The American Association of University Women was established in 1881 as a way to focus on political, social, educational and economic issues. It has advanced equity for women and girls through advocacy, philanthropy, research and education, according to the national website, www.aauw.org .
Members of the Walla Walla Branch of AAUW celebrated the organization's 130th birthday at an open board meeting Jan. 31, at the Walla Walla School District office, 364 S. Park St. Mick Miller, WWPS superintendent, and Mark Higgins, communications director, spoke about the proposed bond for the renovation of the Walla Walla and Lincoln High School campuses. Members, spouses and interested community members attended and enjoyed the presentation and birthday cake.
The organization raises funds through the annual AAUW Kitchen Tour and AAUW Book Sale. The group usually gives about $6,000 each year to scholarships for local women who are continuing their education. This year, because the fundraising projects were so successful, they will be funding some noteworthy special requests, member Kathy Foster said.
They sought proposals and received many good ideas, she said, especially from AAUW membership.
After screening requests to ensure their adherence to AAUW's mission and value statements and financial need, they assigned $1,000 to Books for Babes; $1,000 to Edison Elementary Family Night Reading is Fundamental books for all third- through fifth-grade students; $2,500 to Walla Walla Public Library to establish and furnish a designated Young Adult reading area; $600 to Walla Walla Farm Labor Camp for scholarships and instructional supplies for a women's literacy program; and $500 to Fort Walla Walla Museum to partially sponsor the women's history celebration in August.
"We make money in our community and we give money back to our community, all in the spirit of advancing education and equity for women and girls.," Kathy added.
The 35-member Crimson & Black Choir at McLoughlin High School is working diligently to earn the funds necessary to finance their trip to Disneyland in mid-April.
Choir Director Melissa Cunnington said they plan to sing at the Magic Music Days event and will have the opportunity to sing on the Blues Brothers stage in one of the theme parks.
One of their most immediate fund-raisers is coming up Saturday when they will hold a yard sale from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Mac-Hi Cafeteria, 120 S. Main St.
Other events are planned, too, to cover the $850 per student cost.
For more details, contact Melissa at 541-938-5450 or 509-520-5467.
A photo of the group and more details will appear in Etcetera on Tuesday in The Walla Walla Valley Weekly.