Celebrating Our Legacy, Enhancing Our Future



Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601



Volume 31, Number 8                                                       62nd year of publication                                  http://www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org

Follow us at www.facebook.com/AAUWPoughkeepsie2014                                                                                      April 2018



Please join Poughkeepsie AAUW and Vassar College’s Campus Life ALANA Center, Career Development Office and Women’s Studies Program for this timely and relevant panel discussion.







Wednesday, April 4, 2018

7 pm to 8:30 pm

*The Aula at Vassar College


**Moderator: Wendy Maragh Taylor, Director of the Campus Life ALANA Center, Vassar College; AAUW Member


This program will attend to the challenges women face with having a range of "noise" around us, being pulled in various directions and having numerous possibilities.  The program will be a moderated panel, which will feature three professionals and two students about to graduate.  We will hear different perspectives on the state of things for women given the pressures in the current culture. Opportunity for audience participation will follow.  The program will begin with a welcome and opening remarks by Vassar's eleventh president, Elizabeth Howe Bradley.


**Panelist: Sophia Burns, Student, Vassar College; Leah Feldman, Director for the Center for Victim Safety, Family Services; Cecilia Hoang, Student, Vassar College; Lubna Somjee, Clinical & Health Psychologist/Executive Coach; Shona Tucker, Faculty & Chair of Drama Department, Vassar College


**Biographies at www.aauwpoughkeepisie.org


*Directions to Ely Hall (The Aula): Enter Vassar by the Main Gate off Raymond Ave.  Turn left in front of Main Building, take the first right and bear left immediately to Pratt Loop.  Ely Hall is the first building on the right (#18 on a campus map).  There is some parking before the building and some on a loop to the right after the building, otherwise the North Lot off College View Ave will be the next choice.  See the map which works on iPads and iPhones campusmap.vassar.edu  




Writers' Tea &

Benefit Auction


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


Sunday, April 15, 2018

2:30 ~ 6:00 pm


Reservation Deadline April 2, 2018


The Links at Union Vale

153 North Parliman Rd., Lagrangeville, NY



Mihai Grünfeld

Leaving – Memories of Romania


Jane Lazarre

Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons



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.  GLUTEN FREE OPTION IS AVAILABLE WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR RESERVATION.


Silent Auction

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


See page 5 for reservation details.

See page 6 for directions & seating.

See page 8 for menu & program.




PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE               

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


Plethora and Paucity…Plenty and Deficit…Surplus and Scarcity…Affluence and Poverty…Floods or Droughts… and so it goes.  Seems like there are such vast differences in opinions, cultures, behaviors, and so forth nowadays that we have forgotten how much we all have in common.  I hope AAUW really helps us to remember how much we can affect positive change or assure continuity by working with, learning about, and reaching out in every way that we can.  Of course, our actions can only affect our community, AAUW and each of us when we are involved. You have all received many opportunities of late to do just that. Here’s a reminder of just a few:


Ø  The Writers’ Tea & Benefit Auction is on Sunday, April 15.  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. Please try to attend. It is open to the public so bring your spouse/significant other, your friend, your neighbor, your colleague. You will enjoy yourself and help AAUW Poughkeepsie immeasurably.

Ø  Leadership development is crucial for continuity and growth.  Why not join us at the AAUW-NYS Convention on April 20-22.  Why not consider leadership in our organization. Hopefully, if not there, please join us is in whatever capacity you can.

Ø  National AAUW has put forth three Bylaws proposals which were explained in a letter recently sent to you.  You have only until March 22 to comment or to propose amendments or new proposals.  Look for an email about when and how you can all vote online as members during April.  Think about what you want the culture of AAUW to be and then VOTE.

Ø  You still have time to celebrate Women’s History Month, celebrated in March of every year since 1988 to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.  If you are short of time for the rest of March, well, you can celebrate women any day of the year!  As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, 'Women’s History is Women’s Right.' It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.

