2020-2021 Co-President’s Messages

June/July, 2021

Hello AAUW Georgetown members,

The summer keeps inching closer and closer! It is amazing how quickly the year has sped by….even with Covid influencing our daily lives. The newsletter will be taking a break after this one until August, so be sure to keep today’s issue as a reminder of June and July events.

Our branch continues to move forward and try new things. We just completed our first annual Silent Online Auction at the end of May. By all accounts, everyone had a wonderful time working on the committee and working on the auction. Many of us learned brand new skills, and we will be doing a recap soon to evaluate this event for potential future application. If you were able to purchase something in the auction, Congratulations! Enjoy your new item! The AAUW Branch thanks you for your support.

There are many, many people in this great branch who deserve a major ‘thank you’ as they keep
contributing more of their heart and soul to make this branch more dynamic. A big shout-out goes to all of the officers, committee chairs/members, the strategic planning group, our fundraising groups (Duck Race and Online Silent Auction), scholarship committee, and our Social Media, Webmaster, and Virtual Meeting Managers (we are really growing into the technology world this year!). I also want to recognize our Policies & Bylaws Chair for amending branch documents to reflect our growth, our Historian who continues to document what we are doing and makes us reflect, the Co-newsletter Editors who keep us informed on a monthly basis, our Public Policy and Central District Rep who makes us aware of AAUW national and state issues and represents these concerns to our state legislators, our Sunshine Chair who reaches out to our members who are dealing with hardship and difficult moments, and our Branch Secretaries who continue to accurately keep us in line with their minutes of board and branch meetings. We are an awesome group!

No question about it. It has been my honor to work with every one of you this past year.
This is my last monthly newsletter as your co-president. I will miss each of you as I step down and welcome Judy Reinhart and Sharon Lesikar to follow into this role next. There are many strong memories of events over this past year and lots of laughter…..very important quality that I appreciate!

Enjoy the summer and come back in August refreshed and ready to jump back into our activities!

Elain Novak
AAUW Georgetown

May, 2021

Hello AAUW Georgetown members,

As a reminder, if you have not voted yet in the AAUW national election, I would encourage you to do so. The deadline is May 17 at 5 pm ET. If you would like to read more about the AAUW National issues on the ballot, go to:

If you did not receive in your email inbox your unique PIN, you will get information while on this link about how to obtain it.

Our Scholarship Committee has worked diligently to interview 21 high school girl applicants. Four scholarship girls were chosen to receive $2,000 each. Congratulations to them all!

Remember to support the Silent Online Auction soon to be available. Watch your email for more information. There are some awesome items available! Do not let them get away from you!

Also, congratulations to our new slate of officers that was voted into office on April 19 to serve the 2021-2022 year for us. They begin their year of service July 1. I know that you will do everything to provide them your assistance as they jump into these roles for the coming year.

Continue to stay safe as we work our way out from under the Covid-19 virus influence on us all.

Respectfully submitted,

Elaine Novak
AAUW Georgetown

April, 2021

Hello everyone!

So nice to see that the grass is growing, lawnmowers are in the distance, and bluebonnets have already been sighted in Big Bend National Park! So, it will not be long before the bluebonnets are also showing up here! Be sure to take lots of pictures so you can enjoy them throughout the rest of the year!

The Strategic Planning Committee has just about finished with our Goals for 2021-2022. Some are familiar and rolled over annual goals. Others are new and will help us focus on some new directions. Of course, we do not know yet how long Zoom will be part of our existence, but it will probably be with us at least the first six months of our 2021-2022 year (July through December). Getting everyone comfortable gathering together in close quarters will definitely be done when we all are feeling much safer. We will take it one day at a time. Eventually, we will all get out from under the wearing of masks, but it is going to be a while. Patience!

The Online Auction Committee continues to learn more and more about how to hold this first event. Brenda Scholin and Cindy Graham are working hard collecting items from our members that will go into the auction.  Starting Thursday, April 1, Brenda (512-731-6627) and Cindy (214-912-5656) will start picking up your donated items. Call either of them to make arrangements for them to pick your donations. A few baskets are being put together….3-4 people are invited to go together….to encourage beautiful options for purchase.

Start your spring cleaning! You never know what you will find that someone else could benefit from and in turn, the funds raised by the auction will assist AAUW National.

Elaine Novak

March, 2021

Hello AAUW Georgetown,

By looking at the snow and ice in my yard, one would never know that spring is just around the corner! Like you, I am not a big fan of winter things, so this blip in our normally mild Texas winter is being viewed as a nice distraction ….. the multiple days of snow, ice, no electricity and/or water were no fun!

Our membership renewal campaign has begun. Please remember to maintain our organization’s strong presence in Texas Government and national interaction by keeping our membership strong!

I know that the Online Auction committee is meeting often and planning our first virtual fund-raising event. I hope you are as excited as I am about what we see in May when it goes “live” and we have a chance to bid on items! It sounds like a lot of fun to me! Hope to see you there as well.

