Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Increases Membership by 65% and Wins Add Your Voice Campaign

Zonta SCV  winner of 2023 Add Your Voice Campaign for membership recruitment

Zonta’s voice becomes stronger when we recruit great individuals to work with us to further the mission and vision of Zonta. 

Since 2020, the needs of women and girls have increased and the strides we have made for equality and opportunity are taking a step back in many places. Zontians are needed more than ever and we should not be shy about asking individuals to join our community and speak out for our causes.

Over the past year, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley has welcomed an astounding 26 new members, which resulted in a 65% increase in our membership!  These new members form a diverse group of powerful women ready to make inroads into the global issues of women’s inequality with a specific focus on community issues such as: violence against women, educational opportunities for women and girls, addressing the existence of occupational glass ceilings for women, and much more.

In addition, we have been recently notified that our efforts in April and May have resulted in our win in the Add Your Voice Campaign as a Tier 1 club.  We are so proud to welcome these new members to our storied club!

All of these accomplishments would not have been possible without the passion, dedication and #ZontaSpirit of Membership Chair Lois Bauccio, and the membership committee.  President Nicole Miller said that Lois has a particular talent of identifying new leaders in our community who will bring a fresh face to our proud legacy and help us make the world a better place for women and girls.

We have excitement and energy building around the year ahead, and as we celebrate our Club’s 50th anniversary, we look forward to continuing to make a lasting impact in our community!

SCV Home & Garden Show April 2023

On April 29th and 30th, the Zonta Club of SCV participated in the annual KHTS Home and Garden Show, a large community event held at Central Park.  During the event club members engaged with the community and showcased key programs, scholarships, service, and advocacy projects that our club brings to the community.  Club Vice President Beth Ryan spearheaded this 2-day event and was joined by Club President Nicole Miller, Foundation President Lois Bauccio, Club Board and Foundation Board member Dr. Cherise Moore, Foundation Treasurer Alicia Estrada, club members Terry Kanowsky, Christy Ferguson,and Jackie Howarth.

In the spirit of Earth Month, we also handed out small packets of flower seeds with business cards attached. The front of the cards encouraged people to "Bee the Change", while the back of the cards featured our club logo, our mission statement, and a QR code that linked to our club's website.

Zonta Club hosts Soroptimist Clubs

On May 2, 2023, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley hosted members from Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley and Soroptimist International of Valencia in a “Cinco de Mayo” themed dinner event.  This annual meeting of collaboration and fellowship was held at the Summit Clubhouse and featured a taco bar from La Famila Taco, salad, agua fresca, sangria, and a wonderful churro dessert with XRO Fresh Churros donated by Gregg L. Goodman Insurance Agency, Farmers Insurance.  Zontians Mary Ann Dortch, Candace Hartshorn, Beth Ryan, Christine Sexton, and Di Thompson, hosted festive tables for 70 guests.  The conversation during dinner between all three clubs led by President Holly Hanlin, Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley; President Laura Chesler, Soroptimist International of Valencia; and President Nicole Miller, Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley was lively and fun.  Zontian Tracy Taris, LMFT shared a presentation to “Know Thy Stress: and Overcome It” during dessert in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.  Presidents Holly, Laura and Nicole all shared the wonderful work and upcoming events that each club is doing to improve the lives of women and girls in our community.  The wonderful night was capped by Laura Kirchoff receiving donations brought by all attendees to be used in comfort bags to benefit Circle of Hope women.  This joint mini-service project resulted in a collection of a table full of items such as: journal books, body lotions, assorted teas, warm cozy socks, puzzle/crossword books, lightly scented candles, adult coloring books, colored pencils, sleep masks, essential oils, bath bombs/salts, & more.  Many thanks to Committee Chair Beth Ryan, the entire committee who organized this event, and all those who contributed to making this fantastic night one to remember!

4 new members inducted in May 2023

Lt to rt: Jackie Howarth, Cathy Gundy, Laurie Miller, Rebecca Hindman, Patty Robinson, Christy Ferguson, Nicole Miller, Beth Ryan and Jessica Edmond (shown on screen.)

Zonta added 4 new members at our meeting in May 2023. Welcome to Rebecca Hindman, Dr Patty Robinson, Jessica Edmond and Laurie Miller.  Each of them have already been involved in Zonta programs and committees, so they are not strangers to Zonta.

Here is a brief overview of the new members.

Zonta welcomes 9 new members April 2023

New members with hosts Apr 2023

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is on a roll. Nine new members were inducted at the club’s April meeting.

