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

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

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

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

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

Zonta Club holds September in-person meeting

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

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

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

Zonta Intl Convention Hamburg Germany July 2022

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

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

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

Zonta Installation 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zonta participates in Memorial Day 2022

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