Greetings from the Pres: Carletta Knox Seymour

I come to you this month asking for help from all of you regarding our 90-year celebration. This is a huge undertaking which presents many challenges. I need everyone’s cooperation and participation in order to make it a success. The first thing I am asking all of us to do is to show up on June 2nd. That is about 55 members. The ticket price is $40 for members and $50 for non members.   Please come out and support our own organization. This event is also a fundraiser, and I will need a head count by Wednesday, May 23rd.

The celebration will take place at the Dublin City Pub, which was previously Charlie’s on the River in downtown Cedar Rapids across from the bus depot. The talented and internationally known Blues Artist, Kevin Burt, will be performing for us. Kevin Burt is a beloved musician from Coralville who has been performing for 20 years in Iowa City and all over the world. He recently won 3 first place awards at a Blue’s Challenge in Memphis and it has been like being discovered all over again! We were lucky to get him since he is booked through an agent now.

To make this an inclusive occasion we need to invite members of the public to enjoy the celebration with us. So, the second thing I’m asking your help with is to sell tickets. You may sell to your friends and public figures such as elected officials, the school superintendent, members of the school board, and leaders/members of other organizations. Please invite husbands and significant others to join in the festivities as well.


Announcements: Please send Dues

The Association has raised national dues by $10 so the combined branch, state and association dues are now $80.  Life members pay state and local dues of $21.  50 year members pay $11. Send dues for 2018-19 to Mary Lawrence, 3701 Hawk Ave SWCedar RapidsIA 52404. 

A Special Thank You to everyone who donated to the complimentary breakfast at the March Legislative Forum. Our members generously answered the request for cash or home baked pasteries!  Cash donations for beverages were received from Suah Borsay, Sue Pearson and Linda Armitage.  Fresh muffins and coffee cakes were brought by Carol Hills, Barb Goings, Carletta Knox-Seymour, Sue Jorgensen, Maria Dean, Jinny Adams, Linda Armitage and Linda Topinka.   It was bountiful!

Book Group We are not having book group in May. At 6:30 on Monday, June 25th we will be having a pot luck at Sharon Vana’s home, 1620 Bilgarie Crt NE.  We will discuss A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and will be selecting books to read next year.  Give Sharon a call to RSVP: 319-350-9697.

Come to the next Meet and Greet!  We will be meeting at Napoli’s restaurant at 500 Marion Blvd NE on Thursday, May 24th between 4:15and 6:30p.m.  Members and guests would be warmly welcomed to share information and answer questions about the American Association of University Women.

We will run this as an open house concept with guests arriving between any of those times. We will provide beverages and appetizers between 4:15 and 6 pm.  Hope to see you or any of our 7 interested guests there! You may order dinner on your own during or after the session.

Linda Armitage,  AAUW Membership Director   319-393-0675

Report on the Iowa AAUW State Conference The conference was held, April 20-21, in Fort Dodge, Iowa.  Carletta Knox-Seymour and Penny Foy attended.  Pat Higby from Cedar Falls and Sue Jorgensen were the Program Vice Presidents for the conference, but Sue was unable to attend because of illness.  Sarah Swayze registered to attend, but she injured her shoulder while shoveling snow and was unable to attend.

The conference opened on Friday evening with a Reader’s Theatre that included inspirational quotes from women have taken on challenges and triumphed.  Women continue to celebrate as we expand our wings!  In addition to the readings there were music videos like “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy. It was a hit! In fact, a woman from the Association will be taking the show to D.C. to share! This reader’s theatre was a spin-off of a community performance originally called “Hear Me Roar” which the Keokuk branch hosted. This is a program that we can do next year!

Membership Increase: Our branch received a certificate for increasing membership the last 2 years.  Between 2015 and 2018 we had a 15% increase, and 2017-2018 a 10% increase.  It has taken all of us to accomplish this!

We contributed three items for the silent auction to raise funds for the Association.  Our branch had a table with a display to showcase our achievements.

Dr. Maria Dean was honored at the conference by receiving the Distinguished Faculty Award.  She was nominated by her colleagues at Coe College and six of them were there to honor her. Hats off to Maria!  She was the inspiration that got us started for the STEMconference and she is still the person who coordinates the event on Coe College campus.

A panel discussion about branch STEM projects in Iowa featured a report read by Carletta Knox Seymour about our “Open Minds, Open Doors” conference for middle school girls.

Nominations are open for branch membership, communications, and program.