Each new member was hosted by a current member, who read a short bio about each one. President, Nicole Miller, inducted the newcomers while District 9 Lt. Governor, presented each one with their Zonta pins.   The new members shared their interest in joining Zonta, while each was presented with a token of Zonta SCV’s appreciation and a Zonta yellow rose symbolizing the new friendship.

Read more here for a brief overview of the nine new members inducted to Zonta SCV.

More Than 30 Women Discovered Their Zonta Zing

Thirty-two women, Zonta members long-standing and new, together with many interested potential members came together for Zonta Zing, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley’s annual orientation meeting. Held at the Summit Clubhouse on Saturday, February 4th, 2023, this year the event was a tea party as 5 incredible hostesses decorated their tables and served tea and traditional scones with clotted cream and jam, as well as an array of other delicious treats.

The program included an inspirational presentation by Zonta’s immediate Past International President and longest-standing member of Zonta SCV, Dr. Sharon Langenbeck. She addressed the importance of Zonta International as an NGO working in partnership with the United Nations to develop and implement Zonta’s global service projects, and she showed some slides about her own trip as ZI President to Peru, assessing the effectiveness and impact of our project there, Adolescent Girls’ Health and Protection Program. Sharon traveled to a remote village with access only by river and on foot. She found a great example of how the program has helped thousands of girls across the country of Peru through Zonta’s work with UNICEF USA.

President Nicole Miller, together with Past Presidents, Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Darleen Lyons and Lois Bauccio, presented the group with information about how all aspects of Zonta’s International, Districts, Areas and Clubs work together to create a powerful force for making the world and the local communities better for women and girls.

There were plenty of opportunities for seeing old friends and making new ones. The impact of the information shared together with the fun and fellowship inspired us all to envision once again that world when women’s rights are considered as human rights, and the attendees definitely discovered their Zonta Zing!

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Holds Installation for West Ranch Z Club

On January 25, 2023, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley held a virtual installation ceremony for the West Ranch Z Club.  The presiding officer was President Nicole Miller, Zonta Club of SCV and District 9 Z Club Committee Chair.  Forty attendees including special guests from Zonta International, West Ranch High School, and the community, along with family and friends of the Z Club celebrated the new student club.  District 9 Governor Debbie Angwood acknowledged the Z Club’s official charter from Zonta International.  Zonta Past International President Dr. Sharon Langenbeck gave inspiring remarks and congratulations to the students.  Dr. Cherise Moore, Z Club Committee Co-Chair, discussed the connection to the International Day of Education and the role that Z Clubs play in Zonta’s investment in young people.  West Ranch Z Club Advisor, Andrea Sinclair, officially swore in the officers and the President’s gavel was virtually presented to the West Ranch Z Club President, Katherine King.  All members of the West Ranch Z Club were presented with a yellow rose, official certificate, and Z Club congratulatory gift.

West Ranch Z Club joins a network of two other Z Clubs, Golden Valley Z Club and Canyon High School Z Club, also sponsored by the Zonta Club of SCV.  The Z Clubs advisors, officers, and members were present to welcome and congratulate the new Z Club.

Young women and men are important to achieving gender equality and ending violence against women and girls around the world. 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.  These student Z clubs are intended to offer opportunities for young people to develop communication and leadership skills, promote career exploration and encourage members to participate in community, school and international service projects.

Zonta Club of SCV inducts six new members

Lt to Rt: Britt Vaughn, Zonta International Director, Ines Cadavid, Lois Bauccio, Membership Chair Zonta Club SCV, Cyndi Kleinfeld, Di Thompson, Selina Thomas, Tracy Taris, Nicole Miller, President Zonta SCV

Six new members were inducted into the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley at the club’s January meeting held at the lovely Mimi’s Café in Valencia.

Lois Bauccio, current club Membership Chair, individually introduced the diverse group of professional women who have dedicated themselves to Zonta International’s new theme: “Build a Better World for Women and Girls.” President, Nicole Miller, inducted the newcomers while International Director and honored guest, Britt Vaughan, “pinned” the ladies with their shiny new Zonta pins on a maroon ribbon amid a resounding chorus of approval from the audience. Each woman was invited to share their interest in joining Zonta, while each was presented with a token of Zonta SCV’s appreciation and a Zonta yellow rose symbolizing the new friendship.  ....read more


Santa Clarita International Film Festival (SCIFF) Features Film Hosted by Zonta SCV

Lt to Rt: Dr. Cherise Moore, Serina Thomas,
Lisa de Souza, Lois Bauccio and Di Thompson

At the Laemmle Theater in Newhall, on the final day of Zonta’s 16 Days of Activism, the Zonta Club of SCV hosted the screening of a film which portrays the lifelong nightmare of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), as part of Santa Clarita International Film Festival. The film, “Crushed Wings”, was written, directed, and produced by British Filmmaker, Lalit Bhusal.

