Category Archives: President’s Message

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

In February, we attended our first Speech Trek contest. WOW! I knew it would be good, but it was so inspiring. The contestants and their families really supported each other, filling the room with energy. Eight students spoke and each speech was unique, amazing in their differences on the same subject. Our branch winner will speak at the May meeting, so don’t miss it.

Right now, in a wet March, we are looking forward to our author’s lunch at Plates. This is my ninth consecutive year on the board, and I have already agreed to a tenth. Despite my fears when I took on my first position, Finance Director, everyone helped, answered my questions, excused any mistakes and made me feel welcome. That has remained true through the years. Being on the board, chairing a committee, or just being on a committee provides so many opportunities to not only serve our mission but also make new friends who share similar vision and values. I have learned so much and continue to do so. I feel I have made a difference and, best of all, made forever friends with wonderful women of all ages. So jump in. The water is fine, and you’ll be glad you did.

Cheers and hugs, Donna & Marty

Presidents’ Message by Marty McKnew and Donna Holmes

As I write this article, the Olympics are underway. This is a good time to reflect on the progress of women in the Winter Games. Among the 258 athletes lining up at the start of the first Winter Olympics held in 1924 in Chamonix, only 11 were female, all of them figure skaters. By 1960, 20 percent of the athletes were women. Over the years, more sports opened up to women, but always with a fight. The first woman served on the IOC Executive Board in 1990. In 1991, a historic decision was made by the IOC: Any new sport seeking to be included on the Olympic program had to include women’s events

Women athletes made up 43 percent of all athletes at the 2018 Winter Games, up from 40 percent in 2014. They can compete in all events. However, even in disciplines where female athletes have achieved equal participation, many of their events have different durations and distances, stereotyping women as weaker and less skilled than men. They jump off shorter hills, ski and speed skate shorter distances, and compete on shorter bobsleds.

One has to wonder how much the passage of Title IX in 1972 had to do with the emergence of. American women in the Winter Games. Bravo to all the women athletes! While Title IX was a great step forward, we still have our work cut out for us. Just last month the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated in the Virginia legislature despite the efforts of woman’s rights activist across the state. Why is the ERA important? The answers are in the video “Equal Means Equal,” which our branch showed last year. Liz Jordan will be glad to arrange a showing if there is enough interest.


Marty McKnew

Presidents’ Message by Marty McKnew and Donna Holmes

Gosh, we are past the halfway point in our branch year, and we have still more exciting programs to come! Over 28 of our members attended January’s IBC lunch, and we are thrilled with our branch’s attendance!

This month’s Speech Trek contest will be held on the campus of our latest C/U partner, Cosumnes River College. Besides hearing from these wonderful high school students, we will have the opportunity to help the students attending CRC. During our Deeper in Debt program last November, Funds co-director Alicia Hetman asked our presenters what our branch could do to help college students in our area. One request was food for an on-campus food locker. The details are in this newsletter.

Congratulations to our branch, Liz Jordan, her helpers and the Citrus Heights-American River branch as the Equal Means Equal program was selected by AAUW-CA for recognition for the 4th quarter of 2017! We have won several program awards, reflecting our focused, determined and dedicated members who live our mission and values as well as our theme: AAUW Speaks Out for Women.

February 25 is our branch’s 98th birthday! Only two years to our big 100th, and many of you are preparing. Every month you will see an article in the newsletter highlighting our upcoming centennial, and you will be given opportunities to participate.

See you at a program or event soon! Hugs and Cheers, Donna & Marty

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

Happy New Year! 2018 has arrived!

We can’t leave 2017 without acknowledging the wonderful team who worked so hard on our lovely Holiday Party – Carolyn Martin for her great presentation, Mary Williams on piano, Mary Schneider and Vivian Counts for the table décor, and Deborah Dunn and Nancy McCabe (in absentia) and all their team. Thanks to all of you, we collected more than 300 books for Love, Talk, Read. Gloria Yost encouraged the Sacramento State Affiliate members to attend, and it was great to have them with us. And finally, thank you everyone for the warm welcome to our surprise guest – the president of the San Antonio Branch, Karen Reichensperger, PhD.

Looking ahead to 2018, we have a great line-up of activities for our branch. In January we have the annual Capitol Cities Inter-Branch Funds Luncheon. This year’s two fellows, Kara Leong from UC Davis and Zawadi Ahidiana from UC Berkeley, are receiving their support from local grants. We are so delighted women honored to have grants in their name or their branch’s name will be introducing them at the luncheon. Look for the flyer in this newsletter, and sign up today.

