Season's Greetings! The New Year is just mere days away, and with the turning of the calendar comes new expectations, promises, hopes and new or renewed achievements, all of which are also referred to as New Year's resolutions!

Like so many folks, I've set my sights on various goals and not unlike them; I fully intend to keep those sometimes elusive resolutions. At least I'll try! Groups and organizations also look forward to new beginnings by implementing new programs and offering members and the community exciting opportunities and even adventures.

The local chapter of the American Association of University Women, Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek, boasts more than 280 members and shares in a vast array of interests and works together on numerous philanthropies. Earlier this month, AAUW hosted their annual Holiday Home Tour, which every year raises funds for scholarships for local women and for twelve middle school girls to attend their Tech Trek summer camp on college campuses. Likewise, their May Garden Tour raises funds to support their Educational Foundation and Legal Advocacy Fund. Congratulations to the membership, which ranked second in the nation for their contribution to the Educational Fund and fifth for their contribution to the Legal Advocacy Fund.


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AAUW Branch President and Alamo resident Holly Sauer reflected on their successful home tours.

"We consider our tours to be gifts to our community as well as very important fundraisers, and we hope that they are a real joy for those attending while providing valuable educational benefits to girls and women," said Holly.

In fact, the group is seeking homes for the 2013 Holiday Home Tour, which will be held Dec. 13 and 14, 2013. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your creativity and holiday décor. If you are interested or know of someone who has a fabulously decorated home and would consider putting it on display for many to enjoy, then email holidayhometour@aauw-daw.org. To learn more about the tour or organization, visit their website at www.aauw-daw.org.

The local AAUW already has exciting programs supporting their many goals on the calendar. Mark your calendars for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Alcosta Room of the San Ramon Community Center at 12501 Alcosta Blvd. in San Ramon. Members and their guests are invited to hear Dawn Shaughnessy, of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where she heads the lab team that discovered six new elements on the Periodic Table, which I'm told are the heaviest elements to date and includes one element, number 116, which was named "Livermorium" for the scientific laboratory and city of Livermore.

Last March, Dawn was inducted into the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame for her scientific accomplishments. AAUW offers grants through their Community Action Grants, which provides funds to individuals as well as local community-based nonprofit groups for innovative programs or nondegree research projects that promote education and equality for women and girls. The deadline is Jan. 15. Go to http://www.aauw.org/learn/fellowhips_grants/community_action.cfm. For more information contact Alamo resident Roseann Krane, AAUW's funds chair, at rkrane@yahoo.com.

On Feb. 23, AAUW members will monitor and assist classes that offered at Expanding Your Horizons, which is a day geared toward careers in math and science, facilitated by Lawrence Livermore and Sandia Labs for middle school students and held at the DVC-San Ramon Campus. For membership in AAUW, or if you know of someone for the Holiday Home Tour, please contact Tena Gallagher, at tena@aol.com. Now good luck on those resolutions and have a Happy New Year!

Contact Caterina Mellinger at around- alamo@hotmail.com.