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Linda Bricker
Jun 15, 2018

AAUW Women of Achievement host Scholarship Luncheon

By Lori Draz

Linda Bricker

Linda Bricker

On a perfectly lovely April 26, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Monmouth County came together for their annual scholarship luncheon at Salt Creek Grille. The special luncheon marked the 90th anniversary of this group of women who are committed to advancing equity for women and service to the community.

To make the luncheon even more eventful, the group created the AAUW NMCB Women of Achievement Awards. Linda Bricker, president of the Monmouth County Historical Association, and author, playwright, and social critic Gilda Rogers received the Community Service award. Mary Eileen Fouratt, former executive director of Monmouth Arts, was honored with the award for Advancing the Arts.

Janet Benton

Janet Benton

This year’s luncheon was the most successful ever, and there wasn’t a single seat open. Each of the tables had a placard with a name and a brief description to memorialize one of the club’s members who had passed. Their accomplishments were all most inspiring.

After a lively cocktail hour and bidding on some special prizes, event emcee Marian Wattenberger did a fine job of introducing the recipients, and guest author Janet Benton, who read from her new novel, Lilli de Jong.

Wattenberger said, “It was my pleasure to be the emcee for this event where I shared a quote from Vera Farmiga who said, ‘There are women who make things better, there are women who change things, there are women who make things happen, who make a difference.  I want to be one of those women.’ It was a fitting description of the Women of Achievement Award recipients. It also reminded me of many of our members who have made a difference in Monmouth County through the years.

Gilda Rogers

Gilda Rogers

Funds raised from the luncheon provide scholarships and special programs for girls and women. BookTowne in Manasquan supported the event by arranging for keynote speaker Janet Benton. The luncheon chair, Susan Gelber of Little Silver, expressed her appreciation to the luncheon committee for making it such a special event, and extended a special thank you to Monmouth County Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry for the freeholder’s recognition of the Women of Achievement honorees.

Mary Eileen Fouratt

Mary Eileen Fouratt

The luncheon is AAUW’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Additionally, the group the runs a used book sale every Saturday and Sunday from September through June at the old First Church in Middletown. That book sale is set to conclude this month with discount and bag sale days ahead.

AAUW Northern Monmouth County Branch, Inc., a branch of the American Association of University Women, was founded in 1928 and is New Jersey’s largest branch with around 150 members.  The branch holds monthly meetings, which are open to the public, as well as stimulating events for its members.  Friendship, networking, branch projects, life-long learning and fundraising for education are just some of the aspects that attract members to the organization.

For more information about the AAUW, visit aauw-nj-nmcb.org or call 732- 933-4855.