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CANCELLED Zonta LifeForward Workshop

| Community | March 13, 2020

Learn how to manage your money more effectively. Melanie Meyers, Wealth Adviser with Thrivent Financial, will help you determine “Where you are today and where you want to be with money matters.” She will provide tips, ideas and techniques to help develop a plan to master your money before it masters you. As life evolves and situations change, so must your money management planning and strategy change. Melanie will provide advice about how to improve credit scores and credit card do’s and don’ts. Information about saving and money investments- along with what you need to know before buying a home will be discussed. Zonta and Melanie will help you identify “Your Money Mindset” with take-aways that will help you start to achieve you money goals.

This free LifeForward workshop hosted by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is scheduled on Saturday March 21 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Valencia United Methodist Church, 25718 McBean Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91355.

Previous workshops in the series have helped attendees deal with anger management issues, select career options and pursue meaningful employment, relationships and communication, file taxes, deal with cyberbullying and internet issues, drug abuse, overcoming life’s challenges, and maintain healthy eating and exercise habits. Workshops are designed to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed, and be the powerful women or person they are meant to be.
Zonta offers the free LifeForward workshop series for women, usually on a monthly basis (dark during June, July and December), in collaboration with Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Program at Child & Family Center, Returning Women Veterans and Veterans’ Wives, and the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services serving foster youth. KHTS AM-1220 is a co-sponsor of the series with Zonta.

Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for individuals who are interested in a particular topic. Participants are not required to register in advance, but free childcare is available for those who register at least one week in advance with Single Mothers Outreach at (661) 288-0117. Spanish translation can be provided with advance request.

THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED

Zonta Club Of Santa Clarita Valley Requests Nominations For Women In Service Event

| Community | January 23, 2020

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is requesting nominations from local non-profit organizations who would like to have their outstanding volunteer contributions recognized at Zonta’s Women In Service Recognition Luncheon. The event will be held Saturday, May 2, 2020 at the Sand Canyon Club.

These volunteers contribute their time and expertise at local non-profit organizations which improve the lives of women and girls in the Santa Clarita Valley, and make our community a great place to live.

All nominees must be 16 years or older. Both the nominees and their organizations will be recognized for their services to the community as outstanding women volunteers and organizations.

Individuals can be re-nominated for their service if they have not received the Carmen Sarro Award for exceptional service and giving. Nomination forms and additional information are available at www.scvzonta.org.

Zonta Club’s Women in Service Nominations Due

| Community | January 17, 2020

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Women in Service nominations are due January 28th. These nominations are for outstanding women volunteers, 16 years or older, who provide services for local non-profit organizations that improve the lives of women and girls in the Santa Clarita Valley and make our community a great place to live. Individuals can be re-nominated if they have not received the Carmen Sarro Award for exceptional service and giving.

Women in Service Recognition Luncheon event to be held Saturday, May 2, 2020 at Sand Canyon Country Club. Nomination forms and additional information available at www.scvzonta.org.

Zonta Life Forward Workshop on November 16

| Community | October 31, 2019

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is hosting its free Life Forward workshop on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Valencia United Methodist Church, 25718 McBean Parkway, Santa Clarita. Workshop participants will learn to resolve conflict and reduce stress- skills that are especially important with the holidays approaching. Having too little time and too much to do can result in frustration, which can lead to angry outbursts and extreme feelings of stress. Mark Miller, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Founder-Executive Director of Emerge from Anger, will provide tips to manage daily frustration and emotions that arise from anger issues. Miller will present practical ways to cope with family conflict, challenging parenting situations and the stress that abounds during the holiday season. One participant of a previous workshop commented, “I have three children; I needed this.” Another said that the material “hit right home!”

Zonta offers the free Life Forward workshop series for women on a monthly basis, with the exception of June, July and December. The workshops are presented in collaboration with Single Mothers Outreach, the Domestic Violence Program at Child & Family Center, Returning Women Veterans and Veterans’ Wives and the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services serving foster mothers. KHTS AM-1220 is a co-sponsor of the series with Zonta. Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for individuals who are interested in a particular topic. Previous workshops in the series have covered a wide variety of topics, including managing money, exploring career options, navigating relationships, filing taxes and maintaining healthy habits. Whatever the topic, the aim of every workshop is to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed, and be the powerful women they are meant to be.

Participants are not required to register in advance, but free childcare is available for those who register at least one week prior to the event with Single Mothers Outreach at (661) 288-0117. Spanish translation can be provided with advance request.

“Dessert First” Centennial Event for Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley

| Entertainment | September 26, 2019

This year The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is having “Dessert First,” a Centennial event on November 8, 2019, Zonta International’s birthday. Join us as the club celebrates 100 years of empowering women with this extraordinary event. We will have a celebration with music, a silent auction, and let’s not forgot lots of desserts that pair with wine, beer and spirits.

Zonta International is a worldwide organization that has empowered women and girls through service and advocacy for 100 years. It was founded in 1919 in Buffalo, New York, by a group of forward-thinking women who were not satisfied with the predominantly social nature of many women’s organizations. Instead, Zonta’s founders envisioned a women’s service organization that would advocate for laws and policies that ensure gender equality and help every woman and girl realize her full potential. Through continuous engagement over almost 10 decades, Zonta International has become a respected and reliable agent of civil society. Zonta International is a non-governmental organization with general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Zonta International promotes and strives to protect the human rights of all women and girls and reduce the incidences of violence against them. Since 1923, Zonta has provided more than US $40.9 million to empower women and expand their access to education, health care, economic opportunities and safe living conditions. Zonta’s nearly 1,200 clubs support local and regional initiatives in 63 countries worldwide.

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley brings these elements of service, advocacy, and awareness of our international mission to life in ways that directly serve our community. Providing hands-on service delivery while funding the work, dreams, and goals of others to improve the lives of women. Our members find the right niche to meet their interests, time commitment, and financial support. Along the way, our community and world benefit from our efforts. We offer several scholarships and community grants to women and girls in the Santa Clarita Valley. Plus, we have many service projects to better the lives of women and girls; like “girl’s robotics” at the Boys and Girls Club and LifeForward, a monthly workshop to empower and provide self-sustainability to women.

Celebrate with the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, the centennial birthday of Zonta International.on November 8, 2019 starting at 6:30 PM, MERCEDES-BENZ OF VALENCIA, 23355 VALENCIA BLVD, VALENCIA, CA 91355

Tickets are $100 per person and available at scvzonta.org/dessert-

Zonta Lifeforward Workshop-September 21

| Community | September 12, 2019

A workshop to help participants understand issues impacting our youth and recognize symptoms and behaviors of alcohol and substance abuse is scheduled for the September 21st LifeForward workshop hosted by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. This free workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Valencia United Methodist Church, located at 25718 McBean Parkway.

