Latest District 9 News
Latest Club Newsletter
Nicole Miller Installed as President 2021-2022
The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita recently held their annual installation of officers and board. Zonta International President, Sharon Langenbeck, installed the new officers, board, and Foundation Trustees. Also in attendance was Dianne Curtis, Past President Zonta International and Marsha McLean, City of Santa Clarita Councilperson and member of the Zonta Club. Beth Heiserman was presented certificates from the State of Calif, County of Los Angeles and City of Santa Clarita recognizing her hard work and dedication to the club and Zonta International. Immediate past president, Barb Meyer, was the host of this virtual event. Barb said she enjoyed being the presenter of this traditional event with this fun theme. It allows us to have a bit of fun every year.
The incoming officers for 2021-2022 are, President Nicole Miller; Vice President, Beth Heiserman; Secretary, Colleen Marrese-Reading; and Treasurer, Fran Fiel. Also installed were board members Alicia Estrada, Terry Kanowsky and Mary Ree. Foundation Trustees include Terry Kanowsky, Barbara Cochran, Lois Bauccio, Alicia Estrada, Patrice Rifkind, Cherise Moore, Danise Davis, Nicole Miller and Beth Heiserman.
Every year, the past presidents get together to create this event. They choose a theme that is befitting of the upcoming president. Nicole had mentioned during one of our virtual socials, that she had just made Rice Krispy Treats and that she liked them. Nicole has a very special dairy-free recipe that she uses to make this classic and delicious snack.
This year’s theme was “Snap, Crackle and Pop!" During the virtual installation, the past presidents wore Snap’s chef’s toque, the incoming board wore Pop’s drum major's shako, our vice president wore Crackle’s tomte's tuque or "sleeping cap" and Nicole Miller wore a Pow’s conductor’s hat, so she may lead us during this next year. Pow was the power and force behind the energy of eating Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. She will be keeping us composed and leading us with many great projects, fundraising, and advocating Zonta’s mission.
Every president has had a theme throughout her year and Nicole’s theme is Empowerment Begins from Within. Zonta empowers women and girls through service and advocacy. Nicole believes that in order to empower women and girls through our work, we first need to empower ourselves. Empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights.
Every year, since 1993, we honor one member for the extraordinary service to our organization during this event. Edna Dimataga-Fernandez was this years’ recipient. She has been a long time member, recently serving has the chair of our PR/Marketing committee. She has done an amazing job with promoting our club and all the terrific things our club does every month.
Long time member Pat Allen remembered
Pat Allen 1932 – 2021
By Lois Bauccio
Pat Allen was the ultimate Zontian. She was a person who loved life in every possible way. She loved her family, her community, and her country. She loved her friends from Santa Clarita and San Fernando, Canyon High Football, all dogs, Elvis, and a million other things. At the top of list of the things she loved, right along with her family, was service to the people in need in her community, her country, and her world. It was that deep love of service that propelled her every day as a Santa Clarita Zontian to say “yes” whenever she was asked to serve. Her service was characterized by love, joy, humor, and dedication – always.
Pat was born in San Fernando, California on March 19, 1932. She attended San Fernando High School where she met her lifelong sweetheart, Sheldon Allen. They graduated in 1950, Sheldon joined the Navy, and they married in1951. In 1955, Pat went to work at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as her husband went to college and law school. Those early years of the Allen marriage reflect Pat’s amazing energy as she gave birth to 4 children by 1960 while working full time and assisting her husband in his burgeoning legal practice. The kids needed her too, so she volunteered for San Fernando Little League as Sheldon coached the team. Their partnership in community service had begun.
That partnership in community service grew to a phenomenal level when they moved to Canyon Country in 1967, and they immediately became involved in the Canyon High School Community Committee and the Canyon High School Booster Club when the school opened. In 1982, they became deeply involved in volunteering for the Boys & Girls Club. Pat’s outstanding volunteerism was recognized, and she soon was invited to join Zonta where she quickly moved into leadership with her enthusiastic desire to volunteer for everything. Over the years she served as Chair of every committee, served on the Board as member and as officer, including President. She was such a great and perennial Treasurer, that the bylaws were amended to allow her to serve addition terms in that role. She travelled to District Conferences and International Conventions all over the world with her Unzon husband, Sheldon. She was truly delighted by the beautiful women in their native dress, and she was thrilled to be a part of it all. She was amazed to hear the Amelia Earhart Fellows talk about their projects which she didn’t understand but did understand that she, through Zonta, had been a part in funding their important work.
Additional community service included the Red Cross Disaster Team, Chair of the Celebrity Waiter Celebration for the American Heart Association for ten years, Canyon Theater Guild Volunteer, Home Tour for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Cowboy Poetry Festival, Senior Center Wine Auction, and much, much more.
It was with the Boys & Girls Club and for the famous auction where Pat came into her own as a solicitor of donations. Over the years, her talent and skill for solicitation grew, so much so that there was no business in town which she had not solicited nor could say “no” to her. Eventually, she would take several requests to a solicitation meeting, always in person. She would first ask for Zonta, then the Boys & Girls Club, then the Senior Center, and so on.
