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,
10:15–noon, last Wednesday of each month from August to November, January to June.
The group meets at in the Thirlby room of the Woodmere library. 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.

At the June meeting, we decided to only select books to the end of the year.

Schedule September 2017–June 2018

  • Aug. 29. News of the World by Paulette Jiles.
  • Sept. 26. Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Anne Spencer.
  • Oct. 30. Orphan Daughter by Cari Noga. Cari has agreed to come to our meeting.
  • Nov. 28. Cry to Heaven by Ann Rice.

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 September 2018–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

  • Sept. 13. The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
  • Oct. 11. Saving Arcadia by Heather Shumaker

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, 6:15 in a member’s home.
Contact: Pat,
The group meets the third Tuesday from August–June, 6:15 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 2018–June 2019

  • Sept. 18: Fascism by Madeline Albright. Hostess: Betty Lien.  Discussion Leader: Linda Wasielewski
  • Oct. 16: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Hostess: Jackie Baker. Discussion Leader: Margie Tipsword
  • Nov. 20: House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi. Hostess: Judy Weaver. Discussion Leader: Judy Weaver
  • Dec. 18: Educated by Tara Westover. Hostess: Andi Kramer. Discussion Leader: Jackie Baker
  • Jan. 15: $500 House in Detroit by Drew Philp. Hostess: Anne Marie Love. Discussion Leader: Yvonne Kaehler
  • Feb. 19: The Art Forger by BA Shapiro. Hostess: Cindy Hull. Discussion Leader: Betty Lien
  • March 19: Varina by Charles Frazier. Hostess & Discussion Leader: Pat Lewallen
  • April 16: The Immortalist by Chloe Benjamin. Hostess: Betty Lien. Discussion Leader: Linda Wasielewski
  • May 21: Radium Girls by Kate Moore. Hostess: Linda Wasielewski. Discussion Leader: Cindy Hull
  • June 18: Book Selections for September 2019–June 2020. Hostess & Discussion Leader: Pat Lewallen.

Note: Karen Welch will be a backup hostess or discussion leader if anyone needs to make a change.

Additional books nominated for monthly—but not selected, still books worth reading:

  • The Kremlin Candidate by Jason Mathews
  • Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant
  • Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh
  • Sparrow Migration and The Orphan Daughterby Cari Noga
  • Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
  • The Origins by Dan Brown
  • The Heist by Daniel Silva
  • The Mountaintop School for Dogs by Ellen Cooney
  • The Book of Joy by Douglas Abrams
  • My Antonia by Willa Cather

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!

Life Story Writers

First and third Wednesdays. Central United Methodist Church
Contact: Karen (Mars) Welch:

Members prepare stories of life episodes for each meeting to share and receive both critique and encouragement. Although each member has a different goal for her writings, we found that the twice-a-month meetings give us incentive and direction in addition to fellowship and an opportunity to learn much about each other through these Life Stories.


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 GyrContact: 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 floorContact and reservations: Contact Paula by phone (see directory).
Starts again in September 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 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.

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.

Lunchin’ Around

Second Friday, 11:30 am at a local restaurant
Contact: Pat: or Jackie:  
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.


Second and Last Monday, 1–3 pm
Contact: Pat: or Jackie,

We go on a day trip every few months. In 2016, we traveled the Tunnel of Trees before lunch at Legs Inn and toured the holiday houses in Cadillac. In 2017, we went on the Friendly Garden Club tour and went on a ‘color tour’ of Leelanau Peninsula. In 2018, we again toured the holiday houses in Cadillac.

Mahjong Group

Second and fourth Monday, 1–3 pm
Traverse Hills Condo Association facility

Contact: Cindy,

The Mahjong group started in Fall 2017 with a shout-out for members interested in playing Mahjong. Several members expressed an interest in learning the game, so we arranged for a local instructor and former AAUW member to teach the class.

We have five member players and welcome new members. If you haven’t played Mahjong before, we recommend you taking a class at the Senior Center. Contact Cindy for more information.

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.