Detective Bill Velek, a member of the Sheriff’s Department Juvenile Intervention Team since 2010, will focus on the use and abuse of narcotics by youth in the Santa Clarita Valley. His paraphernalia display is very enlightening and highlights the many ways that drugs can be hidden and used by our youth. Bob Sharits, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, will share symptoms, understanding and how to obtain help with alcohol/drug abuse and self-harm. The dangers of nicotine and E-cigarettes (vaping), and opioid narcotics fentanyl and oxycoton will be discussed.

Previous workshops in the series have helped attendees understand elements of managing money, select career options and pursue meaningful employment, deal with anger management, relationships and communication, file taxes, deal with cyber bullying and internet issues, overcoming life’s challenges and maintaining healthy eating and exercise habits. Workshops are designed to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed and be the powerful person they are meant to be.

Zonta offers the free LifeForward workshop series for women, usually on a monthly basis (dark during June, July and December), in collaboration with Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Program at Child & Family Center, Returning Women Veterans and Veterans’ Wives and the Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services serving foster mothers. KHTS AM-1220 is a co-sponsor of the series with Zonta.

Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for individuals who are interested in a particular topic. Participants are not required to register in advance, but free childcare is available for those who register at least one week in advance with Single Mothers Outreach at (661) 288-0117. Spanish translation can be provided with advance request.

Join us on Saturday, September 21st for this educational and informative workshop about issues that impact our youth. All are welcome.

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Presents LUNAFEST: Short Films By, For, About Women®

| Community | August 22, 2019

LUNAFEST, a unique fundraising film festival of eight thought provoking films, will be screened at the Canyon Theater Guild on September 13, 2019. Hosted by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, these films highlight women as leaders in society, illustrated by women filmmakers. The subjects range from animation to fictional drama, and cover topics such as women’s health, body image, relationships, cultural diversity and breaking barriers.

A brief synopsis of four intriguing films that will be screened during the film festival is presented below:

1: What is life as a black girl in South Los Angeles (LA) like? War Paint – one of eight short films that will be presented – paints a stark picture about what life is like for young black girls in South LA. War Paint is a dramatic film which depicts the harsh reality of two girls trying to celebrate the 4th of July in the urban LA area. “The film projects a view into unjust racism and sexism, further worsened as the girls become branded by guilt by association. While most children can innocently follow their hearts, in this poignant short film, viewers see the consequences these girlfriends experience by not heeding their parents’ advice and thus end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A native of LA, Katrelle Kindred is an award-winning director, writer and producer having completed her graduate studies in Film Production at USC. She would like to continue creating honest stories that focus on global-social issues and people unheard.

2: Are you a good parent? Do you know how to talk to your children and be supportive of their choices? Do you know the right thing to say and do to make sure your kids know you love and accept them? The upcoming film Are We Good Parents? hilariously shows how one set of parents try their best to be understanding of their daughter. In today’s challenging social climate, the parents featured in this short firm are so anxious to accept their child’s choices that their behaviors become absolutely ridiculous. Join in the laughter and enjoy the film, Are We Good Parents? Creator, Bola Ogun, is first generation Nigerian-American and is currently based in Los Angeles. The film won top awards at AT&T’s SHAPE Event.

3: Flip The Record portrays a teen, Vanessa, who is sick of being artistically constrained in her conservative Filipino-American family. Vanessa is bored with her dull piano lessons. What she really dreams about is getting into the exciting beat of the San Francisco pulsing hip-hop scene of the 1980’s, like her brother and his friends. She has the vision and the desire to be a music disc jockey (DJ), like her brother. The creator, Marie Jamora, is an award-winning filmmaker from Manila, Philippines who began her career directing commercials for names such as Coca-Cola, Colgate and Gillette. The film asks, “How can she break into the Bay-area mobile DJ scene, with her brother blocking her from scratching vinyl records on his turntable?” Join us to find out Can she Flip The Record and find her groove?

4: Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday – created by Jackie Files, a 2018 California Institute of the Arts’ graduate and her senior film – features a young woman who finds her old diaries while moving out of her childhood bedroom and learns to make peace with herself! Nostalgic and reflective.

You are invited to experience these and other compelling short films at the upcoming 2019 LUNAFEST screening. LUNAFEST is a one-night only local event and is shown to audiences nationwide; the films spotlight cultural issues being faced by women in today’s society.

Established in 2000 by LUNA, makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, LUNAFEST connects women, their stories and causes through film. A portion of the proceeds from these films help support Chicken & Egg Pictures, a nonprofit organization that supports women nonfiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change. The remaining proceeds are used to support Zonta Club’s scholarships, grants, programs and projects that are designed to empower women and girls.

Join us on September 13, 2019 at Canyon Theater Guild, 24242 Main Street in Newhall and learn more about these four films and four other films that will be screened – a total of eight tantalizing films! Reception time 5:45pm VIP; 6:30pm general admission. 7:00 pm showing of eight LUNAFEST featured films. Purchase your tickets now. VIP $45 or general admission $25 available at www.scvzonta.org.

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Awards First Women in Technology Scholarship

| Community | August 22, 2019

Ivonne Lopez, a student at College of the Canyons (COC), was awarded a $1,500 Women in Technology Scholarship, the first of its kind offered by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley and Zonta International (ZI). The world economy, industry and sciences are becoming increasingly digitized, and these developments are disrupting society and familiar social processes. Women, however, are still largely underrepresented in technology fields. To create a world in which men and women have equal opportunities, women need to have an active role in technology and technological developments. Zonta International offered this year, its new Zonta International Women in Technology Scholarship to encourage women to pursue education, career opportunities and leadership roles in technology.

Ivonne’s educational goals are to obtain her accredited associates degree from COC and pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science. She states that she has “structured her professional goals to be organic and flexible to change.” She wants to be involved with a number of projects that aim to combat climate change and accumulate the knowledge necessary to follow the most efficient path in truly making a difference with a life goal to combat climate change.

Ivonne plans to develop software for the public education of energy consumption, develop robust predictive software using machine learning, help develop more customized software for collaborative research, and use data analytics to optimize the efficiency of sustainable energies such as wind, tidal, geothermal, solar, nuclear, etc. The algorithms are limitless!

A recipient of several prior scholarships, Ivonne is Secretary for the Master Engineering Science Association and she is starting a campus club that will serve to help others through fundraising to help girls obtain an education in underdeveloped countries.

Zonta Club is proud to honor this vivacious young woman with this scholarship to assist her as she journeys through obtaining her education and life’s goals. Ivonne’s application will be forward to Zonta District 9 for consideration of $2,000 and a potential $8,000 award from Zonta International – a total of $11,500.

For more information about Zonta, go to www.scvzonta.org.

Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women

| Community | August 2, 2019

The community now has awareness of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) and Zonta International (ZI) initiative to address violence against women locally and worldwide. Zontians walked in the 4th of July parade through downtown Newhall and Valencia as they chanted “Zonta says No to Violence Against Women!” They were followed by the upcoming 2020 Zonta International President – Sharon Langenbeck –riding in a vintage Ford Mustang and Zontians riding in the balloon and banner decorated City Trolley.