The Nominating Committee completed a slate of well-qualified candidates to lead our organization during the next business year. Huge thanks go out to Terry Whaley (chair),  Sharon Lesikar,  and Peg Dreyer for interacting with the Georgetown AAUW membership and getting their input. Elections will be held during the April Branch Meeting to be held via ZOOM on Monday, April 19.

Here is to looking forward to spring flowers and our beautiful bluebonnets!

Elaine Novak

February, 2021

Wasn’t the snow a few weeks ago the most pretty snow you have seen in awhile? I know my front yard got three to four inches over the day. It was very pleasant to look out the window and know that I did not have to get out in it. Of course, typical Texas, the next day most of it was melted! Poof! Gone!

Our Nominating Committee is hard at work reaching out to our membership to step up and serve in various capacities over the 2021-2022 year. Please keep in mind that the branch greatly appreciates your commitment to keeping our branch strong and involved in the Georgetown community! Thank you in advance for your contributions! The members serving on this committee are: Terry Whaley, Sharon Lesikar, and Peg Dreyer. I know you will welcome their invitation to serve in various capacities.

We also will be meeting with our Strategic Planning Committee to review our progress on our current plan (see page 6 of our current Handbook). Please review and become familiar with the focus that our officers are applying to our tasks. If you have ideas to offer, please consider serving on this worthwhile committee. Watch your email for the next meeting. This Committee is open to all members of the Georgetown AAUW branch.

Remember, chocolate is the best gift for your dear friends and those you want to become your friends. White, Dark, or Milk chocolate are ALWAYS welcome. Share your love of chocolate with those you come in contact with.

Remember to be kind. Spring and wonderful bluebonnets are just around the corner!

Elaine Novak

January, 2021

Hello fellow AAUW Georgetown members,

Did you ever think that we would make it to the end of 2020? Many of us were wondering if it would EVER get here! Well, thank goodness, it is about to close the door and be behind us. I am like you in that I am looking forward to the new year and all of the efforts to return to normal and interacting with our friends and loved ones. Remember, we have come this far, we can make it a few more months and be out of the woods, so to speak.

One event that many of you were able to participate in was our Holiday Social held over Zoom on Saturday, December 12. It was so nice to be able to listen to everyone’s stories of family, Christmas past, and yummy recipes. I am hopeful that each of you were able to have a blessed and engaging Christmas this year. Like me, I know many of you stayed home and quarantined. I am hopeful that the rise in Covid cases after Christmas and New Year’s Eve can be kept to a minimum. It is such a dreadful experience that I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

When you have an opportunity to get the Covid vaccine, I would encourage you to do so. Together, we will concur this awful disease.

The Nominating Committee for new AAUW Georgetown officers is off and running. Please remember that this organization functions because we all roll up our sleeves and jump in to help. Please join your fellow members as we start our new year in making 2021 the best year yet!

Elaine Novak

December, 2020

Hello AAUW Georgetown,

COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives … in fact, it is causing many of us to not plan family gatherings this Thanksgiving.  This will be quite a change for many of us but do try to remember that this too will pass.  Next year (with a functional vaccine), we are confident that we can return to normal gatherings and enjoy our friends and family.  Keep the faith!

Our annual Duck Race Fund Raiser was a huge success!  We were able to attract several area benefactors as well as sell all of our three hundred tickets.  The scholarship funds we raised will go to very grateful recipients next spring.  I think all of us should be very proud of the effort expended by this year’s committee and the results from our membership. WELL DONE EVERYONE!

The Georgetown AAUW Branch is celebrating a Holiday Social event on Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 2 p.m. using Zoom!  This will be our only event in December. I invite you to mark your calendar and spend some time with your AAUW colleagues in a fun few hours of holiday cheer and going down memory lane.  Bring your Eggnog, Holiday Cookies, Good Cheer, and your best “Ho Ho Ho” to our event.  Make this a holiday to remember … even though COVID-19 is forcing us to do things in a very different way.

All the best to you and yours for this 2020 Holiday Season,

Elaine Novak

November, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving Season Everyone!

With that being said, do you have your “fixins” ready for your gatherings with friends and family? I do not know about you, but I always look forward to this time of the year.

At AAUW Georgetown, we have a few things to celebrate and be thankful for this year. We have a thriving membership….in fact, we have added another member last month! Welcome Mary Bray (see information about her later in this newsletter). Thanks to Marsi Liddell for bringing Mary to our branch. We are now up to 65 members!

Our Fifth Annual Duck Race was held on October 10 in the Georgetown Park at the river using the Georgetown Fire and Rescue Dive Team. They were wonderful retrieving our ducks as they came down the waterway! The city restricted the number of us that could be on the walkway (due to Covid 19), but we were of great spirit and cheered the ducks along as they made it to the finish line. Our prize winners were excited as well. Thanks to everyone involved! It was a very special event for a very worthy cause! Our scholarship winners next April 2021 will greatly appreciate this effort.

We are all looking forward to receiving our AAUW Branch Handbook for 2020-2021. Thanks to VPs Lynne Hester and Kathy Hamilton, we will be updated with our latest Branch Handbook. If you would like a hard copy printed for you, contact either Lynne (713-851-4876) or Kathy (708-710-1675).

