AAUW is pleased to welcome Karen Teff to the Jan. 17 luncheon meeting.
Karen will share her story of opening and running Clara’s Closet, a second-hand clothing store that supports Second Harvest Food Bank, as well as her other activities.
Karen Teff, formerly Christensen, grew up in Grand Rapids and graduated from Grand Rapids High School. She earned a BA in Mathematics and MN Teaching certificate from St. Olaf College and a Masters of Secondary Math Education from the University of Minnesota.
Teff began her teaching career in St. Paul Park, MN where she taught for 8 years before moving back to Grand Rapids with her husband Steve, and two children, Sam and Abigail. She taught at Deer River High School from 1991 to 2018. Teff now teaches completely online for Cross Lake Community School and MN Infinity. She was recently elected to the Cross Lake School Board.
In January 2020 Teffs purchased Clara’s Cupboard Antiques in Central Square Mall. Undeterred by the rising pandemic, in July 2020, they opened Clara’s Closet, a second-hand clothing store. The store offers shoppers all kinds of used clothing and accessories. The logo says “small store, big impact.” Teffs are helping to address food insecurity needs by donating sales proceeds to Second Harvest Food Bank after they pay the rent and other expenses. By mid-2021 their donations to the food bank had totaled $5,000.
In her spare time Karen loves hanging out with her 11 rescue dogs and decorating her home. The Teffs bought the old Co-Op in Jacobson, where they live. The meeting on Jan. 17, at United Methodist Church, begins with social and registration at 11 a.m. with lunch and a short business meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The program is from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. The community is welcome to attend the program.
Exciting news for the group is the success of the “warm and cozy” fundraiser at the December meeting. Generous members donated themed items and then bought tickets for a chance to win them. There were lots of smiles from the happy winners as well as the entire group when they learned that the event had raised $1,000 for the scholarship fund. Each year the branch offers two scholarships to non-traditional women students, one through Itasca Community College and one through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation.
The mission of AAUW is advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Additional information is available at www.aauw.org or at http://grandrapidsaauw.blogspot.com. In principle and practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership. Branch membership is open to any individual who has an associate degree or equivalent, bachelor’s or higher degree, or is an undergraduate student enrolled in a two or four year institution. Marj Lavalier may be contacted for information at 218-326-2716 or email@example.com.