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 April–June 2022

  • March 30: Secrets of the Asylum by Linda Hughes
  • April 27: Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
  • May 25: Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  • June 29: Circe by Madeline Miller

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

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 (

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.

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.

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.