I AM SO HUMBLED TO STAND BEFORE YOU AS YOUR ELECTED PRESIDENT.
Forty-five have come before me and they leave footprints that cannot be filled, but I will do my upmost to make certain that the Zonta Club of the Coos Bay Area continues to be the strong dynamic organization it is and continues to be recognized in our community as well as worldwide as the premier organization that makes a difference.
As most of you know but for our guests who may not be as familiar with our mission; Zonta International seeks to advance the status of women worldwide by improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local levels through service and advocacy.
We all have a voice and several of us like to be heard above the crowd….that is a good thing!! (Especially if the mic is not working at a meeting) These voices often speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves, who desperately need a voice, but are unable to be heard on their own.
Music is universal, and each of us has our favorite genre, and it unites all. Each decade has it’s identity in a certain style of music, and we have several decades represented in this room tonight. When I think of music I think of the memories associated with certain songs. The other day I said to our 13 year old grandson that a certain former American Idol singer reminded me of Rod Stewart…our grandson, who knows all kinds of music genres, said I’m sorry gram I don’t know who that is. I was crushed and reminded of where we all come from.
I am using the Acronym of SING because I love to sing and I love music, but the acronym means so much more than lifting our voices to song, it also means lifting our voices for SERVICE. To lend voice to those who don’t always have a voice in their lives. SERVICE IS NOW GIVEN…..With the generosity and collective action of Zontians and friends around the world, Zonta International supports projects in 46 countries, provide scholarships and awards to women around the globe, and is a powerful advocate for change in our local and international communities, thereby transforming the world and women's place in it. Whether it is women and children in an African county or young girls, women and young men being trafficked here in Coos County Oregon, we can be the voice for them and be of some service each day to help those in need.
Our Little Red Schoolhouse is a defining committee to our Zonta Club. We have been able to provide backpacks, school supplies and library books to the school children in Coos Bay and North Bend, giving a service that means so much to so many. Our Dress Your Best seminars have provided clothing, interview techniques, resume writing skills and hopefully overall confidence to women (and men) who need this service to become employable. Our Service of Money committee awarded grants and donations to 13 local organizations and non-profits at our December program meeting. These cash awards totaled over $17,000. Much service was rendered that day! This year I will be asking the Service of Time committee to track the hours given to local projects by our members. I think we will be pleasantly surprised how many hours each of us gives. Our 14th Annual Celebrity Dinner “Zonta Presents Mardi Graz” was very successful. When I knew it would be my charge, I have to admit I was silently terrorized. I just prayed I would make it through without having a heart attack. So much rides on this event, but I should have known that we all step up to the plate and it is not a one person show. I have always said the Celebrity Dinner is a “well-oiled machine” and this year was no exception. We were thrilled to net over $36,000 which will once again provide much service to those in need, locally and worldwide.
In closing, I must say thank you to my husband Ray for always encouraging me to spend time and $$ on service to my community through several avenues. He is such a good man and always my rock!!
Zonta International seeks to: improve the legal, political, economic, health, educational and professional status of women through service and advocacy; work for the advancement of understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of executives in business and the professions; promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; be united internationally to foster high ethical standards, implement service programs, and provide mutual support and fellowship for members who serve their communities, their nations, and the world.
Zontians are executives and professionals decision-making positions willing to contribute to improving the legal, political, educational, professional, economic and health status of women. Each club includes members from a variety of occupations and professions. To ensure professional diversity within each club, Zonta membership is by invitation.
Luncheon meetings are held on the first and third Fridays of each month at the Red Lion Hotel in Coos Bay, Oregon. To learn more about us and how you might join one of the strongest, most active service clubs promoting the advancement of women, come be our guest for lunch.