Ø  Joyce Maynard has said “It’s not only children who grow.  Parents and all adults do too.  As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours.”  When we join a march for a cause, support AAUW’s mission in some way, write a letter to the editor, go to a community forum, run for office, assist a local charity, join in the work of the community, bring a neighbor some cookies, take care of yourself, or act in any proactive way, they are watching what we do.  They are also watching what we choose not to do, whether for good reasons or not.

Ø   ‘Til then, remember that winter really is almost over.  By the time you read this, we will have moved our clocks ahead and be preparing to celebrate Easter and Passover and other events of importance in our lives.  For all of you, may these days bring you a “plethora” of spring energy and a “paucity” of anything that is a barrier for being your best self every day!                  Best from Maria




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 and bring your friends (men and women will enjoy this event).


Following are some additional items from the Auction!


*     Overnight at B&B!

*     Wine baskets!

*     Restaurant Certificates!


Items will be accepted until March 30, 2018!


         Contact Linda Roberts

         olsen241@aol.com  227-5287



"Femme en Rougi Su" (#402/500)

Silent Auction donation by a local artist who is" down-sizing" her home.  There are two prints, both are professionally framed and matted, 36x34


Both are signed from The Marina Picasso Estate Collection, valued at $750-$1,000.  Limited Edition Lithographs on high quality archival paper.  They will not bring that price -- but the highest bidder will certainly be getting a great buy!!  Check on the internet you will see these prices are correct.




Online Calendar at www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org

Contact: Kathy Friedman kfriedman33@gmail.com


2       Word Games: 1:30 pm

         Hostess: Linda Lurie (229-9397)

         Coordinator: Susan Doyle (914/474-1232)

3       World Travelers: 7:00 pm


         Hostess:  Kathy Friedman (485-8671)


Presenter: Barbara and John Marmillo

         Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


4       Rescheduled March Meeting see page 1

5       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

         Vassar Hospital, first floor conference room B

9       All those books...: 2:30 pm

         American Pastoral by Philip Roth

Hostess: Betsy Vivas b.betsymike@verizon.net

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

10     “The Branch” deadline for MAY

11     Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

         Stephano’s Ristorante, Fishkill

         Contacts: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504)

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

11     Pedal Pushers: 10:00 am

         Bike to Hopewell Junction. 12-14 miles

Meeting point: Gold’s Gym rail trail parking

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler sheilaz@optonline.net

13     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinator: Leona Miller (471-0777)

14     Bridge III: 10:00 am

         Hostess: Carol Mastropietro

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner dlr0804@verizon.net

15     Writers’ Tea & Benefit Auction: 2:30 – 6:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend

          see details on pages 1, 2, 5, 6, 8.

16     Manderley Literary Society: 7:00 pm

         Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Hostess: Carol Gray (471-1168)

         Coordinator: Shelly Friedman (462-4996)

17     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Cuisine of Native Americans

Hostess: Betty Olsen (889-4836) and

Pat Aglietti (677-9485)

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


18     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Suzi Stoller (462-6798)

         Coordinator: Linda Ronayne (897-9745

19     Aventures en Soleil: Time contact coordinator

Magazzino Art Museum, Cold Spring

         Contact & Coordinator: Janna Whearty (546-9190)

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

         Hostess: Contact Coordinators

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

                  Barbara Hugo BHugo2@gmail.com

21     Trekkers: 10:00 am

         Bridge Loop, Walkway over the Hudson, starting and

         ending on the Poughkeepsie side.

         Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)


24     The Ediss Book Group I & II: 7:00 pm

         Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church

         Group I: Hostess: Barbara Duriak

                  Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

         Group II: Hostess: Contact Coordinator

Book enthusiasts looking for a small group experience can join the newly established Ediss II. 

As a satellite group of Ediss I, our meetings are held on the same night/time, but in a different location. 

By design, the group will not exceed 10 members.

                  Coordinator: Cyd Averill (485-2866),


25     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book & Hostess: Contact Coordinators

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

25     Mah Jongg: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Red Lobster, Route 9, Poughkeepsie

         Contact Blanche (462-3955) by April 23.

