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Welcome to the Somerset Hills Branch of AAUW

AAUW is the oldest women’s organization in the USA. Our mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. We have general meetings and various interest groups. Our major fundraiser is our annual used book sale.

All members, even new ones, are encouraged to participate as board members, group chairs, convention attendees, and book sale workers, in order to get the most out of the AAUW experience.

Somerset Hills AAUW Branch Program – September 2016

BRANCH MEETINGTue, Sept 13, 2016, 630 P.M. at Bernards Township Library, Basking Ridge

Come welcome the new season with old friends, welcome new members and guests, and get on board for all the interesting opportunities AAUW offers. We’re trying a new, alphabetical, format for the potluck this year (see below). Our branch sent two of our scholarship winners to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, in Maryland last June, and they will share with us a little bit about their experiences. Then we will have a fascinating program about bees by a branch member and her husband.

Potluck Supper: Officers & Board Members bring an Entrée. Members: A-G bring appetizer, H-N bring a salad, O-Z bring a dessert.

Program: 🐝The Buzz about Honey Bees presented by Don & Mary Hart, local beekeepers.

📚BOOKSALE: Hooray, we’ve done it once again! A very special thanks is due to our Book Sale Committee Chairs Bonnie Gould and Ginny Lyttle who have put in countless hours throughout the year and made the commitment to be there all the time for book sorting and sale days (practically 24/7). We can’t thank you enough (but donations to our Branch Endowment AAUW Research and Project Grant #4358 would be a nice gesture). See below for the report of our 2016 Book Sale success.

INTEREST GROUPS: All of our interest groups welcome new members, and members are welcome to start new interest groups, if they can get a willing group together. The monthly calendar lists the chairs for the currently active groups and the hosts for the month. Please contact chairs for group information, and hosts for attendance RSVP.

❓GREAT DECISIONS: From the chair Connie Smythe: I will take names of those continuing from previous years and newly interested at the September Branch meeting.  In October, I will let them know the cost of the materials for the coming year and a schedule of hostesses for the year.  We start meeting in Jan. on a three week meeting pattern adhered to as closely as possible unless holidays interfere.  We meet at 7PM on Friday evenings in private homes with the number attending limited by the hostess according to the capacity of her home. Last year there was no problem accommodating all who wished to attend each meeting. Any questions, please contact Connie Smythe.


Our 2016 Book Sale is now officially over! Please accept our heartfelt thanks to those too numerous to mention. Our Book Sale is truly a significant Branch and Community project!  We are so blessed to have a membership and community who care about books and literacy!

We think that this is our Branch’s 67th sale.  When she was researching our Branch history for our 70th annual dinner in the Bernardsville Library historical room, Kathryn Daut came across a newspaper article stating our Book Sale started in 1950! That’s the firmest proof so far in setting the 67 number.

We think we had gross sale of about $27K which means we can continue to donate to our Branch charities at the levels we have in the past, should we decide to do that. Money is still coming in.  We will have a full report of our $ and volunteer hours at our September meeting. Please come to find out.

We’d like to mention a few people for a special thank you:

  • Paula Choyke who not only served as our book sale treasurer, counting and depositing all the money each night after book sale close, but she was at the sale the whole time as Head Cashier…just an awesome volunteer effort. And she comes from Florida to do this!
  • Joyce Clark and our student volunteers! We especially want to laud our nice group of 50 student volunteers, who without them and their exuberant energy; we couldn’t run a book sale!
  • Brigid Annis for the use of her beautiful farm to stage and sort books. What a pleasure it was to be there!
  • Robin Marion for a wonderful closing picnic celebration.
  • Teri Passerello and Karen Brown for managing the loading dock.
  • Kathryn Daut for canvassing our members to fill all of our needed Book Sale responsibilities.
  • Arlene Inglis and Ginny Lyttle for collecting and storing thousands of wonderful book donations from Morris County Library throughout the year.
  • Beryl Hunter and our wonderful choice room!  We wouldn’t make the money that we do without her dedication in identifying our better book donations and pricing them a bit higher to get a better stewardship of the donation!

As most of our members know, our bylaws stipulate that we give away all of the funds raised by the book sale after we cover our expenses minus $2000 that we keep to seed expenses for our next year’s sale. Look in your yearbook to see how we have donated our book sale earnings to our AAUW charities and local libraries. Our Branch endowment fund at National continues to grow.  Surely we will make our $75K commitment with another couple of Book Sales.  Most of us are in it to fund it.  So …we continue on….. 2017 planning will begin shortly…

An assessment of our 2016 sale will be the main topic at our first 2017 Book Sale Planning Committee meeting at Bonnie Gould’s on Thursday morning September 15th starting at 9:30am. Come join us at this open meeting and offer your thoughts.  Or, email them to bonniegould@verizon.net or lyttlevirginia@yahoo.com .  We welcome anyone who wants to take a part in planning our 2017 Sale. Book Sale Committee Planning meetings are usually held the 3rd Thursday mornings of each month with a break in the winter once next year’s plan is set.