Category: Member / Club Activity

December President’s Report

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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

Holiday Giving

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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

Climate Issues: Affecting Women and Minorites

Mary Knight of the Zonta Club of Quaboag submitted a fascinating summary of a session she attended that perfectly aligns with our mission, climate change and it’s impact on women (and minorities).  Nia Keith of Mass Audubon was the speaker:

Nia started out acknowledging that indigenous people were stewards of the earth, understood their dependency on the earth and its inhabitants, and looked to ensure abundance for the future.
She then defined climate change as a rapid change of global climate patterns that THREATEN HUMAN AND NATURAL SYSTEMS, caused by human activities that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But, the effects of climate change can be mitigated through large-scale actions and policies that support (1) natural climate solutions, (2) reduce or eliminate greenhouse gases, and (3) ADDRESS SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DISPARITIES.

The impacts of climate change are NOT EQUAL.

Climate change disproportionately impacts individuals with MULTIPLE VULNERABLE IDENTITIES, for example, poor communities of color, or women of color. Intersectionality is a way of examining issues to understand how characteristics such as race, ability, age, gender, class, and geography intersect with each other and interact with power structures to create and reinforce power, privilege, disadvantage, and discrimination

Extraction and exploitation of natural systems result in SACRIFICE ZONES – communities in proximity to the pollution produced by intensive and concentrated industry. Due to redlining, low property values, and other social factors, these communities have historically consisted of low-income and/or minority populations.

PROJECT DRAWDOWN (https://drawdown.org/) is an example of a paired climate solution and diversity movement:

(1) Support and protect nature
(2) Eliminate or reduce greenhouse gas emissions
(3) Create a just and equitable society – check out the Black Farmers Movement (https://www.blackfarmers.org/) and the Sunrise Movement (https://www.sunrisemovement.org/)

Climate activism is a spectrum, ranging from individual efforts to collective engagement.
1st level:  Educate yourself and have conversations (talk and social media) with friends, family, and an expanded network – people working in food security, public health, greenspace, transportation, clean energy, etc.

Idea: Host a Climate Cafe – invite people to learn about something – have snacks and conversation with cue cards or trivia – maybe at a brewery??

2nd level:  Climate Action – join an advocacy group, provide financial support, lobby elected officials, get involved in a local initiative.
Idea: Visit https://www.mass.gov/municipal-vulnerability-preparedness-mvp-program – what’s happening in YOUR community for planning and implementation of climate action

3rd level:  Frontline – organize a rally, support a strike or boycott, divest from polluting companies, etc.
Idea:  Become a  Climate Championship  (https://www.massaudubon.org/our-conservation-work/policy-advocacy/climate-champions-program)

Nia Keith
Mass Audubon
208 South Great Road | Lincoln, MA 01773
Office: 781-259-2169
massaudubon.org
nkeith@massaudubon.org

Sandy Carroll for Mary Knight

Period Project Assembly Saturday, November 5th

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On Saturday, November 5th @ 9 a.m., we will have the Period Project assembly event at Sandy’s office in the TD Bank Building on the second floor.  We will have breakfast munchies, coffee and work to create period project “kits” for area shelters or service centers to give to women in need. Below is a list of what we’re collecting. To give, see below, we take both funds or supplies to contribute to this project. Please note that the committee plans to use the club funds held in reserves from the Temescal Wellness donation for purchasing bulk supplies, so we will not be making a big push for public contributions as we usually do. Please let Vickie Palardy or Sandy Carroll know if you plan to volunteer – and also if you know of a organization that needs supplies.


Here is a link to our updated Amazon Wish list for products

• Boxes of Individually wrapped Pads or Tampons
• Individually Wrapped Panty Liners
• Cleansing Wipes
• Hand Sanitizers and/or Soap
• New Pairs of Underwear (Any Size)

For reference, in the spring, we had a fantastic assembly day!  Attendance: Vickie Palardy, Sandy Carroll, Elaine Hunter, Anne Meczywor, Cassandra Pugh, Tina Monteleone, Karen Norton, Cheryl Maselli, Sarah Gillooly, Debbie O’Neil (10)  Non-members:  Carla Prendergast, Denise Talabach, Eileen Tegethoff (3) Soldier On:  Yolanda Hoffman and Cassandra Finn  (2) Temescal Wellness: Olivia Melillo, Megan Kane (2) iBerkshires: Sabrina Damms (1) Total Attendance: 18

This morning our incredible assembly group reached our goal of 250 kits to donate to organizations and schools that are in need of feminine Hygiene products.

  • Total products Distributed:  1250 pads, 1500 tampons, 1250 liners, 250 bars of soap, 245 tush wipes and 125 pairs of panties
  • Kits went to the following recipients: Elizabeth Freeman Center, Reid Middle School, Herberg Middle School, 18 Degrees Family Resource Center, Bart School, Taconic High, Lee High School.,

Vickie Palardy

Marge Ceasar Turned 98!!

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We threw a Birthday Party for Marge Caesar’s 98TH Birthday (thanks to Debbie O’Neill for the planning!)  Attendees:  Elaine Hunter, Debbie O’Neill, Karen Norton, Patti Simonetta, Karen Norton, Marge Caesar, Jackie Benham,  Helen Austin and Carla Prendergast. Marges’s sister Barbara, took the picture.

Elaine Hunter