Co-President Messages August, 2017 – June, 2018
As we inch ever closer to the end of May, we also come to the time of year when AAUW Georgetown takes a bit of a summer hiatus. There will not be another newsletter until the August issue which will be emailed on July 25th so be sure to keep today’s issue as a reminder of June and July events.
This has been an awesome year for me and, generally, for the club. So I also want to take time here to thank a number of committees: a big thank you to the Strategic Planning Task Force who helped analyze and digest the member survey and turn it into our first strategic plan; thanks to the Duck Race committee who pulled off an astounding “win” for our fall fundraising this year; another thanks to the Scholarship Committee who managed to identify four excellent high school senior women for competitive scholarships to college; tremendous kudos to the by-laws subcommittee who worked diligently on getting our by-laws in shape; our programs this year were so good that the Georgetown branch was asked to present at the State conference (and thanks to all our members who attended); thanks also to the Style Show group who found a way to start off our spring “in style”. Once you start this commendation list, you can just keep going…..so before I get down that road too far, I want to thank all of our members who came to branch meetings, helped with special social events, participated in the Kiwanis garage sale, and supported AAUW in general.
This will be my last monthly note as your co-president. I will miss the board members who worked so well together this year (may not miss the board meetings as much). A super special shout-out to our treasurer, Sandy Wilson, and to my co-president, Pat Rehm, for all their hard work, support and sense of humor. Like many of you, I also have some travel plans for the summer and wish you all safe travels wherever you may go and a peaceful return to Central Texas. Come back relaxed and refreshed and ready to start off another year with AAUW.
As the current fiscal year draws to a close, the month of May is a good time to look ahead and renew our membership. The May 1st “Meet and Greet” for our scholarship winners will mark the end of our branch meetings this spring, but the interest groups may continue their activities during the summer. The newly elected officers have already begun plans for 2018-2019, and the branch-wide meetings will resume on August 18th, with the membership “Coffee” at the Cowan Creek Center for both current and prospective members. Summer newsletters will keep us posted with details about these activities, as well as the fall meetings and fundraisers.
This month is also a good time to reflect on 2017-2018 highlights. It has been a remarkable year in many ways! All three fundraisers reached new levels, allowing us to increase our local scholarship amounts and the branch’s gifts (designated toward the completion of the Ann Richards Fellowship) to the national AAUW Funds. Three of the four goals that resulted from last summer’s strategic planning (5-year projection) have been achieved! The other one was not feasible this year, and other goals may be added next year.
Also, four relevant mission-based programs were presented at our Monday evening branch meetings: Partners in Education (Round Rock ISD program), the Annunciation Maternity Home in Georgetown, “The Gender Gap,” and Crisis Management at the University of Texas. Although the January program on R.O.C.K.’s therapeutic programs was cancelled due to dangerous weather, it will be rescheduled as soon as possible. Other special events this year have included the August “Coffee,” the garage sale and Duck Race fundraisers in October, the Holiday Tea, the Style Show fundraiser, and the “Meet and Greet” for our scholarship winners this month. If you have ideas for program topics, please tell our Program VPs, Connie Munoz and Margie Wright. Thank you for your participation this year!
At the annual meeting on April 16th, three kinds of certificates were presented to members: Milestones in AAUW membership: 50 years, Linda George; 20 years, Judy Hart; 10 years, Valerie Sandham; and 5 years, Gail Galloway Adams, Ellen Balay, Lynn Ellis, Kathy Henderson, Jean Holden, Stacey Robinson, and Maria Wagner; Named gift Honorees: Pat Donica, Helen Elkins, Kathalee Holmans, Marsi Liddell, Dianne Melton, Mary Kay Pierson, Pat Rehm, and Brenda Scholin; and “Retiring” Board Members: Ellen Balay, Phyllis Folarin, Karen Limbaugh, Mary Kay Pierson, Stacey Robinson, and Judy Ryan.
I have certainly enjoyed my first year as co-president and I am looking forward to the year ahead with a tremendously talented board and our active, supportive members.
April promises to bring a fresh new look at Spring and at the Board of Directors for AAUW Georgetown (see article regarding proposed Slate of Officers). On April 16th we will hold our Annual Meeting and Election of Officers for the 2018-19 year, along with a State of the Branch report. There has been good response to having a dinner meeting, so we will meet for dinner at our regular meeting place, the Community Rooms at Lone Star on Williams Drive at 6:30pm. The cost for a great dinner including chicken entrée, potatoes, green beans and dessert is only $17 plus tax – so a total of $20 (including gratuity). Thanks to Barbara McGrail for sharing her contact with us. There is also a plan to have an Awards presentation similar to last year’s and we hope many of you can attend. This year’s Scholarship Awardees will also be announced. It should be a terrific celebratory evening so please plan to join your AAUW colleagues.
