Zonta Club offers community service

Zonta Club offers community service


The Zonta Club of Rockford is a local branch of a worldwide service organization of executives and professionals dedicated to advancing understanding, goodwill and peace with a commitment to improve the status of women. They do this through service activities and fundraising. The local club meets the second Wednesday of each month at Giovanni’s except for the months of July and December.

The fundraisers are twofold.

1. The Zonta Club of Rockford issues annually two educational scholarships, usually totaling $2,500. The 2001-2002 Scholarship recipients are Michelle Daly, Angela Wight and Amy McElmeel. Each receives a scholarship of $1,250.

2. They allocate donations to area charities. Area charities that Zonta of Rockford have assisted with donations of money and/or time include: Special Olympics (record keepers at the Spring Track & Field Games, serve meals at the annual Bowling Banquet and the Dinner Dance); W.A.V.E. (money, clothing, household items); Rockford Rescue Mission (money, food, household items).

Lori Johnson is the president of Zonta of Rockford, and Donna Thompson is vice president. The club consists of about 25 women in business and the professions. They meet once a month to form new friendships, network and help the community.

Membership in Zonta is by invitation, and their business or occupation classifies members. The goal is to maintain a membership representing a variety of classifications. To be nominated to join Zonta is an honor, but there are commitments required, such as monthly dinner cost, payment of dues, supporting fundraisers, attend meetings, give a few hours of community service each year, serve on a committee, uphold the Zonta ideals and support the international organization.

Zonta International is a worldwide service organization for business and professional persons.

Zontians volunteer more than 4 million service hours each year around the world and raise more than $1 million each year to benefit both local and international service projects.

In 1938, the Amelia Earhart Fellowship Fund was established to honor the memory of Earhart, whose only non-aviation affiliation was membership in Zonta. More than $2 million in fellowship grants have been awarded to qualified women for graduate study in aerospace sciences and related fields.

Zonta International service projects since 1956 have included providing food and shelter for European refugees; establishing a vocational and teacher-training center for women in Ramallah, Jordan; providing mobile pediatric clinics in Ghana, West Africa; improving the quality of life through the Pan-African Training Center; building four primary health care units in Colombia; providing pure water wells in Sri Lanka; crusading against the mutilation of the girl/child in Africa; and furthering education and training of women in many countries.

Zonta membership numbers 35,000 people in 71 countries around the world. District VI is one of 30 Zonta International districts. They represent more than 2,000 members in 44 clubs in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

Zonta is active in the work of the United Nations. They have had observers at sessions of the U.N. since its formation in 1946. Zonta’s international status with the U.N. has grown over the years.

Zontians work to improve the legal, political, economic and professional status of women, both locally and globally. The organization was founded in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1919 by nine groups of professional and business women dedicated to the ideal of service as a basis for world peace. With the formation of Zonta clubs in Canada, Austria and Germany in 1929-31, they became Zonta International.

The name Zonta is derived from the Sioux Indian words meaning “honest” and “trustworthy.”

For more information, contact your local Zonta Club of Rockford at (815) 282-0411.

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