The crown waved, cheered and raised ‘thumbs-up’ to our message of awareness about stopping “violence against women” worldwide. “Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women” was launched in 2012 by ZI to raise awareness of the issue; the campaign has evolved to address human trafficking, one of the most widespread human right’s violations in the world. Ending Child Marriage is a ZI project designed to promote local and national governments and community commitment in 12 countries that will change attitudes to hopefully end child, early and forced marriage – one of the worst obstacles girls are facing globally and a severe human right’s violation.

Locally, the Zonta Club strives to empower women through service and advocacy. LifeForward Workshops, Stemming the Tide of Human Trafficking, Domestic Court Advocacy and Girls’ Robotics programs are designed to assist women and girls in the community. Scholarships help women who strive for further education and Grants help organizations with projects that improve the lives of women.

For information about Zonta go to www.zontascv.org or call Phyllis Walker at 661-251-1172.

Learn About Spousal Support, Child Custody and Child Support at Zonta’s Lifeforward Workshop

| Community | May 16, 2019

A workshop to help participants with important concerns regarding divorce and family law issues is scheduled for the May LifeForward workshop hosted by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. This free workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the Child & Development Center Education Building, located at 21545 Center Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita.

Al Lustgarten, Esq., a local family law practitioner, will present the workshop designed to help participants understand and learn about rights during a divorce and after a divorce is final – including spousal support and modification, child custody and modification and child support and modification. Any clarifications about the divorce process or obligations of the parties involved can be provided.

Previous workshops in the series have helped attendees understand elements of managing money, select career options and pursue meaningful employment, deal with anger management, relationships and communication, file taxes, deal with drug and cyber bullying issues, overcoming life’s challenges, and maintain healthy eating and exercise habits. Workshops are designed to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed, and be the powerful women they are meant to be.

Zonta offers the free LifeForward workshop series for women, usually on a monthly basis (excluding June, July and December), in collaboration with Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Program at Child & Family Center, Returning Women Veterans and Veterans’ Wives, and the Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services serving foster mothers. KHTS AM-1220 is a co-sponsor of the series with Zonta. All are welcome.

Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for women who are interested in a particular topic. Pre-registration is not required, but those who wish to hold a space for the more popular workshops or obtain further information on the upcoming workshop can call Single Mothers Outreach at (661) 288-0117.

Sierra Pelona Wine Festival to Benefit Zonta Club of Santa Clarita

| Entertainment | March 28, 2019

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

On Saturday, April 6, Reyes Winery will hold its 7th annual Sierra Pelona Vintners Wine Festival, which will benefit the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. Last year, over 700 people from all over Southern California attended. This year, more than 1,000 guests are expected to attend.

This year’s event will feature local wineries, breweries, cider makers, and plenty of non-alcoholic beverages. There will be local artists, chefs, bakers, plus many artisans showing handmade crafts. One of the rules for our event is that everything is handmade locally, so our guests can meet the chef, winemaker, brew-master or artist.

The Zonta Club of the SCV is a 501c3 service organization that empowers both local and international women. The event will raise money for Zonta projects and scholarships such as:

“LifeForward” is a series of workshops that concentrate on topics useful to women of various ages and interests.
“Girls Robotics” is a STEM program for girls. For 11 years, Zonta has partnered with the Girls and Boys Club of the SCV to work with girls to build and program Lego Mindstorm robots.
“Zonta says NO” is a campaign to educate and raise awareness of domestic violence within our community. Every November, for “Sixteen Days of Advocacy,” seven red dresses are hung at different locations throughout the SCV. Each dress symbolizes a local woman whose life was lost to domestic violence.
Last year, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita partnered with “Fostering Youth Independence,” a local organization that ensures every youth leaving the foster care system feels safe, connected and loved.

Zonta also gives out scholarships to girls and women within the community. On May 9 at the Annual Awards event, scholarships for the “Virginia Wrage Memorial Fund” will be presented, along with Community Grants. Zonta International scholarships that will be awarded locally are “Jane M Klausman” and “Young Women in Public Affairs.” On the International level, an “Amelia Earhart Fellowship” is given to PhD candidates in science. One of our members, Dr. Sharon Langenbeck – the current Zonta International President Elect – was awarded the Amelia Earhart Fellowship twice.
For more information about Zonta, visit https://www.scvzonta.org.

The sponsors for the Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival include: Aquafina and Pepsi, Mercedes-Benz of Valencia, California Bank and Trust, Reyes Winery, Pour d’Vino, Audiology & Associates, Cobalt Realty, The Tuesday Coffee Club, and Farmers Insurance. Media sponsors are KHTS Radio, Inside SCV, the Santa Clarita Gazette, the SCV Signal, and Santa Clarita Magazine. Numerous private donors contribute as well.

Free Zonta Workshop to Cover Diet, Exercise – RSVP a week in advance for free childcare

| Community | April 12, 2018

Every month, the Zonta Club of SCV hosts a LifeForward Workshop to contribute to the quality of life for local women. This month’s topic centers on physical wellness, including a panel of presenters with expertise in dietary quality and exercise physiology.

Women will learn to better manage their health through the LifeForward Workshop on Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The free women’s workshop, hosted by the Zonta Club, will take place at Savia Community Center, 23780 Newhall Avenue in Newhall. The workshop will be a panel presentation dealing with healthy eating, becoming fit, and the fun of exercise to music.

Presenters will be McKenzie Hall Jones, a registered dietician nutritionist; Rich Enriquez, a fitness movement specialist; and Michelle Jones, certified Zumba instructor. Hall Jones is with the firm Wild Hive, a company specializing in agriculture, food and lifestyle marketing. Enriquez maintains a private studio available for the Fit ‘N Run personal training program, and Jones is a Zumba instructor with 24 Hour Fitness.
The workshop will help participants understand how fitness promotes vitality, introduces exercises that participants can do at home, and teaches participants how to move muscles and have fun through dance and music. Presenters also will explain how to keep the body fueled properly, describe what foods help maintain heart and diabetic health, teach how to prepare delicious, heart-healthy and diabetic food, and allow participants to enjoy food and socialize.

Participants are not required to register in advance, but free childcare is available through Single Mothers Outreach for women who register at least one week in advance at (661) 288-0117 or online at www.singlemothersoutreach.org. Spanish translation also can be provided with advance request. The topic is expected to be a critical one for women who are concerned about health and eating right.

Previous workshops in the series have helped women select career options and pursue meaningful employment, work on goal-setting and time management, deal with anger management, set budgets, deal with drug and cyber bullying issues, establish a career path and get a job, understand and file taxes, and go after financial support after a divorce. Workshops are designed to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed, and be the powerful women they are meant to be!

