Fall Notes, September 2009 1
River Falls, WI Branch Newsletter
AAUW River Falls
The Theme for 2009-2010: Breaking Through Barriers 13, Guest Speaker- Alison
Page, Health Care
Is the Month, Year, Decade, Time of the Woman Finally Here? Reform, 6:30 P.M.-
Social, 7:00 P.M.-
We have lived through many initiatives focused on improving the lives of women and
children. And, we all have been beneficiaries of those efforts, but we sure aren’t done
Church Fellowship Hall,
yet! It did seem a little like a rerun when I heard former President Clinton in an interview
110 N. 3rd, River Falls,
on Meet the Press, Sunday, Sept. 27th talked about the 5th Clinton Global Initiative,
focused on “girls and women, on their economic empowerment around the world, but
also on the direct threats they face.” I sat up and took notice! He’s doing this out of his
frustration that things are not getting better and with a lot of talk and not a lot of action.
October 8-10 and
October 15-17, Annual
Book Sale. See enclosed
On the previous Friday evening I had heard Lynn Scherr-for vacationing Bill Moyers-on
article for details.
the topic of “Women Making a Difference.” She interviewed Kavita Ramdas of India, who
heads the Global Fund for Women. Her interest lies in ‘investing in women’ rather than
just ‘giving to women.’ Ms. Ramdas talked about the fact that 70% of women in the
world live in poverty and women are 80% of the refugees. What really hit home with me Wednesday, November
were her comments on the 21st century. Will this be the century that we move forward 4, Legislative Day,
on “Women’s Issues?” To quote Ms. Ramadas, “I just have stopped using that term, Madison, WI.
‘women’s issues.’ I really don’t know what that is. What issues should 51 percent of the
world check out on? Women are not just waiting to be filled up with resources – they’re
ready to put their resources on the table to be able to lead towards a different world.” Tuesday, November 10,
Guest Speaker- Jennifer
O’Neil, Estate Planning,
We all feel the frustration of not having our voices heard, of not having our seat at the 6:30 P.M.-Social, 7:00
table. Yolanda Dewar, our International Relations Chair, sent the profile of Melanne P.M.- program. River
Verveer that appears below. She was appointed to the newly created ambassadorship, Falls Public Library.
Ambassador-at-Large -Global Women's Issues. We, AAUW, as a community of caring,
Tuesday, December 8,
Fall Notes, September 2009 2
2009-2010 Branch Officers
intelligent people have been there for 128 years and we will continue to make life
President: better in our world. We are stepping up and taking action. It is wonderful to hear
these world leaders recommit to the goals we believe in and are giving of ourselves to
Susan Halseth -381-6963 see achieved. Sue Halseth, President.
Program Co-Chairs, Sue Danielson and Sue Koosmann
On September 15th, Toni Velure engaged the branch with sample lessons from her
Ethel Johnson middle school science class. We saw why students really enjoy her classes! The
-425-6220 desserts were exceptional! Those who were present had a very positive first meeting
Elise Nooney experience!
Coming up on October 13th is a chance to hear another exceptional speaker, Alison
Page, who will talk about something that is on all of our minds - Health Care
Reform. Our own Alison is the administrator at Baldwin Hospital. She will give us her
unique take on this ongoing crisis. The meeting takes place at the Congregational
Church downstairs in the Fellowship Hall at 6:30 for the social time and 7:00
presentation followed by a business meeting. The public is invited, so please ask
Membership Chairs: friends, neighbors or anyone interested to attend.
-425-2875 Melanne Verveer: Ambassador-at-Large -Global Women's Issues
-425-6836 Term of Appointment: 04/06/2009 to present
Educational Foundation: President Barack Obama appointed Melanne Verveer as Ambassador-at-Large for
Kay Montgomery Global Women’s Issues. The President’s decision to create a position of Ambassador-
-425-5426 at-Large for Global Women’s Issues is unprecedented, and reflects the elevated
importance of these issues to the President and his entire Administration. In her
Public Policy Chair: capacity as director of the Department of State’s new office on Global Women’s Issues,
Barbara Peterson Ambassador Verveer coordinates foreign policy issues and activities relating to the
-425-5638 political, economic and social advancement of women around the world. She mobilizes
concrete support for women’s rights and political and economic empowerment
through initiatives and programs designed to increase women’s and girls’ access to
education and health care, to combat violence against women and girls in all its forms,
and to ensure that women's rights are fully integrated with human rights in the
Historian development of U.S. foreign policy.
