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 and Hershey and on March 11, 1980, the Zonta Club of Harrisburg and 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 and 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