Zonta SCV has been associated with SCIFF since last year through Zonta’s Women in Film. When she was selecting the films for the 2nd Annual SCIF Festival, Lisa DeSousa, Founder and CEO, immediately thought of Zonta when she viewed “Crushed Wings.” She understood Zonta’s mission to fight violence against women and girls, including international initiatives against FGM.


Lt to Rt: Di Thompson, Lois Bauccio and Dr. Cherise Moore

Zontians Dr. Cherise Moore and Lois Bauccio sat on a panel following the film to interview Filmmaker Bhusal who Zoomed in live from Britain for the event. The panel was beautifully introduced by SCIFF Board Member, Selina Thomas, and superbly moderated by Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Di Thompson. The conversation was enlightening. Bhusal explained that he had wanted to make a film about child abuse and people kept telling him about FGM as the ultimate example of such abuse which is entrenched in certain cultures and wrongly attributed to religion. He has created the story of Ria, an innocent and happy seven-year-old village girl who is led to her nightmare by her mother in ignorance. The film goes through her childhood, adolescence, marriage, and ultimate metamorphosis into a brave and independent woman. Some women acting in the film are survivors of FGM.

Lt to Rt: Dr. Cherise Moore,
Lisa de Souza, Lois Bauccio

Zontians Moore and Bauccio explained Zonta International’s initiatives to fight FGM and Child Marriage which also address global medical conditions such as obstetric fistula, crushing emotional health disorders and suicide, as well as the social problem of keeping women in a subservient permanent under-class in cultures which practice them. Zonta’s attention to health and education of girls and women throughout the world are strong antidotes to the scourges of FGM, child marriage and the misguided cultural ignorance which promulgate the practices.

The exciting event was a fitting way to conclude Zonta SCV’s 16 Days of Activism, and Zonta’s association with the Santa Clarita International Film Festival should be a long and fruitful on

Holiday Party Dec 2022

On December 11, 2022, members from the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley gathered with friends and family at our annual Holiday Party.  Helping us to celebrate the holiday season were members from far and near, including Past Zonta International President Dr. Sharon Langenbeck.  The posh potluck of appetizers, snacks, beverages, and delectable sweets was enhanced by the celebratory mood by all in attendance.  To spread holiday cheer, we signed over 100 holiday cards with messages of encouragement and thanks for veterans that were distributed at the Canyon Country VFW.  We would like to extend a special thank you to Darleen and Bill Lyons for hosting our party at their warm and inviting home.  Thank you to everyone who helped make the event a joyous success!

Past Zonta International President Dr. Sharon Langenbeck shares her visit to Peru

Past Zonta International President, Dr. Sharon Langenbeck presented pictures and shared stories about her site visit to the rural regions of Peru supported by the Zonta International service project in partnership with UNICEF USA. Zonta International notes about the “Adolescent Girls’ Health and Protection in Peru” project that:

“Adolescents, especially girls, must have opportunities to empower themselves so they can speak up for their rights and develop the self-confidence and autonomy needed to take control of their lives and bodies. Significant inequities based on gender, age, geographic location, ethnicity and income persist for many Peruvian adolescents.”

 UNICEF is therefore supporting the development of protective and healthy environments for adolescents— particularly Indigenous adolescent females living in a rural area—including at schools. PIP Sharon shared parts of her conversations with the adolescent girls, noting that the impact made for these girls is so important and desired that they seek out these gender-sensitive and safe services on a regular basis.  When traveling to the remote regions, PIP Sharon their determination to visit the girls through her story of their vehicle getting stuck in the mud of the Amazon, and walking several miles to their destination.

PIP Sharon’s presentation, and the positive impact being made in these rural areas of Peru will not soon be forgotten by those lucky enough to hear it.

Zonta Club holds September in-person meeting

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley held their monthly business meeting at the Double Trouble wine Room on September 14, 2022.  This was the Club’s first business meeting in person since early 2020 and was well attended with about thirty-five in person and virtual attendees.  The Club meeting, presided over by President Nicole Miller, hosted Past Zonta International President (PIP) Dr. Sharon Langenbeck, District 9 Governor Debbie Angwood, District 9 Lieutenant Governor Gloria Salas, and Area 3 Director Beth Heiserman in Zonta spirit for the evening.  The local Jersey Mike’s provided tasty turkey and veggie sandwiches for the attendees.  Many wine varietals from The Hoi Polloi Winery and Pagter Brothers Winery flowed during the evening, helping to create a light and lively atmosphere.  Club President Nicole Miller exclaimed that “it’s exciting to come together in person again” and thanked all participants for “taking the time to come together in fellowship and friendship.”

