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, bkwillings@yahoo.com
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, glawrence10@charter.net
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

Monday Evening Book Group (was Thursday)

Second Monday of each month September-June, 6:30 in member’s homes.
Cochairs: Deanna Kelly & Bonnie Willings

We are meeting in homes this year with a mandate that attendees are vaccinated.
We discuss the book selection for that month with the help of a leader.

Schedule September 2021–June 2022

  • Sept. 13: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett; leader Chris Walter; host Sondra Hardy
  • Oct. 11: The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict; leader Ruth Jones; host Deanna Kelly
  • Nov. 8: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Richardson; leader & host Lorah MacIntosh
  • Dec. 13: A Good Dog by Jonathan Katz; leader Libbet Terrel; host Bonnie Willings
  • Jan. 10: The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu; leader & host Irene Brown;
  • Feb. 14: Leave the World Behind by Ruman Alam; leader Nadine Dolan; host Ellie Shaw
  • March 14: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald; leader Judy Weaver; host Candy Ashley
  • April 11: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell; leader Kristy Cooper; host Judy Weaver
  • May 9: A Most Beautiful Thing by Arshay Cooper; leader Bonnie Willings; host Kristy Cooper
  • June 13: Salad Buffet and Book Suggestions, host Chris Walter

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.

Night Readers Book Group

Third Tuesday, 7:00 virtually on Zoom.
Contact: Cindy Hull hullc@gvsu.edu

Night Readers meets on the third Tuesday of the month from September to June. We are hoping to transition from Zoom meetings to live meetings this fall, contingent upon any changes in CDC recommendations and our Branch policies. In the past, live meetings were held at 6:15 at a member’s home or local restaurant. Last year, ZOOM meeting met at 7:00.

2021-2022 Book List

Sept. 21: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Oct. 19: People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
Nov. 16: Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Dec. 21: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Jan. 18: Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
Feb. 15: Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
March 15: Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff
April 19: Three Flames by Alan Lightman
May17: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
June 21: At our June meeting, we choose the books for the following year.

For more information, contact Cindy Hull (hullc@gvsu.edu).

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, sgibsonmurray@gmail.com
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!

Bridge

Contact: Shirley, sgibsonmurray@gmail.com

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,  jonesed71@gmail.com and Sandy Seppala-Gyr, sansep19@gmail.com.
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, sansep19@gmail.com

Lunch at Lobdell’s

Suspended until further notice.
Contact: Marlene Smith, marlene.smith8@gmail.com
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: marlene.smith8@gmail.com.
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, sansep19@gmail.com
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, sansep19@earthlink.net

Daytrippers

Suspended until further notice.
Contacts: Joyce Jasinski: jjasinski46@gmail.com  or Sandy Seppala-Gyr, sansep19@gmail.com

Cowell Cancer Center Helpers

Suspended until further notice.
Contact: Bonnie Spanier, spanier@albany.edu

Traverse City Film Festival Film Sponsorship

Contact: Bonnie, bkwillings@yahoo.com
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

Committees

  • AAUW Funds
    Contact: Etta, fredcat@charter.net
  • Books for Schools
    Contact: Mary K, beachwkr00@aol.com
  • Scholarships
    Contact: Etta, fredcat@charter.net
    Minnie Votruba Moore Scholarship
  • Membership
    Contact: Nadine Dolan, nadinedolan@charter.net  & Kathy Cipko, cipkomk@charter.net
    Recruiting new members
    Meeting the needs and interests of our members
  • Program
    Contact: Suzanne Sorkin, sorkin@msu.edu
    Planning and organizing Branch meetings
    Networking programs with other women’s organizations
  • Public Policy
    Contact: Cindy Hull, hullc@gvsu.edu.
    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 sansep19@gmail.com
  • Fundraising
    Contact: Board members
    Organizes activities to raise money for scholarships, projects, and branch activities.
  • Hospitality and Membership Outreach
    Contact: Darlene, BGarland@centurylink.net
    Helps provide the refreshments at branch meetings.
    Helps with table decorations.