Through Zonta, Pat’s community service included being a regular Mrs. Claus for Zonta’s Rent-A-Santa program as well as Chair of Zonta’s Senior Center bread bake program for home-bound seniors. She helped out in Val Verde for Healthy Kids Club. She truly believed in helping women and girls at every age to become empowered for growth and improvement. The extent to which she improved the community for the women and girls living in Santa Clarita is incalculable. Indeed, it was so immense that she was named as Santa Clarita Woman of the Year in 1994, when she was recognized along with Sheldon who was named Man of the Year right by her side. In 1999, she was honored as California Woman of the Year by State Senator Pete Knight of the 17th District, and in 2000 Pat and Sheldon were named as Volunteers of the Decade by the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.
Throughout it all, she continued her dual careers as mother to four children, Sharon, Mitch, Vince and Chris, and as a loyal employee to Lockheed. When she retired in 1990 after nearly 35 years at Lockheed, she found new time to volunteer even more! Zonta sent her along with her close friends, Zontians Jami Kennedy, Barbara Cochran, Carmen Sarro and so many others, to represent our club at literally every nonprofit fundraising event in Santa Clarita checking in party goers, selling tickets for raffles, anything and everything to help the various organizations raise dollars to help the individuals they were serving and to improve the community. She never ceased to entertain her Zonta Sisters with tales of the exploits and successes of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren during Brags & Bitches and then Bits & Pieces.
In later years, long after Sheldon’s passing, Pat’s health began to decline, and she moved to the Antelope Valley to be closer to family for her care. We lost her on January 1st, just two months short of her 89th birthday. She will long be remembered by Zonta SCV as a funny, joyful, remarkable leader, an inspirational volunteer, and a true Zontian. She loved us, and we sincerely loved her. Rest in Peace, Our Dear Pat.
Painting with a Twist
Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley held a VIRTUAL fundraising event on August 20, 2020 with “Painting With A Twist”. It was a wonderful way to spend Thursday evening as each participant painted beautiful red poppies on a 16” x 20” canvas with the help of Mollie, our very friendly painting guide. Who knew painting virtually would be so much fun?!
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, this virtual event was an innovative way to raise money for our club so that we can continue working on programs & projects benefiting women & girls. For those who were unable to participate that evening, gift certificates were available for purchase to be used at “Painting With A Twist” at a later time. In addition, club members & supporters sent monetary donations directly to our club. What a great way to support Zonta Club of SCV during these unprecedented times!
Check out the picture from the fundraising event with our finished masterpieces.
Campaign for Sharon
Members of The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita and all District 9 Zontians are justifiably proud of Dr. Sharon Langenbeck being named President of Zonta International. Nowhere is that fact more evident than in the successful fundraising campaign, “A Campaign for Sharon”, through the raising of $10,000 in private donations to fund a special Amelia Earhart Fellowship in Dr. Langenbeck’s honor and name.
Remembering Gloria Barrett
Gloria Barrett lived her life by the words of the Zonta Collect, "And O Lord, God, let us forget not to be kind." Gloria was a professional woman with many, many talents. But when asked what people remember about her, to the person they say "she was always so kind!"
She loved telling people that she was born on Christmas day; a preemie so tiny that her mother placed the swaddled infant in a shoe box kept in an open oven with the pilot light on to keep her warm. While the doctors had told her mother that little Gloria wouldn't make it, the deeply maternal woman refused to hear it and created her own incubator for her baby. Gloria liked to say that her dear mother and God proved that doctor wrong!
But more than anything, she loved her husband, Bud, and their kids and her sisters. She and Bud co-owned a Century 21 real estate business for decades, and they were very active in the community. Gloria and her pal, Carmen Sarro, helped make Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital a reality. From founding the Hospital Auxiliary to creating the Holiday Home Tour, Gloria was there. One would always see her at the Boys & Girls Club Auction checking people in or dancing with Bud.
As a Zontian for many years, Gloria served on numerous committees including Healthy Woman's Day, Healthy Kids Club, Women in Service and various scholarship committees including the Virginia Wrage Fund Scholarship Committee.
After the passing of Bud and her sisters, Gloria mourned deeply. She joined them on Friday, July 17, 2020. Her kindness and joy are missed by all. There will be a celebration of Gloria's life when we can all gather again. In the meantime, rest in peace, dear Gloria, and in her memory, let us forget not to be kind.
Club receives Zonta International Recognition Award
On behalf of the Zonta International Foundation Board and the Foundation Development Committee, we wish to recognize your club’s generous support of the Zonta International Foundation during the 2018-2020 Biennium. Zonta’s funding of the international service projects and education programs is only possible through the collective efforts of Zonta districts, clubs, members and friends. Your donations have helped Zonta to:
Reduce the practice of child marriage in 12 countries
Support the economic advancement of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian women
Provide equal access to education for girls Madagascar
Give fellowships, scholarships and awards to women and girls around the globe
Thank you again for your club’s generosity. Through donations to the Zonta International Foundation, you and your fellow club members are indeed making a difference in the lives of women and girls worldwide!
