The three main projects that we support are Tech Trek, AAUW Fund and our yearly budget supplements. We have a small branch and give members over 80 a break by paying branch dues and state dues, as a benefit because of their contributions during the earlier years of their membership. We have some members that have belonged for 30 years or more.
TECH TREK FUNDING
Tech Trek is supported by two activities. We participate in a Diamond Bar City celebration called the “Snowfest”, which is located in Pantera Park. The City brings in truck-loads of snow from local mountains each January, the Friday night prior to the event. Members just have to show up to staff a game booth for a shared period totaling just 6 hours. We break it up into two-hour shifts of 3 members. The City of Diamond Bar divides all of the proceeds, from the games, equally to each non-profit group that participates. The children pay just $1.00 for a chance at five games.
There is a play area for the small children and a sledding area for the older ones. We all have a wonderful time watching the little ones and visiting with each other. The high schools also provide us with teen members of the local Lyons club (Leos) where they earn volunteering points through their school. Everybody wins.
The other activity is our Phantom Tea in late January, in which donations are strictly voluntary.
We support these funds each year by attending at the Southern CA Fellows & Grants Recipients Luncheon, each October. Currently there are 42 AAUW Funds Fellows and Grant Recipients studying California Colleges. Nine of them spoke about their goals in education at the recent luncheon and each gave a heartfelt thanks to AAUW for enabling them to focus on their studies and to return to higher education pursuits.
In addition, we participate in the Diamond Bar Birthday Party in Pantera Park each April, by staffing a game booth provided by the City for the non-profit organizations. As with the Snowfest, we are supplied with teen volunteers. This event, however, is larger than the Snowfest as there are carnival rides, in addition to the food booths and games.
Individual monetary donations are voluntary, only.
In addition, in past years we have had group dinners (large and small) where we charged a fee, however, recently we had a wine tasting event at a local wine store, Totally Wine, in which the store supplied the room, the glasses, and the presenter. We supplied the wines and a few tasty bites to compliment the various wines. The wines were selected with the assistance of a knowledgeable employee prior to the event. We charged a nominal fee to cover our wine expense and a donation to these funds. It was very profitable without a lot of effort from members…and we had a good time.
BUDGET GAP FUNDS
In order to keep our branch dues low, and our membership high, we have experienced a short fall in the last few years. We had been paying our seniors’ branch dues and state dues after they had reached age 70, because of the economy issues we’ve been experiencing. We’ve had to change this benefit to be only for our 80 year-olds. To close the gap we created, we’ve had a garage sale and are in the process of continued de-cluttering our cluttered homes. We plan on trying that again in this next year and perhaps each Spring. Again, we seem to have of good time while doing it, and we are our own best customers, sometimes. It also helps those less fortunate as our prices are VERY reasonable for the clothing.