Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Commemorates International Women’s Day

The City of Santa Clarita proclaimed March 8, 2024 as International Women’s Day noting that it “is a call to action for accelerating women’s equality - a day to inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination, and encourage and mobilize all people to imagine a gender equal world where we create a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.”

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, together with Soroptimist of Greater Santa Clarita Valley and Soroptimist International of Valencia, accepted the proclamation and joined with the City to #InspireInclusion as we all strive to further efforts for women’s rights and gender equality.

President Nicole Miller thanked the City of Santa Clarita for the honor and “recognizing the collective impact of the three clubs, and the difference we are making for women locally.”

This year’s International Women’s Day global campaign theme is #InspireInclusion -  “when we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world.  And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging,  relevance and empowerment.”

On International Women’s Day and every day, Zonta invites members of the community to join and help us build a better world for women and girls.

SCV IWD Proclamation

Welcome Susan Kakiki

Susan was welcomed into Zonta at our March 2024 meeting. She is a financial services professional, as a limited partner with Edward Jones. Her office is located on Lyons Avenue in the Newhall Area of Santa Clarita. She enjoys working in the SCV where she also lives with her husband and family.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Western Governors University, and she has been with Edward Jones since 2003.

Her hobbies include hiking, dining out, enjoying our beautiful local parks with her family, and taking martial arts and krav maga classes.

Quoting from her professional biography, Susan says, “building relationships and helping others has been an integral part of who I am…I enjoy working with people and believe I can make a positive impact through personal connections.” She sounds like a great Zontian, doesn’t she?!

Welcome to Zonta!!

MLK Day of Service 2024

On Saturday, January 13th, several members of our club joined community members across the Santa Clarita Valley for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  The activity, hosted by Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo and the Santa Clarita NAACP, was held at the Newhall Boys and Girls Club.  The service options included painting the teen room and restroom, making lunches for Bridge to Home and writing thank you and appreciation cards to teachers, first responders, health care workers and also writing support and congratulation cards to new mothers.  Over 50 community members, including 7 Zontians who joined in to participate and support the theme of “It Starts With Me: Shifting the Cultural Climate Through the Study and Practice of Kingian Nonviolence” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy.

We were inspired by a beautiful and uplifting event, and want to give a special thank you to Zontian and NAACP SCV President Valerie Bradford for her amazing speech.

Zontians celebrate 2023 Holidays

The Zonta Club of SCV had a holiday party on Sunday, December 10, 2023. Club member Darleen Lyons and her husband Bill, hosted the party at her beautiful home.  The party was a wonderful opportunity for members to chat and socialize over great food and drink.  Everyone gathered around the table or the kitchen, where the food was. There were about 35 Zontians and spouses sharing the holiday spirit.

We signed about 180 holiday cards that were distributed to the Post-Acute Care Center and Bridge to Home, Santa Clarita's homeless shelter. Each organization was very grateful for the cards.

What a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!

Scroll through the pics for all the fun!

FYI Holiday Party 2023

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley along with our Z Clubs (Canyon High, Golden Valley High, and West Ranch High Schools) collected items for Fostering Youth Independence’s (FYI) annual holiday party for the foster youth in their program.  The Club provided $20 Target gift cards, while the Z Clubs provided lotions, lip balm, and packets of gum to be used as stocking stuffers.  On November 30, 2023 Club President – Nicole Miller, Club Vice President – Beth Ryan, Service Committee Lead – Jackie Howarth, and club member Candace Hartshorn delivered the items to FYI.

In addition to the stocking stuffer items, club members as well as members of SCV Boss Ladies baked cookies for the FYI youth.  Lois Bauccio graciously hosted a cookie bagging night at her home and on December 8, 2023, a handful of members from both groups gathered and created 80+ bags of cookies.  Beth Ryan delivered the goodies to FYI the following morning prior to their holiday party.

The FYI Holiday Party was Saturday, December 9, 2023.  Lois Bauccio serves on the board for FYI and was in attendance, while Beth Ryan, Jackie Howarth, Volunteer Committee Lead – Oriana John, and Advocacy Committee Lead – Christy Ferguson helped check in attendees and hand out pajamas to the youth.

Fostering Youth Independence is an amazing organization that helps youth leaving the foster care system feel safe, connected and loved.  FYI’s mission is to equip foster youth to complete post-secondary education and become successful, independent adults.

