Highlights from 2018-2019

City of Santa Clarita Honors Zonta Santa Clarita Valley and Zonta International

On Tuesday evening, November 12th, the outside of Santa Clarita’s City Hall was bathed in orange light, while inside Orange balloons flanked the City Seal, and the Council Chambers were flooded with a celebratory sea of orange and maroon as 21 tee shirt wearing Zontians filled the front seats of the Council Meeting.  Among the collection of women leaders was Zonta International President-Elect, Sharon Langenbeck and on the dais was Zonta member, Mayor Marsha McLean.  The celebration was in honor of the Centennial Anniversary of Zonta International and the 45th Anniversary of the Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The color orange symbolizes Zonta’s anti domestic violence campaign, “Zonta Says NO”, and the club selected that important advocacy program to represent it during this important milestone event.

Not only is Zonta SCV known for service programs, scholarships and grants that benefit women and girls through service, advocacy, and awareness, but it has been known throughout its history for helping charities throughout the valley through hands on volunteerism.  Too numerous to mention are community charities that have thanked the club for its commitment to comprehensively improving the quality of community life.

Mayor McLean recognized the local club for outstanding community service throughout its 45 years.  She also outlined the founding of the original Zonta way back in 1919 in Buffalo, New York.  That original band of Zonta Sisters, all professional women, sought to continue the suffrage movement to ensure that the rights of women, first in America and then abroad, would continue to strengthen and reach equality.  Today, Zonta boasts 30,000 members throughout 67 countries, worldwide.  On this night, the Mayor presented club President, Barbara Meyer, with a beautiful City Proclamation commemorating the two anniversaries.

After the Zonta members crowded onto the dais to shake hands with all five Council Members, photographs were taken for posterity.

The event closed with the announcement from the Mayor that the Council Meeting would be closed in memory of our dear Zonta sister, JoAnn Rodriguez, who passed away after a long and valiant battle with COPD a few weeks earlier.  It felt really good to have JoAnn present with us, and as such the celebration was truly complete.  We thank the City of Santa Clarita Council Members for making the evening so memorable.

Annual Strategic Planning Meeting 2020-2021

On May 7, Beth Heiserman, president-elect, held her first strategic planning meeting via Zoom.  This was a first for our club, a virtual meeting.  We had approx 16 members join in the Zoom meeting. Beth discussed her thoughts for next year in Membership and Socials/Fundraising.  Several good discussions and ideas came from the meeting.   Another planning session will be held with other topics.


Our Zoom Strategic Planning for 2020-2021



Women Do Not Have Equal Rights in the Constitution!

Late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said,” The issue is whether the Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex – it doesn’t.”   Incorporating the Equal Rights Amendment  (ERA) into the Constitution provides  that ”Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Constitutional Amendments are introduced and approved by the House of Representatives and Senate and ratified by three-fourths of the states before Congress incorporates  the Amendment into the Constitution.

Congress passed the ERA March 22, 1972 and sent to states for ratification.  Three-fourths (38) of the 50 state Legislatures must approve before Congress can incorporate into the Constitution.  By 1977, 35 states had approved the amendment; In 1978, Congress voted to extend the deadline to June 30, 1982.  No additional  states were ratified.

Title IX , Violence Against Women Act, the Fair Pensions Act, and the Paycheck Fairness Act, are pieces of legislation that work to achieve social, political, and economic equality for all genders,  but have been opposed and even attempted to be overturned.  While the  14th Amendment addresses sex discrimination,  it does not grant equal rights on the basis of sex in the uniform and inclusive way that ERA  will, i.e.,  provide a clear judicial standard for deciding cases of sex discrimination and  benefit people of all genders, including men. For example, the ERA will guarantee that men and women will be equal in all areas of family law.  While strides are being made in areas of sports, harassment  and  equal pay, the  ERA will help to eliminate discrimination for all.

January 27, 2020, Virginia provided the required  three-quarter  votes.  February 13th,  the House of Representatives passed a resolution to remove the 1982 deadline.  If the Senate passes the resolution, the ERA will become part of the Constitution; women will have equal rights for the first time in history!

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley and Zonta Clubs across America  support  equal rights.  A recent US poll shows  94% of men and women support the ERA.  Let the Senate know of your support!  Future generations should not have to live without being protected by the Constitution because of their gender.

