Newsletter January-February 2018

President’s Message 

Lynne Murphy, President

Lynne Murphy, President

Happy New Year to you all!

The busy days of December are behind us, but we can’t relax. Instead, your board is making plans for an exciting spring! To start, AAUW is privileged to be among the first community groups to visit the Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium, located on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). Our January 13th meeting will begin with a coffee-less social time at 9:00, so eat breakfast and enjoy your coffee before you come. We CAN do this! The business meeting will commence at 9:30 and the program at 10:00. Be among the first to visit this amazing new ERAU structure!

Congratulations to Lenore Hemphill (Rookie of the Year) and Dot Williamson (Mover and Shaker) for their unending efforts to keep AAUW Prescott a top notch branch! It takes the efforts of many and they’ve both given service over and above expectations!

Speaking of the efforts of many…’s that time of year when we begin to consider board officers for next year. We can guess about who may have an interest in filling a particular position, or you can let Molly Divine, next year’s president, know. Speaking from personal experience, serving on the board is a great way to get to know fellow members and to have a hand in the inner workings of our branch. The nominating committee will be meeting in February, so step forward and get involved!

You’ve surely noticed that a five pound bag of sugar is only four pounds nowadays and that a half gallon of ice cream is now either 1.5 or 1.75 quarts. It seems the companies lower the package size while raising the price! Well, it’s been ten years since there was a dues increase by National AAUW. It’s happening this year though. The big difference between those companies and AAUW is that we’ll still get all the quantity and quality of prior years. Only the cost of dues will change (by $10)…..that’s about 83 cents a month.

Two exciting events are planned for February and March, and members will have a chance to help….and learn. In conjunction with ERAU, middle school and high school girls will have an opportunity to participate in Girls Rock-it! , a program similar to Tech Savvy. Volunteers will be needed to guarantee the program’s success, and I know we can count on you to step up. Sign-up will begin at the January meeting.

Resolve in this new year to become involved in at least one aspect of AAUW. Sign up to mentor students at the Sister-to-Sister luncheon, volunteer to help at one of the two Girls Rock-It days, or  host your neighborhood meeting in March. These are just a few of the opportunities available to members. Just say, “YES! I can do that!”   You’ll be glad you did!

Lynne Murphy, President

AAUW Prescott

General Meeting: January 13th Stem Education Center

On Saturday, January 13th the AAUW General Meeting will be held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the new STEM Center. Andy Fraher, Director of STEM Outreach, will share the outstanding new laboratory facilities, student group work areas, and we will have an opportunity to experience The Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium.

Convenient parking is located in Lot A at the north end of the STEM Center. See the home page of the AAUW Prescott website for a map of the campus.

The day’s schedule follows:

  • 9:00              Social Time , no refreshments will be provided. Please do not bring drinks or food into the STEM Center or the Planetarium
  • 9:30              Announcements by President, Lynne Murphy 
  • 10:00           Tour of the STEM Center and planetarium show at the Jim and Linda Lee Planetarium
  • 11.00           End of the Program

General Meeting: February 10, 2018

Legacies of the Past: Arizona Women Who Made History

February is Women’s History Month, so for our February 10 program we invited author and historian Jan Cleere to be our guest speaker.

From artists and healers, teachers and entrepreneurs, women who plowed the land, and those who were instrumental in establishing laws for the new territory of Arizona, many early Arizona women became known for their fortitude in the face of adversity, their confrontation of extraordinary and sometimes dangerous situations, their adventuresome spirits, and their dedication to improving the lives of others. Some of these women gained a degree of celebrity across the state, within their communities, and throughout their tribal regions, and others remained relatively unknown. Some faced and fought discrimination, while others laid down their lives. Meet women who persisted and persevered in their quest to explore, discover, and conquer new lands and new beginnings.

To learn more about Ms. Cleere, visit her website:  She will have copies of her books available for sale before and after her presentation.

AAUW Business

Dear AAUW Prescott Members,

I want to send a personal thank you to all who attended and/or assisted with the AAUW Arizona Fall Forum Nov. 4 in Prescott. The Forum was a great success, but without you it would have been a total flop!

I know that a number of you came to the event out of guilt. I hope you found the day worthwhile in the end. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the way you all came through for us (and me!). Check out the AAUW of Arizona article and pictures. 

Many Prescott members helped with the arrangements and with various jobs on the day of the event. I’m hesitant to name you for fear I will leave someone out, but your efforts were noted and appreciated.


Deb Dillon, Co-President AAUW Arizona


AAUW Prescott Photo Policy 

We believe photographs of our members and events are a valuable tool, both for creating community among our members and for promoting AAUW to potential members, including the community at large. We also recognize, however, that some of our members object to publication of photographs in which they appear. We have therefore established the following photo publication policy:

  • All persons who attend AAUW events may be included in both posed and candid photographs, and those photographs may be published in the Thumb Sketch, website, Facebook, or newspaper articles. Any member who does not want her picture to appear in publications should let the photographer know.