Susanne von Bassewitz, President, Zonta International Foundation
Joy Orlich, Chairman. Foundation Development Committee
Zonta International Virtual Convention News
At the end of last week, 813 of our 2,242 registered delegates and alternates participated in three online sessions that we organized to make all voting members feel comfortable with the voting platform and process. If a delegate or alternate were unable to attend, they could watch a recording of the session.
Election results are now finalized. Below is the new ZI Board of Directors and Nominating Committee for 2020-2022. Congratulation to all!
Zonta International President - Dr Sharon Langenbeck, Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley
President Elect - Ute Scholz, Zonta Club of Verden, Germany
Vice President - Salla Tuominen, Zonta Club of Helsinki I, Finland
Treasurer - Mari McKenzie, Zonta Club of Saginaw, USA
Directors - Akiko Kinoshita, Zonta Club of Kitakyushu, Japan; Horten Chékété, Zonta Club of Cotonou, Benin; Fernanda Gallo Freschi, Zonta Club of Milano-Sant Ambrogio, Italy; Souella Cumming, Zonta Club of Wellington, New Zealand; Dorte Marianne Olesen, Zonta Club of Copenhagen I, Denmark; Florence Fischer-Herber, Zonta Club of Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Ina Waesserling, Zonta Club of Erfurt, Germany
In addition Sharon Langenbeck, President of Zonta International recently introduced the 2020-2022 Biennial and Fundraising Goals and our international projects. To help all our members better understand the project proposals, our partners, UNICEF USA and UNFPA, created videos* that give an in-depth look at each project.
Proposed 2020-2022 Biennial & Fundraising Goals | PDF
Proposed 2020-2022 International Project Descriptions | PDF
Adolescent Girls' Health and Protection in Peru | PDF | Video
Strengthening Response to Gender-Based Violence Survivors in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste | PDF | Video
Let Us Learn Madagascar | PDF | Video
Ending Child Marriage | PDF | Video
Installation May 2020
From the comfort of their homes, 32 SCV Zonta Club members “Zoomed” in to witness the swearing in of the 2020/2021 club officers and directors, nominating committee, and foundation trustees, as well as the announcement of the 2020 Zontian of the Year. As always, the event was hosted by the Past Presidents. The event was chronicled by a beautiful virtual program created by Peggy Edwards, and members joined from as far away as Texas (Cindy Kittle) and Arizona (Judy Penman).
Adele Macpherson guided the technology, and Lois Bauccio served as MC for the afternoon event that featured guest appearances from Zonta International and District 9 notables as well as Santa Clarita community leaders. VIP guests included ZI President-Elect, Dr. Sharon Langenbeck, “PIP” (Past International President), Dianne Curtis, District 9 Governor-Elect, Brittany Vaughan, and Former Santa Clarita Mayor and current City Councilmember, Marsha McLean.
First on the program was the presentation of the 2020 Zontian of the Year Award. Barbara Meyer, as Chair of the Committee, presented the coveted award to the very deserving, Francine Fiel. She was appropriately surprised and very grateful. She will receive her special plaque when the club can meet again.
Out-going Club President, Barbara Meyer, was lauded for her amazing and kind service to the ideals of Zonta. In an emotional tribute to her year, JoAnn Rodriquez was remembered fondly, and Adele and Darleen spoke to Barbara’s strength and determination as well as her successful accomplishments. Past President Barbara made a powerful “farewell” speech that thanked her board, supporters and friends, and gave a passionate overview of her year in office. She will be presented with her Past President’s pin when the club can gather again in person.
Installing Officer, Zonta International President-Elect, Sharon Langenbeck was introduced to lead the swearing in ceremony. She began by installing Foundation Trustees, Adele Macpherson, Lois Bauccio, Francine Fiel, Barbara Cochran, Terry Kanowsky, Mary Ree, Beth Heiserman and Nicole Miller, followed by the Nominating Committee, Pat Warford, Christine Sexton and Pat Willet. Next were the incoming Directors, Christy Ferguson, Francine Fiel, Patrice Rifkind and Immediate Past President, Barbara Meyer. This was followed by the installation of the incoming 2020-2021 Club Officers who are: Secretary, Alicia Estrada, Treasurer, Adele Macpherson, and Vice President, Nicole Miller. and finally, the in-coming President, Beth Heiserman.
It was then the time for newly installed President Beth to take to the virtual podium. She provided a sincere and thoughtful vision for the next year, revealing her theme as “Plant the Seeds of Success”. She asked every single member to be involved in some way, in service or in philanthropy, but hopefully both. After leading the club in the Collect, she performed her first official act, adjourning the meeting.
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.
EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
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
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.
Zonta Club morns loss of a member
We are saddened with the loss of long time Zontian, Jo Ann Rodriguez, who passed away on October 25 after a long battle with COPD.
Jo Ann joined Zonta in 1999 and served as club president twice and held every leadership role in the club. She also served as District 9 Treasurer for four years. She had a passion for Zonta’s mission of improving and empowering the lives of women and girls, both locally and internationally. She was named named Zontian of the Year in 2005. Jo Ann was the Parliamentarian Extraordinaire. However, her favorite program was our Healthy Kids Club, which was in partnership with Sam Dixon Health Clinic in Val Verde. She served as chair of the program for many years.
