Interest Groups and Committees

Our Branch has a number of interest groups and committees available to members. If you are interested in helping with any of these interest groups and committees, send an email to the contact.

Interest Groups

State Theatre Volunteer Group
Noon-3:00 PM, second Thursday and third Saturday, year round (on hold until the theaters reopen)
Contact: Bonnie,
There are 15–20 members on the State Theatre Volunteer list. Twice a month, we don our AAUW teeshirts (or any white shirt/sweater), black slacks/skirts, and the State Theatre vests for our ushering and concessions shift.

On Saturdays, our shift follows the morning’s usually sold-out children’s movie, so we are busy putting away booster seats and tidying the theatre to prepare for the 1 pm show. On Thursdays, we prepare for the first show of the day.

Jobs include ushering (includes taking tickets, running the vacuum and carpet sweeper, checking the bathrooms), concessions (usually assigned to popcorn OR drinks OR cash register), and other general duties as assigned.

About a week before our assigned day, an email goes out asking who is available for our next shift.

Verna Mae Daytime Book Group

Contact: Maryln,
10:15–noon, last Wednesday of each month from August to November, January to June.
The venue varies. We welcome newcomers to the group.

The group chooses the following year’s books in June. Each member is expected to lead the group once. She selects one book to review and research background information to present to the group. Books selected for TC Reads and the Great Michigan Read are always included.

Schedule September 2019–June 2020

  • Sept. 25: The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • Oct. 30: Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Nov. 20 (note third Wednesday: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
  • Jan. 29: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Feb. 26: Little Fires by Celest Ng
  • March 25: Blasphemy by Sherman Alexi
  • April 29: Reader’s choice for poetry
  • May 27: Gradual Clearing by Karen Anderson
  • June 24: The Way We Are Now by Anthony Trollope

Thursday Evening Book Group

Second Thursday, 6:30 in member’s homes.
Contact: Judy Weaver, 

All meetings will take place at 7 p.m. on Zoom until further notice.

We discuss the book selection for that month with the help of Reviewer.

Schedule September 2020–June 2021


  • Sept. 10: Between the World and Me by Ta Nehisi Coates & Waking Up White by Debbie Irving. Sandra Norlin/Bonnie Willings
  • Oct. 8: American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson. Patricia Power
  • Nov. 12: When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. Ellie Shaw
  • Dec. 10: Women of the Copper Country by Marie Doria Russell. Chris Walter
  • Jan. 14: The Overstory by Richard Power. Judy Weaver
  • Feb 11: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Lorah MacIntosh
  • Mar 11: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. Betsy Moore
  • April 8: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. Deanna Kelly
  • May 13: The Orphan Daughter by Cari Noga. Libbet Terrell
  • June 10: Book Choice Salad Supper

Our book list is available at Horizon Books and at Brilliant Books in Traverse City. Mention our group for a 10% discount. The Traverse Area District Library also has our book list.

NightReaders Book Group

Third Tuesday, 6:15 in a member’s home, restaurant or virtually on Zoom.
Contact: Barbara Wallace or Cindy Hull
We discuss the book selection for that month with the help of a discussion leader. We also attend the National Writers Series. They are included in the list below. See newsletter calendar for more information.

Schedule September 2020–June 2021

List includes: Date, Title/Author, Discussant, Venue/Host

  • Sept. 22: Human Sacrifice by Cindy Hull. Amy Gibson, ZOOM
  • Oct. 20: American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson. Linda Wasielewski, ZOOM
  • Nov. 17: Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd. Pat Power, ZOOM
  • Dec. 15: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. Betty Lien, ZOOM
  • Jan. 19: Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares by Aarti Shahani Cindy Hull, ZOOM
  • Feb. 16: A Single Thread by Tracie Chevalier. Ann Marie Love, TBD*
  • March 16: Sparrow Migrations by Cari Noga with author visit. Andi Kramer, TBD*
  • Apr. 20: This Tender Land by Wm. Kent Krueger. Margie Tipsword, TBD*
  • May 18: Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate. Yvonne Kaehler, TBD*
  • June 15: Book Choice Meeting, Cindy Hull? TBD*

TBD*—to be decided

Our book list is available at Horizon Books and at Brilliant Books in Traverse City. Mention our group for a 10% discount. The Traverse Area District Library also has our book list.

Poetry Group

 Contact: Shirley,
Third Friday at Bud’s at Interlochen. Lunch at noon, discussion following.

Meets for a study of poets, poetry, and the art of writing poetry. Each month one member will present a short summary of a poet and read a small selection of the poet’s work. Discussion will follow. We also will discuss the art of writing poetry for ourselves and may share our work with one another. This is a no-pressure group and we welcome anyone with an interest in poetry whether they have studied poetry or are new to the form. No writing is required but perhaps an exposure to poetry may inspire!