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

26     Bridge II: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Red Lobster, Route 9, Poughkeepsie

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn cathy@kinn.org 

26     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

         Project: Printing on aprons/totes

Hostess: Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)

         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)

28     Days for Girls: 1:00 – 4:00 pm

         Quaker Church, 249 Hooker Ave, Poughkeepsie

Congratulations and thank you to all our dedicated volunteers and supporters!

 We sent 25 Days for Girls kits to Haiti via the Vassar Haiti project in the beginning of March

Chair: Sabashnee Govender (914/850-0195)



Diversity: Out of One Many People:

         Contact Coordinator

         Chair: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


Movie Night: see page 6.

         The sequel will begin in May!

         Director: Linnea Masson patandlinnea@yahoo.com

Producer: “Try outs” ongoing! Contact Linnea (883-7726)

Photography Club: No meeting in April

         Coordinator: Carol Demicco (845-204-9553



Jun 14: Annual Meeting, The Children’s Home, p. 8

Oct 14: Woman of the Year, Le Chambord,

Nov 3:  Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference, DCC



The AAUW-NYS Convention
What’s in it for YOU?


Still thinking about registering for the AAUW-NYS Convention?  Here are some reasons to join with others from around the state at Moving Onward: Empowering Women!  It will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Corning, NY on

Friday – Sunday, April 20-22.


You’ll have a chance to:

·  Meet Aasha Shaik, an outstanding young woman who has already helped to shape a better world for women and families.  She serves as the UN Girl Advocate and has talked with world leaders about ways to change conditions for women.

·  Participate in workshops focusing on both personal and professional growth.  Learn to work with the local media, support women running for office, stretch both your body and your imagination, and become a more effective community advocate. 

Plan on being part of this event!  The goal is to provide an educational, inspiring and fun convention weekend.


It’s time to register – the deadline is

March 23.  Visit www.aauw-nys.org  now!

See you at the convention!


LINKS on the home page at



FOCUS, AAUW-NYS newsletter, the convention issue – what’s happening and how to register.


OUTLOOK, AAUW National Magazine – bylaw proposals and how to comment and vote, plus interesting articles.





A note from Deanne Prusak to Cathy Kinn: "We are having a private service for family only.  She is being cremated and we will sprinkle ashes around places that were dear to her.  We are putting an obituary in the paper asking people to donate to her charities*.  Thank you for your kind words. This has totally broken me.  We were very close.  I miss her terribly."


Deanne Prusak, 20701 Haymeadow Court

Waller, TX 77484 or deanne.prusak@enipetroleum.com


A note from Gloria Gibbs: “Jackie had knitted a lap robe for the April 15th Silent Auction, which she displayed at our last meeting.  She was very close to her daughter Deanne Prusak.” 


Jackie, 79, died suddenly on March 5, 2018 at her home.  Born in New York City on April 15, 1938, she was the daughter of Frank and Elizabeth (Brown) Robertson.  Jackie graduated from Russell Sage College with a BS in 1959 and SUNY New Paltz with an MS in Education.  She was employed as a teacher with the Wappingers Central School District at Gayhead Elementary and Brinkerhoff schools.  After her retirement from Wappingers after 30 years, she worked as a Real Estate Agent with Key Associates, Prudential Serls, Century 21 and Weichert Realtors, achieving the Million Dollar Club status at each.


Jackie was very active in the community.  She volunteered as a docent and served as Treasurer with the East Fishkill Historical Society at the Brinckerhoff-Pudney-Palen House, and with the Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp.  She has been a member of American Association of University Women for 10 years.  With AAUW she was a member of several Bridge, Mahjong and reading groups as well as served for many years on the Writers' Tea & Benefit Auction Committee.  She was also a member of the Independence Belles Society.  She enjoyed knitting, reading and continuing her education through Marist College’s Center for Lifetime Study.


Jackie is survived by her children, Deanne Prusak of Waller, TX, and John F. Prusak of Fuquay-Varina, NC; and her Brother, Russ Robertson of Morehead City, NC.