Jo Ann loved live theater, traveling … but most of all she adored her husband Don, the love of her life and she loved spending time with her family.
Jo Ann was a Valley girl. Born in Sylmar, she graduated from Sylmar High School. Rather than attending college, however, she got married right out of high school. The young marriage was unsuccessful and shortly after giving birth to her baby son, she sought a divorce. She got a job at a local mortuary where she learned all aspects of office work for the small business. From there she went to work for two brothers who owned a small machine shop. There she did everything for the brothers’ office that included billing and accounts payable, budgeting, and all other forms of bookkeeping and accounting.
During this time, Jo Ann went on a blind date with a young Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy who would become the love of her life. Don Rodriguez was smitten right away, but after giving her an engagement ring he got cold feet. When he broke off the engagement, Jo Ann sold the ring and went on a cruise.
Still, after the rocky start, the couple got back together. Don and Jo Ann became life partners and companions traveling via Jo Ann’s favorite mode of transportation, cruising of course! After marriage, successful this time, the couple had another son, and the young, blended family thrived in their Santa Clarita home.
Meanwhile, Jo Ann’s professional career was also thriving. The small machine shop where she was working merged into the brothers’ father’s aerospace corporation, and they took Jo Ann along with them. Klune Industries was a $60 million per year business with hundreds of employees around the country. Jo Ann just had a knack for cash management and before long she found herself head of the accounting and payroll departments. She became the CFO and was the only female on the Klune executive team. When, in 1998, she contracted breast cancer, the leaders at Klune wanted her to continue working for them, so they gave her a “softer” job as head of Human Resources!
All the while, Don’s law enforcement career kept growing stronger, and when he eventually became Captain of the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station, it was important that their family had a higher community profile. He encouraged Jo Ann to join a service organization, and the couple’s friend, Adele Macpherson, introduced Jo Ann to Zonta. She was bitten by the mission and the new friends she made, and she officially became a member in 1999.
Jo Ann’s career in Zonta was exemplary, as she impressed her sister Zontians with her leadership skills and her willingness to help in every way she could. She worked herself up the “ranks” of Zonta as board member, treasurer and eventually, President. Twice. She served as perineal parliamentarian and as volunteer and chair of Healthy Kids Club for so long it seemed like a perpetual posting. She enjoyed honoring community women through chairing the Women In Service event for a number of times.
Mysteriously, she developed COPD for which the doctors could not determine the cause. Don brought her to meetings and activities, but her Zonta sisters could see that she was struggling with her health. She passed away too soon in 2019 after a long and brave battle with the disease.
A new Zonta scholarship fund has been established by the Rodriguez family which will go to a young woman studying Business Accounting living in the Santa Clarita area. The name of Jo Ann Rodriguez will be remembered as long as Zonta SCV exists as a leader who was committed to the Zonta mission and who exemplified the objects of Zonta. She will be missed forever.
She will be truly missed by all of us and we are proud she was a member of our club.
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
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.
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.
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!
Zonta Club hosts annual Area 3 Seminar 2019
On May 4, 2019, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita hosted an all day seminar for sister clubs in District 9 Area 3. Clubs from Porterville, Burbank, Antelope Valley and Conejo Valley all gathered to hear the latest news about Zonta International Projects, Membership, Leadership and our goals to increase fundraising and recruit new members as possible future leaders at Club and International Levels.
Emphasis was placed on the Need for Zonta Clubs to grow in the United States and new Clubs to be mentored by existing Clubs.
Speakers included President Elect Sharon Langenbeck, Governor Ann Banks, Historian Nickie Bonner and Gloria Salas, Brittany Vaughan, Lori Montigel and Ela Pandya.
All of these women brought interesting information to us and it was a chance to talk to so many Zonta members in our
District. A great learning experience for all!
Next District 9 Area 3 meeting will be hosted by the Zonta Club of Burbank in 2020. Watch for the details!!
Girls Robotics joins Zontians at monthly meeting 2019
What, besides chaos, do you get by mixing 8-12 year old girls with Zontians in a big hotel? A roaring good time! On Wednesday, April 10, 7 young girls from the Boys and Girls Club attended Zonta’s monthly business meeting to demonstrate their skills in building and programming Lego robots. The robotics program, sponsored by Zonta for the past ten years, introduces the girls to the mysteries of math and science. The girls shed their nervousness within moments and shrieks of joy and laughter broke out as robots raced across a special mat or followed a black line. Even speaking into a microphone or performing real-time programming projected onto a big screen failed to intimidate the kids. The Zontians, perhaps twenty-five in number, were amazed—perhaps delighted is a better word. The good news? The robotics demo will take place again next year!
It was a lot of fun and the girls thanked all the Zontians for the Lego robots and the support.
Fun with Chocolate! 2019
Remembering Russ Cochran, husband of long time member Barbara Cochran
Russell T. Cochran
Aircraft Mechanic, Combat Medic, School Administrator, Community Volunteer
Longtime Santa Clarita Valley resident Russell T. "Russ" Cochran actively affected the lives of seniors, children, alcohol and drug abusers, domestic violence victims, and musicians since the 1970s.