Contact: Shirley,

Suspended until further notice.
Second and fourth Wednesdays of each month year-round at the Traverse City Country Club.
Arrive to order lunch by 11:30 am. Play bridge until 3 pm. Free parking at the Traverse City Country Club. Reservations with the chair are necessary.

Current Events Group

 Contacts: Margaret Jones, and Sandy Seppala-Gyr,
Meets the Monday following the International Affairs Forum at NMC (see next listing), 1:3-–3:30 pm, home of Sandy Seppala-Gyr
Starting in September 2020, we will meet on Zoom. Contact Sandy to join.
We discuss the topic from IAF and other current events at home and abroad. Attendance at IAF is not a requirement for attending Current Events.
International Affairs Forum (not affiliated with AAUW). Go to the site to see information about speakers, topics, and dates. IAF meets on the third Thursday, Sept–November & February–June. Reception at 5:15 PM; lecture at 6 PM. Milliken Auditorium in the Dennos Museum. Cost: $15 (students & current teachers are free)
Forums are sponsored by the International Affairs Forum and NMC.
Contact: Sandy,

Lunch at Lobdell’s

Suspended until further notice.
Contact: Marlene Smith,
Lunch at Lobdell’s Restaurant of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute

Wednesdays, noon sharp for 12:15 PM seating, Hagerty Center, second floorContact and reservations:
We will meet on the third Wednesday when the Culinary Institute at NMC is in session. This social group, originally organized for working women, meets for lunch at Lobdell’s, which is “A Learning Restaurant, part of NMC’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute” located in the Hagerty Center. We meet at least six times a year.
We make reservations for 16 people. Reservations are required; cancellations must be made 72 hours in advance or the lunch cost must be paid by whomever cancelled (we are charged for the number of reservations).
Lobdell’s offers the best views of the Bay in town, outstanding service, and a very interesting and delicious cuisine. All members are invited to join us for lunch.

K2P2 Needlers Group

On hold but may meet on Zoom. If interested, contact Sandy.
Second Monday, 1–3 pm, home of Sandy Seppala-Gyr

Contact: Sandy,
We meet the second Monday of each month. Occasionally, that changes so be sure to be on the meeting list so you’ll receive an email with the latest information.

We gather each month for two hours of guilt-free needling. Bring whatever project you’re working on: knitting, needlepoint, crochet, quilting, cross-stitch, or any other project. Snacks are welcome but optional. Coffee and tea provided.

Lunchin’ Around

Suspended until further notice.
Contact: Sandy Seppala-Gyr,


Suspended until further notice.
Contacts: Joyce Jasinski:  or Sandy Seppala-Gyr,

Cowell Cancer Center Helpers

Suspended until further notice.
Contact: Bonnie Spanier,

Traverse City Film Festival Film Sponsorship

Contact: Bonnie,
Ten AAUW members, mostly from the book groups, combine their resources annually to sponsor one of the films in the Traverse City Film Festival. AAUW Book Group, listed as a sponsor in TCFF publications, is thanked by the host introducing the film, and is given screen credit before the film rolls.

  • 2019 Film: Circus of Books
  • 2018 Film: Julia
  • 2017 Film:
  • 2016 Film: 3000 Nights
    2015 Film: Tangerines
    2014 Film: The Lunchbox
    2013 Film: No
    2012: Film: Sexy Baby
    2011 Film: Rid of Me
    2010 Film: 12th and Delaware


  • AAUW Funds
    Contact: Etta,
  • Books for Schools
    Contact: Mary K,
  • Scholarships
    Contact: Etta,
    Minnie Votruba Moore Scholarship
  • Membership
    Contact: Nadine Dolan,  & Kathy Cipko,
    Recruiting new members
    Meeting the needs and interests of our members
  • Program
    Contact: Suzanne Sorkin,
    Planning and organizing Branch meetings
    Networking programs with other women’s organizations
  • Public Policy
    Contact: Cindy Hull,
    Keeps Branch updated on gender equity issues and supports the Association and State AAUW positions.
  • Communications and Public Relations
    Contact: Shannon
    Provides information and advertising of branch programs and activities to the public. Coordinates newsletter and website.
    Handbook & Directory/Annual Report Sandy Seppala-Gyr
  • Fundraising
    Contact: Board members
    Organizes activities to raise money for scholarships, projects, and branch activities.
  • Hospitality and Membership Outreach
    Contact: Darlene,
    Helps provide the refreshments at branch meetings.
    Helps with table decorations.