The June Potluck Social Is Back! by Nancy McCabe and Deborah Dunn, Programs Co-Directors


Saturday, June 9, 2018, at 5:30 pm
Deborah Dunn and John Liddle’s backyard
7808 Oak Bay Circle, 95831 (Greenhaven/Pocket area)

After a one-year absence, the June Potluck is returning.  Members and their spouses/partners are invited to share a delicious meal and enjoy each other’s company at our last Branch event of the year.

Folks, please note that 26 people have already registered as of 6/3/2018. Take this opportunity to socialize with fellow AAUW members.

The menu includes appetizers, salads, main dishes, and desserts.  Beverages, cups, plates, cutlery, and napkins will be provided, and the only cost is that of the potluck item you contribute.  So, plan to attend, and be thinking about what you will bring.  To assure a variety of items, please bring a potluck item, which will serve 8, in the following categories according to your last name:

Last names beginning with the letters:

  • A – D    Appetizers.
  • E – L     Salads
  • M – R   Main Dishes
  • S – Z     Desserts

To assist the Potluck Planning Committee, please RSVP here on Event Brite (there is no charge)


You can alternatively register by emailing Dawn Boyd at  Please register by May 31 and indicate if you are bringing a guest.

Note:  Deborah and John live in a gated community.  We will send the gate code in the confirmation email from Eventbrite and in an email blast as we get closer to the event.   Or, enter the numbers 048 to call the house and have the gate opened for you.

If you have questions, please contact Nancy McCabe at or Deborah Dunn at

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

Hard to believe my first year as president has flown by so quickly! As I sit down to write this article, my first thought is this is the hardest part of the job for me. I love the newsletter. As the various articles arrive in my inbox right on time, I so admire how good they are.

We have a great branch, and I hope we continue to advance equity for women and girls with our programs and philanthropy. Some of this past year’s highlights include:

  • Our Tech Trek girls in action during our September meeting.
  • Presenting “Equal Means Equal” with CHAR at American River College in October with the added benefits of:
    • Partnering with a sister branch, which expanded our reach and cut our costs in half.
    • Winning AAUW CA program recognition.
  • Learning the history and current importance of passing the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • The Deeper in Debt panel discussion at Carmichael Library.
  • Our annual Holiday Party, where we collected more than 300 books for Love, Talk, Read and received a fascinating education on women’s history from member and Past President Carolyn Martin
  • January’s IBC luncheon and silent auction allowed us to complete the Sacramento Branch 100th Anniversary Research and Project Grant in just five years and two months!
  • February brought Speech Trek at Consumnes River College. Plus we collected 35+ bags of groceries for the CRC food bank.
  • In March we heard from Hoang Chi Truong, author of “Tiger Fish,” about her immigration from Vietnam in 1975 and making the United States home. Although this was our Author’s Luncheon, it could have easily been a WOW meeting and was most relevant in our current political environment.
  • April’s meeting on pay and salary equity was so good, I am still quoting statistics to everyone who will listen.

This is not even a complete list of everything we did, and so many members worked together to make it all possible. Take a look at page 8 of your directory and thank every one of those women for making all this happen. Not listed are Ashley Anglesey, Public Policy Chair, and Alicia Hetman, co-Director of Funds.

Our leaders range in age from 23 to 85, there is a place for everyone! Thanks, again. I am looking forward to year two


AAUW Sacramento in the 1930s by Cherril Peabody

AAUW Sacramento’s second decade was an ominous one throughout the world. During the 1930s the worldwide economic depression deepened as millions of Americans lost their jobs and stood in line at soup kitchens or lived in camps. In Europe, Adolph Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933, assumed dictatorial powers, and started down a path toward world domination that culminated in World War II and the Jewish holocaust.

Many in the United States adopted an isolationist posture during the 1930s, determined to stay out of Europe’s problems. National AAUW’s advocacy reflected these views, like war neutrality and defense-only military programs. Yet it also promoted disarmament, world peace, the League of Nations and the World Court. Other issues National AAUW supported included education, consumer protection, federal employment based on merit as opposed to sex or marital status, and other issues affecting women and children.