Kim Kurowski receives Volunteer of the Year award from Valley Industry Association

Kim Kurowski, owner of A-1 Party and Zonta member for 13 years, was awarded the Connie Worden-Roberts Volunteer of the Year award by Valley Industry Association at their recent fundraising event in November 2023.

Kim literally dresses all events in Santa Clarita. She has been in the balloon industry for over 30 years. A-1 Party is a home-based operation in Santa Clarita selling balloons for all occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and more. Not only is Kim a prominent small business owner in the Santa Clarita Valley but she uses her platform to give back to non-profits like Carousel Ranch, the College of the Canyons Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, LARC Ranch, Zonta Club of SCV, the Soroptimist International of the Greater Santa Clarita Valley and many other organizations.

Kim serves on the VIA Executive board, SCV Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for over 20 years and on the Executive Committee for over 12 of them. She served as the President of the Chamber in 1998. In addition, she serves on the board for Soroptimist International of the Greater Santa Clarita Valley and supports other organizations such as SCV Senior Center, Child and Family, Family Promise and many more. She was recently selected as the 21st Senate District, represented by Sen Scott Wilk, as the October 2023 Small Business of the Month.

Kim says, “I believe in being part of people’s lives. Providing balloons for a special occasion is one way and helping organizations that support our community is another. There are so many good people and organizations in the Santa Clarita Valley doing great things. I find it an honor to support them.”

Connie Worden-Roberts was an SCV resident who dedicated her life’s work to volunteering in numerous organizations throughout the valley. She was involved in organizations including Zonta Club of SCV, Boys & Girls Club governing board, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital speaker’s bureau, and the Hart district board of trustees. Connie was instrumental in the formation of the City of Santa Clarita, and prominent in the formation of Valley Industry Association.  After more than four decades of service, she died in 2014.

“I knew Connie when I first started (my) business 37 years ago. She’s always been my mentor as how far she used to get involved with the community. She was a good friend of mine … so this is more than just an honor to be awarded after her. She is someone to follow in the footsteps,” Kim said after receiving her award.

Summer Breeze : Hello Fall 2023 benefits Zonta

Terrell Edwards presenting donation from Summer Breeze: Hello Fall event

On October 28, 2023 Top Entertainment and presenting sponsor Fred Arnold and American Family Funding hosted the Summer Breeze: Hello Fall concert at the new Executive 360 Suites in Stevenson Ranch to benefit the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley.  It was an intimate outdoor affair and a beautiful evening filled with wonderful music by Terrell Edwards and an appearance by the aspiring artists of Vibe Performing Arts of Santa Clarita.  Several club members attended the event and enjoyed listening and dancing to the music.

A special thank you to the club members that volunteered during the event: Oriana John, Jackie Howarth, Christy Ferguson, Alicia Estrada, Mary Shippy, Ines Cadavid, Christine Sexton, and especially Fran Fiel who was in town from her new home in Virginia.

Terrell visited our club meeting on November 11 to present our club with a donation from the event.

Thank you Terrell Edwards and Fred Arnold. Your support is greatly appreciated.

SCV Boss Ladies Hold Inaugural Trunk or Treat Event

On October 19, 2023, the SCV Boss Ladies, a TEAM Referral Networking Group, held their inaugural Trunk or Treat event for the community to gather, meet, network, and have Halloween fun! Over 40 vendors decorated their trunk or table to hand out candy and other fun treats to over 250 parPcipants. Some vendors held raffles for prizes, had opportuniPes to win games, and sold their exclusive merchandise. Guests were even able to purchase tacos, shaved ice, dance to music by a DJ, and tour a mobile recording studio and party bus!

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Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Raises Awareness of Domestic Violence with the SCV Red Dress Project

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 2023, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley raised awareness of domestic violence in the community by displaying the SCV Red Dress Project at the Newhall Farmer’s Market, and at College of the Canyons in partnership with the Golden Z Club.  For the past seven years, a cornerstone of the club’s focus on ending gender-based violence is raising awareness and discussing the impact of domestic violence in our community. The SCV Red Dress Project campaign has included a display of red dresses to symbolize those individuals who have lost their lives to domestic violence in Santa Clarita. These bright red symbols are meant to remind us of the reality of domestic violence and the impact it has on our community.

