Latest District 9 News
Latest Club Calendar
Zonta Club hosts annual Area 3 Seminar
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
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.
Annual Zonta Planning Meeting
Join incoming President Barbara Meyer in planning her year as our club president. Learn what she envisions for our Zonta Club and give her your thoughts.
Valencia Hills Clubhouse 6pm
Installation May 22, 2019
Everyone is invited to attend our annual installation of officers, directors and foundation trustees at The Oaks Grille at The Oaks at Valencia on May 22, 2019 at 6pm. The address is 26550 Heritage Ln, Valencia.
This is always a fun evening put on by the past presidents of our club. Each year is new and different. You never know what we can come up this.
Join us in celebrating Debbie Blakely's year as President and welcoming Barbara Meyer as the new club president for 2019-2020.
You can make your reservations here with PayPal or use the button below for the flyer.
Fun with Chocolate!
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.
His community involvement included:
- Founder and President of the Santa Clarita Valley Community Health Council, 1972 (with assistance of business leaders in the community who realized there was a lack of medical services in the Santa Clarita Valley)
- County Mental Health, 1972-1974: Initiation and development of a Grant to fight Substance Abuse in SCV
- Founder and President of Board of Directors, Santa Clarita Valley Coalition on Substance Abuse
- Founder of the COC Symphony Orchestra
- Board of Directors, SCV Boys & Girls Club
- Board of directors of Child & Family Center
- Founder of SCV Senior Center
- President of Board of Directors of Committee on Aging
- Board of Directors of North L.A. County Coalition on Substance Abuse
- Chairman of Newhall Advisory Board for Urban Development
- Member of Interagency Task Force on Substance Abuse for L.A. County
- Member of Alcohol Task Force for L.A. County
- United Way Budget Committee Region I, North L.A. County
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 adored Barbara's children, Chuck (deceased), Diedre and Scott, and they have six grandchildren and six great grandchildren living in Palmdale and Virginia.
After a doctor diagnosed Russ with pneumonia on January 16 during a house-call visit, he was admitted to the hospital. In late February, while still in Henry Mayo Hospital, when Barbara told Russ she was going to donate $10,000 in his name to the SCV Senior Center, Russ was too weak to talk, but approved the action with a smile. She made this announcement at the Senior Center's Celebrity Waiter Dinner.
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 of the Year nomination
It's time once again to nominate a member of our Zonta Club as Zontian of the Year.
Who has done an outstanding job this year? Who has gone above others?
The only requirement is a past Zontian of the Year cannot be nominated again.
Click on the button below to download the form.
Any questions, contact Sue Hayward
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!!
Zonta District 9 Confernce
Connie Worden-Robets 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
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
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
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
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 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 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 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.”
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.