Now that it is 2018, 2020 is not far away. What is so important about 2020, you ask? It was in February 1920 that the Sacramento Branch held its first meeting. Ruth Burgess is heading up a team to celebrate this big anniversary. They are asking for your help in the way of AAUW stories. We all have them. What’s yours? Ruth will be looking for it. Watch the newsletter for monthly updates on all the plans for 2020 and how you can participate.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2018!

Marty and Donna

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

As we prepare our December message, it is approaching Thanksgiving and we would like to start by saying how grateful we are for our board and all the members who have helped with all our activities. There is power and energy in working together, and we can change the world for the better.

So far there has been a tabling event at California State University, Sacramento with our CSUS affiliate, the “Equal Means Equal” screening with the AAUW Citrus Heights-American River branch on getting the Equal Rights Amendment passed, once again partnering with other women’s groups for Take Back the Night, and November’s Deeper in Debt panel on women and student loans. Special thanks go to the ladies who lead these events: Ashley Anglesey, Deborah Dunn, Morgan Glover, and Liz Jordan. Without their committee leadership, these programs would not have happened.

We also want to express special thanks to our often unseen and unsung heroines, the ladies behind the scenes on EVERY program

  •  Shari Beck – e-blasts
  • Dawn Arnone Boyd – reservations and registration
  • May Ruth Lynch – paying the bills
  • Cherril Peabody – publicity
  • Kim Rutledge & Angela Scarlett – newsletter and website
  • Angela Scarlett – Eventbrite links and set-up

This is only our most recent gratitude list. We cannot say thank you too many times!

If you have not read AAUW’s newest study, Deeper in Debt, please do. You may download the PDF from the website or get a copy at the holiday luncheon on Dec. 9. Our panel provided even more insight, including a fruitful discussion on how housing costs are a much bigger factor than tuition in California. The November issue of the Kiplinger Retirement Report has an article on student loan impact on seniors. “Borrowers age 60 and older had $66.7 billion in student loan debt in 2015, up more than 700% from 2005, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”

Lastly, the California AAUW vote to fix our charitable status did not pass. In this particular election there can be no NO votes, only yes. Twenty-six people voted no, so we have to do it all over again. This is expensive, and the attorney fees also take large sums of money that then cannot go to mission-based programs. We have been granted the opportunity to repeat the vote, and it will happen after Thanksgiving. Keep an eye on your email, and then vote yes. Questions may be referred to RuthAnn Hines of the State Governance Committee. Thank you.

Have the holiday season of your dreams, Donna & Marty

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

Our joint showing of Equal Means Equal with the Citrus Heights/American River (CHAR) branch on Oct. 10 was a great success. More than 100 people attended the two showings, including one American River College class and many community members. Many thanks go to Liz Jordan and her indefatigable team who showered the community with flyers and came out to help at the event. In preparation for the showings, Liz appeared on Insight with Beth Ruyak on Capitol Public Radio on Monday, Oct. 9. You can listen to the segment by going to Many attendees cited hearing her presentation as how they heard about this event.


Bravo Liz! Raising awareness of the status of the ERA is more important than ever.

More kudos to our Tech Trek Co-Director, Morgan Glover, who organized our representation in the Take Back The Night event on Oct. 14. Thank you to all who came out to help.

Deeper in Debt, AAUW’s latest research on student loan debt, will be the subject of our next program on Thursday, Nov. 9. This should be an informative evening as we learn about the research and hear from a panel of experts on the latest developments and what our state is doing to make college more affordable. Once again a very timely subject, as student debt is prevalent in the news these days. As with all public events, anyone who joins at the event receives half off of National Dues, a savings of $24.50. We hope to see you there.

Mark your calendars for two events coming up soon. Our annual holiday party will be held on Dec. 9 at Northridge Country Club. This is always a fun event to start off the holidays. Then on Jan. 27, 2018, join fellow AAUW members from around the area for the annual Inter-Branch Council sponsored luncheon – another worthwhile event featuring recipients of our AAUW Funds fellowships. This year’s event will be local for us as Plates is the venue. We know you won’t want to miss either of these events.

