The Co-Presidents’ April Message:
Laney Forge and Gail Viamonte
Here we are at the end of another productive and enjoyable year in AAUW! We’ve enjoyed serving as your Anne Arundel Branch presidents for the 2016-17 year. As we look back on our year together with you, we are encouraged that our Branch is accomplishing things we value and pursue as our mission in AAUW.
Our Branch started the year hosting the State AAUW training for leaders in July. Several new members of our Board attended. All summer, members collected books on Saturday mornings for the annual Fall book sale. In September, the Branch hosted the membership luncheon for new and current members. At that time, we set out our goals and plans for the year. In November, Book Sale committee leads and a vast array of members spent a long week of delivering, setting up and selling books to finance Branch scholarships. We made enough money to sponsor several current and future college students in their quest to earn a degree as well as to support the Women-to-Women awards.
The Branch December Holiday Luncheon was a great success, and it provided a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with each other during the holiday season. In January several members met to walk in the historic Washington D.C. and Annapolis Women’s March for equal rights. What an exciting day it was to walk with so many other women who were demonstrating that the time for equal rights in wages, hiring, health care and family planning has arrived! In February members enjoyed a trip to the Baltimore Art Museum to experience the beautiful creations of women in the art world. It was fascinating to discover these works as presented by docents and as housed in this magnificent museum.
March saw a lively get-together for the Board to meet all of our new members. Participants enjoyed a potluck at Mary McGrath’s and heard from each of the twenty members who attended. More recently, Niv reported that we had twenty five new members sign up this year! Well done, Membership Committee! In April several members attended the AAUW State convention to meet the current leaders and participate in workshops on current legislation pending for women in Maryland, which is regularly monitored and supported through our Public Policy group. Thanks to the work of our Historian and others, the Anne Arundel Branch was well-represented and highly visible as a force within the State, in the past as well as the present and future.
Such visibility also derives from Branch presence through an engaging Branch website and Facebook page—as well as media publicity. Internal publicity and communications are kept lively, current, and dynamic thanks to the Branch newsletter. Each of these is the result of leadership, talent, and energy contributed by Chairs and members. Book Clubs, Bridge Clubs–all are thriving!
Speaking of the future: the second “STEM Girls Count!” event is shaping up for delivery next year, once again collaboration between our Branch, Anne Arundel Community College, and Anne Arundel County Public Schools. At the April meeting, the Branch also elected our new board for 2017-18.
Throughout our year at our membership meetings we have had very enjoyable presentations from women who shared the multiple and varied ways in which women have shaped our country. Thank you Program Committee for such interesting and pertinent programs! In May the Branch will conclude our 2016-2017 year with a luncheon to vote on the Budget, introduce the new Board, and to present the scholarship and award winners. Our selection committees had so many qualified, amazing women to interview, and selection could be heart-wrenching! But we found women who are successfully pursuing their education and changing our world as they proceed. Thanks, scholarships committees for your work in this endeavor!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our AAUW year as much as we have, and we encourage you to participate again—or even more– next year!
For information about the branch’s Special Interest Groups, download the Branch Brochure above.