 2017 Holiday Brunch Highlights

Seventy-five women attended the annual AAUW Prescott Holiday Brunch held Dec. 9 at the Prescott Lakes Clubhouse. As always, the highlight of the event was the announcement of the branch Mover & Shaker award and Rookie of the Year award.

Dot Williamson

Dot Williamson

Dot Williamson was named this year’s Mover & Shaker. Dot, one of those members who often works quietly behind the scenes, has been the Membership Directory Co-Chair for a number of years, and she was responsible for the addition of pictures to the directory. In addition to her directory work, Dot has been the co-chair for the Dining in All Directions group and participates in both the Gardening and Travel Groups. Beyond those regular activities, Dot regularly and quietly answers the call to help with various branch projects, such as the recent Viewerie display at the Prescott Library.

Lenore Hemphill

Lenore Hemphill

The five-year-old Rookie of the Year award went this year to Lenore Hemphill. Having arrived from Las Vegas last year, Lenore jumped right into AAUW Prescott activities. Lenore took on a board position this year as Directory Co-Chair, and as a member of the Public Relations Committee, Lenore is the point person for our branch Facebook page. She was the coordinator for our Viewerie display, was instrumental in planning for the Tech Savvy program, and belongs to the Dining in All Directions and the Evening Book Groups.

In addition to hearing about the awards, attendees listened to holiday music provided by the Yavapai College Women’s Chorale. 

Click here to see photos of the Holiday Brunch. 

RED ENVELOPES – 29 members contributed $1,190 to AAUW Funds  

Contributions were  collected via the Red Envelope campaign to support various national AAUW programs. Any additional contributions may be sent to Edi Taylor-Richards.

AAUW Dues – Income Tax Deduction InformationGet ready to file taxes!

This is just a reminder that a portion of your AAUW dues is tax deductible. If you paid the full amount of $85 for the year, your deduction is $46. For those of you who joined between January 1 and March 15 and paid $42,50 for half the year, the deductible portion of your dues is $23.00. If you are uncertain as to what your status is, please feel free to contact me, Katie Wrigley, by phone or e-mail (see Membership Directory).

March Neighborhood Meetings

Each March, we gather in small groups in the homes of members. This is the time when members are given the opportunity to give suggestions to strengthen our branch and to enjoy each other’s company in smaller settings. We are looking for 8 volunteers who would be willing to host a meeting in their home. There will be a board member present at each meeting to facilitate the discussion, and attendees will be asked to help with refreshments.

There will be a sign-up sheet at the January meeting for hostesses for the following neighborhood groups:

  • Copper Basin-Timber Ridge, East Prescott
  • South Prescott
  • Thumb Butte, Central Prescott
  • W. Iron Springs, Forest Trails
  • Willow Creek, NE Willow Creek
  • Prescott Lakes, The Dells
  • Wm Valley No., Granite Oaks, Southview
  • Prescott Valley

If you are unable to attend the January meeting at ERAU, but you would like to host a neighborhood meeting on March 10th, please contact Paula Fuhst.

Public Policy

Attend the State Legislative Day – February 20

Annually, the Arizona AAUW sponsors Legislative Day. On February 20, the 2018 focus will be on the Equal Rights Amendment and its reintroduction in the Arizona Legislature. Our featured speaker will be Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley who proposes to reinvigorate the possibility of the passage of the 30-year-old amendment to secure full rights for women. Only two more states are needed to secure its passage, although this is time-limited.

Also on the agenda will be a panel discussion on the election of women to office, be it state, local or national. We could also arrange for a visit with our area’s state representatives.

The event will be held in the Historic Senate Chambers and Supreme Court Chambers. The day will kick off with a coffee reception at 8:30 am, followed by a presentation by the Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard (if available), our keynote speaker Rep. Hannley, and Rep Michelle Ugenti-Riva. The panel discussion will be held following the speakers. We will enjoy having lunch from food trucks on the lawn.

We encourage any who are interested to attend Legislative Day. It is a day to increase our visibility with those in the Legislature but also to get to know AAUW members from other areas of the state.

The Public Policy Committee has cancelled its January meeting due to scheduling issues. The February 6th meeting will focus on preparation for the State Legislative Day which will discuss the Equal Rights Amendment and how to get women to run for office.  The meeting will be held at 1 pm in the Elsea Room in the Prescott Public Library.

Registration information is forthcoming.

Submitted by Becky Gunn, Public Policy Co-Chair

Community Action

Girls Rock-It Day

Our Prescott branch will be joining efforts with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University this spring in presenting two STEM programs for girls entitled Girls Rock-It Day, on the Embry-Riddle campus in Prescott.

The first program, will be on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 8:30 to 3:30, and will be geared toward middle school age girls. The second program will be on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 8:30 to 3:30, and will be geared toward high school age girls. Both days will feature the same workshops, but structured toward the target ages.

There will be breakout sessions with individual workshops in the fields of Aviation, Engineering, Global Interest, and Physical Sciences. These workshops will be conducted by instructors from Embry-Riddle. Our branch is working with ERAU to provide a keynote speaker for each of the two sessions.