Soroptimist Clubs joins Zonta for an informal evening


Vibrancy set the tone as 60 local  women representing members of Soroptomist of Greater Santa Clarita Valley (SCV),  Soroptomist International, Valencia and Zonta Club of SCV – host of the evening -  convened in the Valencia Hills Clubhouse on January 29, 2020.    The overall mission of these international organizations is to empower women and girls worldwide to achieve equality and self-sufficiency; these service organizations have consultative status as a nongovernmental organization with the United Nations; locally, each organization pursues projects and programs  that support their mission.  While the clubs have different approaches, their commonality of goals is similar.

A Mexican Fiesta, featuring homemade tostadas and accoutrements, was enjoyed by all.  After dinner and  camaraderie – guest speaker Vickie McCoy from ZOE International  stated,   “Human Trafficking is the buying and selling of children through force, fraud or coercion!!  It happens right here in our community!”   Everyone’s attention came direct center!  Vickie says,  “Human trafficking takes many forms - being sold for labor and especially for sex.”  Current estimates reveal over 40 million people worldwide are trapped as victims in forced labor, sex trafficking and forced marriages; 10 million are children with an average entry age of 12-14 years old.


Marsha McLean recognized as outgoing Mayor


Our members attended special City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. At this meeting, Mayor Marsha McLean,  sister Zontian was honored for her dedication and work on behalf of our City. This year marked the fourth time Mayor McLean has served as Santa Clarita’s Mayor. We presented Mayor Mclean with our signature yellow roses.

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Holiday Party

Zonta Holiday Party 2019

Our club recently celebrated the holidays at our annual Holiday Party.  The weather was perfect outside and everyone enjoyed the afternoon. As always with Zontians, there was LOTS of food and drink.  Everyone was having so much fun, there were only a couple of pictures taken.  One is of Pat Warford's ugly sweater!  We are still finding tinsel from her sweater all over.

Sue Hayward Honored

On Friday, November 8th, 2019, two cars full of Zontians Ubered to the Skirball Cultural Center to attend the Voices of the Unheard Freedom 24th Anniversary dinner benefitting the Spirit Awakening Foundation and celebrate sister Zontian, Sue Hayward, as she was honored for her service to the community.

The Skirball, having just escaped the ravages of a hillside wildfire a week earlier, was its usual bright and beautiful self.  An exciting preview to the evening was entertainment by the Gerald Rivers Drum Ensemble, a group of young people who are members of Spirit Awakening Foundation who performed in a drum circle and made us all want to dance to the beat.  (Of course, Sue did!)

The inspirational program featured all forms of performing and visual art as created by the “at risk” youth and children in the juvenile justice system.  Utilizing the tools of meditation, dramatic improvisation, creative writing and visual arts, Spirit Awakening Foundation follows a mission to “build character, raise self-esteem, one child at a time”, and the talented youth enrolled in the program were seen everywhere that evening.  A documentary film of the group’s recent trip to Ghana further inspired us all.

Sue Hayward became involved with the organization’s founder, Akuyoe Graham, and her work with the children and youth in the juvenile justice system during Sue’s tenure as a teacher at the probation camps, Scott, Scudder and others.  Ms. Graham identified Sue as one who should be honored for her support of the Spirit Awakening Foundation since its founding, for her work of service in the camps and throughout the community, and as one who exemplifies the mission of the Foundation.

The program listed a lengthy biography of Sue’s accomplishments.  Just a few are:  Bike Safety and Drug Awareness; Respect for Law; Youth of the Month; Youth Fishing Derby; Braille Olympics; Help Them Hear; Teen Festival; Handicapped Awareness Week; Heads Up; Pride Week; and the Food Pantry.  Sue has held leadership positions in the Saugus Optimist Club; the Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence; the Canyon Country Chamber and of course, Zonta.  Additionally, she has supported numerous local nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Club; the SCV Senior Center; Bridge to Home; Single Mothers Outreach and the Elk’s Club.  She has been recognized with awards including the L A. County Office of Education as Teacher of the Year (2001); Zonta’s Woman of the Year award (1994) (now known as Women in Service Award); and Zontian of the Year in 2016.

She was presented with a wonderful painting created by one of the young artists involved in the Spirit Awakening Foundation and a beautiful floral arrangement.  She was truly in her element, as she greeted many longtime friends and was introduced to new friends as well.  Her Zonta sisters took great joy in being with her as she was honored.