Zonta offers the free LifeForward workshops, usually on a monthly basis (although the series is dark during July and December), in collaboration with Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Center, Returning Women Veterans and Veterans’ Wives, and the Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services serving foster mothers.

Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for women who are interested in a particular topic. Pre-registration is not required for those who simply wish to attend a workshop, but those who wish to hold a space for the more popular workshops, arrange for childcare or obtain further information on the upcoming workshop, can call (661) 288-0117.

Zonta’s LifeForward Workshop About Money

| Community | March 9, 2018

Mastering money is the topic of the next LifeForward Workshop for Women presented by the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. The free workshop is scheduled for March 17, 2018 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Savia Community Center, located at 23780 Newhall Avenue in Newhall. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The speaker is Patti Handy, a certified life coach and mortgage expert in the California real estate market, with more than 30 years in the banking industry. Her presentation is entitled “Money Rules 101 – Master Your Money Before It Masters You! – What is Your Money Mindset?” Handy says she is passionate about empowering the next generation and those starting over to lead a prosperous and generous life.

The workshop will help participants master their finances by identifying: where you are today and where you want to be; discovering your ‘why’; improving your credit score; credit card do’s and don’ts – the power of compounding interest; saving tips; basic investment options; and what you need to know before buying a home.

Zonta Club of SCV offers these workshop series for women on a monthly basis (except for July and December) and are presented by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The SME speakers cover topics such as: Empower Your Children—Effective Parenting; Anger Management; Develop Good Relationship Behaviors; Issues that Impact Our Youth—Drugs, Alcohol & Self-Harm; Filing Taxes; Career Strategy, Resume Building and Networking; Mastering Money; Health & Well Being—Eat Right & Exercise; plus Motivational Skills and Divorce and Family Law Issues. Each workshop is designed to empower women and improve self-sufficiency skills.

The following are take-away comments from attendees: The “a-ha” moments are unforgettable; Workshops are life-changing and make a difference; Very beneficial—life is a great struggle; Valuable insight & specifics about taxes so helpful; Nutrition & exercise for weight loss were amazing – the exercise sheets were a huge help and visual aids on nutrition were great; and It’s possible to have a common agreement for an amicable divorce.

The non-profit Zonta Club strives to provide workshops that are always informative, interesting and relevant to the world today. Individuals may attend one or all workshops. Recognition Awards will be presented at the May 2018 workshop to those who attend five of eight workshops offered from August 19, 2017 through April 28, 2018.

Free childcare is available through Single Mothers Outreach for women who register one week in advance at www.singlemothersoutreach.org or call 661-288-0117 for arrangements.

Zonta Fundraiser ‘Night at the Races’ Feb. 17, 2018

| Community | February 8, 2018

The signature fundraiser for Zonta Club of SCV is coming up and community members are welcome to attend. “Night at the Races” will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Elks Lodge in Canyon Country. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at the lodge, 17766 Sierra Highway. Invitations are open to Elks and Zonta club members, friends, family members and guests.

The $25-per-person admission includes a buffet supper, races and prizes for best decorated table and winning number of chips at the end of the evening. Races are “run” by volunteers “mounted” on decorated stick horses, who move along a numbered course according to the throw of giant foam dice.

Table reservations are $250 for a table of eight guests, including wine and reserved table perks. Proceeds will support Zonta’s Conference Account, which helps defray the cost of member registration at Zonta’s District 9 Conference, which is held in October every other year. Payment and RSVP can be mailed to: Darleen Lyons, 22054 Parvin Dr., Santa Clarita, CA 91350.

Zonta Celebrates Amelia Earhart Month

| Community | January 15, 2018

Zonta International has celebrated the life of famed aviator Amelia Earhart since the first half of the 20th century. The month of January is Amelia Earhart Month and the local Zonta Club is making the public aware of opportunities for women in aerospace related industries.

January 11 is designated as Amelia Earhart Day in recognition of the day Amelia began her solo trip from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California. The flight made her the first person to fly to the United States mainland from Hawaii. Since she had flown over the Atlantic Ocean five years earlier, it also made her the first person to fly across both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. 

Fellowship Description
Zonta International awards Amelia Earhart Fellowships to women who excel in aerospace-related sciences and engineering in an effort to carry out its mission that women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men.

The $10,000 fellowship was established in 1938 and is awarded annually to up to 30 women pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering. It may be used at any university or college offering accredited post-graduate courses and degrees in these fields.

Since the program’s inception Zonta has awarded 1,543 Amelia Earhart Fellowships, totaling more than $9.7 million to women representing 72 countries. Fellows have gone on to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, astronomers, professors, geologists, business owners, heads of companies, and even Secretary of the U.S. Air Force.

Eligibility
Women of any nationality pursuing a doctoral degree who demonstrate a superior academic record in the field of aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering are eligible. Students must be registered in a full-time Ph.D./doctoral program and completed at least one year of that program or have received a master’s degree in an aerospace-related field at the time the application is submitted. Post-doctoral research programs are not eligible for the Fellowship and members or employees of Zonta International are not eligible to apply. In addition, previous Amelia Earhart Fellows are not eligible to apply to renew the Fellowship for a second year.

Amelia Earhart Fellowships are made possible by contributions to the Zonta International Foundation Amelia Earhart Fellowship Fund. For more information about next year’s Fellowship program, call 661-252-9351 or email info@scvzonta.org.

Zonta Presents Awards to Grant and Scholarship Winners

| Community | May 19, 2017

More than $16,000 was awarded last week to local women and non-profit groups at an annual event hosted by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. Club members gathered at the Embassy Suites in Valencia with recipients, who were chosen by committees based on applications received.

Clarissa Michael, a 19-year-old Canyon High School graduate and College of the Canyons student, received the 2017 Jane M. Klausman award, presented by committee co-chairs Cheryl Wasserman and Karla Edwards. Michael is headed to Loyola Marymount University in the fall, where she will earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting in two years. She is taking an accelerated three-year program at LMU, which places her on track to earn a master’s degree and become a Certified Public Accountant. She currently works as a bookkeeper for a Santa Clarita business and hopes to accept an internship in a “Big 4” firm once she completes her studies. Clarissa received $2,000 from the local Zonta Club, and her application has been forwarded to District 9, where she could win an additional $1,000. The district winner’s application will go on to Zonta International, where 12 women will be chosen to win an additional $7,000.

Zonta member Phyllis Walker, 2016 JMK Committee chair, recognized Marianne Gaviara, last year’s Klausman winner, for also winning the District 9 award.

Co-chairs Gloria Mercado Fortine and Mary Ann Dortch presented the Young Women in Public Affairs awards.

Five local women who have faced life-changing situations will share $7,000 in Virginia Wrage Memorial Scholarship grants. Virginia Wrage Committee co-chairs Barbara S. Cochran and Jaci Hoffman joined Randy Wrage, son of the program’s namesake, in presenting the awards to Lisette Ferguson, Jennifer Campbell, Jennifer Kennedy, Kelly Ongle and Annelie, who chooses to use just her first name.

