Sequoia Branch Brief History

1926–Sequoia Branch founded May 18 with 42 charter members at home of                              Zoe Lemberson.

1927–College Loan Fund started by sponsoring an Eastern marionette company and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Programs.

1937–Co-sponsored first community forum.  Forum continued until 1948.

1942–Sponsored “Hospitality House”  for Visalia Servicemen.

1944–Purchased lot for Clubhouse with funds raised from rummage sale and other events.

1949–First scholarship given to COS graduate.

1950–Clubhouse completed. Sequoia Branch incorporated. Scholarship program began.

1952–Sponsored first Side-walk Art Show, became inspiration for Tulare County Art League. Leased Clubhouse to the County for 5 years due to earthquake destruction of county library.

54-55–First Home Tour sponsored by Branch raising funds for EF programs. Branch regains use of Clubhouse.

56-57–Sponsored four community plays; became inspiration for Visalia Community Players.

65-66–First branch Book Fair which became an annual and later a bi-annual fundraiser.

73-74–Clubhouse sold to City of Visalia for Senior Center.

74-75–Established an “observer corp” of local councils, boards and commissions. Co-sponsored safety pamphlet “Lady Beware”.

75-76–Began Reading is Fundamental (RIF).  Received AAUW research and projects grant for developing a Rape Crisis Service. Member receives AAUW grant to produce a legislative guide.

76-77–Street sign study begins.  Received award from State for highest Education Foundation contributions per capita.

78-79-Public television comes to the Valley, a concept supported since 1959.  The first Showcase Designer Home fundraiser.

79-80–Branch receives AAUW grant for both addressing rape crisis and battered women issues. Animal Control Officer hired by city as a result of branch study. Sequoia Branch becomes Visalia-Sequoia Branch.  First Math/Science workshop for Girls was sponsored by AAUW.

80-81–Gourmet Raffle highly successful fund raiser.

81-82–Record year for new membership. Money Talks topic results in community investment clubs. Branch member joins AAUW delegation to the United Nations.

82-83–Many branch meetings open to the public.

83-84–Received State AAUW membership retention award. Began a National AAUW Research and Projects Endowment.  “Great Decisions” study program established. Sponsored Girls Math/Science Conference.

84-85–Voter Registration drive received recognition. Members visited the Getty and Norton Simon Museums.

85-86–Research and Projects Endowment completed. Sponsored second Math/Science Conference. Branch member became first City Council Woman. Branch celebrated its 60th anniversary.

86-87–State Senator Rose Ann Vuich and California State Division AAUW President visited branch. Mayor declared AAUW week and helped branch honor first Council Woman.

87-88–Branch Chairwoman appointed as California State Division Women’s Issues Chair. Branch’s total contribution to the National AAUW EF exceeded $36,000.

88-89–Showcase Historical Home Tour netted $2000 for EF–an unprecedented success.

90-91–Certified financial planner advised members. Book fair earned $5,000 for ten scholarships; 125 attended March Women’s History Vintage Clothing Fashion Show.

91-92–Round Table on gender equity. Congressman Cal Dooley addressed Interbranch Luncheon. Several members attended the IFUW Convention in Palo Alto.

92-93–Book Sale combined with Dudley Home Tour raised over $8,000 for local scholarships. Science/Math Conference held for middle school girls and teachers.

93-94–Held strategic planning meeting to evaluate branch programs and activities relevant to the changing needs of today’s women. Earned Association 5-star recognition. Assisted with State Conference in Fresno.

94-95–Achieved 5-star status at both State and Association levels. President and President-Elect attended State Convention in San Jose and National Convention in Orlando. Membership increased 18%.

95-96–Celebrated our 70th birthday with tributes to past presidents and prior accomplishments. Hosted interbranch luncheons with EF recipient, LaJuanda Denney, as featured speaker.  Awarded Association 5-star recognition for third year in a row.

96-97–Successful LAF litigant, Kay Austin, spoke at November meeting. Awarded 5-star for fourth year in a row.

97-98–Completed Annie Mitchell EF Endowment, Awarded first annual middle school Teacher Gender Equity Award. Sponsored middle school girl to attend State AAUW Math/Science/Computer TechTrek Camp at Stanford University. Fifth year awarded 5-star recognition.

98-99–Held highly successful teen conference, “An Income of Her Own.” Earned 6-star recognition for first time. Purchased $300 seat at the Fox Theater. Sent record of 8 members to Leadership Training Day in Fresno. Sent three girls to Tech Trek Camp. Raised over $4,000 for local scholarships at annual Book Fair.

99-00–Second year awarded 6 stars. Earned $16,000 from two book sales for scholarships. Social Security Return Educational Forum held.

00-01–Earned 5-star status for sixth time. Held record book sales. Awarded $12,500 in scholarships. Held 75th Anniversary party at the renovated Fox Theater. Sent four girls to Tech Trek.

01-02–Earned “Gold” award in new 21st Century Recognition Program. Had first co-presidents to attend first Western Regional Conference in Reno. Sent four girls to Tech Trek and eleven to Expanding Your Horizons at COS. Raised $23,400 from book sales and awarded fifteen scholarships. For the first time awarded a scholarship to a senior at each of our high schools.

02-03–Two book sales earned $17,000 to be used for local scholarships.  Sent five girls to Tech Trek and twenty-five girls to Expanding Your Horizons.

03-04–A year of outstanding programs, book sales and scholarship recipients. Continued tradition of sponsoring five Tech Trek girls. Recognized at National AAUW Convention for exceeding our EF/LAF goals.

04-05–Programs dealt with local issues. Dedicated members focused on high local rate of teenage pregnancy. Almost $20,000 earned from book sales enabling scholarships to go to an outstanding field of recipients. Five middle school girls funded to attend Tech Trek.

05-06–Co-sponsored a well-attended program on Women in History. Two successful book sales enabled us to send fifty girls to Expanding Your Horizons, six girls to Tech Trek and to award scholarships to eight COS students.

06-07–Contributed over $1,500 for EF; sponsored six girls to Tech Trek and fifty to Expanding Horizons; sponsored high school Speech Trek; made $22,000 in book sales; gave $15,000 in COS scholarships to eight recipients; co-sponsored Money Wi$e Women’s Forum.

07-08–Sponsored eight girls to attend Tech Trek and seventy-five elementary school girls to Expanding Your Horizons.  Two book sales earned $33,000 enabling the branch to give $32,250 in COS scholarships to twelve recipients.

08-09–A year of interesting programs and successful book sales. Awarded scholarships to sixteen COS students.  Sponsored nine middle school girls to Tech Trek and one hundred twenty girls to Expanding Your Horizons.

09-10–Exciting programs; AAUW district mini conference; two outstanding book sales; total of twenty-four scholarships; sent one hundred plus girls to Expanding Horizons; New section Traveling Troopers enlivened the branch.

10-11–Excellent programs, great book sales, supported Imagine U Children’s Museum, Tech Trek, Expanding Horizons, Speech Trek (twelve participants, one to state), and awarded sixteen COS scholarships.

12-13  Visalia-Sequoia (CA) Branch AAUW web site was established at https:ll//

13-14  A new section was formed to discuss local and state topics: Coffee and California Concerns.

15-17 California AAUW provided a state board member who helped the branch develop an updated Strategic Plan.

16-17 Co-sponsored with League of Women Votes, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Visalia Times Delta Candidates Forum for School Board and Board of Supervisors elections.