By Madison Schultz | Wednesday, April 21, 2021
IVCBA, AAUW Lasagna Fundraiser to support young women’s education by IVCBA's Madison Schultz

Family-sized servings of delicious lasagna alongside a silent auction including prizes for all age groups – what could be better? The American Association of University Women’s Tahoe-Nevada Branch, better known as AAUW Tahoe-Nevada, is hosting a Lasagna Fundraiser on May 13 for all Incline Village and Crystal Bay locals to participate in.

AAUW Tahoe-Nevada Branch directly focuses on breaking through educational and economic barriers to allow all females a fair opportunity.

“AAUW is an international organization that has been established for roughly 150 years,” Janet Usinger, President of AAUW Tahoe-Nevada Branch said. “As an organization, we have been very concerned about education, and particularly higher education for women. When you think about education in general and what it offers, it allows people to be treated in an equitable manner in society. So, one of the things we promote is equity for all, but particularly equity for women.”

With extensive efforts from the organization to provide education for women, AAUW Tahoe-Nevada works towards raising money for an annual scholarship fund for women who are in need of financial educational support.

“We have a partnership with Incline High School to provide scholarships to students who have a financial need,” Usinger said. “We also have in the past provided scholarships to women who are returning to the workplace and they need to enhance their education for better workplace opportunity. We are all about promoting and fostering equity for women, but it is primarily through education that we do that.”

Through the AAUW Tahoe-Nevada scholarship fund, normally one or two young women are awarded scholarship money that’ll go directly towards their higher education. However, the organization has adapted an interactive way of keeping up with the students who were awarded the scholarship each year.

“Our scholarship fund is different from many other nonprofit organizations,” Usinger said. “What’s unusual about our scholarship is that we support the students through all four years of their college experience, rather than just providing for the first year. We basically adopt the student. We keep in touch with our students and maintain a strong connection with all of these young women.”

It is also worth noting that these scholarship funds are not only available for universities in Nevada, but students are able to go to any college in the United States.

“We’ve had students at Dartmouth, Georgetown, various institutions throughout California, and of course we have students at UNR and UNLV, our students are really all over the country,” Usinger said.

In efforts to fundraise more money to benefit the young women who are awarded the annual scholarship funds, the AAUW Tahoe-Nevada Branch’s cooking group is hosting a Lasagna Fundraiser.

“Women join AAUW Tahoe-Nevada to learn and to get together and share mutual activity,” Usinger said. “Among the many groups we have, our Cooking Group is interested in exploring areas of cooking and dining. So, they decided that one of the ways we could raise funds is by offering a Lasagna Fundraiser.”

The lasagna is handmade from scratch by the AAUW Cooking Group and is composed of a Bolognese sauce that has organic, grass-fed beef. The sauce is simmered for several hours, then layered with pasta and a cheesy, bechamel and ricotta filling. The homemade dish is credited by Usinger as “incredibly delicious.”

The group is preparing the lasagna, then freezing out the large portions that can feed roughly 6-8 people. After being frozen, the lasagna will then be for sale to the community for $50.

“Individuals can pick up lasagna on May 13 from 4-7 pm at the Parasol Building in Incline Village,” Usinger said. “A portion of the money from each lasagna serving sold will go towards the scholarship fund, so not only do you get a delicious lasagna, but you also provide funds for our upcoming scholars.”

In addition to the plates of homemade lasagna, AAUW Tahoe-Nevada will also be hosting a silent auction from May 1-11 that’ll also allow community members to contribute money towards the scholarship fund.

“The silent auction has quite a few items, that really cater to anyone that’s interested,” Usinger said. “We’re offering a ‘Passion for Pasta Basket and Cooking Class’, we also have a pair of Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival tickets, a ‘Martini Lovers’ Basket, and also gifts for kids such as a hosted kid’s birthday party, a catered picnic at the beach, and a cooking basket for kids.”

The silent auction will be held entirely online, and community members can also fill out an order form for lasagna servings through AAUW’s website as well prior to picking up on May 13.

For more information on AAUW Tahoe-Nevada’s silent auction and Lasagna Fundraiser, community members are encouraged to visit: https://tahoe-nv.aauw.net/lasagnafest2021/