VENICE — Venice is home to a group dedicating their time to making a difference in the future of women.
And to help with that, the American Association of University Women is raising awareness to their organization with one of their largest annual campaigns — a Home Tour in Venice.
With their start in 1881, the AAUW was created from the lack of women receiving or having access to a college education. The original organization consisted of 16 Boston friends.
Today, the Venice branch is the largest in the state with 250 members.
The AAUW annual Home Tour is seeing its 16th run to raise scholarship funding. The funds provide women in the area the opportunity to further education.
This years’ home tour is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. It is a half-mile walking tour led by members Samira Easton and Susan Farstrup.
Advance home tour tickets are $25 and $30 on the day of the tour.
Tickets be found at: Coles Postal Service USA, Collectors Gallery and Framery, Down Island Way Boutique, Venice Olive Oil Company and the Venice Art Center.
A variety of houses across West Venice Avenue and Park Boulevard South will be open for a look for those on the tour.
“We want to give visitors the most important details of the homes being shown,” AAUW member Judy Houston said. “We are protective of our homes and home owners and are grateful for their willingness to open the homes up to us. The Home Tour is our No. 1 way of helping women achieve more.”
As for women achieving more, the tour of 2019 raised $34,000 in scholarship funds. Eight women each received $3,000 in assistance.
The main focus of the AAUW is to gain traction for their fundraising events to elevate women in society. With this, the national organization even hopes to close the gender pay gap by 2030.
But that’s not its only mission.
Girls going into the eighth grade can also get involved in a STEM called Tech Trek, sponsored by the AAUW. Located on both coasts, the camp gets girls involved in engineering, workshops, computer programs, and can meet women who have been successful in the STEM field.
The organization also hosts special interest groups for those engrossed in getting to know women of the area, legislation review on women’s rights, boating with friends, trying new foods, photography and play reading.
To join the organization, it takes a simple application.
“Our group has diverse membership,” Houston said. “Whatever your age, location, and even if you want to take part in dual membership.”