National AAUW frequently asked branches to have members contact their Congressional representatives or the president in support of its positions, and our branch responded enthusiastically. Another priority was the establishment of a $1 million endowment for its fellowship program (later called Funds). Branches were expected to raise money to support this goal; Sacramento’s pledge was $2,000 in 1930.

The branch continued to grow during the 1930s. Total membership in May 1932 was 279; by March 1939, it had grown to 437. Many new sections were created: Drama, Social Studies, Music, South Pacific, Arts & Crafts and Recent Graduates. The number of book groups increased from 13 to 19.

The branch established a newsletter in 1934 and called it the AAUW Bulletin. Members gathered monthly for a luncheon, usually at the Senator Hotel. Meetings featured a speaker or a dramatic or artistic presentation. California Governor C.C. Young spoke at the April 1930 meeting about California’s state finances; 280 women attended, including representatives from other women’s groups (there were 99 in Sacramento!). The branch advocated for establishing a local dental clinic, supported Little House, a home for homeless teenage girls, and participated in other local activities like raising money for the Community Chest. In short, camaraderie, community spirit and increasing concern about world events marked the 1930s for AAUW Sacramento.

We Thank You by Kathleen Asay, funds Co-Director

Did you know that $17,700 was donated to AAUW Funds by the Sacramento branch in 2017? That’s a big reason we were able to complete our 100th Anniversary Fund. It also enabled us to honor six women who have given generously of themselves to this branch. Here they are (applause please):

Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew. Yes, they are two separate people, but for six years we have seen them as a pair, sharing the position of branch Funds Director and for 2017-18 sharing the presidency of the branch. It is appropriate that we honor them now because, without their effort, we would not have our Anniversary Fund. Marty came up with the idea, and together they made it happen. They convinced the board it could be done, and their enthusiasm inspired the membership and other branches to support it.

Marty was an active member in Salinas before coming to Sacramento. In 2007, she was California AAUW’s Northern District Director; she followed that with a year as Sacramento branch Funds Director and a year as a co-president (2009-10). Donna has served the branch as treasurer (she was instrumental in getting us our 501(C)(3) tax status), hospitality chair and member of the nominating committee. As a reflection of her belief in the goals of AAUW, her family annually gives a generous private scholarship through our scholarship program. She and Marty began their partnership with Funds in 2012.

Ruth Burgess and Nancy Lawrence. Again, a pair, and it is as a pair that they are being recognized. Like Donna and Marty, they are equally deserving separately. Each has a long history of doing what’s needed in the branch, whether recognized or not. Each has been a branch president, Nancy a second time when leadership was faltering in 2004-06. Each has delivered support and the benefit of their outside experience (Ruth’s in her job in fundraising, Nancy as a leader with Girl Scouts and the Crocker Art Museum). When the need to complete the Anniversary Fund by 2020 came to their attention in 2015, Ruth and Nancy joined together to ask former branch presidents like themselves to pledge support, a five-year plan that jumpstarted the fundraising campaign and enabled it to be completed two years early.

May Ruth Lynch, Finance Director. The position of Finance Director is one that organizations often struggle to fill, especially with qualified officers. But our branch has been blessed with a retired CPA in that role for the last five years. May Ruth came to us from Atlanta, where she was active in her branch and in the state AAUW. Having worked with other volunteer and charity organizations, she immediately saw what Sacramento needed: our books cleaned up and our records made more professional. She also began training officers in how to use money and maintain and read financial reports. She did all of this with quiet equanimity and a touch of humor. The board gratefully voted to exempt the Finance Director position from the two-year rule in our bylaws, and May Ruth has cheerfully continued to serve in this vitally important position.

Barbara Smith. Barbara quietly earned her place on this list (so quietly she was overlooked when she should have been honored years ago) by willingly stepping up for the big jobs and doing them with a smile. She was co-president in 2006-07 and co-program VP the following year. She did funds in 2010, and nominating committee in 2011 and 2017-18. She continues to serve on the program committee. She is a 50-year member of this branch; some of the interest groups she joined and sustained are still going. For new members like me in 2000, she was one of the first people I could recognize by name because she was always there to make me feel welcome. In so doing so she showed that she cared about her branch and hoped I would, too.

A warm thank you to these six exceptional women.

