Friday, May 27, 2011

AAUW Announces Local Scholarship Winners

The AAUW—Fergus Falls branch awarded four scholarships to area women this spring. Each received a $1,000 award to use at the school of her choice. The women were chosen from 27 applications.

• Becky Boyd attended M-State—Fergus Falls and will begin studies at Minnesota State—Moorhead in the fall. She plans to study social work

• Emma DeMartelaere is a senior at Kennedy Secondary, Fergus Falls, and will be attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis in the fall. Her field of interest is civil engineering.

• Ellen Ferry recently graduated from Underwood School. She is interested in studying psychology, communications and business at a liberal arts college.

• Lizzy Link received the Georgia Dieseth Scholarship, which is given to a woman who has demonstrated an interest in the arts. She is a senior at Kennedy Secondary, Fergus Falls, and plans to attend Olivet University in Bourbonnais, IL. She has an interest in ministry as a pastor, teacher or musician.

“Our four awardees stood out from some very stellar applications. Our branch is pleased to be able to help area women further their education and achieve their career goals,” said Peg Werner, chair of the AAUW—Fergus Falls’ scholarship committee.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Silent auction a big success for scholarship for Laizah

Thank you, AAUW members and guests of our 50th anniversary for helping us raise $509 through the silent auction for Zimbabwean student Laizah. In addition, other contributions--including those made at our April meeting, those sent from people invited to the celebration, plus some donated by guests at the meeting--added to the auction $ give us a grand total of $1,341!!!!
In a recent email from Maryjane, she said Laizah is enrolling in a sewing and dressmaking course, which is $20 per month for the class. She also has lodging and food costs. In addition, she still needs to take English classes in order to pass her English exam, which is needed for success in school and business; there is a cost for both the classes and the exam. There should be enough money in the fund for her to buy supplies to be able to start her business on completion of her course.

We will be sendng the money through "A Light for Zimbabwe," founded by two nurses in New Hampshire. They have done a lot of work with the mission/orphanage/hospital at Mt. Selinda, where the Westras are. Maryjane said that the two women take turns coming over for a month at a time and are able to bring funds with them. Their organization focuses on education and business opportunities, goals in common with ours.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Scenes from our 50th anniversary celebration

Outgoing President Tanya Sundberg and VP of Membership Marion Kershner
modeled pearls, hair pouf and pillbox reminiscent of 1961.
Like many of the attendees, Lisa Brummer and Pam Jacklitch
enjoyed dressing up in an homage to the styles of 1961.

Charter Member Yvonne Condell addressed the celebration guests.

Pemberton Law Firm graciously provided bubbly to help us toast our 50 years!

Customized vases and flowers proved a lovely "parting gift" for attendees.

Kristi Hastings was names 2011 Woman of the Year

Margaret Anderson Kelliher was a charming and enlightening keynote speaker.

A silent auction was held for scholarship funds for Laizeh, a young Zimbabwean woman
who wishes to further her education and help her employment prospects.
View all the great photos on our online photo album.

Kristi Hasting named 2011 Woman of the Year

Kristi Hastings was named the 2011 Woman of the Year by the AAUW--Fergus Falls branch. The honor is given annually to a member who exemplifies the AAUW’s mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research.

Hastings is a lawyer at Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer & Kershner Law Firm, Fergus Falls, and a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW)—Fergus Falls branch since 2002.

She served as president of the Fergus Falls AAUW branch in 2009. Under her leadership, the branch won the Minnesota AAUW’s “Mission in Motion” Award. This award recognizes branches that work to incorporate the AAUW’s mission in all areas of branch activity.

This past year, Hastings coordinated the branch’s first ever STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career exploration event for 4th and 5th grade girls. Science Girl Saturday was such a success, the Fergus Falls AAUW is planning its next event, Techno Girl Saturday.

This is not the first time Hastings has received public recognition. In 2010, she was named one of the Minnesota Jaycees’ “Outstanding Young Minnesotans” for her demonstrated commitment to public service and to the advancement of women in professional and scientific fields.

She is also the incoming president of the 544 Education Foundation, on the Lake Region Healthcare Advisory Council, and a board member of the Council of School Attorneys.

"Kristi is such a driving force in our branch and she is always bringing fresh ideas to the table. She has been very active in our branch as the president last year and then as the STEM coordinator this year,” said Tanya Sundberg, current president of the Fergus Falls AAUW. “She does all this while maintaining a successful law practice, raising two kids, remodeling her house, and just generally being fabulous."

The Woman of the Year award includes a $100 donation to the organization of the honoree’s choice. Hastings has chosen the Claire Ann Shover Nursery School as the recipient of the donation.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fergus Falls AAUW--50 years strong!

The 1961 charter dinner
of the Fergus Falls AAUW
In 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the U.S.’s 35th president. The Berlin Wall was constructed, the Peace Corps was established and New York Yankee Roger Maris from Fargo, ND, hit his 61st home run of the season, breaking Babe Ruth’s record. In Fergus Falls, a new AMC Rambler cost $1,846. The Fergus Theatre showed such movies as “101 Dalmations” and “West Side Story.” And the Fergus Falls branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) was formed.

The branch’s first president, Lois Fankhanel, presided over 21 charter members. There were no less than 13 standing committees for such topics as the arts, education, international relations, social and economic issues, and the status of women.

Along with the monthly meetings, the Fergus Falls branch held a spring tea for senior girls from Hillcrest, Fergus Falls High School and the junior college, now M-State. In 1963, the first home tour was held, co-sponsored by the Fergus Falls AAUW and Shover Nursery School Mothers. Proceeds of the tour helped finance the educational projects of the two groups.

Fifty years’ later, the biannual Tour of Homes is still one of the Fergus Falls AAUW’s most popular fundraisers, along with the annual book sale. Proceeds help fund the branch’s scholarship and educational programs. This past year the branch hosted its first “Science Girl Saturday,” an event for fourth and fifth grade girls to experience firsthand what STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers are like.

On Monday, May 16, the Fergus Falls AAUW will celebrate its golden anniversary with a member dinner at the Bigwood Event Center, followed by a keynote by Margaret Anderson Kelliher at 7:30 p.m. Her talk, “Women and the Future of Minnesota’s Workforce: STEMming the Tide” is free and open to the public.