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Foundation Annual General Meeting 2023

On October 30, 2023, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Foundation held its Annual General Meeting.  This meeting is held annually to thank outgoing trustees for their service and install newly elected trustees and Foundation officers.  Outgoing Foundation trustees Lois Bauccio and Patrice Rifkind were recognized and thanked for their service during the 2022-2023 fiscal year.  Additionally, a special recognition was awarded to Lois Bauccio for successfully completing her term as a Trustee and Foundation President of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Foundation.

Parliamentarian Darleen Lyons proceeded to install the elected and appointed Foundation Trustees: Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Barbara Meyer, Christine Sexton, Di Thompson, Club President Nicole Miller, and Club Vice President Beth Ryan.  Finally, the Foundation officers were installed and welcomed into their roles: President Cherise Moore, Treasurer Alicia Estrada, and Secretary Peggy Edwards.

The agenda also included a Foundation history and description of its purpose led by Foundation President Dr. Cherise Moore, an overview of Foundation financials and investments from Finance Committee Chair Francine Fiel, and a summation of the Foundation budget by Foundation Treasurer Alicia Estrada.

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In closing, many thanks were given to all those who serve and support the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Foundation.  If you would like to support the Foundation and the work we do to build a better world for women and girls, please contact us at info@scvzonta.org or visit our Donate page.

Purple Palooza 2023

Saturday, October 14 was a morning of fun at the Purple Palooza 5K Color Walk, a fundraiser for the Child & Family Center's Domestic Violence Program. The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley teamed up with the SCV Boss Ladies to fundraise, participate, and walk in this wonderful community event. Nicole Miller (Zonta Club of SCV President), Beth Ryan (Zonta Club of SCV Vice President), Candace Hartshorn (SCV Boss Ladies President and Zontian), Lois Bauccio, Oriana John, and Selina Thomas were a few of the Zontians that participated in the event.

The net proceeds for the Child & Family Center were an amazing $75,471!! The funds are critical to provide domestic violence services to those in our community. Zonta supports the Child & Family Center’s mission to provide domestic violence services for individuals and their children who are in abusive relationships. The services are free and include safety, shelter and support for survivors. Zonta believes in protecting all women and children and ending gender based violence.

Thank you to the special sponsors, donors, and walkers who supported the Purple Palooza 5k Walk to End Domestic Violence.

Join our Zonta and SCV Boss Ladies team next year and help to build a better world for women and girls!

New members welcomed August 2023

lt to rt: Desiree Dodd, Beth Ryan, Lois Bauccio, Mary Shippy, Gloria Salas and Cyndi Kleinfeld

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley announces three new members at the August meeting. Gloria Salas, District 9 Lt. Governor and Lois Bauccio, Membership chair for Zonta Club of SCV, welcomed the new members and presented them with their pins.

RIAN MEDLIN

Dr. Rian Medlin earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art History from San Diego State University, her Master’s degree in Political Science from Cal State University Northridge, and her Doctorate degree in Organizational Change and Leadership from USC. She is the Assistant Superintendent and Vice President of Human Resources at College of the Canyons. Her career has been both supervisory and collaborative in nature with two decades of working in large diverse and effective teams. She is excited to share her skills with Zonta to improve lives for women and girls, particularly in our advocacy work.

MARY SHIPPY

Mary Shippy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Park University in Missouri, and her Master’s degree in Business Knowledge Management from Cal State University Northridge. Mary has broad experiences in the business technology industry as an active duty member of the United States Air Force, at start-up companies in Silicon Valley and as a civilian program manager in the US Space Force. Currently she is Advanced Programs Deputy Manager at US Space Force Systems Command, Los Angeles, where she co-leads a $2.1 Billion program that is proudly on-schedule, within cost, and meeting performance requirements. As Program Manager, Mary effectively leads day-to-day activities across government and contractor integrated product teams aimed towards the delivery of a critical classified capability to counter threats. She is looking forward to bringing her management and leadership skills to Zonta SCV for service to the women and girls in need in our community.

DESIREE DODD

Desiree Dodd earned her Bachelor’s degree in Consumer Affairs from Cal State University Northridge. She is Director of Development and Engagement for the College of the Canyons Foundation where she utilizes her more than 20 years of experience working within the field of philanthropy by supporting campus fundraising efforts, interfacing with both donors and campus colleagues to advance philanthropy and student support. Desiree’s expertise in the areas of donor relations, gift management, fundraising development and special event planning are attributed to her “can-do” personality and willingness to continually learn and to take on new challenges. She is excited about the prospect of helping our Zonta club’s increase our effectiveness and impact on behalf of women and girls in the community and around the world.

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!