Daily Archives: March 1, 2016

President’s Message by Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

Community service organizations are struggling to maintain membership and to interest new people in their missions. That is not headline news to anyone who is paying attention to social changes. AAUW is no different in that we lose about 30 members each year and then add about the same number during the business year. I would like to believe that women join our organization because of our charter to advocate for women and girls. We need to continually assess how well we are meeting our mission and evaluating what added value we contribute to the community.

There are many programs that the national organization encourages us to incorporate into our branch, but due to lack of member involvement, we are unable to pursue very many. They would like us to have a daylong event for the girls who applied to but were not chosen to attend TechTrek camp. They would like us to contact the schools in our area to see if they are training staff on the legal requirements of Title IX and give them information that national can supply. We should be reaching out to promote diversity in our membership. The potential for dynamic programming is endless. National supplies the structure, but we have to supply the woman power. Be in touch if you would like to participate in these or anything else that you see on their website. I would like for us to be known as the most dynamic organization in town!

As it is, we have focused this year on adding programming that is beneficial to our membership and the greater community. On March 10, we are hosting a blue ribbon panel discussion on human trafficking in our community. You will receive information on this event and how you can participate. You can get involved by being a greeter, helping with refreshments, or by attending and bringing your friends. This is an opportunity to expand your knowledge as well as to raise our community profile. We have invited other organizations to cosponsor as we feel it is a program not to be missed. It is our largest event of the year. I hope to see you all there.

Exploring Our Interest Groups: The Foodies by Cherril Peabody

Dining at Star Ginger

Dining at Star Ginger

We all like to get together with friends or loved ones to eat delicious food and share conversation, and we have three interest groups whose goal is to do just that.

Singles Dining Out meets the first Sunday evening of each month. Our president, Nancy McCabe, has been chair of the group for several years. The group dines at a different restaurant each month, with recommendations coming from group members. Some of the restaurants are fairly upscale gourmet destinations, while others are inexpensive and casual ethnic cafes. There is a core group that comes regularly, but other members only come occasionally. For more information, contact Nancy McCabe at (916) 383-8405 or mccaben@comcast.net.

Couples Dining Out meets the last Sunday evening of each month. The chair is Sharon Norris. Husbands are included in this group, and therefore the places they eat tend to feature substantial food offerings and not a lot of ethnic cuisine. To accommodate conversation they distribute themselves among separate tables of no more than eight people. The entrée prices per person tend to be in the $20 to $30 range. Like the singles group, most of the couples come regularly, but some only come once in a while. For more information, contact Sharon Norris at (916) 381-4166 or x2ski@hotmail.com.

The Healthy Heart group meets in member’s homes and for that reason is limited in the numbers they can accept in the group and is currently at maximum. They meet on the second Sunday evening for a sit-down dinner comprised of healthy foods. Many but not all of the dishes they prepare are vegetarian. The hostess of each dinner prepares the main course, and the rest of the attendees each bring something to complete the menu. They plan the meals in advance. It’s a casual process, but they may have a theme or specialize in a color. Jane Cooley is the chair of the group. If you’re interested in starting a second Health Heart group, contact her at (916) 483-0302 or janecooley1@gmail.com.

We Need a Few Good Women! By Cherril Peabody, Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee has been fortunate in identifying great candidates to serve in many of the board positions for next year. However, we still have three positions open, and we would appreciate your help. We still need two Program Co-Directors and a President-Elect.

We are encouraging newer members to step up and volunteer to serve. Serving on the board of directors is a wonderful way to give back to our organization and our community, plus it provides an opportunity to get to know other branch members better and develop new friendships. I can certainly attest to the many friendships I have made while serving on the board in various positions. You may feel you don’t know enough about the job or the organization, but there are many long-time members who will be willing and able to help you as committee members or as knowledgeable resources with the answers to your questions via phone or email.

nominating committeePlease contact a Nominating Committee member (see below) to find out more about either of these volunteer opportunities. I guarantee you won’t be sorry!



Chair Shirley Wheeler: 916-972-7298; fewsad@aol.com
Deborah Dunn: 916-803-1112; JEDDL@comcast.net
Cherril Peabody: 916-973-0821; capeabody@comcast.net
Sandi Schoenman: 916-966-2535; curlilox40@sbcglobal.net
Hedda Smithson: 916-961-7214; fohedda@gmail.com

Speech Trek 2016 Winners Announced by Liz Jordan

The Sacramento Branch Speech Trek Project announces the results of our speech competition on Saturday, Feb. 20. We had four winners out of 11 Elk Grove Unified District high school student competitors in grades 9-12.

Speech Trek 2016 Winners

Speech Trek 2016 Winners

From left, Gabriel Aduna, 11th grader at Monterrey Trail High School, won the Honorable Mention $50 Award; Gabriela Martinez, 12 grader at Cosumnes Oaks High School, won the third place $100 award; Neomi Shivani Parikh, an 11th grader at Cosumnes Oaks High School, won the second place $200 award; and Kathy Le, a ninth grader from Pleasant Grove High School, won the first place $400 award.

These high schools students delivered their original 5-6 minute speeches to a packed audience in the Community Room of the Valley Hi-North Laguna Library. The speech topic this year is Gender Bias and Inequality. What is gender bias and inequality? What is its impact on people? Why should organizations such as AAUW continue to work to change its practice?

