Cage of Oppression – Monologues of Social Oppression

September 22, 2019

This event will feature stories gathered from the experiences of local community members and performed by local community members under the direction of Chad Alan-Carr, Gettysburg Community Theatre Director.
The event is scheduled for September 22, 2019, with September 23, 2019 held in reserve for a sell out on Sept. 22. There will be 30 to 45 minutes of stories to be followed by a Q & A.
Admission is free but reservations for the open seating will be required. GCT will take the reservations. Call 717-334-2692 or email to make a reservation. You can also make reservations at the box office from 5 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Reservations will be open on June 1.

Women’s Self Defense

Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere as you learn the basic aspects of self-defense. This class will focus on mental preparation such as situational awareness and positive mental attitude, and will include instruction on personal self-defense techniques such as arm bars, punching, kicking, and throwing. The instructor, Rachel McVey, spent eight years with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and is currently working as an Animal Control Officer. She has been teaching women’s self-defense since 2003, including four semesters at Frederick Community College.

When asked about their favorite aspect of the class, past participants said:

  • Repetition of movements and corrections
  • Learning how to protect myself
  • The instructor was able to instill a strong sense of self-confidence
  • Being aware of different situations

Registration is required.

May 1 and 2     6  to 8 p.m.

Rec Free Basic $10 Non $20


Callie Awards

Honoring women who make a difference

The YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and the Callie Awards Committee are excited to present the winners for the 19th Annual Callie Awards Ceremony.

Five exceptional local women will be recognized for their excellence in their field of service on March 28, 2019 at the Historic Gettysburg Hotel Ballroom.

Cocktails at 5 p.m. Dinner at 6 p.m.
$45 per person
Proceeds benefit the Callie Scholarship for Exceptional Young Women
and the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County.
RSVP by March 15 to Nancy Lilley, 717-334-9171, ext. 115. or

Business – Wendy Allen — Wendy is a business owner and has had great success as a Lincoln artist. In 2017, Wendy organized the 100 Nights of Taps beginning Memorial Day and lasting through Labor Day at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. The 100 Nights of Taps continued to be a success in 2018 and has attracted visitors from around the country and around the world.

Community Service – Faye Niebler – After teaching for 32 years, Faye has continued her dedication to help others by advocating for children, community health and welfare of seniors. Faye serves as chair for the Advisory Board of the Adams County Children and Youth Services, serves on the local Children’s Roundtable, volunteers for Ruth’s Harvest, is an active member of the Encore Breast Cancer Support Group, delivers food for our local seniors through the Meals on Wheels program, volunteers at local runs including the Encore Breast Cancer Awareness 5k, serves with the Gettysburg Area School District Alumni Association and is on YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County’s Tennis Tournament committee.

Education – Brenda Heberling- After teaching in elementary and special education, Brenda continued working for our youth by volunteering with parent support groups throughout the local school districts, the Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council and the Gettys-Trefoil Girl Scouts. Brenda was a founding member of the Gettysburg Area Dollars for Scholars (GADS) and for 14 years, has taken on different roles within the organization including fundraising chair, treasurer, President of the all-volunteer board of directors and chairs the Awards Committee.

Legacy of a Lifetime – Ruthmary McIlhenny – Ruthmary served on the Board of Directors with the United Way of Adams County for several years and was one of the founding members of the Volunteer Administrative Network. She was a founding member of the Land Conservancy of Adams County, serves on the Board of Trustees of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Society, volunteers with the Historic Gettysburg Adams County, the Eisenhower National Historic Site and the Adams County Literacy Council.

Young Woman – Emma Sanders – A senior at Gettysburg Area High School, Emma participates in band, orchestra, chorus, co-captain’s the Speech and Debate team, is a class officer, is enrolled at HACC and was selected for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. Emma created independent studies as part of her high school curriculum that allows her to volunteer in an elementary deaf and hard of hearing (D&HH) classroom where she works one-on-one with students. She spearheaded a D&HH Awareness Day at Nerd Herd Gifts and Games which reached out to D&HH classes in York, Adams and Franklin County.

Responding to Domestic Violence

A statement from YWCA USA CEO Dara Richardson-Heron (Sept. 11, 2014):

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. A recent high profile incident in the news has put the spotlight on this astounding problem, and has men and women across the country participating in important dialogue about domestic violence. The YWCA hopes that the discussions started as a result of this news story will raise awareness about the ongoing crisis of domestic violence and continue the dialogue on how we can once and for all eradicate violence against women. Simply put, gender-based violence is unacceptable, in any form and under any circumstances.

