The Zonta organization of Alton-Wood River is celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2014. Zonta clubs work to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy and implement service programs that provide mutual support and fellowship for the community.
The Zonta organization of Alton-Wood River celebrated its 65th birthday this year and renewed its commitment to raise awareness about domestic violence through a partnership with the Oasis Women’s Center in Alton.
The Zonta organization was chartered in 1949 in the Alton-Wood River area; the international organization formed in 1919. Zonta is a Sioux Native American word that means trustworthy or honest.
Zonta clubs work to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy and implement service programs that provide mutual support and fellowship for the community.
“We work with several organizations such as Oasis and Alton Memorial and Lewis and Clark dental school,” Zonta member Verla Moyer said. “We help provide clothing to victims of sexual assault at Alton Memorial, we participated in the domestic violence awareness walk with the Alton Police Department, and we help children who participate in the Give Kids a Smile annual project, to name a few of our community involvements.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which often is overlooked because October also is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Zontas work closely with the Oasis center to provide support and fresh start kits for victims of domestic violence.
“The fresh start kits are household and everyday items to give someone a new beginning,” Moyer said. “Sometimes women leave a shelter and have nothing to get them started. These kits give that boost to start a new place of their own.”
The Zonta Club’s next fund-raiser is a trivia night March 7 at the Alton-Wood River Sportsmen’s Club.
“All proceeds go to the Zonta Club projects,” Moyer said. “No administrative costs are ever taken from our fund-raisers. One-third of our funds go to the international organization; the rest is used here locally and in our own community.”
Anyone interested in joining the Zonta Club can visit www.zonta.org. Dinner meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of the month.