The volunteer judges for this year’s competition were:

  • Virginia Kidd, PhD., Communications Professor Emeritus from CSUS and AAUW member,
  • Nancy Swanson, J.D., retired legislative advocate and Oak Ridge High School teacher, and a new member of our branch,
  • Mora Som, BS in Psychology from UC Dacis 2013 and owner/operator of Sacramento’s only Cambodian restaurant, A Taste of Angkor.
Students, Judges and Speech Trek Committee

Students, Judges and Speech Trek Commitee

Speech Trek thanks these wonderful judges and our member Kathy Papst, Timekeeper, for their time and effort. Additionally, Speech Trek thanks Linda Patterson, Program Director and one-woman hospitality committee for the delicious refreshments; Gloria Yost for providing Barbara Smith and Hedda Smithson as greeters; and Branch President Nancy McCabe for the helpful signage. Speech Trek Committee members Shari Beck, Ann Arneill, Mary Ann Flemming and Liz Jordan also thank new member Andrea Klinenberg for her technical help in filming the speeches.

The next step in the contest is providing a video of our winner to the State Semi-Finals, which will select the top five speeches from branch competitions held around California. The 4th and 5th place winners are named and awarded $250 and $150 respectively. The top three speakers will compete at the State Convention on Saturday, April 16, at the San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Hotel.

For questions or comments, please contact Liz Jordan, 916-354-9608, lizjord@msn.com; Shari Beck, 916-451-5143, gsbeck@surewest.net; Ann Arneill, 916-942-9227, ann@arneill-py.sacramento.ca.us; or Mary Ann Fleming, 688-3417.


Progress Report on 100th Anniversary Grant by Donna Holmes & Marty McKnew

All the numbers are in for 2015, and we have amazing news! We have now reached 54.6% of our fundraising goal for the 100th Anniversary Grant! Funds financial year runs January-December, unlike the regular branch year. In 2015, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and Installation Tea were also fundraisers for our 100th Anniversary Research and Project Grant. Our members also donated generously. Finally, each year Marty and I solicit sister branches for donations to our grant. Here is the breakdown:

Branch Fundraisers: $2,655.93Funds Thermometer March 2016
Branch Members: $4,580.00
Nevada County Branch: $3,750.00
Santa Barbara-Goleta Branch: $104.00
Bakersfield Member: $200.00
Nevada County Members: $850.00
San Carlos Members: $450.00
Santa Barbara-Goleta Members: $1,875.00

2015 Total donations: $14,464.93

Grand Total to date: $40,966.93


In 2015, we received $7,229 from our sister branches with our great appreciation! Together we are reaching our goals. In only 30% of the time allotted, we have 54.6% of the goal. When you receive your membership renewal packets, please help us keep this ball rolling. We thank you, and those who will benefit in the future thank you!

It’s Almost Time to Renew Your Branch Membership by Pat Winkle

MembershipIn March, the Membership Committee will be busy preparing the renewal forms, which will be mailed to each member in mid-April. We would appreciate it if branch members would also prepare for their renewal so that timely payment can be received by the branch.

In the past, the branch has received requests from members to pay their dues on a payment plan. However, we do not have a financial system that can accommodate such payments and do not want to create an additional burden for the treasurer, who already volunteers an incredible amount of time maintaining our records. Since the dues amount of $85 in 2016 and the deadline of June 1 are known in advance, we suggest that members set aside funds so when the renewal form is received, it will be less of a financial burden to pay by the deadline.

Additionally, the Board has adopted the following:

Sacramento Branch Dues Assistance Process

In the past, the Sacramento Branch implemented an informal system to assist members who are temporarily unable to pay their dues renewal due to unusual financial circumstances. These guidelines are intended to formalize that process to provide better consistency and application.

  1.  Since members were advised in prior newsletter articles about the Dues Assistance Fund, the renewal form will not provide information about it, other than retaining a line for members who wish to make donations to the Dues Assistance Fund.
  2. Assistance will only be provided if there are monies in the Dues Assistance Fund. No monies will be committed out of the general operations budget.
  3. Members seeking assistance must submit their request in writing/e-mail to the Membership Director(s) explaining the general circumstances giving rise to their current financial need.
  4. The Membership Director(s) will share the request with the President, Membership Treasurer and the Financial Director so that the criteria in these guidelines can be addressed.
  5. The Membership Director(s) will review the request and apply the following criteria:

a. The member is not eligible if they received assistance in prior years.’

b. As this is intended to be a fix for a short-term problem, are the circumstances in the                      nature of short-term rather than long-term need?

c. Determine their level of participation and contributions to the branch in the past                            year. Involvement in branch meetings and committees will be given more weight                            than special interest groups.

d. Require a payment from the member to cover, at a minimum, the state and branch                      dues (in 2016 that is $36.00).

6. The Membership Director(s) will make the final decision and respond to the applicant after         consultation with the President, Membership Treasurer and the Financial Director.

Policy Member Update Planned Parenthood by Charmen Goehring

planned parenthoodPlanned Parenthood has been a topic of conversation lately, and usually the discussion has not been positive. Whether it’s a candidate calling for defunding the organization, a self-righteous man shooting up a clinic, or unscrupulous persons fabricating a video to portray Planned Parenthood in a negative light, the news has been filled with ideas of what people think Planned Parenthood is all about. What has been largely missing from the discussion is what Planned Parenthood is actually about.

Margaret Sanger opened the first clinic in New York in 1916 at a time when sharing information about birth control was against the law as it was considered “obscene.” From the first judicial victory in 1936 through the early 1980s, Planned Parenthood was a respected and powerful voice in the women’s health movement. With a mission of funding research; educating specialists and the public; providing contraceptives and health care to women and men; advancing access to family planning in the United States and abroad; and advocating for pubic policies that guarantee the right to access, the organization has been an integral player in improving the lives of millions of people each year. Often, Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider in rural areas, and often the only resource available to poor women. In fact, one in five women in the United States will use Planned Parenthood services. Let’s work to change the conversation back to the positive good that the organization does for the health of our people.