As a Zontian, Sue has held numerous board member positions including Director, Trustee for the the SCV Zonta Foundation, and most notably Vice President (membership) when she was responsible for recruiting an all-time record of new Zonta sisters into our club.  Zontian of the Year was a proud award for her to receive, and yet she is most proud of day to day volunteering.  The thing she loves most is hands-on service.  Her mantra is “Everyone needs to give back to the community in any way they can.”

A Celebration Day with the Porterville Club

On Saturday, October 26th, eight members of Zonta SCV piled into two cars and caravanned to Porterville, California to join in celebration of Zonta International’s Centennial and the Porterville Club’s 70th Anniversary.

As the SCV was battling wildfires, it was a treat to sit outside on the lovely lawn of the Nuchols Ranch (Gail Nuchols is a longtime Zontian) without even a whiff of smoke.  As we listened to beautiful music from a chamber quartet, we felt so welcome and appreciated for taking the long drive. We were pleased to see many Zontia friends from Porterville as well as others from District 9 and Area 3.  The Porterville ladies not only treated us to a delicious luncheon, a champagne toast and birthday cupcakes, but they had also set up an extensive display of photographs and other memorabilia from their 70 years for us to peruse and enjoy.  What a great history Porterville Zonta has!

The program was highlighted by a performance of “The Barn Theatre Players”, a group of young girls in time-appropriate costumes who represented early Zontians chronicling their story of women’s suffrage, the fight for equal rights (still on-going), and the founding of Zonta in Buffalo, New York in 1919.  It was delightful.

A program of speeches followed from the Porterville Club’s President, Lynn Trice and District 9 Governor, Ann Banks.  District 9, Area 3, and of course the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley are blessed with TWO International Presidents who joined the others on the dais.  Past International President (PIP!), Dianne Curtis, made a heartfelt introduction of International President-Elect, Sharon Langenbeck.  Sharon’s speech, as always, was truly inspirational.

On a sad note, the passing of our dear Zonta sister, JoAnn Rodriguez, was announced, and many in attendance paid their respects to us.  JoAnn had been active at the Area and District levels over the years, and those who knew her were deeply saddened by the news of her passing.

We closed with a recitation of our beautiful “Collect”.  It was a wonderful day visiting the beautiful Central California farmland, and those in attendance had a great time celebrating our common love of Zonta’s history, traditions and mission.

District 9 Conference Kauai Hawaii Oct 4-6, 2019

District 9 Conference


Several of our members recently attended the District 9 conference on the beautiful island of Kauai.

Barbara Meyer and Beth Heiserman were our club delegates.  Also attending was Barbara Cochran, Sue Hayward, Suzie Alziebler, Sharon Langenbeck, Lois Bauccio, Adele Macpherson, Patrice Rifkind, Judy Penman and Nancy Tucker.  And there were three spouses attending also!

Everyone had a great time and learned a lot.  The conference started on Thursday with Barbara and Beth going to delegate training.  Friday the day started with amazing Hawaiian blessing.  The parade of flags was really beautiful, and it really touched everyone.

It was not all fun and games as we had a working lunch. Each table had a different topic with two Zontians at each table to answer any questions. It was very informative, and they had many ideas that will assist us in the future.

We are all looking forward to convention in Chicago, July 2020.

Welcome, Marilyn Del Bianco from Manila

On July 2, the SCV Zonta Club welcomed, Marilyn Del Bianco. She is the President of the Zonta Club of Mandaluyong-San Juan 1 in Metro Manilla Philippines. She met Sharon Langenbeck, Zonta International President-Elect 2018-2020 at our convention in Yokohama Japan July 2018. Marilyn has a son that lives in Santa Clarita and told Sharon that when she comes to visit him, she would like to meet our club.

Dianne Curtis, Past Zonta International President 2010-2012, graciously invited members of the SCV Zonta club to her home for a social to meet another Zonta president. It is always so wonderful to meet fellow Zontian’s around the world to see what amazing projects they do for their community. Marilyn shared that their club started in 1952. They have a project that began many years ago called, “Zontaville” in Mandaluyong City. It is a housing community that helped the underprivileged have affordable housing in the Philippines.  She mentioned they raised the funds for this project by community donations, Christmas bazaars and other fundraising events.

They also have a pavilion named after them at a local hospital that specializes in helping women. Plus, the many scholarships they give out annually to women and girls.

At the end of the evening, Barbara Meyer, president of the SCV Zonta Club gave Marilyn a SCV Zonta centennial glasses as a thank you for visiting us and sharing all about her and her club.