The Virginia Wrage Memorial Scholarship is named for a former Zonta member who re-started her life as a flight attendant in her 50s and followed her dream for several years before succumbing to cancer. The club developed the memorial scholarship program in her name shortly thereafter and has maintained it every year since her death.

Lisette Ferguson became a single mother two years ago after leaving an abusive marriage. Finishing school became imperative for the Stevenson Ranch resident. When she obtains her business degree from National University in March 2019, she will work to become a certified fraud examiner. She hopes eventually to work for the FBI and then run her own business. She will use her scholarship to help cover a school loan.

Jennifer Campbell is a Castaic resident and single mother who enrolled at College of the Canyons to become a registered nurse. Last year she was diagnosed with Chiari malformation type 1, a congenital defect that went undiagnosed until then. Due to complications from subsequent surgeries and the disease itself, Jennifer suffers regularly from headaches, hearing loss and tinnitus. There is no cure for her condition, but she perseveres so that she can set a good example for her four-year-old son. She plans to purchase school supplies and books with her Zonta scholarship.

Valencia resident Jennifer Kennedy believes that surviving breast cancer two times has made her a better person. Now she can serve others and understand exactly what they are going through. She was 32 years old when she first heard the devastating news, and more than two decades later, she received the diagnosis again. Jennifer turned her pain into her passion and created Footprints in Pink, a resource for women, caretakers and families going through breast cancer. Footprints in Pink offers its free services locally and nationally to all patients, helping them find free products and financial resources and deal with other aspects that affect them and their families. Her Zonta scholarship will allow her to expand her services to aid more breast cancer victims and their families.

Ongle’s life-altering experience began at age 20, when her son suffered a stroke in utero, leaving him gravely disabled for life. In 2009, she gave birth to another child, who was diagnosed with autism. A resident of Valencia, Kelly has returned to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with an emphasis in special education. The scholarship will help pay for her studies at the University of Laverne. She expects to graduate in 2019, although she would eventually like to earn a Ph.D. in special education.

Canyon Country resident Annelie, who prefers not to use her last name, developed a passion for flying in junior high school, but life took her on an extended plan to achieve that dream. In July 2016, she passed the written FAA test and flew her first solo flight two months later. While working 30 hours each week and homeschooling four daughters, Annelie manages to attend Glendale Community College and volunteer in the community. With her scholarship, she will begin her second phase of pilot training, after obtaining her private pilot license. Her eventual goal is to become a commercial airline pilot.

Four local young women are sharing $4,000 in scholarships offered by the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. Mary Gooneratne received the Young Women in Public Affairs Award locally and her application has been forwarded to Zonta’s District 9 for further competition. In addition, Joyce Kim and Sabrina Pin accepted cash awards as runners-up in the YWIPA competition locally.

The top Young Women in Public Affairs award was granted to Gooneratne, a senior at William S. Hart High School. She expressed a desire to work in government and hopes to use a college education to pursue a cybersecurity-oriented career with the National Security Agency. Her dream is eventually to enroll in law school and then direct her cybersecurity career toward foreign intelligence and policy.

Ranking at the top of her class academically, Mary served as president of her high school speech and debate team for two years and as vice president of the Key Club. She was an active volunteer in the last presidential election campaign and personally helped raise thousands of dollars for her candidate. She is concerned about issues that impact women, such as equal pay, forced marriages, female genital mutilation and female literacy around the world. She received $1,000 as the local winner and is eligible for another $1,000 if she is selected as the District 9 winner. That winner will go on to international competition, where 10 young women will receive $4,000 each.

Runner-up Joyce Kim is a senior at Golden Valley High School, where she is studying international relations and political science. She aspires to become a diplomat or ambassador. As yearbook editor-in-chief, she instituted a cultural spread, interviewing students from different countries and highlighting their cultures and traditions. She worked on a Santa Clarita City Council election campaign and was happy to see a woman running for higher office.

Hart High School senior Sabrina Pin is also a runner-up. She is interested in pursuing a career in public service or politics, and hopes to obtain a law degree. She intends to study public policy with a minor in computer science at Duke University. Throughout her high school years, she has been involved in Associated Student Body, California Girls State, swim, and the speech and debate team. She also was involved with the California YMCA Youth and Government, a model legislature and court program. In her junior year, she interned for a State Assemblyman, listening and responding to constituent concerns. Sabrina’s involvement in speech and debate, particularly in Public Forum debate, has sparked her interest in international relations. She has debated everything from foreign involvement in Iran to development aid in sub-Saharan Africa.

Four non-profit agencies dedicated to serving the Santa Clarita Valley are sharing $5,500 in Community Grants. Award checks were presented by committee co-chairs Suzie Alziebler and Judy Penman to William S. Hart (WISH) Foundation, Domestic Violence Center, SCV Senior Center and College of the Canyons Foundation.

Zonta’s mission is improving the lives of women and girls through service, advocacy and awareness, and successful grant writers focused on specific programs that meets those goals.

The WISH Foundation grant will help fund a proposed Girls Who Code Club at Rio Norte Junior High School, aiming to advance the academic and economic status of young women by encouraging them to enroll in computer science courses at the high school and college levels and eventually pursue computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.

The Domestic Violence Center will use its grant to support its local shelter for victims of domestic violence and their families. The center has been servicing the local community for 12 years and is in much need of repairs and maintenance. The grant will go toward materials needed to modernize the kitchen and give it a much-needed renovation to make the room a welcoming area for women and children to fix their meals and gather in an positive environment.

The SCV Senior Center grant will be used to create an “Empowering Senior Women” workshop series. In three separate seminars, experts in the field of aging will provide comprehensive, leading-edge information, resources and support to senior women to give them tools to become proactive and maintain good physical and mental health.

College of the Canyons Foundation will use its grant to establish a domestic violence advocates training project. The goal of the program is to train 12 COC students to become domestic violence advocates, who will use their training to provide service back to the SCV Domestic Violence Center. They will also design action plans and devise strategies to inform others of this issue and how to confront it. Once trained, these 12 young women will serve as campus mentors to educate others to the signs, dangers and effects of domestic violence.

Zonta Sponsors Lunafest on May 11

| Community | May 4, 2017

All eyes are on women at the Zonta Club’s annual Lunafest, and this year’s festival features nine short films by, for and about women. On Thursday, May 11 from 6-9 p.m. a screening of the films will be held at the Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 Main Street in Newhall.

“These films will compel discussion, make you laugh, tug at your heartstrings and motivate you to make a difference in your community,” said event co-chair Sue Hayward. “They are incredibly diverse in style and content.”