The excitement of the meeting continued during the installation of three new members into the Club.  Jessica Boyer, Linda Davies, and Dr. Carolyn Hoffman.  President Nicole Miller and Membership Committee Chair Lois Bauccio led the installation ceremony, and the Club had the honor of PIP Sharon presenting each new member with their Zonta pins.  The Club is thrilled to welcome each of these amazing women and looks forward to working together to build a better world for women and girls.

After the Club business was conducted, September birthdays were celebrated, and upcoming events were announced, the evening concluded with additional social time during the clean-up.  All expressed their gratitude for the wonderful evening of friendship, and expressed their excitement for our next Zonta get together.

Zonta Intl Convention Hamburg Germany July 2022

In June 2022, Club President Nicole Miller and Club Vice President Beth Ann Ryan attended the Zonta International 65thConvention in Hamburg, Germany. They were honored to represent the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley as delegates and served as proxies for two other clubs in all matters such as: voting on bylaws, resolutions, elections, international service projects, fundraising goals, and more!  Club involvement in Zonta International by participating in our biennial convention is critical to ensuring that all voices from around the world are heard through involvement in this process.  Attending convention is also a fantastic way to be immersed in the fellowship of Zonta and to make connections for collaborating when you return home!

Nicole and Beth Ann share, Hamburg welcomed us with open arms by hosting us for a private Senate reception where we were welcomed by the President of the Senate.  Zonta International President Dr. Sharon Langenbeck (from the SCV) also welcomed all Zontians and presided over our multiple days of convention business.  We participated in workshops covering a variety of topics such as: mentoring, the impact of climate change, child and forced marriage, gender equality, fundraising, women’s health issues, and more.  A highlight in the memory of each previous attendee is the Parade of Flags as convention is officially opened.  The parade showcased and honored the flag of each country and region in which there is a Zonta club.  It was impressive to see the diversity in Zontians all coming together for one mission.  We can’t forget the multiple business sessions of voting and elections, which prepares Zonta International for the upcoming biennium.  The Business Sessions were followed by Keynote Speakers on relevant topics for women, a reveal of the new Zonta motto “Build a Better World for Women and Girls,” fundraising goals, and an in-depth report on the international service projects.  While doing all this important work and gathering knowledge, we meet with our new Zontian friends in fellowship and to celebrate our successes and the impact made in our communities.  One of Nicole’s favorite events at convention was the “dine around” where members of local Hamburg clubs hosted groups in their homes and served a traditional German meal.  “I am grateful to have participated in this wonderful night celebrating friendship with the local Zontians,” she says.  On the last night of convention, the newly elected board was installed at the closing banquet, where attendees celebrated all that was accomplished and said their goodbyes (until next time!) to new friends.

As Zontians, we all want to build a better world for women and girls.  Convention allows us to come together to share ideas, participate in discussions, and learn more about the issues facing women around the world.  Returning to the SCV, we are invigorated and excited to use our Zonta spirit to make a difference for women here in our community.

Zonta Installation 2022

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita recently held their annual installation of officers and board.  Zonta International District 9 Governor, Britt Vaughan, installed the new officers, board, and Foundation trustees. Also in attendance was Gloria Salas, Area 3 Director and Lieutenant Governor Elect.  Nicole Miller was presented certificates from the US Congress, State of California, County of Los Angeles and City of Santa Clarita recognizing her service and dedication to the club and Zonta International. Immediate past president, Beth Heiserman, was the host of this event held at Salt Creek Grille.

The incoming officers for the next biennium 2022-2024 are, President Nicole Miller; Vice President, Beth Ann Ryan; Secretary, Colleen Marrese-Reading; and Treasurer, Fran Fiel.  Also installed were board members Cherise Moore and Phyllis Walker. Foundation Trustees include Lois Bauccio, Alicia Estrada, Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Barbara Meyer, Cherise Moore, Christine Sexton, Patrice Rifkind, Nicole Miller and Beth Ann Ryan.

Every year, the past presidents get together to create this event. They choose a theme that is befitting of the upcoming president. Nicole frequently talks about her backyard birds, and love of the outdoors, hiking and birdwatching.

