By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (September 13, 2016) – Stephenville Zonta Club kicked off its new meeting and service year recognizing longtime members past and present.
Four current members were recognized for ongoing service and contributions spanning decades. Mary Trammell was honored for 45 years of service; Ellen Skipper of 39 years; Carolyn Horton for 27 years of service; and Virginia Bills for 25 years. Former members Ellen “ChiChi” Fambro, who was a Zonta Club member for 46 years prior to her passing in July, and Jennifer Carey, who recently resigned from the club after 31 years, were also recognized.
Zonta Club International is a global organization of professionals who work together to empower women through service and advocacy. The organization “envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.”
To empower women locally, the group holds three major fundraisers each year, including the concession stand at the Erath County Junior Livestock Show in January; its annual penny and silent auction held the first weekend in March; and co-sponsoring the annual arts, crafts and gifts fair with SPARD the first weekend in November.
Proceeds from the fundraisers benefit a number of local causes and organizations, including 10 scholarships – seven for Erath County high school students and three benefitting Tarleton State University students. Funding is also provided to local nonprofit organizations serving women.
In effort to boost scholarship contributions, the group added a fourth effort to their fundraising activities during the past fiscal year. A few club members sold raffle tickets for chances at winning an Apple Watch or similar Android device.
The winner, whose name was drawn Tuesday, was 18-year-old Daniel Bills. He just moved to Stephenville from Comanche to attend classes at Tarleton State University.
Meanwhile, Zonta Club is working to increase membership and become more visible to the public. The club voted Tuesday to establish a social media presence through Facebook, creating a public page to promote meetings, events and activities.
Officers for the current year – President Jill Barnes, First Vice President Zana Gill, Secretary Rebecca Goodwin and Treasurer Virginia Bills – were elected in June. Barnes, who presided over her first meeting Tuesday, said Zonta Club board members include Past President Darla Fent, Sherry Baskett, Kathy Hampton-Haynes, Tammy Hudson, Yvonne Jenkins, Lisa Pence and Mary Walter.
The club, which has a local membership of about 30 members and is always recruiting service minded women of all ages interested in promoting the status of women.
Barnes encouraged prospective members to learn more about Stephenville Zonta Club by attending a meeting. She said the organization hosts its monthly program at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month – except December and June – at Soup & More in downtown Stephenville.
For more information on Zonta Club International, visit www.zonta.org