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Zonta Club of Auburn History

The Zonta Club of Auburn was chartered January 19, 1925 with 21 members. It was the 33rd club to organize. Zonta Club of Syracuse sponsored the Zonta Club of Auburn.

The idea for the club began to materialize in 1924. A meeting was held on November 18, 1924 at the Women’s Union with members of the Syracuse club to discuss its formation. On December 8, 1924 another meeting was held with 19 prospective members.

The charter was received in March 1925 at a district conference in Syracuse. The charter president was Laura Cleveland, the deputy clerk for the Cayuga County Surrogate’s Court. Its main purpose was to “bring about better understanding between the business & professional women of the city.”

When the club celebrated its 14th birthday four charter members were still active in the club.

In 1939, Anne Dyer was awarded $5.00 at the international convention for the best Zonta song of the year. She generously turned it over to the club treasurer.

1940-41 was called the “Daisy Bancroft year.” The Daisy Bancroft Sewing & Knitting unit functioned throughout the year. The club worked with the Canadian Zonta organization in doing relief work and raised $50 for British Relief.

In 1942, a successful “Black Out” tea was held and the proceeds were given to the Honolulu Club to help purchase a Zonta mobile kitchen. From the records, “It must have been quite a sight to enter Florence’s house, black shades were drawn, the hostess wore black dress, the table was decorated with a white centerpiece and black candles!”

During 1943-44, war & service work continued. $450 was raised by the sale of war stamp corsages. The corsages were made by members.

In 1946, the club sponsored the organizing of a Girl Scout Troop.

During 1947–48, Auburn hosted the Intercity Dinner which was held at Springside Inn to celebrate the Auburn centennial.

During 1948–49, five members attended the international convention in Quebec.

From an old club newsletter: “At times it may not seem like much, but benefits for women have resulted in the work we do. It’s up to us, however, to continue to expand that work and make more of a difference."

In 1983, the Club celebrated its 84th birthday with cake and recognitions from both the city & county governments.

2015 marked the Club's 90th birthday year. The event was celebrated by chartering a Z Club at Auburn High School in November.

The Zonta Club of Auburn has a long history of working to eradicate violence against women. Projects included:

  • Helping secure grant funding for the city’s first shelter for battered women
  • Printing of cards with phone numbers and contact information for women seeking help in dealing with domestic violence issues. These business cards were then distributed to doctors, dentists, churches, law enforcement personnel & other places where they could be easily accessed.

The Club has been active in district & international affairs. The first district governor was Karen Macier (92-94). Two other governors have since come from the club (Gloria Wristen & Sue Ann Cunliffe). Numerous members have served as area directors as well as district committee chairmen.

Today, the club supported a variety of scholarships and annually awards community grants to organizations & projects working to improve the status of women.

Hands-on service includes working at a local soup kitchen, supply feminine hygiene products to local food pantries.

The Club's largest annual fundraiser is the Sherry Peter Memorial Golf Tournament. This event has been in existence for more than 20 years.