Monday, February 11, 2019

What's the Benefit Booth? The One with all the Bargains!

Benefit Booth 2019: The American Association of University Women -Tarrant County Branch

What’s the “Benefit Booth” at the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art? It’s a booth in the show awarded each year to a local non-profit group to raise awareness and funds to support their mission. It’s also known as the booth with all the bargains!

This year the Fort Worth Show welcomes an historic organization as our Benefit Booth: The American Association of University Women – Tarrant County Branch. Starting in 1881, almost four decades before women could vote in America, the AAUW promoted gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy. My mother-in-law was a member of AAUW. In her quiet steady way, she stood for equality for women and girls, with all three of her daughters graduating from college.  

“For our booth at the Fort Worth Show,” says Orlew Lauger, Booth Co-Chair, “We are asking ourselves: What’s in the attic and what do our kids not want?” There will be estate furniture, including a Continental antique drop-front desk, as well as lighting, jewelry, designer clothing and handbags, art, collectibles, silver and an entire store’s worth of wood and glass display cases, all for sale at good prices. Dealers from the Fort Worth Show will also bring antiques and art to contribute. The public is welcome to contribute as well. The AAUW Tarrant County Branch is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, so all donations are tax-deductible. To donate, contact Joyce Raessler at

The Benefit Booth will play along with the show’s theme: Antiques & Art with Blue. Look for a collection of jewelry and vintage textiles in blue, perhaps “something borrowed something blue.”

What is the American Association of University Women—Tarrant County Branch?
The AAUW Tarrant County Branch was founded in 1971 with the primary mission of providing scholarships for young women at Tarrant County Community College. Three full-tuition scholarships are awarded each year. “We look for STEM candidates and students for whom these scholarships will make a huge difference,” says the Benefit Booth Co-Chair Joyce Raessler. “There are many women going back to school. We have been able to provide tuition recently for a mother of four children who is making 4.0 grades. She is terrific and it’s wonderful for us to be able to encourage her education.”

Other AAUW Tarrant Branch programs include the “Sister to Sister Summit” held each fall at Tarrant Community College Northeast Campus for girls in the Fort Worth School District. It’s a day when college students meet with middle school students for an introduction to the college experience and other activities to build self-esteem at the particular age when self-esteem in girls is documented to often falter.  Each year the Summit has a theme, the most recent being “Dream Your Dreams.” The girls made paper quilts, each displaying their dream, such as, “I am going to be an attorney and help families”….and “I am going to do my best to use my talents.”   

The AAUW Tarrant Branch also provides support for “Girls, Inc.” and the annual March against Violence. Advocacy work covers many aspects of women’s concerns, from supporting research to working against sex-trafficking.

The Tarrant County Branch sponsors interest groups for its members. Some of these groups include Community Service, book clubs, Movie Night, Lunch Bunch and Public Policy. “It’s important to support each other as friends,” says Joyce. “It takes a village to make things happen.” Monthly meetings include a guest speaker on subjects related to the arts, health and community and activism.

The AAUW Tarrant County Branch has grown to support a student group at Tarleton State University. The current AAUW Tarrant Branch President, Erica Robinson, is a Tarleton University instructor. Altogether, there are 84 members in the Tarrant County Branch of AAUW. Membership is open to all women who have graduated from an accredited college or university, as well as student affiliates enrolled in a four year institution. To join the American Association of University Women Tarrant County Branch, visit their booth at the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art March 1,2,3, which will soon be here!   

You might find a bargain! 

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