In 1979 when Gusty Gale received a phone call from Elsie Hillman in  Pittsburgh, PA she was told that “you need to have a Zonta Club in Harrisburg”. Gusty responded with, “What’s Zonta?”. Gusty Gale went ahead and founded the Zonta Club of Harrisburg-Hershey and on March 11, 1980, the Zonta Club of Harrisburg-Hershey received the Zonta International Charter as ZI Club 0921.

Gusty Gale made this happen along with Norma Gotwalt, 1st President 1980–1982; Ashie Santangelo, President 1982-1983; Virginia Ames, President 1983-1984; Mary Ann Mihok, President 1984-1986; Connie Brunt, President 1986-1987; Joy Dougherty, President 1987-1988; Deborah Hughes, President 1988-1990; Serena DiMagno, President 1990-1992; Karen Shirey, President 1992-1994….and the list goes on…strong ethics, committed to a cause greater than ourselves, changing the world one woman at a time thru service and advocacy.

It all happens here at the Zonta Club of Harrisburg-Hershey. We welcome anyone who is looking for an opportunity to be a part of an organization that works to enhance the status of women and children both locally and worldwide.


The first Zonta Club was established in Buffalo, NY by a group of women who saw the need for a women’s service organization. At that time, women were not able to join Rotary International (a male service organization), so they created a female service organization.

1919 – Convention of Zonta Clubs founded in Buffalo, New York, USA. Mary Jenkins is elected as the first president.

1920 – Zonta colors and emblem are adopted and the first issue of The Zontian is published.

1923 – The first international project is funded to care for 115,000 orphan children and women in Smyrna, Turkey. 1927 – The first club outside the US is formed in Toronto, Canada.

Click here for the complete history timeline