Reunions we originally held, and enables us to have an ongoing positive influence with girls this age.  Many of the girls at the November Conference heard about it through Girl Scouts, and others who attended the Conference start coming to our monthly events.  The Girl Scouts provide publicity, insurance, and chaperonage, while AAUW plans and runs the programs.


Future programs include:

Jan 19 - “Paper Crafts” - 6:30-8:30 pm. Supply Fee: $5.00

Feb 9 - “Cooking” - 5:30-8:30 pm Supply Fee: $12.00

                  Zion Episcopal Church (across from the library in

                  Wappingers Falls)

Mar 16 - “Dance” - 6:30-8:30 pm. - Free

Apr 13 - TBA

For a rewarding experience, branch members can sign up to observe, join in interacting with the girls or participate in running the program.  If interested contact Peggy Kelland,



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).