And speaking of celebrations, April is State Convention month. Our host city is Houston and the dates are April 20-22 at the Embassy Suites. Several of our members will be attending and two of our members, Margie Wright and Pat Rehm will participate in a Round Table highlighting our programs for the past year(s). There is still time to register and attend. You might want to know that the Branch has given a total of $2333 (matched by the State of Texas AAUW) to complete the Ann Richards Fund. This is in keeping with our goal to provide funding to local scholarships at 72% and National priorities at 28% of fundraising efforts while still maintaining a reserve.
A final note about celebrations, the Scholarship Meet and Greet has been scheduled for May 1, 2018 from 4:30-6pm at the home of Marsi Liddell. Please put the date on your calendar and join us to recognize and congratulate the winners for this year. Thanks to Karen Limbaugh and her committee for all of their work to identify our scholarship recipients.
And last but certainly not least, April is time to think about renewing your AAUW membership. Remember that dues are increasing slightly ($12 or three Starbucks coffees or one medium pizza) per year. You can pay our Treasurer, Sandy Wilson, who will have new membership forms with her at the Annual Meeting.
We can look forward to “cool” spring outfits at the 7th Annual Style Show Luncheon & Purse Auction on St. Patrick’s Day at the Berry Creek Country Club! Thanks to our faithful organizer, Brenda Scholin, as well as to this year’s locally owned boutiques, the volunteer models, and your donations of lovely purses, all attendees can expect another enjoyable experience. The tickets are still $35 each. Your support will make it a successful event.
Last month’s newsletter provided information about the possibility of having AAUW Named Gift Honorees, based on branch donations to AAUW Funds in the calendar year 2017. The board is still accepting nominations for this recognition, as our number of allowed honorees has increased. Just recently, AAUW Texas confirmed that members of our branch donated a total of $4,385 last year. That amount qualifies us for eight $500 named gift certificates! Please consider honoring members who have contributed to our branch in various ways. Then, to nominate someone, contact a current board member (listed on page 3 of the branch handbook) before March 1st. Thank you for your nominations!
Can you go to Houston for the AAUW Texas convention, April 20th to 22nd? It promises to be an informative and fabulous way to meet new AAUW friends and to learn more about other branches. Registration applications, hotel accommodations, and the program schedule are available in the latest University Women Texas, which you should have received recently from the state board. Let me know if you need a ride, and I’ll try to arrange one for you.
I also recommend looking at AAUW’s accomplishments on the www.aauw.org home page occasionally. Surfing the website can be fun, as well as educational. It offers a glimpse at “the big picture” of an amazing organization that is successfully working to “advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research at the national, state, and local levels.” We can be confident in our support of the national mission.
One last item: Paying dues for the 2018-2019 AAUW year will start in April. The previously announced dues increases will be $10 for national AAUW and $2 for our local branch.
Best wishes, Pat Rehm
Are you believing the weather we are enduring? One day it is 65 and the next day it is 25. Sorry for having to cancel our branch meeting at ROCK, but we were most worried about the weather conditions predicted for January 15, 2018 at night.
Just like weather, organizations also have ups and downs. Fortunately, most of the “ups” for AAUW Georgetown have outweighed the “downs”. The Strategic Planning Task Force (SPTF) met in early January and I am pleased to report that over ¾ of our goals have been met or will be met by Spring. Of the ones remaining unfulfilled, one is totally beyond our area of control – that is the expansion of Girl Start. So instead, the SPTF is suggesting that we develop a goal to work on a project of Start Smart/Work Smart, which was highlighted in Malinda Gaul’s November presentation. If you have an interest in working on this project, which focuses on pay equity for women, please let Marsi know before the March meeting so we can form a subcommittee; hopefully this project can come to fruition during the 18-19 fiscal year.
Speaking of 2018-19, we are in the process of identifying nominating committee members. If you are interested in serving in this capacity (February-March) please let Marsi or Pat know ASAP. Several key positions will be vacant including one co-president, one co-vice president of Programs, 2 co-presidents of Membership and a co-secretary. Please give serious consideratdion to the possibility of serving in one of these roles for the coming year. We need you!
We also need you to mark your calendars for March 17th and the next Style Show at Berry Creek Country Club. Always FUN and part of our FUNd raising efforts.
