2020/2021 Year in Review

Written by Beth Heiserman

On April 17th, our Area 3 Seminar was conducted via Zoom. It was a great meeting where we got to hear from our Z.I. President Madame Dr. Sharon Langenbeck, our District 9 Governor, Brittany Vaughan, District 9 Lieutenant Governor, Debbie Angwood, and Area 3 Director, Gloria Salas. The featured speaker was Kathleen Douglass, and she spoke about leadership during the pandemic. It was very inspiring to be able to attend this very informative meeting. It was my first, and I wished I had attended before, but my work stopped me from prior meetings.

The following text is the Zonta SCV 2020/2021 annual report that I delivered at the seminar.

Our club had one fundraiser, Lunafest. The committee chose to have the event stand out by producing a drive-in movie format this year. I commend the committee for being creative and and thinking outside the box during this challenging year. We also had a conference fundraiser in August, Painting with a Twist. It was a lot of fun, even on Zoom.

Our Robotics project was postponed due to Covid, but our other service project, the LifeForward workshops continued virtually, By choosing to go virtual with the workshops, our attendance has grown 2 1/2 times beyond attendance at in-person events. We started them in September since they were on hiatus since March because of Covid. We also had one workshop that was hosted by our newly formed Z Club, and it had the highest ever attendance with 49 people joining. The topic was Uncomfortable Dating. A few other topics for LifeForward were Coping with Covid, Mindfulness and Self-Care, Filing Taxes, Your Investments, Starting a Business, and Single Parenting. Our next workshop is next Saturday featuring a family law specialist, and we have 3 more scheduled in May. LifeForward is open to everyone since we are virtual. We have had Zontians from around the world join us from Bangladesh, Chile, Massachusetts and many of you (Area and District members) in attendance as well!

In November, we chartered and installed our new Z Club, the Golden Valley High School Z Club.The last time we had a Z Club was 5 years ago. In the first semester they had over 50 students in the club. They had a fundraiser to help families during Thanksgiving, and they have created awareness of Zonta and our Zonta mission. At our last business meeting, one of the students received a YWPA award and another created her own poem as an inspiration to conclude our club's meeting. I am so proud of them.

Plus, we had many social media campaigns throughout the year, including the 16 Days of Activism, anti-bullying, our Red Dress project, human trafficking, members recruitment, honoring women during Women's History Month, and many more. Hopefully, you have seen them on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Our website is updated constantly with blogs that are written by members of our club. This year we instituted a Public Relations Committee to help with awareness of Zonta and our club. They did an Amazing job.

Our scholarships and grants gave away $15,200 this fiscal year. We also created the Jo Ann Rodriguez Memorial Scholarship. This new scholarship will be offered for the first time in the next fiscal year, and will be awarded to women students who are undertaking Business Accounting studies and who have demonstrated outstanding potential in the field. Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley will be offering the scholarships of US $1,000.00

This month we had our annual Zonta Zing, a membership drive event, and an overview of Zonta, "Who We Are, and What We Do." We gained three new members; one is an Amelia Earhart Fellow. Now we have two including our ZI President, madame Dr. Sharon Langenbeck.

Our membership committee did a fabulous job of bringing our members together for a special event with two ZI membership experts.

I love Zonta's mission and share it at the beginning of every business meeting. I believe in achieving gender equality and ending violence against women and girls around the world. This past year with the formation of our Z Club, it's important to improve the lives of women and girls globally now and for generations to come, we must invest in youth development and mentor young leaders for gender equality. And by empowering and educating them now, the collaboration from these students will create many profound service and advocacy projects. They are the future of Zonta. I am very passionate about our service projects and I adore advocating our mission to others. Plus, I love to fundraise to ensure our club can fund the projects and scholarships that our club offers. This year has made me realize how important mentorship is and my mentors have been amazing and helping me realize why I joined Zonta and why I remain in the club. I have learned to look past certain things and look at the whole picture and the importance of our work to advocate and what brings all of us together.