Lisa King joins the Board as our new Publicity Chair. She will be submitting information about our upcoming events to area publications. If you have something you would like the community to be aware of within our AAUW branch, please reach out to her for promoting it.

Enjoy these last few days of nice weather folks! It will start to get colder in the near future. Take time to get outside as well as enjoying family and friends during this special time of the year.

Elaine Novak

October, 2020

Happy Fall everyone!

The calendar has turned over another month, and we are galloping faster into this year! It is hard to keep up with all that is going on every day. I hope you are able to keep pace with all that is happening and stay safe along the way!

We all survived our first Zoom branch meeting on September 21. What a wonderful experience! Thanks to all that also attended the two test meetings ahead of time to practice using Zoom. It was a wonderful first step. Thanks to everyone and your support as we do things differently than we have in the past. We still want to stay safe while we conduct our business.

Our Fifth Annual Duck Race is just around the corner on Saturday, October 10, 11 am, at the San Gabriel Park in Georgetown. The Georgetown area high school girls will benefit from all the effort that we are putting into the sale of the Duck Race tickets. Please note that we only have a few weeks remaining, so please reach out to Lynne Hester at 713-851-4876,  Lynne.e.hester@gmail.com to make arrangements for
additional Duck Race tickets by the deadline.

GoTV (Get Out The Vote) has been active and very productive! The deadline for registering new voters is just around the corner, so make certain to get your Voter Registration forms submitted before the deadline in order to vote in November. Mark Your Calendar and  VOTE!

I am looking forward to seeing you at the Board meeting and/or the monthly Zoom meeting!

Stay Safe!

Enjoy the Fall weather,

Elaine Novak

September, 2020

Greetings everyone!

As we are dealing with our typical hot temperatures in mid- to late-July, three-digit readings seem new and hotter every year. Even though we have yet to reach twenty-four days (the average count) of three-digit temperature days, it feels like it will go on forever! Hang on! It will slowly start to go on the downward direction very soon.

If you still need assistance setting up your Zoom connection on the device of your choice, please reach out to one of the members of the Tech Support Committee: Mary Allen, Terry Whaley, Val Sandham, or Elaine Novak. We are happy to help you get ready for the start of an active Zoom year.

This year is starting off with great energy. The Board meeting on August 11 yielded several start of year action items. First, we have a new budget to approve at our September 21 branch evening meeting. For this meeting, we need a quorum, so I encourage you to attend our Zoom meeting. You can review the proposed Administrative and Philanthropic budgets in this month’s newsletter. Please take time to review prior to this meeting. We need a quorum for this vote.

Another item that will be voted upon by the overall membership is our 2020-2021 Strategic Plan.  Please review the attachment to the newsletter. We need a quorum for this vote.

Duck Race tickets are now available from the Duck Race Committee. Pat Rehm and Mary Allen are the co-chairs of our annual fund raiser. As you know, this is a primary fund raiser for scholarship funds for our area Georgetown high school females. Please help us meet our goal of selling 300 tickets in order to move closer toward our annual spring task of awarding these scholarships. The Duck Race is scheduled for Saturday, October 10 at the San Gabriel Park and waterway in Georgetown. See you there!

We are off and running into a very busy year! Thank you for your continued support of AAUW and the Georgetown branch. See you on September 21!

Elaine Novak

July/August, 2020

Welcome AAUW Georgetown Members to the 2020-2021 year!

This coming year has all the potential to be something of landmark proportions! Change will be the underlying action for all that we do. We are anticipating having all of our meetings using Zoom Video conferencing rather than meeting face-to-face. We continue to push forward with fund raising for our annual Scholarship Awards in May, and our entire way of functioning is taking on some really creative directions! We are all learning how to use our “creative buttons” in ways that we never thought we would have to do In order to function and thrive. And, from my vantage point, we are adapting every day and INNING!

If anyone in our Georgetown membership is unsure about setting up Zoom Video Conferencing on your home computer, or tablet, or phone, we are setting up a Technical Assistance Team. The Team member will initially attempt to assist you over the phone. If that is not as productive as it should be, efforts will be made for alternate ways to get you set up and ready to interact using the Zoom Video App.

Our annual August 22, 2020 Membership Coffee will be different this year due to the Corona Virus. At the time of writing this message, we have all been told to again be very careful about our outings and gatherings. Consequently, we are not going to have a face-to-face Coffee in August. We are entertaining having a Zoom session on August 22, but all details are not determined yet. The Board is also looking into the possibility of incorporating a Membership focus in our annual December Social. Stay tuned for more information.

Information about our 2020-2021 Strategic Plan: The Board met in June and voted on our focus for this next year. Take a look at the list later in this newsletter. If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me at novake12001@yahoo.com

Our annual fund raising activity, the Duck Race, scheduled to occur on Saturday, October 10, is in full swing. The committee has been working since last spring to make contact with area businesses, and they have responded very nicely. Tentatively mark your calendar for this annual special event!

I am looking forward to working with everyone this year! Let’s make this a year to remember!
Welcome AAUW Georgetown Members to the 2020-2021 year!

Elaine Novak