Zonta Club of Berkshire County Blog

December President’s Report


Happy Holidays!

Berkshire Zontians have been busy this fall establishing our committee work and goals.  These include:  advocacy for women and girls, membership for creating a strong and engaged membership, fundraising to support programs to enhance and promote the status of women and girls along with our scholarship committee which honors students in Berkshire County by assisting with funds for their education.

Other highlights of our club so far this Zonta year include:  a successful Period Project drive and donation to local schools and agencies that support women.  Our club participated in Zonta International’s 16 days of activism sharing messages to speak out against violence to women.

Thank you to all who supported, ordered, coordinated and delivered poinsettias, cyclamen and wreaths! Those purchases directly enable us to commit dollars for the scholarships we sponsor and support.

I hope that you all have a safe and happy holiday season and I am looking forward to connecting with you to reach our goals to improve the lives of women and girls in Berkshire County and across the globe.  Chris

Chris Haley

It’s Not Over Yet – Poinsettias still going!

The poinsettia sale was (is) a success, but you are welcome to keep selling, especially larger orders and we will keep working toward our goal. Below is a link to the breakdown of sales, but in a nutshell, we will clear $3,000 profit after everyone pays, but missed our scholarship goal of $5,000. Link to form: Order Plants.  Please take a look at your sales if you can help collect from your people (uncollected at the bottom of the report). Karen Norton and I still have to coordinate deposits so if we missed something, please let me know (Sandy@BerkshireRealtors.org)

To our amazing delivery crew:  Cheryl Maselli, Debbie O’Neill, Vickie Palardy, Pam Roberts and Karen Norton, can’t believe we did it in a day! And to the setup crew, Debbie O’Neill, Toni Fontana and Tina Monteleone, also amazing job making it run like clockwork!  Thanks, Sandy

Special thanks to our top sellers,

$1,345 Debbie Dwyer
$1,088 Elaine Hunter
$975 Melissa Mazzeo
$735 Sandra Carroll
$700 Cheryl Maselli
$630 Gail Molari
$550 Karen Norton
$370 Denise Talabach
$345 Toni Fontana
$320 Vickie Palardy
$305 Chris Haley
$295 Anne Meczywor
$230 Sheila Keator
$150 Sarah Gillooly
$145 Barb Osborne
$140 Tina Monteleone
$135 Jackie Benham
$120 Keye Hollister
$100 Millie Blum
$65 Pamela Roberts
$40 Jackie Melendez

Assume Nothing – 2023 Book Club Community Read

Zonta has been invited to participate in the One Book, One Community read again this year by the Berkshire Domestic Violence Task Force. Eric Schneiderman was the Attorney General of the State of New York at the time he was abusing Tanya Selvaratnam in the context of their intimate relationship and he resigned from office within 3 hours of her story being published in the New Yorker magazine. Assume Nothing is a 200-page memoir by Selvaratnam and it raises many issues important to discuss.  Most groups are meeting between January 2023 and the webinar with the author in April 13th from 7 – 8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Are you interested? Would you prefer zoom or in-person for our own Zonta discussion?  When we know of interest, we can pick a date and schedule a facilitator. We had such a lively discussion last time with Stop Telling Women to Smile!  We will be joining two dozen groups that will be discussing this very interesting book and follow up.

Advocacy good news update


That as of July 1, 2022, the Massachusetts Law regarding minimum age for marriage was amended to forbid anyone under the age of 18 to marry, with no exceptions.  Working with numerous Massachusetts legislators including our own Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, the Berkshire Zonta club and our sister Zontas club throughout the state lobbied hard and long to change this law. The state of Massachusetts will now protect children from being forced or coerced into a legally binding contract that strips away any protection rights they have a single minor. According to state records, 1,246 children as young as 14 were married in Massachusetts between 2000 and 2018 and 89.9 % of them were girls wed to adult men.

Massachusetts in now the 7th state to end child marriages.

~ Millie Blum


Millie Blum

Red Roosters Recipe


Here is another take on the phrase Holiday Spirit that is sure to make your holidays bright and great for get together. A Christmasy cocktail that will make your guests keep coming for more. Note: Remember to make the night before your party so that the juice mixture has time to freeze and remind guests it can be potent.

