Centennial History

How the Zonta Club of Harrisburg and Hershey fulfilled ZI’s Mission from 2000-2009

During the first decade of the 21st century, the Zonta Club of Harrisburg and Hershey Club continued its support of Zonta International (ZI) and ZI District 3. The club hosted the ZI D3 Area 3 Spring workshop in May of 2000 and the ZI D3 Conference in October of 2004.

Karen Shirey became the first Club Member to serve on the ZI D3 Board as Area 3 Director in 2000; she was followed by Judy Maietta, Cathy Paul and Alice Kirchner during this decade in the ZI D3 Area 3 Director positions. All of these women served 4-8 additional years on the ZI D3 Board and also as ZI Committee Chairs for ZI Conventions.

The Club also continued to win ZI D3 Governor’s Awards in this decade: in October 2000 and October 2002 we proudly brought the silver bowl back to the club for the bienniums led by Presidents Judy Maietta (1998-2000) and Diana Laughner (2000-2002).

Several fund raisers were introduced in this decade: the BonTon Coupon Fundraiser began in 2003 and the first Poker Run Fundraiser was held in 2006. The BonTon Fundraiser raised more than $28,000 for the club before the store was closed in 2019.

This decade also marked our Club’s involvement in awarding ZI Scholarships. We had several local, district and ZI winners of the Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) and Jane Klausman Women in Business Scholarship Awards. This year (2020) we also have a ZI D3 winner in the YWPA Scholarship.

Two additional highlights of this decade include our club achieving 501(c)3 status in 2008 under the leadership of member Alice Kirchner and a 2008-2009 service project to refurbish the Bethesda Mission Women and Children’s Center in Harrisburg under the leadership of Pres. Debra Crum.

How the Zonta Club of Harrisburg and Hershey fulfilled ZI’s Mission from 2010-2020

This decade of the Zonta Club of Harrisburg and Hershey’s history found the Club continuing its involvement with ZI District 3. In April 2012 we hosted the District 3 Areas 3 & 4 Workshop under the leadership of President Twyla Courtot. Under the leadership of President Nancy Fodor, the Zonta Club of Harrisburg and Hershey won its 6th and 7th ZI District 3 Governor’s Cup Awards in October 2017 and October 2018 followed by our 8th Governor’s Cup Award in 2019 under the leadership of President Elaine Weinert. Three years in a row! Amazing!

This decade also found Zonta International making giant strides in the use of technology to promote service and advocacy, and the Zonta Club of Harrisburg and Hershey followed its lead.

ZI began to communicate with clubs and individual members frequently via email, promoting advocacy efforts and updating members on progress of service projects. Our first “Zonta Says ‘No’ to Violence against Women” Rally was held in December 2013 under the leadership of President Deb Crum. The Rallies have continued every year since then. Our first electronic “Zonta says ‘No’” billboard to celebrate the 16 days against violence campaign happened during Suzanne Gale’s Presidency. Suzanne also oversaw an unusual 35th Anniversary Celebration: the “Zonta Zerby”!

In June 2013 the Club established an official partnership with Shalom House which has been renewed each year since then, and in March 2017 the Club reestablished its connection with the spouses of international students at the US Army War College in Carlisle PA.

From 2018 – 2020 President Elaine Weinert focused on Zonta International as this biennium marked a celebration of Zonta’s 100th Birthday on Nov. 8, 2019. Another highlight occurred when a Golden Z Club was chartered at Penn State Harrisburg Campus on Dec. 2, 2019 under the leadership of Club Member Heather Jackson.

This is the last two decades of history in the series of articles presented by the Centennial Committee during this biennium. To see the early decade information, check out each of the monthly newsletters from November 2019 to April 2020.