He was born in Ontario, CA, on March 27, 1932. He lived mainly in foster homes until he was 15 when he moved in with his aunt and uncle. During his time in foster care, he was a ward of the court, and a judge gave Russ a violin and paid for lessons for him to make sure he was active and not running the streets. That began his music career in Kings County — singing in choirs and playing in symphony orchestras as he matured into adulthood.
He was a pilot in his younger years and earned a living as an aircraft mechanic. He enlisted in the Army in 1950 and served as a combat medic in Japan until he was released in 1952. He never finished high school but earned his GED, attended Chafee College and Long Beach State, and subsequently obtained his PhD in School Administration from USC.
He began his school administration career in 1955 serving as teacher and principal in numerous elementary schools in Barstow, San Leandro, Hanford and Saugus until he retired in June 1992 after 24 years in the Saugus Union School District.
As a result of his community involvement, he met Barbara Stearns in 1973, and they married in Las Vegas in 1996. They played golf, loved music, traveled to dozens of countries, enjoyed European river boat cruises, rode motorcycles, went glider flying and treasured Friday dinners with friends. He was a member of the Elks and the Old Farts Flying Club, a model airplane club. He built and flew model airplanes for over 40 years.
Russ passed away peacefully four days later, on February 27, one month shy of turning 87. The donation was a final fitting gesture for a quiet, private man who had not only given life to the Senior Center but also to many other causes in this community.
Zontian Peggy Edwards honored by Los Angeles County
Zontian Peggy Edwards was recently named Los Angeles County 5th District Woman of the Year. Peggy was honored for her work with Bridge to Home, the homeless shelter in Santa Clarita. Congratulations Peggy!
Centennial Anniversary of Zonta International
November 8th, 2019 is the Centennial Anniversary of Zonta International ... what an amazing accomplishment!!
Connie Worden-Roberts Remembered
Connie loved cooking. Connie also loved Zonta. Connie was a long time member of our Zonta Club having held many positions especially chairwoman of the Zonta Tribute. She loved that event!
Connie passed away in 2014. City Council member Laurene Weste recently brought all of Connie's cookbooks to city hall so that anyone who love Connie could have a piece of her heart. Everyone could browse thru her cookbooks and take any they wanted. There were lots of them!
Inside each cookbook was a letter from Laurene and a remembrance of Connie. Read more about Connie here.
Zonta Zing Jan 17, 2019
Zonta Zing, the club’s annual orientation meeting, was a fun and informative meeting for new and long-standing members alike.
Thanks to Board Member and Past President, Pat Warford, the meeting was held at what seems like the club’s second home, the beautiful Valencia Hills Club House on Thursday, January 17th. Following a lovely selection of hors d’oeuvres, snacks, desserts, and of course, Zinfindel, the committee organized a round robin of presentations regarding topics of interest for all Zontians. Presenters included Darleen Lyons, Dianne Curtis, Lois Bauccio, Adele Macpherson, Phyllis Walker, and Alicia Estrada. Topics included were Foundation, Fundraising, Zonta International, Girls Robotics, Advocacy, and Scholarships. Following introductory remarks by President, Debra Blakely, President-Elect, Beth Heiserman, 1st Vice President, presented a wonderful Powerpoint on Zonta. Barbara Meyer did a great job of keeping the discussions flowing. Many thanks go to the members of the committee who provided the food, decorated the tables, and created audio-visual and graphic enhancements. The real highlight of the evening was welcoming prospective new members as well as those Zontians who have joined the club since our last orientation. Welcome aboard, Ladies!
Zonta Holiday Party 2018
37 Zontians and UnZons celebrated the Holidays on Sat. Dec 8th at the home of Suzie Alziebler. Party guests donated gift cards and needed personal hygene supplies for our Advocacy Projects foster girls and also our local homeless shelter.
An afternoon of visiting, feasting on a tritip and chicken buffet and yummy desserts ended with pictures in front of the Christmas tree. Special thanks to the Holiday committee for all the wonderful desserts they made. They were delicious.
Also special thanks to Chuck Willett and Geoff Campbell for bringing guests up and down the hill.
A visit with Zontians from Kaliningrad, Russia 2018
Thank you to all of our members who came out to Barb's house and supported our last minute social on Oct 30, to meet Liudmila from Kaliningrad. A special thanks to Sharon Langenbeck, our ZI President-Elect for asking us to host such a special opportunity to meet a fellow Zontian from so far away. Sharon met her in Yokohoma, Japan at the 64th Zonta International Convention and mentioned she would be visiting Santa Clarita in the fall.
She had a wonderful presentation for us and shared the special projects they do. The club of Kaliningrad started in September 2004. They promote the health of children, the members of their club and the Club of Essen partnered on a joint project and Doctor of Medicine, Bettina von Falkenhausen, trained specialists in the educational sphere in Kaliningrad. They participate in JMk and YWIPA. The Zonta club of Kaliningrad is implementing projects aimed at raising the status of women in our society and protecting the family. Their club is rendering assistance to Kaliningrad's regional Women's Crisis Center. the women who happen to be in a difficult situation in their life, experiencing physical violence at home will stay and live at the Center with their children.