Fall Notes, September 2009 3
Ambassador Verveer most recently served as Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international
nonprofit she co-founded. Vital Voices invests in emerging women leaders and works to expand women’s roles in
generating economic opportunity, promoting political participation, and safeguarding human rights. Prior to her work
with Vital Voices, Ambassador Verveer served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the
Clinton Administration and was chief assistant to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton in all her wide-ranging international
activities to advance women’s rights and further social development, democracy and peace-building initiatives. She also
led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women. Prior to her time in the White House,
Ambassador Verveer served in a number of leadership roles in public policy organizations and as legislative staff.
Book sale Dates and Location
It is time to sign up for working to make our annual book sale successful. All hands are needed to work Saturday, Oct. 3,
Monday- Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6, and 7th. We also need you to sign up to sell books. The sale dates are October 8-10 and
October 15-17. The location is 119 N. Main Street, River Falls. Call Suzie Danielson at 715-425-9082 or Jeanne Zirbel at
715-425-2669 or email Sue D. at firstname.lastname@example.org to offer your help. It is a lot of fun! Thank you to Sue
Danielson and Jeanne Zirbel for the work in finding a location and organizing the event!
AAUW Newsletter Editor needed
It is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your organization, to know your fellow members better, and earn the
gratitude of your new president (among others!). Sue Halseth will provide tutorship, if you wish. The newsletter is the
communication heart of our organization. Please offer your talents. Indicate your interest by contacting Sue Halseth,
Pierce County Judge Candidate Forum.
AAUW River Falls Branch was approached to co-sponsor this event. Kris Miner will be organizing a planning group that,
according to Kris, “most likely will not meet until November, or even December, with the event the first part of
February.” Those involved include board members of the St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program, some of whom
are also AAUW members. They are asking us to help by having one more AAUW person to serve on the
planning/working committee and 2 or more other volunteers to serve that evening as door greeters/hostess roles, time
keepers, question screeners, and host to the candidates and moderator. They are also asking AAUW to consider a
donation to help with the space rental ($50.00) or any advertising costs. AAUW- River Falls would be given credit in the
advertising and we would have a table available for our membership materials. Please indicate your interest in serving
on the planning committee and/or on the night of the event by signing up on the Volunteer Sheet being circulated
Fall Notes, September 2009 4
during the meeting or by contacting Sue Halseth. Please include your email address, street address, and phone number
when you sign up.
Wisconsin Girls Collaborative Project.
The Kick-Off Conference for the 2009-10 WGCP Project will be held on October 10, 2009 in Wausau, WI. The core of the
WCGP program is $1000.00 mini-grants that will be awarded directly to local and regional collaborations to host STEM-
related programs and activities for girls. Conference participants will have the opportunity to learn about the grant
application and award processes and hear from past mini-grant recipients. The number of mini-grants awarded will
depend on available funding, including conference sponsorships. In 2007, WGCP awards 18 mini-grants totaling
AAUW River Falls in collaboration with local girl-serving organizations can be in line for one of these mini-grants. Sue
Halseth will be attending the conference and will be happy to bring interested others with her on October 9. Please see
the conference brochure, Call for Sponsors, and for more information contact Sue Halseth, email@example.com
Let me hear from you if you are interested in serving on a task force to promote a local effort!
Educational Foundation-Kay Montgomery
Two resolutions which were passed at the AAUW-WI convention in May are listed below:
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN TRANSPARENCY
Whereas a free, democratic society best thrives in a political atmosphere free of untruths, half truths and innuendos;
Be it resolved that AAUW-WI and its branches will actively work to promote campaign finance reform in Wisconsin, and
support the Government Accountability Board disclosure rules.
LOCAL BRANCH DIVERSITY
Whereas the membership of the AAUW is aging;
Be it resolved that each branch create an action plan to increase the number of younger and diverse members and begin
to implement the action plan by the 2010 State Convention.
AAUW Book Club Book Group Update
Another good year is shaping up for the Book group! The October meeting will be on the 15th starting at noon at the
West Wind. The book DEWEY has been the selection chosen for discussion. DEWEY was written by Vicki Myron and is
Fall Notes, September 2009 5
the charming tale of how this animal is saved, adopted, and given a home in the library. The reader not only
learns about the popular cat but also about the beginnings, problems and finally the disappearance of a town known as
Spencer, Iowa. Vicki Myron was a librarian for twenty five years in Spencer and can write authentically about the period
of time covered in the novel.
