In July, 2016, the Sanibel/Captiva Zonta Club felt that there was a need for a Zonta Chapter in Cape Coral. Zonta, established in 1919, has over 30,000 members worldwide in 66 countries, including such well-known members from Amelia Earhart to Tea Leoni. Professionals in each community share the vision to empower women worldwide through service and advocacy, while concentrating on local issues like women's rights and to live without fear of violence.
The Zonta Club of Cape Coral joins other Zonta clubs in the area: Sanibel/Captiva, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, and Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda.
Originally planning on taking one to two years to get enough members to have a Cape Coral Charter, women in Cape Coral jumped on board to join and the Zonta Chapter of Cape Coral had enough members to charter in January 2017, taking only a few months.
Pictured are, back row from left, Nancy Dreher, Sanibel Captiva Zonta Club SOM; Linda Robison, Sanibel Captiva Zonta Club SOM and District 11 Lt. Gov.; District 11 Gov. Charlene Rains; Karen Pati, Sanibel Captiva Zonta Club SOM; Elizabeth Priest; Carol Orr Hartman; Cathy Tunney; Robin Piaggione; Courtney Ackerman; Judy Dzwigal; Pat Reisinger; Meredith Metivier Milner; Marni Zawicki; Andrea Corella Saint-Pere; Verena Schneider-Christians; and Debbie Widenor; front row, Lois Welsh, Suzanne Vasbinder and Melissa Bradbury.
The charter ceremony for Zonta Club of Cape Coral was held at the Westin of Cape Coral in January, inducting the charter members.
The April 25 meeting, which will feature Jennifer Benton, CEO of Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center, will be held at the Gulf Coast Village Conference Center (social starts at 5:30 p.m., meeting starts at 6 and lasts one hour). The meetings, open to the public, are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month.
Zonta Club of Cape Coral plans to work to identify needs and support organizations locally that help women in need. The group's first ongoing project is the "Zonta Box" project for things that women don't have when they are fleeing an abusive situation.
During the month of April, Zonta will be collecting for and donating to the women currently housed in ACT's Cape Coral emergency shelter which has 22 beds. ACT has suggested the donations of new pillows and new women's panties as these tend to be most needed, as well as shampoo, conditioner, body wash (hotel sizes are great), deodorant and socks. They must be new and unused. If you wish to help, please drop off any of the items mentioned to any of the following locations:
* Experience Real Estate Group, 900 Pine Island Road, 107 Cape Coral, FL 33991, 239-800-9498.
* Jones & Company, 210 Del Prado Blvd., S., Cape Coral, FL 33990, 239-826-0076.
* Century 21 Selling Paradise, 3409 Del Prado Blvd., S., Cape Coral, FL 33904, 239-542-5777.
* Cape Coral Insurance Group, 820 Lafayette St., Cape Coral FL 33904, 239-471-0600.
* Arthur Printing, 1518 S.E. 46th Lane, Cape Coral, FL 33904, 239-542-2452.
* M & Company Hair & Nails, 2517 Santa Barbara Blvd., # 1, Cape Coral, FL 33914, 239-218-5146.
* Uptown Bingo, 2708 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral, FL 33914, 239-772-4646.
For more information on Zonta or any of its activities, contact Suzanne Vasbinder at 239-357-8787.