For decades, the YWCA has been on the frontlines of working to end domestic violence. The YWCA is one of the largest providers of domestic violence services in the United States with over 200 local YWCA associations in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Each year, we provide hundreds of thousands of women and families with programs and services for both survivors and perpetrators, including emergency shelter, crisis hotlines, counseling, educational programs, prevention training, support groups, and abuse intervention. The YWCA also provides domestic violence training to businesses, law enforcement, and medical personnel across the nation.

Recent events have spurred many people to more closely examine domestic violence and to ask how they can be part of the solution. We encourage them to join us, along with our fellow service providers and advocates, in our commitment to breaking the cycle of domestic violence through awareness, education and expert intervention. For more information about the YWCA’s services, please visit

Survivors, Inc. provides local support and resources for those who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault.

Women Behind These Walls

Much of Civil War-era history is recorded through the eyes of men: soldiers, laborers, government officials, and others. Women tofFamilyBehind These Walls is free, self-guided walking tour of downtown Gettysburg designed to share the stories and perspectives of civilian women who lived during the Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath. The posters along the tour are placed at locations that were significant to each woman’s life before, during, or after the battle. The tour  is a collaborative effort between the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and Survivors, Inc., the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides, Gettysburg Licensed Town Guides, and For the Cause Productions, Inc.

A special thank-you to all the businesses, organizations, and homeowners who agreed to be a part of this project.

Click here for a printable tour brochure (updated Aug. 2015). You can also find brochures at the YWCA, the Destination Gettysburg office, the Gettysburg Heritage Center, and A&A Village Treasures.

#25 Catherine “Kitty” Payne Brian’s story (no placard is currently displayed at Kitty’s site; an illustration of Kitty is shown above):
I lived here (219 S. Washington St.) with my second husband, Abraham Brian. My first husband had died of a fever, leaving me with three small children. I had been a slave in Virginia but had been set free upon my master’s death. His nephew, who had inherited the farm, took exception to our freedom and sent bounty hunters after my family. They captured us and took us back to Virginia, where we spent a year in jail. My life here was not any happier as my new husband did not want the burden of my children and sent them off to live with other families. My heart was broken and I died at age 34.

Day of Transformation





Day of Transformation Transformed

This year, the Day of Transformation is undergoing a transformation of its own. The DOT committee, led by Brooke Barrett, and consisting of women from HACC’s Gettysburg Campus; South Central Community Action Programs; Survivors, Inc.; the Margaret Trew Cline Foundation; the United Way of Adams County; the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County; and Wellspan Hospital decided that this previously one-day only event should be expanded to an everyday opportunity.

This was done in an attempt to reach a larger audience of women who might need help getting ready to enter or re-enter the job market throughout the year and not just at the time of our scheduled event. With referrals from partnering organizations, the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop will offer up to three free outfits as well as accessories to women. HACC Gettysburg will include vouchers that can be used to schedule appointments for career counseling, resume writing, and interview prepping services.

If you are an individual with professional or business-casual women’s clothing, handbags, accessories, and jewelry to donate, please take these to the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop at 10 Lincoln Square in Gettysburg during business hours (Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) throughout the year, and specify that you are contributing for Day of Transformation.

Donations to the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop for the Day of Transformation should be seasonal and neatly folded or on hangers, which are available at the thrift shop if needed. Clothing should be unstained (underarms, collars ,etc.), odor free, and not in need of mending. Size and care tags should be intact. Shoes and purses should be unscuffed.

Sponsored by HACC-Gettysburg, Margaret Trew Cline Foundation, South Central Community Action Programs, Survivors, Inc., the United Way of Adams County, WellSpan, and the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County.

Women in History Essay Contest

The annual Women in History essay and art contest is open to students in grades 6 through 8 in all Adams County public and private schools, as well as home-schooled students. The contest includes categories for essays and artwork.

PRIZES: The first, second and third place winners in each grade will be awarded cash for writing entries. Artwork will be judged separately, and there will be only one first, second, and third place winner awarded a cash prize. Each winner will receive a coupon for a 10% discount on either a junior or family membership when they join the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County.

Click on the documents below to submit your own entry!

Cover Sheet WIH

Guidelines WIH

2019 Women in History Essay/Art Contest winners:

6th Grade
1st – Savannah Schneider (Irena Sendler) – Gettysburg Area Middle School – Ms. Hassinger
2nd – Ellen Cadigan (Misty Copeland) – Gettysburg Area Middle School – Ms. Hassinger
3rd – Brooke Myers (Rosa Parks) – Gettysburg Area Middle School – Ms. Riddlemoser

7th Grade
1st – Ella Stremmel (Rosa Parks) – Upper Adams Middle School – Ms. Granger
2nd – John Kloster (Sojourner Truth) – Gettysburg Area Middle School – Ms. Riddlemoser
3rd – Morgan Hoover (Mrs. Ellen) – St. Francis Xavier Catholic School – Ms. Hughes