Looking ahead, the November 18th book on the group's list is 84 CHARING CROSS-
ROAD. The year will end with the sharing of poetry and holiday cookies on Dec. 16.
Anyone wishing to join this group of readers is welcome. Please ask any group
member for further details if interested. Members are Roberta Wunrow, Anne Anderson,
Barb Rasmussen, Angela Klanke, Cassandra Mohwinkel, Marguerite Barker, and
Co-Membership - V.P., Lorraine Peitso and Ruthann Frank
Membership has been actively planning for the 2009-2010 year. We’ve discussed many possible goals. The following are
some of the things we are going to do. We will continue using Shape the Future Program, which means any new
member can join the National Association at half price.
Our goals for the 2009-2010 year:
1. Set up a mentor program.
A. To befriend a new member
B. Introduce a new member to the membership
C. Write a short bio for the newsletter
D. Call about meetings and offer transportation
E. Field questions About AAUW
2. Assist in trying to get the college to renew its membership,
3. Encourage membership to make the first contact for referrals, membership can then follow up with application
4. Start membership caring teams to facilitate communication and caring between all members.
5. Support the states mandate of increasing the diversity of our membership.
6. We want to continue the guest book as a method of monitoring our attendance.
Thank you letter from our Scholarship Recipient
Fall Notes, September 2009 6
Educational Foundation News
Kay Montgomery, EF VP
Our UWRF Scholarship recipient has been named: Michele Walton from New Richmond will receive our $500
scholarship for the 2009-2010 school year. I am reprinting her essay below so that you will know more about her and
her family. I have extended an invitation to Michele to join us for our meeting and hope that she will be able to be with
us so that we can get to know her personally.
Ms. Kay Montgomery,
I am truly thankful for receiving this scholarship from your organization. It is an honor to be recognized and I
can't begin to describe what it means to me.
My name is Michele Walton. I am originally from White Bear Lake, MN, and
currently reside in New Richmond, WI. I carne to UWRF four years ago to pursue a
Bachelors degree in psychology and I am now in my senior year, prior to that I worked in construction as a
painter, where I met my husband. Early in our marriage my husband, Steven, and I decided that we wanted a
better future for our family than construction could provide, so I enrolled in college. I am a nontraditional
student and am successfully balancing education and family; we now have a beautiful 2 year old son, Jacob.
My future goals include graduate school, to which I am currently applying. I
aspire to receive a doctorate in psychology and plan to attend graduate school in
September 2010. My ultimate goal is to work as a clinical or counseling psychologist.
Receiving this scholarship means a great deal to me. Being chosen to receive it is an honor but it
will also help ease the financial burden of attending college. I am grateful for your contribution. This award
is also important to me because I have always challenged the stereotypical roles expected of women and
believe every woman should, therefore, I am especially appreciative to receive this award from an
organization that recognizes women and their vast potential.
Thank you again,
It’s a matter of equity
In 2007, the average woman made almost 78 cents for each dollar earned by her male counterpart. According to newly
released 2008 figures, that number now stands at just over 77 cents for each dollar earned by a man—which the U.S.
Census Bureau reports as “statistically unchanged.”
Lisa Maatz, AAUW’s top policy adviser, said: “Given the tough economic times, some might say that women should be
satisfied that the gap didn't widen. However, given that the wage gap has been stagnant over the past decade - in good
times and bad - AAUW sees this as a time for action.” AAUW remains committed to passage of the Paycheck Fairness
Act (S. 182/H.R. 12), a much-needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
To read more, visit:
Fall Notes, September 2009 7
Treasurer's Report - Cassandra George Mohwinkel
Checking Balance July 7, 2009 2,615.47$
Receipts River Falls Library Deposit Check for2008, returned 75.00$
2 Member Renewals 140.00$
Disbursements Travel Expenses - Bill Montgomery868.18$
River Falls Library Deposit 50.00$
River Falls Library Room Use 25.00$
AAUW - National (18 renewals, 2 lifetime) 882.00$
AAUW - State (20 renewals) 200.00$
Checking Balance September 11, 2009 305.29$
Other Account Balances Travel Assoc: 284.65$
Travel State: 361.48$
Savings Acct: 1,827.78$
$500.00 awarded to Michele Walton from New Richmond, WI
for the 2009-2010 academic year.
Fall Notes, September 2009 8
We want YOU at Legislative Day, November 4, 2009
YOU can be the change you want to see! Later in this newsletter you will find a registration form that will
make you a lobbyist on Nov. 4th. You will hear great speakers, see our beautiful capitol and visit the offices of two
legislators. It will be a day where YOU make a difference!