Services will be private.  Memorial donations may be made in Jackie's memory to Russell Sage College, East Fishkill Historical Society, Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp, *AAUW or Independence Belles Society.  Please visit Jackie's Book of Memories at www.mchoulfuneralhome.com .


*Contribution to AAUW can be made by check payable to “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc” (if you want it to go to a special fund, please put that in the memo line) and mailed to:

Diane Jablonski, 5 Merlot Drive, Apt 536,

Highland, NY 12528


or go to www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org and choose the donate button on the homepage.  You can then select a designated fund if you wish, to be written on your check, or use your credit card through PayPal.



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

The Links at Union Vale

153 North Parliman Rd., Lagrangeville, NY

Mihai Grünfeld was born in Cluj, Romania where he lived with his family.  In 1969, at age 18, he escaped to Austria.  He earned 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. 


High Tea

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

GLUTEN FREE option is available when making reservation.


Silent Auction

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



Reservations----Please RSVP by April 2, 2018


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/Credit Card.  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


- OR -

To make reservations using PayPal/Credit Card, on www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org, select the homepage link to the tea, then select the yellow PayPal 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 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/Credit Card is $62 per person.


Questions:  Patricia DeLeo, 845/883-5181, pattide2@optonline.net


Open seating, no table reservations.


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.



Margaret Nijhuis margaretnijhuis@gmail.com


§  Set your GPS for

153 North Parliman Road, Union Vale, NY 12540

§  Go to www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org and click on
Writers’ Tea & Benefit Auction Directions

§      Follow these directions:



An explanation of seating at the Writers’ Tea &

Benefit Auction

Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612* margaretnijhuis@gmail.com


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 or the community!


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



Boardman Road Library donation by attendees.


Dear Ms. Kinn,


Thank you for your generous donation to the Friends of PPLD.  Since “AAUW – Thank you!” was written on the memo line of your check, it was suggested that the Friends might dedicate your donation to the wonderful Crate Program that we partner with AAUW.  It is with great pleasure that I share with you that your donation generated a matching $125 and a resolution from our Board of Directors for the purchase of bilingual and early reading books for the joint project.  In fact, the books were ordered this morning!


Thank you again for your support of the Friends of PPLD and your belief in the importance of libraries in our community.



Patricia Breen, FPPLD Book Store volunteer



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

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


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 & Benefit Auction which will be on Sunday, April 15th 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, 2018-June 30, 2019.  The notices will be mailed the end of April and you should be receiving them at the beginning of May.  The annual dues are $88.  Make life easy for yourself and the membership committee by immediately writing out a check or paying your dues through PayPal ($90) at www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org.  The board has decided that if a member has not paid her dues by September 15th :

*      she will no longer receive the branch newsletter

*      nor be able to participate in any AAUW activities

*     nor 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.


Talking about dues, as you can see, National has raised its dues by $10.  This money will go into their unrestricted fund so it can be used to continue their lobbying efforts, ongoing research and awarding of scholarships.  Another way to look at the increase is just 3 cents a day to keep AAUW strong!


Just a reminder, March 15th marks the FIRST date that new members can join AAUW and be a member in good standing through June 30, 2019.  That means that new members get one year and 4 months for the same $88 fee.  It is a great offer.  So, if you know of anyone who is interested and wants to become a member of AAUW, it’s a great time to join.  Please have them get in touch with either of us to get an application.

Looking forward to seeing you at the tea.




Linnea Masson *883-7726* patandlinnea@yahoo.com


The AAUW Movie Group will continue.  After seven years, Sue Osterhoudt, as the Director, and Dina Gleeson, as Producer, have decided to step down.  A big thanks to them for their years of bringing us monthly fun at the movies.

Since I love movies, I decided that I would volunteer to become the new Director (I will be looking for a Producer).  The group will continue to meet the second Tuesday of the month for the 4:00 pm show at the Roosevelt Theater in Hyde Park followed by discussion at the Ever Ready Diner.  If you would like to join this group or continue your membership in the group, please send me your email address (see contacts above).  I look forward to hearing from you and enjoying some movies together.  See you at the movies!



