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AAUW prepares for big changes

The Red Wing area branch of the AAUW, formerly known as the American Association of University Women, participated in the 79th convention of AAUW Minnesota last weekend in St. Paul.

AAUW, now in its 126th year, has refocused its mission on equity for women and girls.

This year's state theme, "Imagine: Honoring Our Legacy, Embracing Our Future," featured programs that prepare for the changes in a restructured organization starting July 2009.

Red Wing delegates included past state presidents Alice Ellis and Patricia Sween and De Anna Bender, branch co-president, and members Jane Donkers and Roger Sween. Roger Sween also served as convention parliamentarian and Patricia Sween chaired the Resolutions Committee.

Delegates honored over 20 50-year members in the state, including Donkers. Delegates elected Patricia Sween as one of five members to seek and nominate officers for next year's election.

In a review of member achievements during 2007-08, the Red Wing area branch received a number of awards. The branch ranked fourth in the state for total dollar contributions ($2,941) to AAUW Educational Foundation and second in per capita contributions ($60).

Pat Welke, editor of Hiawatha Happenings, the online newsletter, received first-place recognition for branches of Red Wing's size. In the Star Awards for Ambassadors for Change, the Red Wing Area Branch was one of the eight out of 35 Minnesota branches noted for progress toward the new AAUW mission.

The state also recognized Patricia and Roger Sween as Ambassadors for Change for their presentations and work with six branches on the change issues.