The screening includes: “Another Kind of Girl,” following the life of a 17-year-old girl who meditates on how her refugee camp has opened up new horizons and given her a sense of courage that she lacked in Syria; “Family Tale,” redefining the meaning of family through love, loss and determination; “Free to Laugh,” a documentary that explores the power of comedy after prison; “Join the Club,” which deals with a writer’s dilemma of whether or not to join a networking club, as the issue unfolds during one therapy session; “Ninera,” a story that looks at the bitter irony many nannies face: raising the children of strangers for a living while their own children are virtually left to raise themselves.

Other films include: “Nikosi Coiffure,” in which a woman escapes into a hair salon in Brussels after a fight with her boyfriend in the street; “Partners,” where professional and life partners confront how intertwined their lives have become; “The Honeys and the Bears,” in which members of a synchronized swim team for seniors describe the freedom of the water; and “The Third Dad,” about a daughter, 10 years after breaking all ties with her father, sets out to find his grave – and redemption.

For $10, guests will be able to purchase one of a limited 300 tickets for an opportunity drawing that will be held at the event (winners do not need to be present to win). Committee members are still assembling a list of prizes for the drawing, but already have completed 13 baskets, some worth over $500. Raffle tickets are $10 each or three for $25 and can be purchased online or from individual committee members.

This will be the seventh time that the local Zonta Club has been a Lunafest host, and the number of guests increases each year as word spreads throughout the community, according to event co-chair Barbara Meyer. In addition to supporting Zonta’s local and international service projects, Lunafest has raised more than $1.2 million for the Breast Cancer Fund, the event’s main beneficiary, and for other women’s non-profit organizations.

Lunafest is a nationwide film festival which features short films by, for, and about women. It was conceived by the creator of LUNA Bar, Kit Crawford. Kit was diagnosed with breast cancer and throughout her fight appreciated enormously the support she received from the Breast Cancer Fund. Now a proud survivor in the fight against breast cancer, she wanted to give back to the Breast Cancer Fund while highlighting women’s issues and celebrating their strength.

Lunafest, established in 2000 by LUNA, makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, connects women, their stories and causes through film. A portion of the proceeds from these films help support The Breast Cancer Fund, which is dedicated to eliminating the environmental causes of breast cancer affecting one in eight women. The remaining proceeds from this event are used to support Zonta Club’s programs and projects to improve the lives of women locally and on an international level.

Admission of $45 includes the film screening, pre-screening patio reception with appetizers and one glass of wine, and movie-type snacks. Guests also will receive a swag bag loaded with gifts from local merchants and service providers.

Guests can purchase electronic tickets and raffle tickets for this year’s event, available at www.scvzonta.org by clicking on Events, and then Lunafest. Tickets and raffle tickets can also be purchased in person from Zonta Lunafest Committee members.

Robinson Ranch is Venue for Zonta’s Women in Service Awards

| Canyon Country Magazine | March 15, 2017

Canyon Country is well represented this year at the Zonta Club’s annual Women in Service Celebration. Two nominees are residents on this side of the Santa Clarita Valley, and so is the event location: Robinson Ranch Golf Clubhouse.

Olive Bruins and Janice Murray are two of the 21 community volunteers who have been nominated by local non-profit organizations to be honored at the event. Friends and members of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley will gather on Saturday, April 8 for a buffet brunch, and tickets are available for members of the public as well.

The first 50-year member of the Santa Clarita Valley AAUW (American Association of University Women), Olive “Olly” Bruins has actually been in the non-profit longer than that.

“At University of Maine our dean of women was on the national board of AAUW,” Bruins explained. “When we became seniors she made sure we all got a card to AAUW. … Eventually, I had it in the back of my mind. When I moved to Whittier they had a branch, so I joined.”

After graduation, Bruins taught first in Maine, and then in New York State. When she visited a former classmate in California, she liked it so much she applied for a job – and got it. After teaching in Bellflower and Norwalk, she moved to Santa Clarita and became an instructor at Arroyo Seco Junior High School until a position opened at the high school level. Bruins retired from the English department at Saugus High School after approximately a decade and a half.

At the local chapter of AAUW, she held various positions, including vice-president in charge of membership and was corresponding secretary at least 10 years. “I don’t know how many times I’ve done hospitality,” she said. “I helped out wherever I could.”

Her teaching career kept her busy, but she still found time to contribute. “I believe in everything (AAUW) does because, of course, it’s a very strong advocate for women and girls, and for equality,” Bruins said. “One of the outstanding things we do is to send girls to Tech Trek – that’s such a wonderful program. They go away to various colleges and universities for a week for a program that introduces them to science and math. … And we are, of course, hoping they move into those areas, because let’s face it, that’s where the jobs are.”

Olive Bruins

Janice Murray was nominated for the award by Circle of Hope, a charity dedicated to providing emotional, financial and educational support to those diagnosed with cancer in the Santa Clarita Valley. Murray serves on the executive board of COH.

“My mother and older sister who survived breast cancer are my motivation,” Murray said, “(and) my passion for helping women going through their battle with cancer.”

Working as host of “Non-Profit Spotlight” on KHTS AM-1220, Murray interfaces regularly with many of the charities she has been involved with as a volunteer. She was active at the Canyon Country Pinecrest School for more than eight years, which included chairing the auction/raffle during the Fall Festival, and managing the collection and accounting of all monies for the American Heart Association’s Jump For Heart and Hoops for Heart campaigns.

At Sulphur Springs Community School she read Dr. Seuss stories to first graders during the Read Across America campaign, and she was one of the founding members of the Community Advisory Committee for the development of the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus, where she is still active.

“My parents and my Catholic upbringing drives my volunteerism!” Murray said. “My family of seven grew up in Watts, and my parents put five children through Catholic school on one salary! I always saw them helping out (and) volunteering at the school (and) church. I grew up with the understanding that we were very blessed and should help others less fortunate than ourselves.”

This is Murray’s first time nominated for the Women in Service award. “I feel so very honored to be among such a group of women much more deserving than me!” she said.

In addition to brunch, the event includes prize drawings, a marketplace featuring vendors whose merchandise supports women’s causes, and presentation of all 21 nominees and their nominating organizations. At the end of the program one of the honorees will be named the 2017 Carmen Sarro Community Service Award winner, representing outstanding service to her organization, to the community as a whole, and to Zonta’s goal of improving the lives of women and girls. The award is named for the late Carmen Sarro, a longtime Zonta member whose wide range of community service epitomized the well-rounded community volunteer.

Janice Murray

Tickets to the event are $45 per person if postmarked and paid before March 20, and $50 thereafter; March 27 is the final reservation deadline. Actual nominees are guests of Zonta. Payment can be made online at www.scvzonta.org/women-in-service or by a check made payable to Zonta Club of SCV Foundation and mailed to event co-chair Mary Ree at the address on the reservation form.

Non Profit of the Week – Zonta Club of SCV

| SC Living | January 27, 2017

Zonta Club of SCV is part of a world-wide organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, locally and around the world. The local club is proud that former club president Dianne Curtis is a past president of the Zonta International organization. A current club member, Sharon Langenbeck, is currently an international vice president and a potential international president for a future biennium. Langenbeck is a two-time recipient of Zonta International’s Amelia Earhart Fellowship, a fund which supports women studying for leadership in the aeronautics and space disciplines.