Lastly, the AAUW State Convention will take place in April in Houston at the Embassy Suites. We are eager to have representatives from Georgetown attend the conference, April 20-22nd. It promises to be a wonderful opportunity so please check your calendars and let us know if you might want to join sister AAUW members in Houston.
Stay healthy and stay warm and we hope to see you in February.
Looking back at branch activities and achievements in the first half of the 2017 to 2018 AAUW fiscal year, I think of well-attended social gatherings in August and December; 13 new or former renewing members since August; outstanding programs at branch meetings; and extraordinary fundraising success. Let me say a special “Thank You!” to all who have planned and participated in branch meetings and special events this summer and fall. Most recently, Polly Herriot opened her home for the Holiday Tea, and 25 “guests” enjoyed her cordial hospitality and lovely holiday decorations, as well as a delicious variety of treats from branch members and lively conversations all around.
Looking ahead, I anticipate meaningful mission-based branch programs and congenial interest groups continuing; new members able to join for the rest of this fiscal year at half price in January, February, and March; an exquisite style show on March 17th; the annual meeting and election in April with special activities; an exciting state convention in Houston, April 20-22, and a congenial “meet and greet” with scholarship winners in May.
Did you know that AAUW has been around longer than the Eiffel Tower, Ferris wheels, radios, and many inventions which we take for granted? One of the rotating boxes at the top of the AAUW Home Page is called “Wish AAUW a Happy Birthday!” and it lists many everyday things not yet invented 136 years ago. I recommend visiting that website page when you have a chance. You will see how the familiar motto, “Empowering women since 1881” can come alive! The website’s photos and articles feature a “showcase” of current photos and articles about AAUW’s programs and policies, and some may be unfamiliar to you.
Following Malinda Gaul’s inspiring presentation at our November 21st branch meeting, the Georgetown Board is considering the possibility of sponsoring a local AAUW Work Start, a salary negotiation training. For information about the workshop, you may consult these links: salary.aauw.org/work-smart and salary.aauw.org/luna. The second link features a video about Gina Rodriguez, a professional boxer, about her on-going fight for women’s equality. Plans to write a grant for sponsorship funds have begun!
Both Marsi and I send our Best Wishes for the New Year,
Can you believe it? We are rapidly approaching the end of the calendar year. What a banner half year it has been for AAUW-Georgetown to date. Record-breaking fund raising happened in both the Duck Race and the Garage Sale and 12 new or returning members are added to our roster.
At the November Board Meeting, your Directors voted unanimously to hold our third annual Duck Race. As mentioned above, the event this year netted over $11,000. You will soon receive an email soliciting an opportunity to coordinate this event for next year. Many details will be included in that email but I hope you will give this consideration. Most of this year’s committee have agreed to stay on so it should not be terribly burdensome.
I wanted to share a friendly reminder that our annual Holiday Tea will be held on December 10th from 2-4 PM at the home of Polly Herriott, in Sun City. I hope it is on your calendar and that you plan to join us.
Also a reminder that beginning in January 2018 until March 2018, the State AAUW will match any contribution to the Ann Richards Fund; those individuals contributing $500 or more will receive a lovely “yellow rose” pin and be recognized at the State Convention in April. The State Convention will be held in Houston in 2018 from April 20th-22nd at the Embassy Suites (11730 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77079).
Looking forward to 2018, we have some excellent programs planned, and as always, the annual Fashion Show and Purse Auction in March. In early January, the Strategic Planning Task Force will meet to assess our progress on the 2017-18 goals and look for additional ideas. If you have input or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me or to reach out to Pat Rehm.
It seems to me that we are experiencing some extraordinary violence and volatility throughout the country. My wish for all is that a spirit of calm, peace and holiday joy prevail in the coming weeks and close of the year.
Hope to see many of you very soon,
Our branch fundraising reached two milestones in October, since the profits from both the Duck Race and our booth at the Sun City Garage Sale exceeded our expectations and set new standards! Details of our two events are given in special reports in this issue, but I wish to acknowledge that members’ participation was essential to these successful events – especially because the events were only a week apart. Thank you!
Helen Elkins and the Duck Race committee were preparing and making contacts in the community for many months prior to the sale of tickets and were thorough in their extensive arrangements. Although the Board had approved having a “garage sale” fundraiser this month, the support of many individual members made it successful. We know that our annual contributions to national, state, and local educational projects will be outstanding this year!