Presidents’ Message by Co-Presidents Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

Donna Holmes

Our Showcase was a great kick-off to our branch year! Thank you so much to Cherril Peabody for taking charge of this program and doing an outstanding job. Thanks also go to the best supporting team: Gloria Yost, Barbara Smith, Sharon Norris, Nancy McCabe and Liz Jordan, plus my husband, Wyndel.

This year’s program proved to be another tour du force with 78 people in attendance. Jo Reiken and Morgan Glover brought in our Tech Trek girls with their families to share their experiences for the first time in several years. Tech Trek is one of the most beloved things our branch does, and the Showcase presentation was just what our membership wants.

Three of our four scholarship winners were also present with family members and spoke of their dreams and goals and showed gratitude for what we have given them. Thank you to Susana

Marty McKnew

Mullen and Anna Storey for making this happen, with extra thanks to Susana for her presentation.

Kathy Asay, our new Funds Director, arranged for a former Fellow to speak on how getting an AAUW Fellowship changed her life. The fellow, Marjorie Wade, is a current branch member.

We’re looking forward to two upcoming events in October: Equal Means Equal presentations at American River College on Oct. 10 with the CHAR branch and Take Back the Night on Oct. 14. Hope to see many of you there!

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

Our new presidents, Marty McKnew and Donna with last year’s president Nancy McCabe (center)

Welcome to an exciting new branch year!  Marty and I plan to be very involved, hands-on presidents visiting and participating in as many committees and interest groups as possible.

We are thrilled to have all our board positions filled and with dynamic women!  Ashley Anglesey who comes to our branch from the CSUS branch after graduating in June has filled our last open position, Public Policy.  Our board spans 50 years, women from 25 to 75, giving us age diversity other branches envy!

At our retreat last month, the board chose “AAUW speaks out for women” as our theme.  On October 10th we will be showing “Equal Means Equal” at American River College in collaboration with CHAR. Come to Showcase and hear more about our plans!

We will also stay very involved with completing our 100th Anniversary Grant and getting ready for our 100th birthday celebration in 2020.

We are proud to be your Presidents and hope you all will free to contact us with ideas or questions.

Hugs & Cheers, Donna & Marty

President’s Message by Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

This year has been an unusual one in that our branch didn’t have a program chair, so every event was planned by an outreach or interest group which has worked out quite well, all things considered. Particular kudos go to Tech Trek who presented “To Engineer is Human–Paths to California Water Resources Management.” It was presented in celebration of Women’s History Month, and the contributions that women working in STEM fields are making every day to save our environment for generations to come.

Our own Sacramento branch member Anne Lynch, a water engineer working as a consultant in flood plain management for the California Department of Water Resources, and Leslie Louden, a professional geologist and Deputy Director of the Financial Assistance program at the California Water Control Board, discussed how their passion for science led them to their current careers. Their program was awarded a certificate of achievement at the California State AAUW annual meeting. This is the second straight year that out branch has been so recognized.

There will be program co-chairs this coming fiscal year who will be meeting with interested members who have noted their interest on the survey which came with your renewal package. We would welcome your interest and participation in planning and achieving interesting programming for the coming year. We would like to keep our winning streak of great events!

Our outreach groups are scholarship, public policy, speech trek, tech trek, and funds. Please complete the survey and select an outreach group which feeds your soul. After all, isn’t this why you became a member of AAUW?

President’s Message by Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

Have you thought of volunteering for a board position for our branch? Have you thought that you don’t know enough about AAUW to jump in? Would you feel more comfortable with a bit more knowledge? The annual leadership training for our area will be on April 1 at CSU East Bay in Concord. The topics for training are:

  • Conflict Resolution Improvised
  • Enact to Engage – Modeling the Value Promise
  • Lobbying and Advocacy
  • Empower, Engage and Retain Younger Members
  • Dealing with an Aging Membership

Several of us attended the training two years ago and found it to be helpful. While in-depth knowledge of AAUW is not required to hold an office, one feels more comfortable with training such as this. If you are interested in getting more involved in the mission of our branch, you can always volunteer on a committee, where you will learn by doing. I, for one, have learned a lot by holding an office. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you learn as you go, all while getting to know some really nice ladies!

To register for the leadership training, go to the AAUW California site:

Sign up by March 25. The cost is $25, which includes lunch. If you plan to go, let me know if you would like to carpool as I will be driving. I hope several of you choose to get more involved in the business of AAUW Sacramento!