President’s Message, October 2017

Since retiring and no longer having my year synced around the start of school, Fall always begins for me when I reignite the pilot light on my gas fireplace and turn it on…this happened a few days ago so I am embracing the new season! It was wonderful to have so many members at our first meeting; I really enjoyed having a full half-hour of social time at 12:30 before the meeting to catch up with friends and get acquainted with new members. Thanks to LaVonna Ihde for organizing the refreshments this year! The presentations by Jackie DeFazio and India Nishi brought us in tune with the happenings of AAUW at the national level and also focused us inward to the workings of our branch. I think having time to work in small groups encourages more voices to be heard.
With Purses with Purpose fast approaching, it will be “all hands on deck” for October 6 and 7. I know this major event will be addressed in another article, but I want to mention one very important aspect of PWP, the camaraderie that is built among members. Working on committees, cleaning purses together, setting up for the event, etc. – these are the avenues for building relationships and strengthening our branch. I am constantly amazed at the proficient and committed women in this organization; leadership is easy because everyone steps up when asked and follows through with assignments. On that note, the position of EF/LAF representative is still open. This entails checking the national website for updates on the Education Fund and the Legal Advocacy Fund and informing membership on issues at meetings or in the newsletter when appropriate. Please let me know if you are interested.
The October meeting will showcase one reason for our fundraising efforts, Tech Trek. Students for both Stanwood Middle School and Port Susan Middle School will report back on their week-long STEM experience at PLU. I know this is one of my favorite meetings of the year; these students make the future seem very bright!
This month also brings the Candidate Forum at Stanwood Middle School on October 18. Laura Lewis and Elaine Richards are organizing this and Jackie DeFazio will moderate the session. All members are encouraged to attend; more details will be discussed at the October meeting. By the way, have you signed up for the “Two Minute Activist” as mentioned by Cathlin Starke at the September meeting? I recently did…it’s an easy way to stay informed and let your voice be heard on issues that matter to you and AAUW.
Let’s enjoy this invigorating season with PWP, Candidate Forum, Day Trippers, Book Group and all that AAUW has to offer!

~Mary Raymond

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