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


Take Aim at the Safest Target


In 2011 following the Sandy Hook massacre, AAUW debated a resolution on gun control.  The result?  Public Policy Priorities states “AAUW advocates freedom from violence and fear of violence in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.” Gun control is not an issue that has been formally specified in the AAUW agenda. 


AAUW members debated gun control and deliberately replaced the word “gun control” with “gun violence prevention.”  The final version chose not to have AAUW wade into the gun control debate regarding assault weapons, mandatory waiting periods, and background checks.


Since Sandy Hook Elementary School, there have been hundreds of mass shootings with thousands killed and far too many wounded.  Many involved sophisticated assault weapons usually reserved for military use.  Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School may be the catalyst that brings a concrete and tactile resolution.


It is now 2018.  Attempts at prevention have been sincere but ineffective.  It is time to reconsider.  If it is our mission to protect women and children, AAUW needs to revisit a position on gun control.  However, as individuals committed to this position, we are free to make conscientious choices and advocate for any and all laws that will help end “violence and fear of violence in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.” 


What can you do?  Educate yourself on the Second Amendment and guns.  Discuss the issue and formulate a position about arming teachers.  Age restrictions for gun licenses?  Use the Two Minute Activist or email your state and federal representatives.  Participate in local events that support the lives and safety of women and children.


In support of the “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington, there will be a local march across the Hudson River Walk Way on Saturday, March 24th from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. (Please let Gloria Ghedini (gloriaghedini@cs.com ) know if you plan to attend.)



AAUW Women “step up” once again!



Each year the Diversity and Inclusion Committee presents informative programs and selects one community project.  This year the committee asked members to assist the Poughkeepsie Teen Closet.  The donations were overwhelming.  Acting on behalf of the committee, I was charged with collecting donations at our January program meeting.  We collected 6 shopping bags full of pajamas, socks, gloves and a huge box of personal care items.  I am continually impressed with the generosity of our members. 


Shout out to Gwen Higgins for her help organizing and delivering the donations to PHS…“When students do not have their basic needs fulfilled, it directly impacts their ability to learn,” says Shanna 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.”  Anyone who wishes to donate, at any time, can contact Jennifer Burke or email phsteencloset@poughkeepsieschools.org .  If you would like to participate in this committee contact Jacqueline Goffe-McNish, mcnish@sunydutchess.edu .



Jennifer L. Burke


Thanks to the generous donation from the Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) the TEEN CLOSET was able to deliver Pajamagrams to students during “I LOVE PHS WEEK.”  Teachers at Poughkeepsie High School nominated students for a special PJ delivery, and the TEEN CLOSET volunteers delivered!


A special shout out to all those teachers who continuously support the mission of the TEEN CLOSET.





The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-kill is now accepting applications through April 10th for its 2018 Girls’ Leadership Worldwide summer program for girls aged 14-16 being held for 8 days this July. This program is in its 21st year, bringing together teens from all over the globe for a one-of-a-kind program inspired by the life-lessons and leadership legacies left by First Lady of the World, Eleanor Roosevelt.  For more information, visit www.ervk.org.



Elizabeth Harrel *473-462-2141* bharrel28@gail.com


The Leading to Reading volunteers have been busy sorting, labeling, packing and distributing books.  We receive positive feedback on the beautiful books and the joy of the children receiving them.


The community has continued to respond to our positive outreach program and we’ve received great support.  Central Hudson again made a donation and noted their delight in sponsoring the project.  A grant was also received from the Nora Roberts Foundation, which seeks to empower people through literacy.


Thank you to our dedicated members and to our community supporters!






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

*      You will be greeted by our wonderful team from “Leading to Reading” and with a glass of champagne or light drinks

*      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 a selection of hors d’oeuvres 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.  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 this year you may pay by cash, check or credit card and be sure to pick up any items that you have won.