New Human Trafficking Project announced
Human Trafficking is our educational and advocacy target for 2018-19. We will focus on teenage girls in Santa Clarita who are the most vulnerable to be trafficked. Foster youth including emancipated youth and incarcerated teens at Camp Scott.
LifeForward for Teens:
At Camp Scott 40% of the girls are victims of human/sex trafficking. By investing our time and experiences with the young ladies our goal is to increase their confidence and self-worth so that their vulnerability to accepting the lies of traffickers will decrease.
Fostering Youth Independence:
Our members are encouraged to become “FYI Allies” to the girls in the program who are currently in foster care or are emancipated youth. The Allies will guide and encourage the young women as they pursue a post-secondary education, we will be providing personal care kits for the young women, through out the year, as well as gift cards for their holiday stockings.
We also plan on Adopting 2 young women for the holidays.
The 16 days of Activism – Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women.
The seven red dresses will again come to life in trees around Santa Clarita in early December. These dresses represent women in our town who lost their lives because of domestic violence. When hung up the wind begins to move them and creates a haunting and moving image as reminder that we should “ Stand up and Speak up” if we suspect there is domestic violence.
JR's Comedy Club Social 2018
Zontians Having Fun!
Lots of Laughs!! Laughter filled the room at JR’s Comedy Club located in Mimi’s Restaurant on Magic Mountain Parkway on Saturday evening, October 20, 2018. Over 25 Zontian’s and guests attended for a fun night of fellowship and dining - followed by hilarious stories presented by Ron Kenny and Marty Ross accompanied by two guest comedians. Everyone left feeling relaxed from an enjoyable event.
October 2018 Business Meeting
Members of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley held their latest meeting at the Holiday Inn in Valencia. Toni Wade was inducted as our newest member. Also, Edna Dimataga-Fernandez, who was a member in 2011, rejoined our club. Welcome both Toni and Edna!
Beth Heiserman, 1st Vice President, presented a short program on the history of our club. It was fun to see old pictures of our members and try to guess who they are! Thank you Beth for putting this together.
The surprise of the evening, was having two club members, Jeanne Mayberry and Jamie Russell, who live in Bakersfield attend our meeting. It was very pleasant surprise. Thank you for coming! We capped off the meeting with a photo with our two Bakersfield member front and center.
Color Me Mine Social 2018
Zontians recently gathered for a fun evening of painting! About 20 Zontians and friends, met at Color Me Mine on Town Center Drive, where we all picked out our ceramic piece we wanted to paint. Then the fun began.
Thank you to Heather and Stacy, they were outstanding. They were so helpful to everyone as we all needed help. A couple of the pieces were difficult to paint and they were so kind to extend our stay so that some of the ladies could finish their creative pieces.
We would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the Zonta Club of SCV Color Me Mine Social/Fundraiser. Our Socials & fundraising committee did an amazing job to organize this wonderful event.
Everyone got to enjoy being creative while having snacks and wine. There were so many choices to choose from like; a clock, piggy banks, bowls, measuring spoons, dog biscuit jar and so many other cute items. Some of us had a hard time deciding. Several of us can't wait to go back and create another item. We saw some very creative pieces from the ladies; a mug, cookie jar, tea light holder, doggy bowl, popcorn bowl, chip n’ dip plate and more.
Zonta Summer Jazz and Blues Concert 2018
One of the great Santa Clarita summer traditions is the Friday night Valencia Jazz & Blues Summer Concert Series. The longest running privately hosted annual series in our valley (this year is the 19th!) selects a different charity each week to receive the proceeds of the free event. On Friday night, July 27th, Zonta was selected as the featured charity. According to Barbara Myler, CEO of Summit West Public Relations and producer of the event, our club set a participation record as 17 Zonta volunteers (plus three Unzons, Ken Rifkind, Lee Lodes, and Geoff Campbell) joined the fun and excitement!
But after all, volunteering is what we do best, and our members had a blast hustling drink orders for the crowd who were enjoying fabulous Wolf Creek Beer and other libations as the incredible Kelly’s Lot played an irresistible combination of favorite cover tunes as well as remarkable original songs. You could see our Zonta servers wrestling over the urge to dance while remembering how to pronounce “Hefeweizen”. We were grateful when a guest asked for white wine!
Under a full moon in beautiful Valencia, Zontians earned nearly $250 in tips for our fabulous club. Many thanks to Zonta member Patrice Rifkind of Audiology Associates, an event sponsor, for making the arrangements, and Barbara Myler for her generosity. And after all, what could be more fun on a hot July night than to meet great new neighbors while listening to wonderful music and volunteering for Zonta?
Zonta Club holds 2018 Summer Social at Reyes Winery
The beautiful Reyes Winery in bucolic Agua Dulce was the setting for the 6th Annual Zonta Club of SCV’s Summer Social on Sunday, July 22nd.
Club Vice President, Beth Heiserman, an executive at the winery, and her committee of Zontians including Sue Hayward, Barbara Meyers and Darleen Lyons, prepared and served a delicious array of summer dishes as the winery poured its premium, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, among other special vintages.