We have arranged for speakers on Wisconsin issues in education, health care and campaign finance reform – three
issues that will be the subject of our talks with our legislators. The agenda, with speakers listed, is found on the
registration form later in this issue. The day begins at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel on Washington Ave. in Madison
with registration at 8:30. At 9:00, Sabrina Gentile, lobbyist for the WI Council on Children and Families will school us in
lobbying etiquette and what we can hope to accomplish. In the morning hours we will hear a series of speakers on
education, health care and campaign finance reform. These speakers come to us with strong legislative backgrounds
and recommendations. You will be impressed with their knowledge of the issues. There will be hand-outs and we hope
you will take notes and return to your branches to report.
After a buffet lunch we will travel to the Capitol for your pre-arranged appointments with legislators and/or their staff.
You will have talking points to discuss in each office. We ask that you stop by the AAUW room in the Capitol to tell us
how the discussion progressed and to consider the next step in lobbying – which is “follow-up”.
Hotel reservations must be made directly with the Howard Johnson in Madison to get the AAUW rate - $69 + tax. You
may pair up in these rooms and breakfast is included. Phone (608) 244-2481.
Registration cost, $25 each, includes lunch and morning beverages. If 3 or more of you attend from a branch, the cost is
reduced to $20 each. Make your checks out to “WI-AAUW”. Directions to the hotel will be sent to you by email when
we receive your registration. Wisconsin AAUW is subsidizing your fees for this event.
Fall Notes, September 2009 9
The AAUW Legislative Day is an opportunity for us to show our legislators that AAUW is an organization with a
progressive agenda and clout. The committee would like to see at least 3 persons from each branch come to Madison
and report back to your branch members. Branches with larger membership should send more people.
Let’s make a difference on November 4th that will pay dividends for the years ahead.
I look forward to meeting each of you on Wednesday, November 4th in Madison.
WI - AAUW Public Policy Coordinator
Registration Form – Legislative Day, Nov. 4th, 2009
Morning Speakers at the Howard Johnson’s Hotel, 3841 East Washington Ave. Madison, WI 53704
Afternoon Lobbying at the Wisconsin State Capitol
Here’s what you get for $25; 3 or more from one AAUW branch pay $20 each!!
8:30 am – Registration
9:00 – How and Why We Lobby our Legislators – Sabrina Gentile, WI Council on Children & Families
Fall Notes, September 2009 10
9:30-10:25 – WI Education – Jennifer Kammerud, Legislative Liaison to the State Superintendant
- Invited Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton, to be confirmed in days
10:30 – 11:25 – WI Health Care – Sara Finger, Director, WI Alliance for Women’s Health
- Rep. Donna Seidel, Asst. Majority Leader in Assembly, serves on the
Health and Health Care Reform Committee
- Lon Newman, Exec. Dir. Family Planning Health Services, Wausau
11:30 – 12:25 – Campaign Finance Reform – Mike McCabe, Exec. Director, WI Democracy Campaign
12:30 – 1:00 – Lunch at the hotel restaurant included in your registration fee
1:00 – 1:30 – Travel to Capitol and park
1:45 – 2:15 – First appointment with your legislator
2:30 – 3:00 – Appointment with your second legislator
3:00 – 4:00 – Take 10 minutes to report your conversation outcome. AAUW has a room in the capitol
where we will get your feedback on your meeting with the legislators.
------------------------------------------Cut here – Return bottom portion with pmt to address below------------------------------------------
Name _____________________________ Address ________________________________________________
Email address _________________________________ AAUW Branch/City ___________________________
WI Senator’s name __________________________ WI Assemblyperson’s name _______________________
-Each attendee (or group of attendees from one branch) is responsible for making their appts. with the legislators.
-Make appts. for 1:45 and 2:30 pm. You may be asked to visit with other legislators in the state so all are visited.
Appointments with legislative staff are also appropriate when your legislator is not available. You will be given talking
points at the morning session. Visit in groups of 2 if possible; no more than 3 per meeting.