8th Grade
1st – Kim Heinzelmann (Emma Lazarus) – Gettysburg Area Middle School – Ms. Kessel
2nd – Zachary Tipton (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) – Gettysburg Area Middle School – Ms. Teeter
3rd – Alison Harvey (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) – Gettysburg Area Middle School – Ms. Kessel

Art Awards
1st – Kaitlyn Frey (charcoal – Rosa Parks) – New Oxford Middle School
2nd – Kennedy Brown (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) – Gettysburg area Middle School – Ms. Riddlemoser
3rd – Isabella Salas Kennedy (Susan B. Anthony) – Gettysburg Area Middle School – Ms. Kessel

LEGO Robotics Club

The LEGO Robotics Club is offered a part of the ASAP after-school program for Gettysburg elementary schools. The 6-week program provides 4th and 5th grade girls the opportunity to explore computers and robotics technology in a nurturing, girls-only environment under the guidance of Gettysburg College students.

Research suggests that programs like this are effective tools to challenge the gender divide of men and women in high paying, technology-oriented careers. Check with your child’s teacher to register your child for the Fall or Spring sessions of LEGOs.

In 2011, Gettysburg High School student Kasey Rathgeber started a LEGOs program at Gettysburg Middle School to bridge the gap between our elementary school program and STEM Savvy at Gettysburg High School.

Find out how you can support LEGOs and our other women’s empowerment programs.

Fourth and 5th grade girls at Lincoln Elementary School work with Gettysburg College students to build and program robots during the Spring 2010 LEGO program.


STEAM Savvy is an all-girls after-school club for students at Gettysburg High School. The program encourages girls to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and math fields in which women are underrepresented. Instructors and mentors also assist students with college applications, interviewing skills, and other aspects of the college search, including visits to explore schools’ science departments. If you’re a Gettysburg High School student and you’d like to get involved with STEAM Savvy, contact chemistry teacher Kristen Bechtel.

Why should we encourage girls to get involved in STEAM? Read more here!

STEAM Savvy is featured on the YWCA USA’s Fresh@YW page!

STEAM Savvy is made possible through the generous support from our Hallmark Sponsors. Find out how you can support STEAM Savvy and other women’s empowerment programs.

FingerprintingAt left, club advisor Kristen Bechtel and girls in the 2013-2014 STEM Savvy program finish a fingerprinting lab as part of their focus on forensics.




Women in STEM

The following column was written by YWCA board member Jackie Milingo and published in the Gettysburg Times August 10, 2012.

The mission statement of the YWCA includes a dedication to eliminating racism and empowering women. This mission is not only inspiring; it is a strong declaration of necessary social change.  Based on 2010 data, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that half of our country is comprised of females (2011 estimate is 50.8 percent) and approximately 63 percent self-identify as “white.”  This rough cut of gender and racial distribution naturally (perhaps naively) leads one to expect the same representation of diversity in the working/professional world, at all levels of education, at all income levels, and in various positions of power and influence. When we don’t see this diversity in action it begs the question … why not?

Take the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (collectively known as STEM), for example.  Less than 20 percent of the STEM workforce is female (in many fields this number is closer to 10 percent).  People from “non-white” racial groups, those with different levels of physical ability, and those who occupy the range of gender identity and sexual orientation make up an even smaller fraction of STEM fields at all stages of education, training, and employment. Despite the diversity of our country, all of these people are severely underrepresented in STEM. Why is this something to pay attention to? The STEM workforce houses a great deal of the knowledge and innovation required for our country to address the very modern challenges of living in a global community with limited natural resources.  Increasing diversity in the STEM workforce not only empowers those who are so woefully underrepresented in these fields, increasing their economic, social, and political potential; it also injects a much-needed breadth of experience and perspectives to positions of power and influence. This ultimately benefits us all.

The leaky pipeline into STEM fields starts early in our society. The number of girls (let alone other underrepresented groups) interested in learning about science, math, and their applications continuously decreases throughout middle school and into high school, thus creating a loss of diversity before these young people even enter college, professional programs, and the workforce. It is key to encourage and support interests in STEM during the formative years when competing social constructs, stereotypes, biases, and cultural beliefs can negatively affect a young person’s sense of identity and potential. Many of the Hallmark and Mission programs of our YWCA exist to support this cause. After-school and summer programs such as the LEGO Robotics Club and STEM Savvy Club, those that specifically target girls, provide a fun, low-stakes environment which can spark and nurture an interest that is then carried forward. Supporting diversity in STEM and the empowerment of all underrepresented groups requires the action of an entire community, and our local YWCA is a proud contributor to this effort.

Jackie Milingo is an associate professor of physics at Gettysburg College and a member of the board of directors at the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County. Contact her at 717-337-6076.