As a special surprise, guests were treated to the delightful live music of the local band, Sierra Highway, who played their special take on Americana acoustic, folk, Irish, bluegrass and fiddle tunes.
Despite the summer heat, the club and guests kept cool under a pavilion set on Reyes’ spreading green lawn surrounded by grape-laden vines. What a great day of fun and friendship! All proceeds supported the Zonta Club.
Zonta Foundation Annual 2018 Meeting
Under a welcoming pergola at the home of Terry Kanowsky on July 12th, Zontians gathered for the foundation’s 20th Annual General Meeting. Kanowsky, long-time member of the Zonta Club and in-coming Foundation President, presided over the meeting. A wonderful dinner was provided by members of the outgoing foundation board.
Each year, members of the Zonta Club of SCV gather to review annual financial statements and other business matters unique to the foundation. While both club and foundation are registered, non-profit entities, the foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization that holds a tax identification number and fiduciary responsibility for Zonta SCV. Because of the foundation, Zonta can offer tax receipts to its donors and file special 990 tax returns reserved for tax exempt entities, maintain investments, and Zonta members are interested in various banking and budgetary information that gives them a snapshot of the group’s financial status.
In addition to fiscal information, the meeting featured a key-note presentation regarding the history of the foundation given by Lois Bauccio who announced the upcoming 20th anniversary of the foundation which was founded on August 18, 1998. The highlight of the evening was an installation of the new foundation board and trustees presided over by Adele Macpherson. The new Foundation Board is comprised of Zontians Terry Kanowsky, Barbara Meyer, Christine Sexton, Susan Hayward, Nell Campbell, Francine Fiel, Cathy Gundy, Mary Ree, Judy Penman, and Debra Blakely.
News from Zonta International Convention
Dr. Sharon Langenbeck elected Zonta International President Elect
Zonta International just concluded their biennial convention in Yokohama Japan. The highlight of the convention was the election of our very own Dr. Sharon Langenbeck as Zonta International President Elect. Dr. Langenbeck will assume the President of Zonta International at the next convention July 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.
In addition Sue Hayward was recognized for recruiting 12 new members into our Zonta Club between 2016-2018. We are so proud of Sue.
Zonta Club holds annual 2018-2019 planning meeting
Members of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita met at the Savia Center in Newhall on June 23rd to chart the club’s course for the new fiscal year. Under the direction of President Debra Blakely, SCV Zontians had round table discussions on community service projects and fundraising ideas, among other important aspects of club involvement. As a result of the vibrant conversations, the group is excited to continue serving underserved women and victims of domestic violence through the Life Forward Workshops and the community awareness program called The Red Dress Project, a haunting reminder of those victims in the SCV who have died from domestic violence.
A host of other service ideas will be investigated by ad hoc committees. These will include the possibility of mentoring newly emancipated foster care girls, helping senior women navigate their medicare/medical allocations, and a host of other worthwhile service ideas.
Fun and informative fundraising events will take place including Lunafest (fall of 2019), a salute to women filmmakers, and Women in Service, Zonta’s signature event honoring amazing women who volunteer in our valley. Also, for the 2nd consecutive year, Zonta has been selected as the recipient of the proceeds from the fabulous Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival at Reyes Winery.
Debbie Blakely and her 1st Vice President, Beth Heiserman, will head out soon to Yokohama, Japan for Zonta’s International Convention. Be watching for photographs! They will bring back a host of new service initiatives for worldwide and local attention in keeping with our mission of “Empowering women locally and worldwide.”
2021 Zontian of the Year - Edna Dimataga-Fernandez
Edna was a very active member 10 years ago as a young mom of a son. She joined and became involved in almost every committee and helped on all of them. Edna's professional life took hold and she had to back away from non-profits until her business was more established. Edna was very involved in the State Women's Insurance organization and became a leader for many years.
After her daughter was born and growing up, she wanted to give back and joined Zonta again and with a gung-ho attitude. She has been very involved in PR for the club this year, taking it to a new level. She put Zonta on the map, so now you can find us in places like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Also on the map are new ideas, Membership Monday, Women Wednesday, Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday all located on social media. And locally, she has put us on all the community calendars in town: City of Santa Clarita, KHTS, Inside SCV Magazine, Santa Clarita Magazine, the Signal, and SCV Non-Profits event calendar. We have press releases monthly if not more often in all the local media. If that is not enough, Edna has written most of the blogs that are posted on our website and on social media. Thanks to Edna and her PR committee, the whole of Santa Clarita knows who and what Zonta is.
Edna runs a very professional PR committee meeting, featuring a detailed agenda and limited to one hour. If we finish early, then we have social time, but that’s it - one hour.
Edna was born in Cebu, Philippines and moved to Chicago before she was 1 year old. At the age of 10, her family moved back to the Philippines where she attended an International School. Then at the age of 17, Edna moved back to the US. She received a B.A. in Economics from UCLA at the age of 21 and at 29, received my MBA while maintaining a full-time career in the insurance industry & raising a family.