Red Roosters Recipe

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen concentrate lemonade
  • 1 cup frozen concentrate orange juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 4 cups ginger ale (hold until mixture is frozen)

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add all juices and vodka and stir to blend. Freeze mixture in freezer safe container. One hour before serving time, add ginger ale to mixture. As mixture thaws, break into slush with a long spoon. Serve and enjoy!

~ Jackie Melendez

Jackie Melendez

Can you help?


The Christian Center with Zontian Jackie Melenzez is starting a new hygiene program on hair.  They are requesting donations for any type of hair products: shampoo, conditioner, gel, spray, ties, etc.  They are also in need of men’s blue jeans. The Center has a wonderful store full of needed items where people can shop for free. These services are truly appreciated by people in need and our contributions are helping this cause.

– Jackie Benham


Jackie Benham

Membership Dinner Meeting

Hi to all:  our membership meeting will be held on Tuesday November 1 at Mazzeo’s.   Social at 5, meeting starts at 530.  This month we will be honoring our Zontantians who are members for 25 + years!  They are:  Pam Roberts; Debbie Dwyer; Keye Hollister; Sheila Keator; Elaine Hunter;  and Toni Fontana.   Please join us to celebrate!!

Dinner choices are:
  • Eggplant parm
  • Homemade spinach ravioli
  • Chicken marsala

Please let me know your dinner choice by Thursday October 27. 

Chris Haley

Fundraising Committee meeting Friday 10/28

Tis the season to start fundraising again.  Poinsettias!  I have reached out to Viales for pricing on poinsettias and wreaths. Hoping to have info back by time we meet.  Last year we thought it would be a good idea to meet in advance to plan a strategy for hitting up businesses that decorate for the holidays.  It’s hard to beat $25-$35 for large, beautiful delivered poinsettias.  We will also plan a spring event (Balderdash?) as well or other ideas we have. I know we need to change up the July raffle a little too. Fun stuff to think about.

Open to anyone interested in serving! Please RSVP for enough handouts and food.  Friday October 28th at 5:00 p.m. at my office. (TD Bank Building, 99 West Street, 2nd floor) I will have pizza and hearty salads (as well as water, soda, wine and a few hard seltzers.)

Call or Text with questions: 413-822-2544


Sandy Carroll

Holiday Giving


Hi Fellow Zontians! 😊

Yes, believe it or not, it is that time of year to start thinking about the holidays. Or least in terms of our ability to give. Last year we planned the holiday giving kind of last minute and I would really like to avoid that stress this year as we all have a lot going on in the coming weeks. We are keeping things the same as the past few years.

You don’t have to “shop till you drop” this year for our holiday gift fest! Just get out your checkbooks or wallet! Again, this year we are supporting childcare families from the Brigham Center/Girls Inc. with gift cards. Last year raised $1,500 in donations (cash and gift cards) and we were able to support 4 very appreciative families. Can we do better than last year?? Let’s give it a try! Our goal is $1500 or more. (300+ per family)

Deadline:  Please your make your donation by Tuesday, November 15,  so  we have enough time to purchase the gift cards and get them to the families before the holiday.

Thank you kindly for your generosity! – Sarah

Sarah Gillooly

Membership Committee

The Zonta year runs from June 1-May 30th.  Our club has 32 members.  We were delighted to welcome 3 new Zontians into the club.  Denise Talabach, June Sprigg Tooley, and Eileen Tegethoff.   Denise has been formally installed having received her signature yellow rose in June when the rest of the leadership was installed.   Our other new members will be installed at a future meeting.

Long-time member Mary Tierney did not renew this year, but we are saddened to report the passing of her husband David.   Calling hours will be at the Dery Funeral Home on Monday 4-7PM. Here is a link to David’s obituary. We also extend our condolences to Zontian Karen Norton on the passing of her brother-in-law after a long battle.

Also, happy birthday to Zontian Anne Meczywor 10/19, a Zontian for 16 years!