4th of July Parade 2019

November 8, 2019 marks Zonta’s centennial anniversary. The SCV Zonta Club started celebrating by having about 25 members walking together wearing “Zonta Says NO Orange” in the Santa Clarita Valley’s 4th of July Parade in Old Town Newhall this year. The club honored Sharon Langenbeck, Zonta International President Elect 2018-2020 as the Parade division 3 Marshall. She rode in a 1964 skylight blue Ford Mustang convertible owned by one of our members. Following us was a City of Santa Clarita trolley decorated by “Zonta Says NO” banners with many Zontian’s waving to crowd.

The route took us thru downtown Newhall, eventually ending at Hart Park.  A BIG thank you to City Council member Laurene Weste for asking the City of Santa Clarita provide us with a trolley. The weather cooperated that day and was not blazing hot as normal.  Most of us were able to walk the entire 2.3 mile parade route.
The entire parade is available on SCVTV .  We are at the 1:17 hour mark if you do not want to watch the entire 2:05 hr parade.

Zonta Club Foundation Installs new Officers and Trustees 2019

Zonta Club of SCV’s Foundation on Monday, June 17 at the Valencia Oaks Club House installed new Officers and Trustees.

Foundation Installation 2019


After a festive dinner, our keynote speaker Adele Macphearson, spoke on the history and goals of the Zonta Foundation. She shared a wealth of information as a Zontian who had been instrumental in establishing our Foundation in 1998.

We then said goodbye to our outgoing Foundation Trustees: Christina Sexton, who served for 4 years from 2015-2019, and Cathy Gundy who completed her first term of 2 years from 2017-2019. Each received a “hardy Chrysanthemum” and plaque as a token of appreciation.  They were integral to the workings of the Foundation and will be greatly missed!

Following the farewells to our outgoing Trustees, we welcomed 3 new Trustees who will be starting their 2-year terms of office:  Lois Bauccio, Adele Macphearson and Barbara Cochran.  In addition, Francine Fiel was re-elected to complete a second 2-year term. All received a Zonta rose to commemorate their initiation.

Finally, Darleen Lyons installed our Foundation officers for the 2019-2020 year.  They are:  President – Terry Kanowsky, Secretary – Lois Bauccio and Treasurer - Francine Fiel.  All and all a wonderful evening of fellowship and official business ensuring that Zonta continues to fulfill our important mission to "Improve the Status of Women" long into the future.

Zonta holds annual Installation 2019

Everything Popped Out Popcorn!

On May 22, 2019, Zonta members and guests popped out in large numbers to salute Debra Blakely for her service as Club President for 2018 - 2019 and to install Barbara Meyer in the position for 2019 - 2020. With a theme built around Barb’s love of popcorn in all forms and flavors.

Sharon Langenbeck, Zonta International President-Elect and SCV club member installed the Club officers, board, and foundation trustees.

The popcorn theme was carried out in the decorations.  Thanks to Erica Bird for the two GIANT popcorn boxes that served as our grand entrance.  Then Kim Kurowski’s A-1 Party filled them with white and yellow balloons. There were multiple popcorn boxes on each table, some with small white flowers and others with real popcorn. The latter were emptied long before the buffet dinner was served.

A tradition at this event is naming the Zontian of the Year. This year, past president Judy Penman was selected to recognize her three terms as Club President. Long known as the easiest Zonta committee to chair, the Club’s past presidents produce this event every year focusing on a theme related to the incoming president.

2019 Annual Strategic Planning Meeting

On May 15, the Zonta Club of the SCV held their annual strategic planning committee meeting. The evenings topics were membership and committee structure.

Barbara Meyer, president elect of our club welcomed all the members and encouraged them to participate in the meeting. This meeting is vital to the success of our organization and can be both exciting and challenging.

Cathy Gundy, the new 2nd vice President of membership discussed with the committee three topics; member retention, growth and participation. All the committee members gave positive input to the discussion.

Beth Heiserman, the 1st Vice President of programs discussed committee structure. Participation in the various committees is imperative to assure the club’s existence. Participation on all committees is essential. Without committee chairs and committee members a committee will not exist. The committee helped restructure the current committees for the 2019-2020 year.

Barbara Meyer ended with that the meeting was very successful and that there should be a plan of action. Lets Just do it!

Everyone came away from the meeting feeling renewed and energized.  We are ready for a new year!