After losing her father at a very young age from a heart attack, her mother’s struggle with breast cancer, and Edna’s own inability to conceive, she began her own company, The Wellness Institute, which focuses on holistic health & wellness. Prior to that she worked in the insurance business becoming President of the LA Chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, founding President of the LA Chapter of Women in Insurance and Financial Services. She was a busy young lady!
She has served as a director on the club board 2010-2011. Upon returning to Zonta in 2019, she asked what she could do and it was suggested she run for the club secretary position, which she did. Like everything Edna does, she took the secretary very seriously and detailed all of the club board and business meetings thoroughly. She did not miss anything. Committees she has served on include Women in Service, JMK, YWPA, Virginia Wrage and Healthy Women’s Day.
Now another surprise. We are pleased to present this certificate to Ella Fernandez as our Zontian In Training. Ella has accompanied Edna everywhere, proudly wearing her Zonta shirt. Some day she will make a great Zontian and hopefully as a member of our club.
Edna is very quiet and private, but has a heart of gold and loves helping others in any way she can. Our club is very fortunate to have Edna as a member, along with her beautiful daughter, Ella, our Zontian in Training.
2020 Zontian of the Year - Francine Fiel
Our Zonta club held their annual installation via ZOOM as a result of Covid-19. It was a lot of fun and one of the highlights is Zontian of the Year.
Since Fran joined the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley in 2016 she has been on more than 10 Committees. She has been our Foundation Treasurer since 2018. Currently she is working on changing the Accounting structure, having already written guidelines for investments, and much more for Foundation. She has taken upon our storage shed by getting us a better price to store our stuff, moved everything and goes to the shed anytime you need anything. Fran says yes to almost anything we ask her to do. She is always willing to help when she can.
She has been on the several committees such as Advocacy, Lunafest, Membership, Women in service, Sierra Pelona, and Yellow Rose. She was also the 2018-2020 Annual Awards chair. She has been on the Club board 2019-2020 and is on the 2020-2021 club board. Fran is also active with the SCV Child & Family Auxiliary and Buhai Center for Family Law. In addition she is an attorney.
2019 Zontian of the Year - Judy Penman
Super-active club member and three-time club past president Judy Penman as Zontian of the Year at the annual installation dinner recently at the Oaks Club in Valencia.
Judy as been a member of our Zonta club for 27 years and has held every position except treasurer. She chaired the 2018 & 2019 Women in Service Celebration brunch and was honored for her consistent support of Zonta's mission of helping all women and children locally and internationally.
In the community, she has been involved with most non-profits in the SCV, starting with Zonta and then Domestic Violence Center, where she is the longest living member of the board for 13 years and president for three years. She then joined the board of Circle of Hope and served three years as president, continuing with that non-profit as secretary and fundraiser. Judy also joined the WISH Foundation board, serving the Wm. S. Hart Union High School District. She then joined the Assistance League, where she served on the board for four years, two years as philanthropic vice president, and two years as first vice president of resource development.
And if that is not enough, she also ushers at the local Performing Arts Center and is on the board of the Senior Center Advisory Committee, where she is fundraising chair. An active supporter of the Boys and Girls Club, she chaired that organization's annual auction for several years.
One of her nomination forms said, "Judy volunteers because she believes in helping others, however she can. She has been volunteering since she arrived in Santa Clarita, after meeting the dynamic women in Zonta who got her involved in all other events in the community. Judy believes that receiving this award from her peers is one of the best awards she would ever get, as she goes into a new chapter of her life."
Zontian of the Year is selected from member nominations. The final winner is selected not only for her leadership in Zonta, but also in the way she represents the club in the local community. The final selection committee is composed of former honorees. In making the presentation, committee chair Sue Hayward also announced two honorable mention recipients—Beth Heiserman and Francine Fiel.
2018 Zontian of the Year - Darleen Lyons
Darleen has served the club as club treasurer for eight years, has been club president in 1993 and 2006, and has served as both first and second vice presidents of the club. She also has been an active member of the club's Tribute, Lunafest and Golf Tournament committees, and was active in former club activities such as Rent-A-Santa, Healthy Woman's Day and Healthy Kids Club.
On the Zonta International level, Darleen served as District 9 treasurer for four years and was a member of Zonta International's Service Committee. She and her husband, Bill, have revitalized the Girls Robotics program that Zonta sponsors at the local Boys & Girls Club.
In the community, she has been an active supporter of the SCV Boys & Girls Club auction and science hours, AT&T Golf Tournament, host family for international students, SCV Senior Center's Celebrity Waiter dinner, Wine Auction and Home Delivered Meals kitchen volunteer, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and Downtown Newhall's Western Walk of Fame. She has been named volunteer of the month for the Senior Center in 2016 and Volunteer of the Year for the Boys and Girls Club twice, in 1986 and 2015.
"A member since 1988, Darleen has been a committed Zontian—always at major fundraising events doing check-in for Zonta and (community) fundraising events," says her formal nomination. "She is a member that gets things done. She does not complain and works efficiently behind the scenes. She truly loves Zonta and the community."
Zontian of the Year is selected from member nominations. The final winner is selected not only for her leadership in Zonta, but also in the way she represents the club in the local community. The final selection committee is composed of former honorees.