Sunday, 24 February 2013

Introducing....The Zonta Club of Melbourne, Florida

source: japanprobe
HA I'm back ! Time flies when I am the Raffle Queen for our Zonta Pre-Loved Fashion Sale!

But I really want to share something new with you.

because you know many of our life events are touched with mixed feelings all at the same time? This post is kinda like that.

There are lots of emotions.

But they all belong to same family:

happiness, care, fun, achievement, friendship, connection, intelligence, lighthearted, joy, dedication

all the emotions I relive when I remember my very short time meeting the fanjabulous ladies at the Zonta Club of Melbourne, FL

(I have to remember that FL bit - to stop confusion for those who know Australian cities.)


Did you know there are Canaveral Marshes? I have no idea why Google thinks they are soooo important
I had a brief moment with these ladies but scored the jackpot in being there for the Christmas party!

After enjoying a delicious and HUGE dinner at the Yellow Dog Cafe, They played this fun little game I've not seen before. Everyone brings a Christmas decoration secretly wrapped. One at a time, members choose a parcel at random and see what is inside.

Parcel selection is serious business
Parcels contain some of the most fun and lovely little decorations

Before leaving Canberra, I went to the Bredbo Christmas Barn (one of the best Christmas shops IN THE WORLD - really!) and secured some Christmassy koalas

In your turn you have the choice to select a secret package or steal someone else's decoration. Let me explain, using this poor gentleman:

Scores a lovely olde worlde car decoration
Oh Noes! It is stolen!  (is that the back of your head Belinda?)
Chap has to go continue the cycle - get a new secret decoration or steal someone's else's
Simple but good fun. I ended up with this lovely 'under the sea' type glass ball, which I stole, and then promptly played the guilt card of "this is my special souvenir of Florida" that maintained its safety!

It's not all Christmas parties at the Zonta Club of Melbourne. Let me show you how they fill their time the other 11 months of the year. 

Wait to see how busy these ladies are and if you don't have time to read all of this - you could just watch the summary video down the end of this post!

Their advocacy work is connected with one of the world's most insidious problems: human trafficking. Within the club there is a Human Trafficking Prevention and Education Committee, and a representative sits on the Brevard Council Commission and has immediate input into the government and community coalition tackling the issue. The club also keeps themselves and their community educated about this issue and spread news articles and information pieces on their advocacy web site and facebook pages.

3 club members Claire, President Gail, and Sandy recognise the adoption of the Brevard anti-trafficking resolution
That advocacy and service page also shows how they support several women's refuges, Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship, and their own scholarship called the Zonta / Meehan Scholarship for women working towards improving their quality of life and self sufficiency. Their Young Women in Public Affairs prize honours Monica Jean Campbell, a local high school senior who was killed by her boyfriend. They also give out a M.A.T.E.S. award - Men Acting Toward Equality of the Sexes. Now that's an idea I would like to steal.

In conducting their advocacy, in addition to the anti-trafficking commission they are active in the community as members of the Space Coast Rescue and Restore Coalition; Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce; Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Brevard Cultural Alliance. 

Talk about being integrated within their community!

The other side of a Zonta Club is the fundraising. All of these projects have to be funded. So ZCM have two unique major fundraisers:

Christmas Decorations celebrating the history of the Space Coast. Now going for 15 years, a new design is released annually to celebrate famous buildings and points of interest in the local area. The decorations are boxed up with Zonta info and make a great stocking stuffer. Check out the whole collection.

How could I not celebrate with the NASA Rocket Garden and Florida Oranges?!
Of immense importance and connecting to all women across the world is their Annual Chocolate Festival!  Every year they run a yummy tasty celebration of all things chocolately to find the best chocolate treat.  The 2013 Festival is coming up on Sunday, 24 March - so if you can get to Melbourne - GO and enjoy the chocolately goodness whilst supporting the Zonta projects.

2012 winners!
The ladies gifted to me a box of the very special, locally made Grimaldi's Chocolate coated potato crisps!

You have to try these when in Orlando!
 These kept my February District Board meeting humming along!

Here are the inventive chaps with their latest creations
By now you must be thinking 'this is amazing!' or perhaps 'typical Zontians - doing sooooo much'. How much longer can this post go? Well their busy-ness and hard work did not go unnoticed.

The Zonta Club of Melbourne were the winners of the 2012 Governor's Cup award for District 11. Now that baby is not easy to win - you have to be an all rounder - in service, advocacy, fundraising, administering your club, upholding Zonta administration - the most active and productive out of the District's 42 clubs. And it is the 2nd time they have won it, and were runner up in 2011.

And now you know these ladies work hard - they also know how to party! After the Christmas party, Sandy took us all to the local trannie bar to check out her friend "Roz". What a hoot!

I was singing Donna Summer songs for days
Perhaps it would come as no surprise that the ladies found themselves being profiled on Florida Today. Just get through the introductions and they are the first story up. (then stay on for a cute kitten!)


Did you catch all that?!

So what do you think? Are the Zonta Club of Melbourne fabulous? Here is a club living the mission of Zonta and making the world better by making a world better for women.

Please keep doing your great work Ladies!

I need to do a big shout out to President Gail for co-ordinating my visit to the club and her warm email welcome in the weeks in advance. This included co-ordinating several members - Belinda and Doris on the day of the meeting to make sure I found them. HUGE thank you to Doris who with no notice took me in to stay the night - and then found herself up 'till 3am chatting. (and it was intelligent, fun, educative and passionate!). And Doris with Sandy organised additional presents and entertainment for me. 

Do you want to profile your club or showcase one of your projects for the whole Zonta world and other readers to see? Just email Mrs. Banks and make it happen.

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