This year’s theme was “The Zonta Trailblazers and Birdwatching Club." During the installation, the past presidents, Foundation trustees, and nominating committee wore orange bandanas tied around the neck for exploration and trailblazing, and to show their important status.  The incoming board wore the orange bandana to be visible on the hiking trail, as they help to blaze new trails.  In addition to the orange bandana, the secretary was presented a handbook identifying important species, and a diary for keeping notes. The treasurer sported the orange bandana of this special Club, a pocket calculator as well as a tiny pocket abacus to keep track of the number of the special birds she will see along the trail.  Our vice president will wear her new orange bandana to keep the President on track with her hiking and birdwatching, along with a trail map and a pair of binoculars to guide her along the trail.  Our Trail Leader and Supreme Bird Watcher, President Nicole Miller will need many tools to help her in her task to lead the Zonta Trailblazers and Birdwatching Club on track and secure in its mission to find as many rare SCV birds as possible. To that end, she received an easily identified backpack so that the Directors and Officers can see her as she strides ahead on point, a signature orange bandana, a Ranger Hat to mark Nicole as the leader, and a walking stick to keep her steady. Inside the backpack is a catalogue of local birds, a trail map of SCV trails, a pair of binoculars, a camera to photograph the birds found, some trail mix to snack on to keep up her strength, and some water to renew her stamina as she hikes the SCV Trails.

As Nicole begins her second term as President, her choice is unique, because Zonta SCV has recently changed to a biennial leadership format. That means that Nicole will serve an unprecedented three years. Hikers know that to be “on point” is to lead the hike. Nicole is ready and prepared to be on point for our committees, on point for our team and on point for our club.

Every president has had a theme throughout her year and Nicole’s theme is Positive Foundation, Healthy Growth. Combined together, Nicole holds the intention of Positive Foundation to refer to creating a space where we come together, in inclusion and support, where we are present, affirming and kind.  This space that we create will be our base upon which we will build up our members, our club, and our impact in our community. With a plan of healthy growth, we will utilize our positive foundation to benefit us in a healthy way.  We will do this by growing and developing as individuals, increasing our capacity and resources with additional club members, and evolving our committees and work in such a way that expands our reach and impact in the community.

Positive Foundation, Healthy Growth – this is Nicole’s vision for how we will reach our goals and build a better world for women and girls.

Every year, since 1993, we honor one member for the extraordinary service to our organization during this event. Cindy Kittle was honored as Zontian of the Year.  Cindy’s has been an active member many years and served as President 2009-2010. She has served as chair of numerous committees, but the highlight for our club is that she brought Lunafest to the SCV.  True to the title, “Zontian of the Year”, Cindy created a new event for our club in 2021 to celebrate our 10th anniversary of Lunafest. Literally from the ground up she developed and pulled off an outstanding fundraising event, Zonta Celebrates Women in Film, which included developing a new relationship with local women in our film industry and honored them in a glittering awards event, produced the screening of the 2021 Lunafest films at our local Laemmle Theater, and followed up the evening with a Saturday conference for local young women who want to get into the film industry which received unparalleled publicity for the club. We are so proud to recognize and honor Cindy as Zontian of the Year.

Zonta participates in Memorial Day 2022

It was a beautiful sunny morning, although a bit windy at times, and a perfect day to celebrate and honor those in the military who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
The Memorial Day Tribute 2022 "Remembering Our Fallen Heroes" event at the Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary was filled with patriotism, pride, and somber reflections of Santa Clarita Valley's local veterans. The Santa Clarita Valley Concert Band, conducted by Tim Durand, entertained the crowd.  The event was led off by local Vietnam Veteran and Navy Seal, Max Morgan, as the Master of Ceremonies.  Minutes into the program, the crowd was treated to two flyovers by the Condor Squadron, which fly classic World War II AT6 aircraft. The event's attendees comprised of veterans from every war going back to World War II, family members, and members of the community.  Claire Tester of Heart High School sang the National Anthem and later treated the audience to a beautiful a cappella rendition of "I'm Proud to be an American" during which the crowd joined in to sing the refrain.  Vietnam Veteran, U.S. Army, Jerry Rhodes gave the acknowledgement of wreath donors, and included the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley in his thanks, even though the club was not listed in the program.  U.S. Navy Officer, Congressman Mike Garcia, stepped in as Keynote speaker within a week's notice, and gave a moving speech from a soldier's point of view.  He encouraged the crowd to not mourn the deceased soldiers, but to honor their sacrifice and support their families as they grieve.  The event was closed out by a Rifle Salute from the Ronald Reagan Marine Corps League, Simi Valley, the playing of Taps by Vietnam Veteran, U.S. Marine Corps, Robert Martinez, and Benediction by Pastor David Hegg.