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


2018 Activities


On January 19 we introduced 18 girls in grades 6-8 to a variety of paper craft techniques in the library at RC Ketcham High School.  Gwen Higgins, Chris Petty, Lynda Bryne, and Karla Rauch ran stations from which the girls could choose and then move on to additional options.  On February 9, despite an unanticipated snow event, 20 girls came to our cooking badge workshop, New Cuisines, at Zion Episcopal Church, where girls learned to make recipes from U.S. regions, other counties, and historical periods - and then all participants sampled each creations.  Chris, Lynda, Karla, and Gabriella Drasny led stations that night.  March 16 featured a sampling of different dances led by local dance instructor Jennifer Urciuoli in the Ketcham cafeteria.


Gwen and I led our popular Saturday Girl Scout Journey "A-Maze," in January for 24 girls, and then I repeated it for 24 other girls in February.  This day-long workshop explores first impressions, stereotyping, friendships, cliques, peer pressure, and bullying through alternating games and small group discussions.




Judy Linville *889-4802* judylinville@citlink.net


Join us on June 14th for a unique Annual Meeting and Dinner! Election and Installation of the new officers for 2018 will be a part of this program.


The event will be held at The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie.  We will have the opportunity to have a tour of the newly renovated main building and will also enjoy a guest speaker.


Auction Item

Silver cuff bracelet donated by Lori Walters


See www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org for a Catalog of additional auction items.




Barbara Van Itallie *462-3924* bvanitallie@yahoo.com


It is with great pleasure that the Nominating Committee announces the following slate of officers that were approved by the board at their January meeting:


For 2018-2020:

President: Diane Jablonski

Treasurer: Pat Luczai

Secretary: Ruth Sheets


Election and Installation will be conducted at the June 14th Annual Meeting, held at the Children’s Home.  Nominations may be made from the floor with the written permission of the nominee.


Officers continuing for 2018-19:

Program Co-VPs: Monique Jones & Sandy Lash

Membership Co-VPs: Susie Blecker & Sheila Zweifler

Development VP: Jocelynn Banfield

Communications VP: Bonnie Auchincloss

Membership Treas.: Mary Ann Hogarty


Nominating Committee: Barbara Van Itallie, Chair; Mary Coiteux; Susan Doyle; Betty Harrel and Sheila Zweifler



Gloria Ghedini *635-1474* gloriaghedini@cs.com 


At the conclusion of Grace Roebuck's wonderful presentation, I offered to prepare a list of products made by formerly trafficked women as well as products that should be avoided, due to slavery practices.


Here are some good websites;

www.SimplyLivandCo.Com that lists 17 brands made by formerly trafficked women

www.gems-girls.org and www.castle.org  Both show impressive videos on this topic, a must-see


Roses with the Florecal in the label have been planted in reputable gardens in Ecuador or Colombia.  As we did discuss, Nestle does not employ ethical means in making their chocolates.


We can all help Grace by attending the Red Sand Gala on Friday, April 27, 5-8 pm in Vassar College.  Please email her at gmroebuck@vassar.edu. I hope to see some of you there!




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)

Lula Allen, 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




Elizabeth Harrel *473-462-2141* bharrel28@gail.com


The Leading to Reading project has had great community support, allowing us to reach even more children from low income families in the area.  Once again, we've been able to collaborate with two local organizations.


The Community Nursery School of PUMC (Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church) suggested sponsoring a book drive to support our Laundromat Libraries.  It would benefit our project and help the young children learn about giving to others.  The staff and parents were very generous, and they collected 733 gently used books for us! The books will soon be finding their way to laundromat crates around the area.


When the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District recently received a donation from members of our Soleil group, they voted to match it and purchase bilingual and diverse books for young children to go in the laundromat crates.  See page 6. The bookstore has been supplying used books for the crates but Leading to Reading has been supplementing books for young children.  The new collection will add a great deal to the selection for pre-school children.


We truly appreciate the wonderful support we continue to receive!  This is one of the AAUW Community Services that benefits from the funds raised at the Writers’ Tea & Benefit Auction.  Please attend on April 15th.


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:  www.aauw.org                                

NY State website: www.aauw-nys.org

Poughkeepsie Branch website: www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org 


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


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


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