Zonta’s local projects include LifeForward workshops, a series of free workshops for local women to encourage them to be the powerful women they were meant to be. The group has a Girls’ Robotics program in conjunction with the SCV Boys & Girls Club, which encourages teen and pre-teen girls to take an interest in the science, mathematics, engineering and technology fields. The non-profit also contributes through Community Service Grants, which go to local organizations to support their own projects devoted to improving the lives of women and girls. The club awards Women in Business scholarships to women pursuing advanced degrees in the business field, and Young Women in Public Affairs scholarships to young women attending local high schools or colleges who have shown outstanding leadership in public affairs and are likely to enter careers in that field.

In honor of former Zontian Virginia Wrage, the club offers grants to mature women who are facing a major change in life and need support to gain their independence. The club also has organized and trained a team of domestic violence advocates who can help write temporary retraining order requests and offer support to women who are facing the specter of domestic violence. Club members staffed a traveling Red Dress display last month commemorating the seven local women who have died because of domestic violence in recent years.

The local club’s two major fundraisers include the annual Tribute to Women dinner, which celebrates a successful local woman who is a leader in her field; and LUNAFEST, a women’s short film festival featuring films by, for and about women. Zonta also sponsors the annual Women in Service Celebration, which honors women who are nominated by other local non-profits as outstanding volunteers who are making an impact on women’s lives through their volunteer leadership. The top nominee receives the Carmen Sarro Award, which salutes longtime community volunteer and Zonta member, the late Carmen Sarro.

Zonta Club of SCV currently is approaching the 70-member mark and is growing rapidly. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at the Embassy Suites in Valencia. Further information on the club, projects and its membership requirements is available at www.scvzonta.org.

Zonta Workshop Tackles Youth Issues

| Community | November 3, 2016

“Awareness & Understanding Issues Impacting Our Youth” is the topic for the November LifeForward workshop hosted by Zonta Club of SCV. The free women’s workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Savia Community Center, 23780 Newhall Avenue. The panel presentation will deal with the impact of cyberbullying, cyber targeting local youth, household drug paraphernalia, drug and alcohol abuse and cutting.

Bob Sharits

Bob Sharits

Panelists will include Sheriff’s detectives Ray Bercini and Bill Velek; Bob Sharits, program director and outreach specialist for Action Family Counseling; and school psychologist Chris Jones. Jones is co-founder of Dynamic Interventions and a licensed educational psychologist. He is co-author of Project Friendship, a research-based anti-bullying program. Detective Bercini is assigned to the Los Angeles County Human Trafficking Bureau. He works with exploited children and their families, promoting awareness to help youth and those most vulnerable within the local community. Detective Velek has been assigned to the Sheriff’s Juvenile Intervention Team since 2010, focusing on the use and abuse of narcotics by youth in the Santa Clarita Valley. Sharits is a certified addiction treatment counselor.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones

Women who arrive by the 10 a.m. workshop start time are entered in a drawing for a free gift certificate. Free childcare is available through Single Mothers Outreach for women who register at least one week in advance at (661) 288-0117. Spanish translation also can be provided with advance request. Due to the popularity of the workshop’s subject matter and the possibility of limited seating, participants are asked to RSVP to Phyllis Walker, Zonta’s LifeForward Workshop Chair at 251-1172 or walkerp@socal.rr.com no later than Nov. 14.

Previous workshops in the series have helped women select career options and pursue meaningful employment, work on goal setting and time management, deal with anger management, set budgets and file taxes, and go after financial support after a divorce. Workshops are designed to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed, and be the powerful women they are meant to be.

Zonta offers the free LifeForward workshops, usually on a monthly basis (although the series is dark during July and December), in collaboration with Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Center, Habitat for Humanity Returning Women Veterans and Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services. Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for women who are interested in a particular topic.

Zonta’s Tribute to Women Slated for November 4

| News | September 16, 2016

More than 1,000 potential sponsors and guests are invited to an annual event sponsored by the Zonta Club of SCV.

The non-profit group’s 2016 Tribute to Women is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Valencia. This year’s honoree is Dr. Dianne Van Hook, leader and chief executive officer of the Santa Clarita Community College District.

Sponsorship opportunities range from $5,000 for a Platinum Sponsor to $2,500 for a Gold Sponsor and $1,750 for a Mahogany Sponsor. Sponsored tables come with seating for 10 guests and may include premiere table location, VIP parking, wine, advertising in the event journal, recognition at the event itself, signage and audio/visual recognition at the event, according to the level of sponsorship.

Individual dinner tickets will be $125 per person on a space-available basis after sponsorship tables have been accommodated.

Zonta’s annual Tribute to Women is the local club’s main fundraiser each year and helps to support such programs as Girls’ Robotics, Court Advocacy for domestic violence victims, LifeForward workshops, the annual Women in Service program, and a number of scholarships and fellowships for women. The local club also supports programs around the world that enrich the lives of women, through Zonta International.

The evening will include hors d’oeuvres, dinner, a live auction and the tribute itself. Zonta will honor Dr. Van Hook for an unprecedented second time. As the youngest individual ever to become a California Community College CEO, she was first honored by Zonta in 1995 for her achievements. Two decades later, she is now the longest serving community college CEO in California, and this year’s tribute will celebrate her contributions to Zonta International’s driving force of service for women in need.

Information on tickets or sponsorships for the Tribute is available by contacting Judy Penman at (661)252-9351 or tribute@scvzonta.org.

Dr. Dianne Van Hook to be Honored at Zonta Tribute to Women

| Community | August 26, 2016

zontaDr. Dianne Van Hook, chief executive officer of the Santa Clarita Community College District, will be honored at Zonta’s 2016 Tribute to Women at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Grand Ballroom in Valencia on Friday, Nov. 4. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The 65 members of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley will honor longtime leader Dr. Van Hook for an unprecedented second time. As the youngest individual ever to become a California Community College CEO, she was honored in 1995 for her achievements. Two decades later, she is now the longest serving community college CEO in California. She joins icons of Santa Clarita’s pioneering women leaders including Jo Anne Darcy, who fought to shine a light on domestic violence; Ruth Newhall, who made a place for women in journalism; and Dianne Curtis and Cheri Fleming, who have provided leadership to 60,000 women and girls around the world. These are women who have made a true difference in opportunities for women in the local community and beyond.

Today, Van Hook’s visionary contributions to collegiate education have gone far beyond typical academic achievement. They have given birth to a wide range of innovative career opportunities for local girls and women who seek not only to improve their own lives but the lives of their children and the future of the world. Zonta’s mission is “Empowering women through service and advocacy.” With a lighthearted look at the chancellor’s tenure, Zontians will highlight and celebrate her outstanding contributions to Zonta International’s driving force of service for women in need.