Exploring Our Interest Groups by Cherril Peabody

Cherril Peabody, Interest Group Coordinator

It’s the end of our program year, but I am already thinking ahead to next fall. As I mentioned last month, I am looking for input regarding our interest groups, but I received very little in response to that article. I also wrote about a potential new group, Current Events, that we might or might not do as a joint group with CHAR (Citrus Heights-American River Branch). Again, no response! HELLO! Is anybody there?

Since then another new group has been proposed: Genealogy. The idea is to bring in guest speakers who how to do research on your ancestry and to share resources among the members. Apparently, several branch members are interested in joining, but the group needs a leader. Is anyone interested enough to be willing to lead the group? Nancy McCabe is willing to help get it started.

Another issue: The evening Great Decisions groups are at full capacity and have had to turn down potential members because of space considerations. I tried to start a new evening group last year, but only three people signed up, and I was able to squeeze them into the existing two groups. This year that won’t be an option. We need a new evening Great Decisions group! I really do want to know who would like to join a new evening Great Decisions group and who might be willing to lead it. Maybe there is an existing member of one of the other groups who would be willing to chair the new group. Or if you would be brand new to Great Decisions, I’m sure the chairs of the existing three groups would be willing to tell you what they do and help you get started.

I really can’t do this by myself, ladies! I WILL APPRECIATE YOUR HELP. Please email me at Thanks!

Membership Matters By Linda Patterson and Sharon Norris

This month we are pleased to announce that the Branch was awarded three free AAUW National memberships for our successful implementation of the Shape the Future program. Thank you to all new members who joined us at a Branch event and to all members who encouraged others to join our Branch this year.

The three free memberships have been awarded to three women who have significantly contributed their time and expertise to our Branch over the last few years. The recipients of the 2018-19 free National memberships are:

  • Dawn Boyd – Branch Reservation Coordinator
  • Deborah Dunn – Branch Program Co-Director and coordinator for the Art and Architecture interest group
  • Tiffany Ardisana James – Branch Secretary and grant writer for Tech Trek

Congratulations and thank you, ladies!

New members who have joined us in the last few months are Joyce Humphrey, Kasmira Kit, Joy Reichard, Christine Random, Katie Sween, Linda Dixon, Susan Hanks, Kolieka Seigle, Eilis Yazdani, Maria Barajas, and Vivian Khem. Welcome!

Your Opinion Counts by Marty McKnew

What are the most pressing issues for women and girls in Sacramento County?  You can help set the agenda for the newly forming Commission on the Status of Women of Sacramento County.

A group of more than 40 community leaders, including members of CHAR and our branch, are working to establish a Sacramento County Commission.  We need your input about how the new commission should focus its priorities. Please take a few minutes to answer this online survey:

Our next meeting is scheduled for July 24 at 6 p.m.  Everyone is welcome.  Contact me for details if you would like to attend

Watch for a Public Forum in August to kick off the public effort.

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

Marty McKnew

Has this year flown by! We will be installing new officers at the May 19 meeting. We hope you will attend. Before we move on to next year, let’s pause to reflect on all we have accomplished this year. Some of the highlights:

In October we co-sponsored the screening of Equal Means Equal with the Citrus Heights – American River branch. This joint venture was a huge success, reaching many new people and bringing to light the plight of the Equal Rights Amendment. AAUW-CA recognized this as an outstanding meeting.

Donna HolmesWe followed this up with a meeting on Deeper In Debt: Women and Student Loans in November, with fabulous guest speakers for our panel discussion. Once again we reached out to the community and a new audience.

The Inter-Branch Council annual meeting featuring a funds speaker in January was the best attended in recent history. Thanks to all our members who came out. We reinstituted the silent auction, and our branch came away with enough donations and auction gains to complete our 100th Anniversary Research and Projects Grant. What an accomplishment – two years before our 100th anniversary.

What a year! This is only the short list. We have accomplished so much more. Thank you to everyone who made this year such a success. We have a wonderful branch and so much to appreciate.

Marty and Donna

On a personal note, I know the branch will be in wonderful hands next year with a great group of dedicated women on the board. It has been a pleasure to serve as one of your co-presidents. — Marty