Have you heard of AAUW’s “Two-minute Activist Mobile”? It’s new, only introduced this summer. It raises our advocacy ability to a higher level, by allowing AAUW to send more timely and targeted communication straight to your cell phone via text message. It can also connect you by phone directly with your legislators’ offices. If you are interested in this “direct line” from the national Association, simply text the word “AAUW” to phone number 21333 to join “Two Minute Activist Mobile.” [To end this program, merely text “STOP” to 21333.]FYI: This month AAUW will support Latinas’ Equal Pay Day on Novembert the State/branch level. Last year, AAUW awarded $5000 in scholarships to local senior girls. AAUW is a 501 (c)(3) organization.
FYI: This month AAUW will support Latinas’ Equal Pay Day on November 2nd. Also, on November 9th, the Association will sponsor an online discussion with Winona LaDuke, author of The Winona LaDuke Chronicles: Stories from the Front Lines in the Battle for Environmental Justice. If interested, go to www.aauw.org for more information and to register.
I look forward to seeing you at the November 20th branch meeting with Malinda Gaul, an active AAUW member and lawyer in San Antonio, who will share her advocacy interests and experiences. As the holiday season begins, I hope that you will have an enjoyable Thanksgiving with family or friends! I am grateful to be a part of the Georgetown Branch!
Best wishes, Pat Rehm
Get out your calendars!!
It is officially Duck Race time again. We hope to see many of you at San Gabriel Park on October 14th (11:00am-1:00pm) to cheer on your duck as we race to raise money for our annual scholarships. See Helen Elkins’ DUCK RACE information in this newsletter for more details.
The weekend before, on October 7th, the Georgetown Branch will be participating in the Kiwanis Garage Sale to be held at Sun City. This is always a fun event so be sure to mark your calendar and come out to show your support. It will be held from 8:00 until noon.
October is a very busy month and a precursor to the holiday season. It just seems like time can get away from us as we head into the end of the calendar year, so I wanted to put something on your radar screen. It involves completing the Ann Richards Fund. The State of Texas’ AAUW is offering a special incentive to help meet our ultimate goal of raising $200,000 — to date we are short about $60,000. From January 1st to March 15th the State will match any contribution made by individuals or individual branches. To that end, your board voted on September 12th to make a one time donation of at least $1000 from the branch, designated to the Ann Richards Fund. This will be in lieu of the $15 per member contribution we typically make to National. This contribution will be earmarked to the Ann Richards Fund and matched by the AAUW State of Texas. Of course, individuals may make other personal contributions, also matched by the State if they so choose. Let’s help make this happen.
Finally, most of you probably have received word from AAUW National about the project to reach Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The Secretary appears to be adamant about supporting Charter Schools over Public Schools and of limiting or eliminating far-reaching Title IX impacts; our project initiative is to reach out and convince her that neither of these are good ideas or good for women. If you have any questions, please contact our Public Policy Representative, Mary Kay Pierson.
I hope to see many of you at the Kiwanis Garage Sale on October 7th and/or the Duck Race on October 11th and/or the October Branch meeting on October 16th. Please let us know if you may need a ride.
Greetings AAUW Members,
You can always tell it’s July in Texas when the weather is in double digits daily, and some days, so is the humidity. I hope you are having a good summer; lots of you had travel plans and maybe you had some respite from the heat as well.
Speaking of plans, the planning meeting held on July 26th generated some amazing goals for AAUW Georgetown this year. Those will be presented to the Board at their first meeting of this fiscal year on August 8th. While all board members are expected to attend, all members are invited as well. We meet every second Tuesday of the month at the Georgetown Library Conference Room on the 2nd floor at 1:30 PM. The room is small so if you plan to attend please notify either Pat Rehm or Marsi so we can make other arrangements.
Our big annual August Membership Coffee will be held on August 26th at Cowan Creek from 10-noon. You are definitely encouraged to join us and to bring a new potential member with you. If, by chance, you have not paid your 2017-18 dues yet, this would be a great opportunity to do so. For this year, dues are $78 which includes dues for Branch, State and National. (The renewal form is on the last page of this newsletter and on the website.)
Another great fundraiser event, the Duck Race, will be held on October 14th, at San Gabriel Park. The Duck Race committee has been hard at work to make this event even more successful than last year’s. Duck Race tickets will go on sale starting August 1st and we really need your help to sell those tickets. Chairwoman Helen Elkins has a lot more to share later in this newsletter, but please do calendar that day and plan to be out at the park to cheer on our “racers”.
See you soon and stay cool.
Marsi Liddell, Co-President