Eight volunteers from our branch are needed for each day. It will assist with  sign-in, directing students to the different venues, and completing the evaluations at the end of the day. There will be no cost to either the students or AAUW volunteers.

This sounds like a fun and educational day which fits perfectly with our mission. I will be taking the names of members who would like to volunteer for these workshops.  If you are interested, please contact Molly Divine (e-mail preferred) and let her know which  day you would prefer. Volunteers will be assigned on a first come, first assigned basis. 

See the schedule for the day at:   Girls Rock-It Day Schedule

AAUW Prescott Welcomes New Members

Jeanette Polvani

Submitted by Jeanette Polvani

Welcome to our new members!! Enjoy learning a little bit about our new members.  We will continue to feature more new members in future months.

Pat Anderson – Pat was raised in Mesa, AZ, got married and spent 38 years in Alaska. She and her husband moved back to Arizona after tiring of the long, cold winters. She enjoys golf, travel, volunteering and spoiling her two dogs. She’s looking forward to the interest groups and the learning opportunities offered by AAUW.

Dee Gahn – Dee is married, has two adult children in Tucson and two marvelous granddaughters. She enjoys reading, movies, weaving, aqua aerobics, and just being in nature. Her favorite interest groups are the movie group and book group. When Dee first retired, she took a sign language class, which has proved very helpful when travelling. Whether in long lines or at noisy train stations and airports, her use of sign language has been invaluable.

Sharon James – Sharon has been married to her husband, Phil for 52 years. She worked in pre-school and extended kindergarten programs as a teacher and director for many years. They retired to Prescott in 2006 and have three children and four grandchildren. She enjoys activities with children, travelling, and hiking.

Shannon Schinagl – Sharon is fascinated by the different cultures in various regions of the US, having lived in 20 different places in the country before moving to Prescott. Her passion is working with animals, and she volunteers at Circle L Ranch, a sanctuary farm in Prescott Valley. An interesting story about Shannon: her grandma used to grow the most amazing beefsteak tomatoes. One summer, she ate so many over a two-week period that she got sick from the acid in the tomatoes and had to be taken to the emergency room. PS – She still loves tomatoes.

Edie Spain – Edie began her career teaching at the high school level, then moved to special education and spent her last 16 work years teaching at Santa Monica College. In the late 70s, she and her husband, quit their jobs, sold their worldly goods, bought a ten-year old VW pop-up camper and camped for 3 months in the US, then headed for warm-weather scuba diving in Cancun, Cozumel and Belize. They also have travelled to many countries around the world. Currently, they are exploring Arizona in a 1968 vintage travel trailer (shades of the old VW?) Edie enjoys scuba diving, sewing, swimming, T’ai Chi, and golf with her husband.

Maggie Wychunas – Maggie is a retired special education teacher from Westchester, New York, working 25 years at a high risk high school. She loved her work and was sad to retire initially, however is always busy now and glad she relocated to Prescott. She is married, has two children who live in Arizona and a grandson, 2 ½ years old, and granddaughter, 7 months old.   She loves to hike, read, golf and bake. She has joined a Great Decisions group, as she loves a good conversation about anything that is going on in the world.

 Scholarships                                                                    Save the DATE!!

The Mad Hatter will be having a “Tea Party” in the Sculpture Garden at Yavapai College on Friday, April 20, 2018 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Come meet Alice, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, and other interesting characters and musicians.  Fine wine and delicious food from the Yavapai College Wine Center and Culinary Program will be served.

Ticket prices will be $45.00 per person.  Please plan to attend, bring some non-AAUW friends, and help us meet our financial goals for the two AAUW Yavapai College scholarships.  Let’s support our local worthy students!

 Interest Groups

Healthy Living Group

Tracy Smiles

Submitted by Tracy Smiles

Prescott AAUW’s Healthy Living Group is an interest group dedicated to sharing information that stimulates, motivates, and educates members to help them incorporate healthy living practices into their everyday lives, while allowing for individual differences. We engage in group discussions on a range of relevant topics related to healthy living & aging with grace that incorporate presentations by guest speakers, viewing and discussing short films and articles, and well as taking time to check in with and support each other. 

Past topics we’ve explored together include: Mindful Eating, Balance (Physical), Vitamin D & Healthy Foods, How to Start an Exercise Program, and Skin Care.  We meet the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m. in the Prescott Public Library’s Elsea Room on the main floor.  Please come join us if you can!  For questions and/or more information contact Tracy Smiles. Hope to see you there!  Note: There will be no meeting in January. 


MARJ SENTE is the Liaison for the new GOLF interest group that will meet the 1st Tuesday of each month. Contact Marj if you have questions or you are interested in joining this group. 

Other Interest Group News

The 2nd Wednesday Evening Great Decisions has a new liaison, Saundra McKnight.

The 3rd Thursday Afternoon Great Decisions has been disbanded.