During the 16 Days of Activism, the Zonta Club of Concord
- Donated $1,000 to the Sheila Stanley Fund at Women Kind Counseling to support a full round of counseling for a woman in crisis.
- Held our annual Holiday Auction fundraiser at which we got the word out about the 16 Days of Activism and our local projects to approximately 85 participants.
- We created a Zonta Club of Concord Says No poster, which was prominently displayed at our event as well as postcards to hand out to participants when they left.
- We also had our NAMA (New Americans Merit Award) recipient from last year speak at our event. She is a former refugee from Sudan—she and her family experienced violence and persecution. She is an inspiration and true testament to the spirit of resilience.
The Zonta Club of Concord kicked off the New Year with a renewed focus on fostering a teamwork environment among membership. A simple change in our seating arrangements at our business meeting from individual tables to one big table was the solution. Now, instead of having our backs to each other, we can all sit around the same table and see one another. This facilitates better conversation and camaraderie. We not only celebrated the New Year with party hats, but we also celebrated and honored Amelia Earhart. Origami folded airplanes were at each table setting. Lastly, we acknowledged International Human Trafficking Day as well and recounted information from a dynamic speaker who presented to us on the subject last November.
The Zonta Club of Concord celebrated a very successful ‘baby shower’ for the Baby Layette Project. Baby clothes, socks, hats, mittens, blankets, etc. collected from members and the community were brought to our business meeting and donated to the local hospital. The Baby Layette Project supports mothers, who may be of limited means, and their newborns to have a solid start in life. Our meeting room was decorated for the occasion with balloons and baby shower signs. We had a special baby shower cake for the event as well and members enjoyed some standard baby shower games! Additionally, several club members who have nursing backgrounds shared information and experience regarding birthing practices of other cultures—this added an international flair to the evening. Contributions received will make up 24 layettes. Karla Roth, Zontian and employee at the hospital notes, “It is especially significant that so many of the clothes were cold weather clothes that can be used right now during this very cold and challenging weather we are currently having. We never seem to have enough winter clothes but the baby shower came at just the right time so we are relieved that we can provide the suitable winter clothing that ZONTA members provided.”
In honor of International Women’s Day, the Zonta Club of Concord partnered with the World Affairs Council of NH for the screening of the documentary, Sepideh, at the local independent movie theater. The documentary features the true story of a young Iranian girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut and the challenges and successes she has in realizing her goal within the traditional norms of Iran. At the end of the film, Jeanne Gerulskis, the executive director of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, was the featured panelist who spoke about women and girls in the STEM fields. Before the film, the Zonta Club of Concord honored Terie Norelli, former Speaker of the NH House, with its 2nd annual Hall of Femme award. Ms. Norelli was recognized for her achievements in leadership and for her vast contributions to empowering NH women and girls. Approximately, 100+ people were in attendance. Our Club had a display table with information about Zonta, and we put together an international basket of assorted items that was raffled off.
The Zonta Club of Concord also conducted a Dough Raiser at Uno’s Restaurant at which we featured much information about the club as well as the international basket for raffle. The Dough Raiser and film/Hall of Femme event were cross-promoted.
At our business meeting on April 1st (no joke!), we honored 3 recipients of the Zonta Club of Concord’s New American Merit Award (NAMA). The NAMA winners and their guests joined us for dinner, and the recipients graced us with a few words about their backgrounds and educational goals for the future. The first place recipient received $1,000 and the two runners up each received $500.
Background: the Concord Club’s NAMA awards were created 3 years ago. At that time, a refugee student applied for the YWPA scholarship, but did not meet all of the criteria. The review committee was so impressed with her application and expressed a strong desire to offer an alternative award. The Club agreed and established the New American Merit Award to support female refugee students with their post-secondary educational goals.
Lastly, on April 21st, the Zonta Club of Concord is scheduled to conduct its Career Connect project at the high school. This project empowers young women with job readiness skills such as resume writing, dressing for success, and interviewing techniques. The 2.5-hour workshop targets approximately 15-20 students. This year, there is a strong push from the male students to participate, and the Club has gladly agreed to accommodate them. Our anticipated added impact is to show the young men the value of empowering young women.