News from Anne Arundel County
The annual branch Book Sale is over for this season, but the sale of books goes on. Under the leadership of Book Sale chairs, Stacey Hilder and Linda King, the branch seeks books from estate sales and collections of donors who are downsizing or moving from the area. A small team of members go to the site of the collection, pack the books, and store them temporarily. When a truckload is collected, the boxes are transported to Wonder Books in Frederick MD where they are resold, often for decorating film sets or model homes. As such, the collections may include encyclopedias, cookbooks, magazine collections, and records, items not marketable at the annual public Book Sale. Textbooks more than two years old are separated and given to B.I.G (Books for International Goodwill), a local group with periodic sales to raise funds for shipping the texts to third world countries. In the last two years, the branch has netted several thousand dollars in additional scholarship funds through this off-season activity.
Besides raising funds for scholarships, the branch works actively to support legislation backed by AAUW. The forty member Public Policy committee, under the leadership of Roxann King, has partnered with MLAW to support pending Maryland legislation aimed at benefiting women and children. In October and November, the branch partnered with the League of Women Voters in sponsoring four candidate forums in the county. Members are encouraged to attend hearings on bills of interest as well as to participate as a 2-minute activist and to send emails to senators and delegates when a supported bill is imminently pending. The Public Policy Committee also provides training sessions in use of the MD legislative website to help all interested members and their guests stay informed on issues of concern.
To enhance visibility and encourage member acquaintance, the Program Committee arranges a monthly happy hour or C & C (cocktails and conversation) a local restaurant. The venues are varied throughout the county. Members bring friends and potential new members to these informal gatherings. The sessions are announced on the branch website and through social media to invite interested community members. Each month the social hour results in two or three new members as well as greater bond among existing members.
Upcoming in February are a trip to visit the Maryland legislature via a meeting with a local senator, a tour of the buildings and a visit to committee hearings as well as a C & C in the western part of the county, our area of most rapid growth.
News From Howard County
PROPOSED LEGISLATION ON CHILD SUPPORT AND POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION
The Howard County Branch has been working with legislators Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Terri Hill on a bill for extending parental support and maintenance to young adults until they reach age 21 who are continuously enrolled in post-secondary school or vocational training programs. Without this extension from 18 to 21 years, divorced or separated women often shoulder the financial burden alone of trying to support their children while they attend college or vocational training. This can impact the economic stability of women and long-term ability to retire.
Two bills have emerged and will be presented by their legislative sponsors at MLAW’s Legislative Briefing February 12 in Annapolis. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will conduct a hearing on the Senate bill, SB264, on February 13 in Annapolis. For more information, contact Bev Fallik or Erin Prangley.
FASHION SHOW FUNDRAISER FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
Save the date of April 27th from 1 – 3 p.m. when the Howard County Branch will put on its annual fashion show at the Vantage House in Columbia. There will be door prizes as well as a light lunch and beverages served–all for only $25! Tickets can be obtained from Caroline Tunison or Kathy McCarthy
News from the Easton Branch
On Saturday, December 8, 15 members of the Easton Branch enjoyed a lavish High Tea in Chestertown, served in the sumptuous rooms of the historic Hynson Ringgold House, the riverfront home where George Washington actually slept and dined. Built circa 1743 for a wealthy merchant, the mansion is now the official residence of the president of Washington College.
A violinist serenaded us as we enjoyed fine teas and a substantial menu of sweet and savory treats, complete with a complementary glass of sherry. Prior to the tea, several attendees toured 8 of the beautifully decorated Victorian homes on the strand—some tiny, some grand.
Before and after the tea, we strolled the streets of Chestertown, stopping at the farmers and artisans’ markets; watched children rolling large hoops down the street; awed at men on high bikes, and both men and women on stilts. Along the way choral groups, and women and men in Victorian costumes greeted all.