The Tribute to Women is Zonta’s largest annual fundraising event. Dollars raised provide valuable services to women and girls throughout the community, including mentoring, career development, scholarships and fellowships.

Information on tickets or sponsorships for the Tribute is available by contacting Judy Penman at 661-252-9351 or tribute@scvzonta.org.

Three New Members Join Zonta Club of Santa Clarita

| Community | July 7, 2016

Zonta Club of SCV welcomed three new members at its June business meeting: Aazam Irillian, sponsored by past president Adele Macpherson; Carolyn Jacques, sponsored by president-elect Judy Penman; and Fiona Chen, sponsored by longtime member Ronnie Erickson. The club, one of the fastest growing in the United States, plans to welcome two more new members at its September meeting, after a two-month summer hiatus, according to Sue Hayward, second vice president/membership.

Aazam Irillian is a professional artist who has exhibited her paintings in numerous galleries throughout Southern California and Oregon. Founder of trademarked Heal the heART program, she is also an educator and coach with a master’s degree in art education. She is also certified both as a practitioner in Therapeutic Imagery and Social Emotional Arts (SEA) for healing.

Aazam has been sharing her passion for the expressive arts with students of all ages and diverse populations for almost 30 years. In her workshops and private sessions, Aazam uses visualization, expressive arts and creative writing as tools for personal healing.

Carolyn and her husband, Paul, moved to Santa Clarita Valley from Glendale in 1990. They have a grown son and daughter, both graduates of Valencia High School and college, now actively working in careers in their chosen fields. During her first 14 years in the SCV, she was a stay-at-home mom, volunteering with Girl Scouts of America and St. Kateri Church.

She worked as a caregiver for Comfort Keepers for 10 years, earning her real estate license in 2006 and working at transaction coordinating. Carolyn has worked for several real estate professionals locally and currently is working with her husband in their software and health care sales and distribution business.

Jacques’ favorite forms of recreation are traveling, reading, watching British crime drama, gardening, cooking and relaxing with family and friends.

Fiona Chen was born and raised in Communist China, where her family suffered political persecution because her father was critical of the communist party. After completing college, she found a high-paying job, but decided she was unable to live with the “big brother” communist government control. When her first son, Lawrence, was born, she emigrated to Canada and freedom.

zonta2

 

In Vancouver, Fiona worked in an overseas Chinese television station as a reporter and producer. She focused on exposing the evil of the Chinese Communist Party and the crimes it committed against the Chinese people and the free world. Before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Fiona produced a four-episode documentary film based on the life of former Chinese professional basketball player Kai Chen, who she married in 2014.

She moved to the United States with her husband and three children and now lives in Canyon Country, where she has her own home studio, Liberty Bell Production. Kai and Fiona are both on the Communist Party black list, but she refuses to be intimidated. “I feel I have a moral duty to continue my work,” she exclaims.

The three new members bring the SCV Zonta Club membership close to 70 members, making it one of the largest in the western world. Although the club is formally dark during July and August, Hayward has planned a number of social events to keep members connected and help introduce the new and prospective members to their new Zonta “sisters.”

The summer calendar includes the annual meeting of Zonta Club of SCV Foundation, a dinner meeting at the home of Foundation President Mary Ree on July 20. Member Suzie Alziebler will host a reception on Saturday, July 23 for club member Sharon Langenbeck, who is running for a key position with Zonta International.

The club’s annual Summer Social will be held July 31 at Reyes Winery, and the Celebration of Life Sock Hop and Dinner is scheduled for the Elk’s Club on Saturday, Aug. 27. A Women’s Showcase will allow Zonta members to spotlight their skills and business connections to each other on July 13.

Some committees will continue to meet throughout the summer, including the one planning Zonta’s major fund-raiser, the Celebrity Tribute dinner scheduled for Nov. 4 at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

Zonta Installs New Officers, Names Zontian of the Year

| Community | June 2, 2016

Jorja Harris (L), incoming president of Zonta Club of SCV, receives the gavel of office from outgoing president Karen Maleck-Whiteley.

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley installed Jorja Harris as its new president for 2016-17, honored outgoing President Karen Maleck-Whiteley and named longtime club member Sue Hayward “Zontian of the Year” at the group’s annual installation dinner last month at the Tournament Players Club in Valencia.

Hayward has served the club as Membership Committee chair for the past year and has brought in a record number of new members. “She welcomes new prospective members with such warmth that she’s irresistible,” says one of her many nominations.

Other nominations mention her passion about the mission of Zonta to improve the lives of women and girls, and her skill at organizing fun and fundraising events. During the past year, she started Zonta’s Celebration of Life (a way to share fun with friends and family before you die!), Tuesday socials at the mall, new meeting check-ins, a comedy night, tea social and monthly drawing to build conference funds. She also initiated a plan to call members who are not attending meetings and encourage them to become active again.

Over the years she has been a member of Zonta Club’s board and served the club as second vice president in charge of membership. She has been a member of almost every major Zonta Club committee and volunteers for the SCV Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity. She volunteers at the SCV Senior Center and Child and Family Center and has been active in organizing the Sierra Pelona Wine Festival, which benefits local non-profits.

Zontian of the Year is selected from member nominations. The final winner is selected not only on 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.

Harris was installed as Zonta president by Zonta International director and Zonta International Foundation director, a member of the local club as well as an international dignitary. Other officers and board members installed last month include Judy Penman, president-elect; Cheryl Wasserman, first vice president/programs; Sue Hayward, second vice president/membership; Debra Blakely, treasurer; and Phyllis Walker, secretary. Incoming directors include Patrice Rifkind, Ronnie Erickson, Barbara Meyer and Susan Gibson-Berson. Newly installed Nominating Committee members are Karla Edwards and Nancy Tucker.

The evening also served as installation for SCV Zonta Foundation trustees, who include Cheryl Wasserman, Barbara Meyer, Adele Macpherson, Terry Kanowsky, Christine Sexton, Susan Hayward, Suzie Alziebler, Jorja Harris and Judy Penman.

Outgoing President Karen Maleck-Whiteley was saluted for the club’s outstanding accomplishments under her leadership in the 2014-16 biennium. She noted that the SCV club is one of only two Zonta clubs in the world that has donated $50,000 or more to Zonta International during the current biennium. Maleck-Whiteley was the club’s first president elected for a biennial term, and the local club will revert to one-year terms for officers in the 2016-17 club year.

During Maleck-Whiteley’s two-year term, the club’s Girls Robotics program at the SCV Boys & Girls Club was expanded, the club’s Lifeforward Workshops served dozens of local women, and the club awarded nearly $21,000 in scholarships and grants at its annual awards event.

Following Zonta tradition, the installation dinner is organized by a committee comprised of all the club’s active past presidents, and is chaired by last year’s president, Laura Troost. All past presidents also donated door prizes, which were awarded to guests throughout the evening.

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