March/April 2024

Volume 42 Issue 5

In this Newsletter:

  • Upcoming Events
  • President's Message
  • Branch Business
  • Connecting with Our Members
  • Giving Back
  • Other AAUW News
  • Branch Links
  • Our Advertisers


Gilroy Walking Tour

Celebrate Women’s History Month with a women’s history walking tour in Gilroy, organized by the Gilroy Historical Society. The event is Saturday, March 2, 10 am-12 noon.

It will be followed by a visit to the Gilroy museum on Fifth Street (formerly a Carnegie library, built in 1910 and designed by noted CA architect William Weeks). Lunch possible afterwards. Contact for this Arts Outing is Janet McElroy, who will arrange car pools.

Young Women Leaders’ Leadership Conference

The YWL Leadership Conference for 8th to 12th grade girls will be on March 9, 2024 at Central High School, Morgan Hill, from 8:30 - 2:30. The conference is free, lunch will be provided, and there will be door prizes!

There will be expert and student presenters covering STEM careers, small business entrepreneurship, personal finance, women's health and nutrition, social justice and equity issues. An energetic UJAM session will be the fun finale! 

Please register online at Eventbrite.

Sunday, March 24, is our 41st Annual Wildflower Run!   

Scroll down to read all about our major fundraising event in Branch Business and see how you can help.


Every year we welcome our new members at a special New Members Wine and Whine. Everyone can attend this celebration to meet and talk with our newbies on Wednesday, April 17, 5:30-7:30 pm. There will be a new venue (TBA) with plenty of space to mingle. New member guests will be receiving individual invitations.

SAVE THE DATE to welcome and cheer on the fabulous new additions to our branch.

Barbara Palmer, Sherrie Wren


Climate Education and Action: Earth Day Festival

SAVE THE DATE! April 20, 2024

Our 3rd Earth Day Festival features the Fleurs’ annual plant sale, children’s activities, food trucks, music, a bike repair clinic, plus many fascinating booths to help us learn how to fight climate change.

The ongoing 2024 focus is supporting climate legislation, with guidance from our State Assembly representative and fellow branch member, Gail Pellerin.


President’s Message

Read Suman’s message HERE about the 41st Wildflower Run and the proposed change in national bylaws for Open Membership. 


Hello All Branch Members! We’ve got a job for you at the Wildflower Run!

The 41st annual Wildflower Run is Sunday, March 24, at Live Oak High School. Our committees and volunteers are like a small army with many levels of engagement. Here’s what you can do:

  • Help on race day or organize before the event.
  • Talk up the Run with family and friends.
  • Register to participate.
  • Donate prizes for top finishers.
  • Make a member donation.
  • Add to the social media campaign.

All members are encouraged to help with the Run. Go HERE to learn more.

Joy Safakish and Bobbie Erb, WFR Directors

2024 Wildflower Fund Appeal

The Wildflower Fund is key to funding AAUW-MH scholarships and grants to women and girls, as well as other Branch and National programs for economic security, education, and advocacy. The Fund comprises member donations, Wildflower Run corporate sponsors, and Wildflower Run proceeds. Read the full article and donate today HERE.

Slate of Officers for 2024-2025 

The Nominating Committee presents the proposed Slate of Officers for 2024-2025:

Krisse Boursier, President; Harpreet Vittal, President-Elect; Sheila Dunwoodie; Secretary; and Karen George, Treasurer. Read about these members HERE. Any additional nominations may be sent to Janet McElroy by March 15. Voting instructions will be in the weekly email by April 1.

NEW: Branch Photo Collections & Archives

Digital versions of AAUW Morgan Hill photos are now available to all members on our Google Drive. Check them out! If you take event photos (or have historical ones), please share them and add to our collection. 

The following webpage is password protected (same password as membership directory).


Public Policy School Board Project

Because school boards across the nation are increasingly dealing with censorship in the classroom, AAUW CA has developed a Public Policy School Board Project. To read about the role of school boards in California and what AAUW MH is doing, go HERE.


