Meetings and Programs

Our branch holds monthly membership meetings from September through May, which include programs on topics such as women’s issues, history, education, international relations, arts, and public policy.  The branch also holds a special fundraising luncheon in the spring.  Guests are welcome to all activities.  See below for descriptions of the programs we held from September 2023 through May 2024.

Monday evening meeting schedule (unless otherwise noted):
6:30 pm – Social Time
7:00 pm – Business Meeting
7:30 pm – Program

Saturday morning meeting schedule (unless otherwise noted):
10:00 am – Social Time
10:30 am – Business Meeting
11:00 am – Program

All meetings take place at:
The Community Foundation of McHenry County
Crystal Lake Room
33 E. Woodstock St.
Crystal Lake, IL   60014

Monday, May 6, 2024


Our program featured Dr. Arinola Oluwo, who has been a member of our AAUW chapter for five years. Arin is from the southwestern part of Nigeria and shared Nigerian customs, particularly those embraced by the Yoruba people. She also spoke about women’s roles in Yoruba culture and she showed us how traditional headscarves are tied and used.

Arin is involved with a group that provides a safe reading room in Lagos for girls who want to come to read and to study. Unfortunately, many Nigerian girls do not have safe places to read and study, and this locked, gated building provides such a refuge.

Arin also provided some samples of Yoruban foods during our social time.
Click Here for recipes.

Dr. Arinola Oluwo









Monday, April 1, 2024


Aysha Alo is a wife, mother, student, and now physical therapist assistant. She spoke to our members about being a Muslim woman both in the U.S. and in her home country of Bangladesh.

Aysha Alo









Monday, March 4, 2024

Kathryn I. Martens, retired director of the Crystal Lake Public Library, shared the story of her personal journey with dog training and therapy work. She also shared what she’s learned through classes and experiences. KIM’s dog, Penny, joined her and was very well behaved!

KIM Martens and Penny

Penny saying hello to Laurie









Monday, December 4, 2023

Each year our December meeting includes a bake sale and musical program, to kick off the holiday season. On Monday, December 4 members participated in our annual bake sale, with proceeds staying within our Branch to help support our activities throughout the year.

A performance by the Crystal Lake Central High School Madrigal Singers followed our regular business meeting. What a talented group! We thank them for entertaining us during what is a very busy time. To make the night even sweeter, Kimberly Scherrer, Director of Choirs, was the recipient of an AAUW Crystal Lake Area Branch scholarship when she was working toward her master’s degree. It was wonderful to have this “full circle” moment – to see the results of our work in person.

Kimberly Scherrer

CLC Madrigal Choir









Monday, November 6, 2023

Our own Linda Gurley, a member of the McHenry County Coin Club, shared her journey from coin keeper to novice numismatist as well as her excitement about her first purchase as a coin collector. Linda bought a 2023 US Mint Silver Proof set from the American Women Quarters Program at her first-ever coin show.

From 2022 through 2025, the U.S. Mint will issue up to five new reverse designs each year. The obverse of each coin will maintain a likeness of George Washington, but is different from the design used during the previous quarter program. Learn more here.

Linda Gurley









Monday, October 2, 2023

Interactive group discussion about life experiences with prompts from the book They Call Me Güero by David Bowles. This is an award-winning novel in verse about a boy who navigates the start of seventh grade and celebrates life events growing up on the border the only way that feels right—through poetry.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Welcome back!

Program: Our Program featured Judy Franklin who spoke about how she was first drawn to Buddhism, the role of women in Buddhism, and her experiences as a female monk at the Blue Lotus Temple in Woodstock.

Vimala Franklin presenting to AAUW members on September 11, 2023

Judy is an American born Buddhist who goes by the name Vimala.  Vimala was ordained as a Buddhist monastic in 2007 when she began training and received her higher ordination as a female monk in 2010, in Sri Lanka. In December 2022, she left the monastic path to return to lay life after 15 years in robes. She continues to be a part of the Woodstock Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple community today, and still teaches online classes and gives talks at the temple twice a month.  Vimala has two adult children and was a copy editor and teacher for most of her professional life.