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
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 Morning Book Group

Contact: Maryln,
10:30–noon, last Wednesday of each month from August to November, January to June. The group meets at Minerva’s at Park Place. 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 2017–June 2018

  • Sept. 27. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  • Oct. 25. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  • Nov. 29. Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
  • Jan. 31. Bob Seger’s House and Other Stories by Michael Delp
  • Feb. 28. Five Presidents by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin
  • March 28. Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • April 25. Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig
  • May 30. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
  • June 27. The Woods Are on Fire: New and Selected Poems by Fleda Brown

Thursday Evening Book Group

Second Thursday, 6:30 in member’s homes.
Contact: Nadine,
The group meets the second Thursday from September–May, 7 pm, at one of our member’s homes. We discuss the book selection for that month with the help of a discussion leader.

Schedule October 2017–June 2018

  • The Thursday Night Book Group meets on the second Thursday evening at members’ homes. We have some great books planned for this coming year. For further information, including time and location, please contact Nadine Dolan at
  • Oct. 12. The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower and Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford by Clint Hill
  • Nov. 9. The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs
  • Dec. 14. The Underground Railroad by Colson WhiteheadJan. 11. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
  • Feb. 8. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
  • Mar. 8. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • April 12. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • May 10. Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front by Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar
  • June 14. Selection Time
  • 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

Third Tuesday, 6:30 in a member’s home.
Contact: Pat,
The group meets the third Tuesday from August–June, 6:00 p.m. , at a member’s home or a restaurant. 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. RSVP to hostess. See newsletter calendar for more information.

  • Schedule September 2017–June 2018
  • Sept. 19: A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles. Hostess/Location/Discussion leader: Betty Lien
  • Oct 17: The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle. Hostess/Location/Discussion leader: Cindy Hull
  • Nov. 20: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Hostess/Location: Judy Weaver. Discussion leader: Pat Lewallen
  • Dec. 19: Beartown by Frederick Bachman. Hostess/Location/ Discussion leader: Polly Karle
  • Jan 16: Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Zafon. Hostess/Location/ Discussion leader: Andi Kramer
  • Feb. 20: George Washington’s Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger. Hostess/Location/Discussion leader: Barb Wallace
  • March 20: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood. Hostess/Location/Discussion leader: Karen Mars
  • April 17: Hillbilly Elegy by .J.D. Vance. Hostess/Location/Discussion leader: Linda Wasilewski
  • May 15: Lilac Girls by Martha Kelly. Hostess/Location/Discussion leader: Jackie Baker
  • June 19: Book selection for the upcoming year. Hostess/Location/Discussion Leader: Pat Lewallen
  • 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

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


Second and fourth Wednesdays, 11:30. Restaurant varies.
Contact: Shirley,
We meet at a restaurant for lunch at 11:30 (so we can get our lunch orders in before the rush) and begin playing bridge by 1 pm ending at 3 pm.

Reservations with the chair are necessary.

Current Events Group

Monday following the International Affairs Forum at NMC (see next listing), 1–3 PM, home of Sandy Seppala Gyr
Contact: Margaret Jones,  or Sandy,
The group meets once a month on the Monday following the International Affairs Forum at 1 pm to 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: $10 (students & current teachers are free)
    Forums are sponsored by the International Affairs Forum and NMC
    Contact: Sandy,

Lunch at Lobdell’s

Lunch at Lobdell’s Restaurant of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute
Wednesdays, noon sharp for 12:15 PM seating, Hagerty Center, second floor
Contact and reservations: Contact Paula

Starts again in February when the Culinary Institute at NMC is back in session.

This social group, originally organized for working women, meets for lunch at Lobdell’s: 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

Second and last Monday, 1–3 pm
Contact: Sandy,
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.

We meet the second and last 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.


Lunchin’ Around

Second Friday, 11:30 am at a local restaurant
Contact: Sandy,
This lunch group is about the company and conversation and not about the food. We get together every month just for the fun of it. Reservations by end of day on Wednesday before (I can accommodate everyone but would appreciate reservations so I can set it up with restaurant). We also ask the Question of the Lunch to kick off discussion. Let Sandy know if you’ll be there today!

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.

  • 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: Jeanette,
    Recruiting new members
    Meeting the needs and interests of our members
  • Program
    Contact: Jana,
    Planning and organizing branch meetings
    Networking programs with other women’s organizations
  • Public Policy
    Contact: Leanne,
    Keeps Branch updated on gender equity issues and supports the Association and State AAUW positions.
  • Communications and Public Relations
    Contact: Deb,
    Provides information and advertising of branch programs and activities to the public. Editor for newsletter and webmaster for website.
  • Fundraising
    Contact: Shirley,
    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.