A brief history of Zonta International

Plagiarism Alert: This is Zonta’s  writing. I merely copied it due to typing infirmities. I apologize for using their description; at least I am not taking credit for the content. I think it is important to know that this weekend’s Barnes and Noble Women author event is to benefit Zonta on its 1ooth anniversary.



In Buffalo, New York USA in January 1919, five women attending a social meeting of Kiwanis as guests conceived the formation of a new service club. This new club would be composed of women who were recognized leaders in their businesses and professions. The primary purposes of the club would be to standardize and disseminate business principles and practices and to provide service to humanity through cooperative efforts. During the spring and summer of 1919, clubs were organized in Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Elmira, and Syracuse, New York USA. Under the leadership of its Charter President, Marian de Forest, a playwright and newspaper critic, the Buffalo Club established specific guidelines for membership and classification.

The Confederation of Zonta Clubs was founded on 8 November 1919 in Buffalo. Mary E. Jenkins, newspaper publisher and civic leader, was elected the first president of the Confederation. Bylaws and a constitution were drafted and adopted, and selecting a name was all that remained.

Advancing the Status of Women Worldwide

Zonta’s Name

Each club submitted a list of proposed names. The final vote was almost unanimously in favor of the Binghamton Club’s suggestion of “Zhonta”, as it was then spelled. A letter from the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. USA corrected the spelling to Zonta: “the word in question is from the Teton dialect of the Sioux stock of Native American languages. The word signifies ‘honest and trustworthy’.” The name “Zonta International” was officially adopted at the 1930 Convention in Seattle, Washington USA; and in September of that year, Zonta International was incorporated under that name in the State of Illinois USA. The following year, the word “Zonta” was registered with the Trademark Division of the United States government in Washington, D.C.

April of 1920 saw the first executive session of the Confederation’s officers convene in Rochester, New York. Among the considerable business conducted, the Zonta colors — mahogany and gold — were chosen, and the Zonta emblem, designed by Buffalo Zontian and artist Helen Fuchs Gundlach was officially authorized. In October 1920, the presidents of all existing clubs met in Syracuse, New York USA. Two important recommendations came out of the meeting: that the Zonta clubs take for their specific aim education and constructive work for girls and young women and that the Confederation’s first convention be held in Syracuse in May of 1921.

The Confederation was incorporated under the laws of New York State in February 1922. Five years later, the Zonta Club of Niagara Falls, which was composed of members from Canada and the United States, organized Toronto as the first club in Canada, and Zonta became international.

In 1931, Zonta was introduced to Europe when clubs in Vienna, Austria and Hamburg, Germany were organized. Over the next decade, growth continued steadily in Europe and Scandinavia. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Zonta established itself in Latin America and Asia. By 1970, Zonta became truly worldwide when six African nations joined the organization. The last frontier was crossed in early 1991 when Szombathely, Hungary became the first Eastern European Zonta country.

Since 1919, Zonta International has supported international service projects that seek to improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women around the world, including, among others, preventing the practice of female genital circumcision in Burkina Faso, preventing violence against women in India, eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus in Nepal, preventing human trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina, reducing obstetric fistula in Liberia and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Rwanda.


Zonta International’s business was administered from New York until 1928 when Chicago, Illinois was chosen as the site for Zonta’s permanent headquarters. From 1928 to 1987, as the organization grew, Zonta moved several times to accommodate the changing needs of the organization and its membership. In 1987, Zonta International moved its headquarters to 557 West Randolph where it remained until 2009 when it moved to 1211 West 22nd Street in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Advancing the Status of Women Worldwide.

OK, my writing now. Incredibly, the organization is based near where I grew up near Chicago. Amelia Earhart was an influential member. This year marks the 100th anniversary of its founding. Please support Zone by attending the book events this weekend-Saturday, 8/24  2-5 pm at the Fort Collins Barnes and Noble store (I speak at 4:45.) Sunday, the event moves down to the Loveland store.

Hope to see you there, and buy some really good books by local female authors.


How to pre-order my book!

Drinking from the Trough, published by She Writes Press, is ready to pre-order. I can’t believe it-that’s seven months away!

Here’s how you do it: Go to Amazon. In the space to find things, type in Mary Carlson DVM. That takes you to the book cover. Click on the cover, and it asks if you want the Kindle version or the paperback. Click on one, and you’re done.

Also scroll down to see a short biography. This is getting fun, if not totally confusing.

Troy’s Place giving comfort to our troops

Norris Burkes writes a syndicated column that appears weekly in our local paper. He is a hospital chaplain, freelance writer and Air National Guard Chaplain.

I like Burkes’ columns. They are spiritual without preaching. He writes compelling stories, especially since he is now deployed to Iraq. His website is thechaplain.net.

One time, Burkes talked about Troy’s Place, a gathering place for the troops to relax in a wholesome environment during off duty time in memory of Major Troy Gilbert. Troy’s Place is a morale-building site, where military members find comfort items such as movies, books, magazines, music, games, stationery, etc. There is no charge to them. Donations are requested. Shipping USPS flat rate saves money, especially on heavy items. Visit the website to see how you can help out. This is a great way to help out our military with some of the comforts of everyday life. Imagine what a thrill it is to get a snack of Pop Tarts, lotion, deodorant, or international phone calling cards to call the family.

Send items to the base chapel at: Chaplain Norris Burkes, Troy’s Place 332 AEW/HC, APO AE 09315-9997. Although Burkes is soon to return to the States, His name is there because the mailbox needed a name.

Can you help our brave troops? And how about the military dogs?

Bye the way, Earl did not dodge the cancer bullet. Surgery soon. More on this later. Send our troops some goodies in the meantime.