Needing Tuesday night hotel room? Yes ____ No ____ I have made my reservation at the hotel _________
We are holding 15 rooms at the Howard Johnson for Tuesday night until October 27. You must ask for the AAUW rate -
$69+ tax. Includes continental breakfast and free parking. Phone the hotel directly: 608-244-2481. Double and single
rooms available. Directions to the hotel will be emailed to you. Parking directions at Capitol will be available at the
Fall Notes, September 2009 11
Cost: It is important to note that WI-AAUW is subsidizing this meeting because of its AAUW River Falls
value. Your payment must be enclosed with registration. We will be charged for
each lunch we order 7 days prior to the meeting. Late registrations will be taken but 2009-10 Programs
we cannot promise the luncheon will be available.
Individual registration: $25.00 _______ OR 3 or more from one AAUW branch: $20
Tuesday, February 9, Blast from
______ (fill in next line)
the Past, 6:30-Social, 7:00 P.M. –
Name of AAUW branch sending 3 or more members to Legislative Day Program, Individual Members’
On or before *October 21st, send completed form and payment to:
Barbara Peterson, AAUW Public Policy Coordinator Tuesday, March 9,
548 Omaha Road Make Guest Speaker- Mike McCabe,
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign,
check payable to “WI-AAUW”
“Campaign Finance Reform,”
Hudson, WI 54016 6:30 P.M.-Social, 7:00 P.M.-
program. River Falls Public
* Late reservations will be accepted without a luncheon guarantee. Library.
Tuesday, April 13, Annual
Meeting and Game Night, 6:30
P.M.-Social, 7:00 P.M.- program,
River Falls Branch Meeting Congregational Church
Fellowship Hall, River Falls.
September 15, 2009
Tuesday, May 11,
The first meeting of the 2009-10 year was held in the lower level of the River Falls Public Library September 15,
Potluck/Installation of Officers,
2009. Toni Velure captured the audience with a power point presentation illustrating ways she involved her science
Sue Halseth’s home
students in hands-on activities following the principles of STEM.
Following the program, President Sue Halseth welcomed those attending. Sue Koosmann presented an award from a
drawing of names of those completing a survey. Ethel Johnson won the prize. Jeannie Zirbel talked about the Book
Sale. The building where the former Pawn Shop was located has been secured for the sale. Bathroom facilities for
workers will be available in Mike Danielson's office. Sue passed out sign-up sheets for workers.
Sue Halseth asked for a newspaper editor.
The formal business meeting began at 8:30 p.m. The secretary's report was approved from last year. The treasurer's
report was accepted. Cassandra Mohwinkel, treasurer, will have a written report for the newsletter. There has been
very little activity over the summer.
Fall Notes, September 2009 12
Sue Halseth explained the WI Girls Collaborative Project. Sue will attend a conference on October 10 and invited
anyone interested to join her. Information will be given on grant writing.
The Pierce County Judge Candidate Forum was discussed. This event will be held the first part of February. One or
more AAUW members are being asked to serve on a planning/working committee and volunteers are needed the night
of the event. See Sue Halseth for more information or to participate.
Lorraine Peitso gave information about diversity and also offered membership ideas. We have 22 members at present
and it was suggested that each of us think of two people who were not present at this meeting and invite them to the
October meeting. Sue Halseth suggested that a paper be available at the next meeting where the names of prospective
members could be listed. She also suggested that those present should contact others that were not present to attend
the next meeting.
Kay Montgomery reported about the Education Foundation. She read a thank you note from the scholarship winner,
Michelle Walton. Kay will contact her and invite her to attend the next meeting.
Alison Page is the speaker at our next meeting. It was suggested that if Alison did not object this meeting should be
made open to the public. In addition, Barb Peterson will contact the paper to obtain publicity for the October 13th
Barb Peterson announced that Legislative Day will be November 4, Wednesday, at Madison. Members were
encouraged to attend.
Helen Nicholson talked about recruiting members. Sue H. will organize lists of names for members to call. She will
spearhead this project.
As Cassandra Mohwinkel will be unable to host the auction this year, a new location is sought. Please let Sue Halseth
know if you will host this event in December.
The meeting adjourned.
Ethel Johnson, Co-Secretary
Fall Notes ,September 2009 13
Membership Renewal Form
Home Phone:________________________ Cell:_________________________
Please add any additional degrees you have earned since last year.
Send dues ($70.00) to: Cassandra Mohwinkel, 2401 Donegal Way, Hudson, WI
The American Association of University Women and Educational Foundation Mission:
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through
advocacy, education and research.
The American Association of University Women and Educational Foundation Vision:
Fall Notes ,September 2009 14
AAUW will be a powerful advocate and visible leader in
equity and education through research, philanthropy, and
measurable change in critical areas impacting the lives of
women and girls.