(Submitted photo of Zonta Holiday Festival Committee members. See names below.)
Members of the Zonta Club of Batavia-Genesee County are preparing for their sixth annual Zonta Holiday Festival on the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11 at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel.
It is located at 8315 Park Road, Batavia. The event is open to the public, admission is free, and it runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
The Zonta Holiday Festival brings in a diverse group of fantastic vendors and artisans from Western New York and beyond to display/sell their products. The facility uses both floors to accommodate the 130-plus vendors and artisans.
Besides the products available for purchase, there will be photo opportunities with Santa (Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and several princesses in costume; as well as a face-painting booth and caricature artist. Food can be purchased during the event at the Homestretch Grill.
Funds pay for service projects to help women
Funds raised by the event will be used to cover the club's local and international service projects – such as scholarships for high school girls, toiletry bags for the YWCA domestic violence victims and women in the military, and items to create birthing kits that are sent to clinics in developing countries where births generally take place at homes instead of hospitals.
Funds are also sent on to the International Service Projects. For example, during the 2018-2020 Biennium, two projects are being supported by the International Service Fund: Let Us Learn Madagascar: An Integrated Program for Adolescent Girls and Eid bi Eid (Hand in Hand): Support to the resilience and empowerment of Syrian refugee and vulnerable Jordanian women.
The club members will have assistance during the event by students in the Z-Club at Batavia High School. The students are a very active group and are known for collecting food for The Salvation Army Food Bank, assisting at school events, and raising funds for Zonta International Service projects. In April the students held a 5K Walk/Run to raise funds for the Let Us Learn Madagascar project.
After the Zonta Holiday Festival the members will turn their focus to the 16 Days of Activism campaign. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to Dec. 10, Human Rights Day.
Developing ways to celebrate Zonta's centennial next year
Members will also develop ways to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the founding of Zonta in 1919, the many service projects completed during the 100 years, and the wonderful women who have been members of the international organization. They will attend the Oct. 14 event in Le Roy when the Le Roy Historical Society celebrates the anniversary of the creation of the Donald Woodward Airport and its connection to Amelia Earhart (a member of Zonta) and her flight in The Friendship airplane across the Atlantic in 1928 (the plane was owned by Woodward).
To honor Amelia, Zonta International offers several Fellowships to women pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering around the globe. Women of any nationality pursuing a doctoral degree, who demonstrate a superior academic record in the field of aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering, are eligible and encouraged to apply at www.zonta.org or use the following link https://www.zonta.org/Global-Impact/Education/Amelia-Earhart-Fellowship.
The Zonta Club of Batavia-Genesee County recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of receiving their Charter in the Zonta International organization. Founded in Buffalo in November 1919, Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
It envisions a world in which women's rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential. In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision making positions on an equal basis with men. In such a world, no woman lives in fear of violence.
(Photo -- front: Mary Yunker, Jill Smith, and Lucille DiSanto. Back: Sue Tabone, Carla Wahls, Teresa Tamfer, Kimberly Yunker, and Heather Parker. Committee members NOT in photo are: Marianne Sernoffsky, Karen Crittenden, Betty O’Brien, Connie Ferris, Lisa Paul and Angie Knisley.)