Back Row: Nancy Lowe, Susan Rife, Joanne Rife, Karen MacDonald, Linda Tarvin, Joan Sullivan, Besty Ding; Front Row: Krisse Boursier, Valerie Chambliss, Florence Kwok, Darla Andresen, Alissa Crispin, Kyung Hee Lee

Ukuladies Turn 11 Years Old 

This January our Ukuladies celebrated 11 years of making music together. In January 2013, Joanne Rife invited branch members to play ukulele together, and the rest is history! Betsy Ding, Janet McElroy and Linda Tarvin were the first to strum along with Joanne. The group now boasts 17 members who meet on Monday mornings to strum, pick, and sing. Beginning and experienced players are welcome to join the group. Contact Joanne Rife for details.

Member Profile: Joanne Rife, Branch Member since 1985

The first question strangers ask Joanne Rife’s daughter, Susan, after meeting Joanne for the first time is, “How old IS your mother?”

The answer to that question is followed by: “She’s amazing!”

READ about this amazing woman, who is still going strong, as she turns 92.

Susan Hines Named 2024 Woman of the Year

Branch member Susan Hines has been named the Chamber 2024 Woman of the Year. A longtime community advocate of STEAM education, Susan is the founder and president of the South Valley Science and Engineering Initiative. She, and other award recipients, will be honored at Celebrate Morgan Hill on Sunday, March 24, 3pm at Guglielmo Winery.

For information about the event, go to Celebrate Morgan Hill Awards & Auction 2024 - Mar 24, 2024 ( Watch weekly emails for details about reserving an AAUW table.

January Program: Creating a Community of Empathy


The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee organized an excellent and thought provoking program on January 30 that featured Santa Clara County Supervisor, Cindy Chavez. Supervisor Chavez shared her experiences, both personal and legislative, and led a discussion on how to promote a positive and supportive atmosphere that embraces our differences.

Incas, Penguins and Icebergs, Oh My!

READ about Marian Sacco’s South American travel adventure given to her by her family to celebrate her 70th birthday.


Carol O’Hare and her cousin, visiting from Wisconsin, recently spent a few days in Paso Robles. They did tastings at four wineries (out of 300+ in the area), toured Hearst Castle near San Simeon, and viewed elephant seals at the Piedras Blancas rookery.

Alissa Crispin has her first solo art exhibition, "A Celebration of Light and Color," at the MH Community and Cultural Center. You can view her paintings April 20 to May 23. Learn more about her art at https:/

Margaret McCann is a great grandma! Ethan was born January 29, 2024 in Memphis, TN. She can hardly wait to meet him.


What is NCCWSL?

AAUW MH annually awards a scholarship for a local college student to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL). Each May hundreds of college girls are invited by AAUW branches across the United States for three days of leadership training, inspiration, and networking at the University of Maryland.

For information about the 2024 conference scholarship, contact READ about the 2023 conference attendee, CHINAZOM OFOBUKI.

Tech Trek Recruiting is in full swing!

The Tech Trek committee is reviewing 18 candidate applications from six public 7th grades in Morgan Hill area schools. Ten girls will be chosen to attend the new Tech Trek camp opening this summer at CSU Monterey Bay, Camp Carson.

Many branch members will be there too, participating in a variety of positions. If you would like to be a part of this exciting program, email Krisse Boursier at

AAUW Supports Women’s Graduate Education

AAUW, our national organization, is one of the largest funders of women’s graduate education.

In the last academic year, more than $6 million was awarded in fellowships and grants.

The Morgan Hill Branch has completed two endowments. Once fully funded, only interest from the endowments can be used to support AAUW Fund applicants. To learn about the current recipients of the Blaine/Cate Fellowship and the Wildflower Run Research and Projects Grants, click HERE.


March 12 is Equal Pay Day 2024

Each year, this symbolic day is used to raise awareness around the impact of pay inequities. Equal Pay Day 2024 is on March 12 and marks the current state of the gender pay gap: 84% for full-time workers and 78% for all workers (including part-time and seasonal).

Because the pay gap varies significantly among different communities, particularly for women of color, other Equal Pay Days reflect that fact that many women must work far longer into the year to catch up to men. READ more.

Tired of those sticky paper name tags?

Order a nifty name badge from:

Make It Mine, 101 Main Street, Morgan Hill

408-776-0556 or

The price is $12 plus tax.


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