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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
Nominating Committee -
Mary Ann Rubis, Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley, USA
Vladimira Tracheva, Zonta Club of Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Yvonne Kouloufoua, Zonta Club of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
Darleen Sharyl Scott, Zonta Club of Macarthur, Australia
Hsin Hsin Yang, Zonta Club of Taipei II, Republic of China (Taiwan)
Susanne von Bassewitz, Zonta Club of Duesseldorf II, Germany
Lalivan Karnchanachari, Zonta Club of Bangkok I, Thailand
Britt Gustawsson, Zonta Club of London, United Kingdom
Judy Kautz, Zonta Club of Central Oklahoma, USA
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.
A Moment of Inspiration was beautifully delivered by Brittany Vaughan who also led the Salute to the Flag. Governor-Elect Brittany was presented with a virtual single yellow rose as a sign of the club’s appreciation and gratitude.
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.
MC Lois Bauccio then prefaced the installation ceremonies by acknowledging and thanking out-going Club Board Officers and Directors as well as out-going Foundation Trustees. 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.
After the celebrating, Zontians slowly left the meeting. To quote Peggy Edwards, “The whole event was such a great mix of laughter and tears.” It proved to us all that we are truly dedicated to the ideals of Zonta, even in the time of a global pandemic. All would surely agree that we will now, under dedicated new leadership, continue to move forward in service to the women of our community and the world.
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.
Current Trends: 1) Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world; 2) Over 80% identified as a human trafficking survivor in LA have touched the child welfare system; most of these youth were coerced and tricked through the internet. 3) Traffickers go where youth are – school, sports, parties, internet etc. 4) Peers are selling each other – Internet Apps make payment easy. 5) Trafficker’s prey on vulnerable youth – those that have no friends, need attention, love or money and do not have a sense of value and self-worth by offering a feeling of ‘love and belonging’. 6) Youth would rather remain on the streets, exploited by a trafficker, until a foster home is found for them.
Help stop these trends locally - become an Emergency Foster Family and provide a safe place for a marginalized child!
Recognize Signs of Sex and Labor Trafficking Victims – See Something, Say Something!
Sex Trafficking: 1)Branded with ‘daddy’, ‘cash’, etc.; 2) Changes in dress, behavior, overtired, depressed, etc.; 3) Possessions usually can’t afford; 4) Boyfriend or girlfriend noticeably older; 5) Difficulty making eye contact, especially with men; 6) Miss school & runaway often 7) Unable to speak independently, others may insist on talking for them; and 8) Controlled by other people.
Labor Trafficking: 1) Difficulty making eye contact; 2) Unable to speak independently; 3) May not have possession of identification documents; 4) Unusually long work hours.
ZOE started 17 years ago in Thailand and now operates in Australia, Japan, Oaxaca Mexico and locally. Headquartered here in Newhall, ZOE’s approach to Human Trafficking includes the following – Prevention, Rescue, and Restoration:
Prevention - rescue and human trafficking awareness campaigns. Zoe has a growing network, including law enforcement officials, teachers, and pastors. Join the effort!
Rescue – ZOE is one of two advocate agencies in the Crisis Response Advocacy Program called by the Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department or Department of Children and Family Services when a minor youth is rescued from trafficking
Restoration - placement in a safe-houses with short-term specialized care. Children who need longer or permanent care may be placed in ZOE’s aftercare; the aftercare program is created to bring healing and wholeness to every child.
ZOE Home for Youth, a place for those rescued from trafficking is under construction on 50 acres in Acton, CA and is anticipated to be completed by July 1, 2020. A home will serve six girls, as they recover from their traumatic experiences; a multi-purpose building will provide home-based learning, life skills and vocational skills training to prepare them for re-entry into society.
Based upon ZOE’s wish to fill the home with furnishings and other needs, commitments were made by event attendees.
Should anyone in the community wish to help ZOE in their effort to provide a safe environment and increase residents feeling of self-worth at their Acton facility - call 661-255-7963; visit offices at 24270 Walnut St., Newhall, CA 91321 (behind The Junction Restaurant on Main St. in Newhall or visit gozoe.org.
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.
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. Also, several workshops were offered during the conference, but each one of us could only attend two.
There were 5 amazing speakers during the 2 1/2 days. We voted on bylaw changes, rules of procedure changes and we voted on slate of candidates for 2020-2022. One really important change the district made was change the word from women and men to individuals. Brittany Vaughan, District 9 Governor-Elect said “I have never been more proud as a Zontian than I was when the delegated and board unanimously approved a suggested change that better reflects gender-nonconforming members.”
Then, Saturday morning, we heard from two YWIPA winners from the Kauai club. Our keynote speaker, a retired astronaut and first mother in space, Anna Lee Fisher, MD. She was amazing to listen to. The city of Kauai gave the Zonta club a proclamation for our centennial anniversary.
Friday night ended with the gala, were the District 9 board for 2020-2022 was introduced.
11 of our Zonta members were presented with a length of service certificate, 5 of them were at conference and received their certificate at the gala dinner.
Sadly, Sunday was the close of conference.
As a group we spent a full day seeing the Grand Canyon of Kauai and falls and of course lunch. We all had a wonderful time and cannot wait until convention in Chicago.
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.
July BBQ Social
Zonta is having a BBQ!
Join us on July 10 at the home of Suzie Alziebler for an evening of fun and friendship.
This is a POTLUCK, please contact Suzie to let her know what you are bringing.
June 2019 Business Meeting a SUCCESS!
Our first business meeting of the new Zonta year was a great success. Barbara was a little nervous, but she did a great job. Barb says "Thank you to all for making her first meeting a good one."
Several important items were on the agenda, updated standing rules, Lunafest budget and the report of the Strategic Planning meeting. Barb and her board are ready to go.
Also committee sign sheets were passed. Everyone needs to sign up. Barb reminded us if there is no chair, we will not have the committee. So it is important for everyone to get involved!
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.”
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
Super-active club member Darleen Lyons was named as Zontian of the Year at the group’s annual installation dinner recently at the Oaks Club (formerly the Tournament Players' Club) in Valencia.
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.