2019-2020 Events Gallery

February 8, 2020 WINTER FUNDRAISER LUNCHEON was a huge success with the Pelican Players presenting their new Comedy play “Make ’em Laugh”.

Fhe set of linked skits and songs generated plenty of laughter from all men and women in the audience. Thank you Banquet  Masters for the elegant meals! Thank you to all members. guests and the entire Pelican Players Staff!

Raffle ticket table

Raffle table

Raffle Winner

Pelican Players!


Saturday, January 11, 2020, General Meeting – What’s New at Gannon

Gannon University presenters

Gannon University representatives Dr. Jennifer Castelli, Shaylynn McGrath and Taylor Dake with AAUW members President Diane Waronka (l) and Sally Dittman (r)

Dr. Jessica Castelli of Gannon University gave us an overview of the history and purpose of the university.  The Ruskin location is the second location for the university, and provides education for advanced degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy and related disciplines.

Gannon presentation

Gannon representatives answering AAUW members questions

Two students, Shaylynn McGrath and Taylor Dake, discussed student life and coursework for the occupational therapy degrees.

This was followed by a tour of the gorgeous facilities in Ruskin.

Saturday, December 14, 2019, General Meeting – Gift of Education

This meeting was all about education and results of our fundraising activities.

Tech Trek Campers

2019 Tech Trek Campers with mothers, Beth Shields advisor and AAUW president

Our three Tech Trek campers gave great insightful – and funny – presentations about their experiences at the camp this summer.  They all said it was  a fantastic experience.  The 2019 coordinator at Beth Sheilds, Rena Eagan, told us about the initiatives the school is doing to further the students’ education.  Ana Seguro spoke about the impact of the camp opportunity for her daughter, and Amber Bass spoke about the impact that an AAUW scholarship had on her and her family.

HCC Foundation Manager Ann Menchen introduced one of our latest scholarship recipients, Charity Ativalu who spoke about the impact of having the scholarship eliminating the need to go into debt to go to school.

HCC Scholarship

HCC Foundation Director and 2019 scholarship winner with AAUW members











We collected over $500 for PACE Hillsborough girls Christmas presents.

And we gave each member in attendance a present of the book, “Tourist Season” by Enid Shomer, the topic of our upcoming April meeting.

We all agreed this was one of the best December meetings we have had.

Saturday, November 16, 2019 Salute to Veterans of World War II Fundraiser Event

We had a jam-packed event saluting our veterans of World War II.  SCC AAUW President Diane Waronka started it off by recounted the Pearl Harbor experience of  Sun City Center resident USN Commander Ed Socha, who was not able to attend the meeting.

Then Grace Weismantel from Kings Point recounted her experiences taking advantage of the opportunity for accelerated nursing training in the US in return for a commitment of military service.

Grace Weismantel

Grace Weismantel discussing her WWII nursing experience.

Kim Freeman

Kim Freeman talking about her role in calculating location for radar in England.

Next we heard from Kim Freeman from Freedom Plaza, who was recruited to support the British military, doing math calculations on the spot to track planes on radar crossing the English channel.

Mauren Patrick

Maureen Patrick presenting the American Red Cross in Great Britain



Our main presenter, Maureen Patrick, a living history interpreter, author, and scholar, portrayed the experiences and history of the American Red Cross helping the British before America’s entry into World War II.

Colin Howgill

Colin Howgill discussing the impact of the Red Cross in Great Britain

Maureen was followed by Brigadier General Colin Howgill from Sun City Center, recounting how much the American Red Cross deployment of food, clothing, and other essential made a difference to the British during World War II.  Maureen also brought with her pictures of actual Red Cross deployments and examples of the prisoner of war boxes and uniform.

The Banquet Masters buffet of carved steamship round of beef, crab stuffed sole, mashed potatoes and peas and carrots contributed to the British connection of the them.

And we had four lucky attendees who won a $100 Visa card, a basket of wine, a basket of food or a basket of books.  It was a fun and informative day.

For more pictures of the event, click here.

Saturday, October 12, 2019 Presentation by Mary Ann Worthington on the life and accomplishments of Beate Sirota Gordon

Mary Ann Worthington And Diane Waronka

Mary Ann Worthington and Diane Waronka holding the book “The Only Woman in the Room” by Beate Sirota Gordon.

Our first regular meeting of the 2019-2020 season was inspiring.  Our own member Mary Ann Worthington discussed her research on the life of Beate Sirota Gordon.  Ms. Sirota Gordon was instrumental in bringing civil rights to Japanese women after World War II through her work on the Japanese constitution “As the Only Woman in the Room” (which is the title of her autobiography).  She also brought Japanese arts to America.  It is amazing what one person can accomplish.  Following Mary Ann’s presentation, we had a good discussion of where gender rights and responsibilities are, and are not, in today’s USA.

For those who want to read the biography of Beate Sirota Gordon for more details, see the link to the book in the new books tab of our website, here. Kudos to Mary Ann for bringing the biography of this great woman to our attention.

Even though many of our snowbirds were not back in town yet, we had a full house due to about a dozen guests participating in the event -free admission for all guests and 1/2 price national membership for anyone who joined at the event.

Saturday, July 13, 2019 Luncheon to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Florida Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Members Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Florida Ratification of the 19th Amendment

Florida ratified the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution of May 13, 1969.  16 of us, including 3 guests, celebrated the occasion with a luncheon.  We discussed the history of the suffrage movement in Florida, and had some fun with games and a SWAG bag highlighting the year 1969.

An excellent source for more information on the Florida suffrage movement and its leaders is the Winter 1995-1996 issue of The Forum, published by the Florida Humanities Council.  You can download it by clicking on this link:  https://floridahumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Vol_18_No_3_Winter_1995-1996.pdf

June, 2019 Tech Trek Camps

This year we sent three campers from Beth Shields Middle School to two different Tech Trek Camps.  See full article about this year’s camps under About Us – STEM

Madison and Jenedith attended the new Stetson University Camp.  Alicia attended the Florida Atlantic Camp, with some pictures of her experience below.

Alicia Bass testing the bridge she build

Alicia testing the bridge she built at camp.

Ali and teamates group photo

Alicia with her dorm group and Senior Counselor at Abacoa Country Club at start of Women’s Professional Night


The following is an excerpt from a thank-you note from one of the campers regarding her camp experience:

Thank you so much for choosing me to go to Tech Trek.  I’ve already had so much fun and I’m working hard.  I have a total of two days left and I made so many friends already.  Which is really not common for me, I’m very introverted.  When I heard about this camp I wasn’t so interested but my friends insisted, and I loved it.  Thank you so much!