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What is Zonta?

Established in 1919 and headquartered in Chicago, IL, Zonta International is one of the nation's oldest service clubs. "Zonta" is derived from the Lakhota (Teton Dakota) language of the Native-American Sioux peoples. It was adopted to symbolize the combined qualities of honesty and trust, inspiration and the ability to work together for service and global understanding.

Zontians are the 30,000 women who belong to more than 1,200 clubs in 67 countries dedicated to helping women world-wide with educational scholarships, prevention of abuse and violence, halting human trafficking for sexual exploitation, treatment and education for HIV/AIDS, upholding human rights and more.

In 1938, Zonta International established The Amelia Earhart Fellowship in her honor. At the time, few women were active in aeronautics, science or engineering. Since then, Zonta has awarded 1,122 fellowships totaling over $5.7 million (US) to women representing 57 countries. As a result, doors have been opened for women to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, astronomers, heads of companies, geologists, business owners, even the Secretary of the US Air Force.

Through the Zonta International Strategies to Prevent Violence Against Women (ZISVAW) program, Zontians work to prevent violence against women through service, education, awareness and advocacy. Zonta efforts internationally, nationally and locally provide resources and therapy for battered women, sexually abused women and at-risk adolescent females.

Zonta International service has been closely linked with the United Nations since Zonta expressed support for the fledgling UN in 1946. As an international non-governmental organization (NGO), Zonta brings women's concerns to the UN, suggests solutions, draws public attention to issues and encourages its members to participate at the local level. Some of the programs with which Zontians participate are the UN Division for the Advancement of Women, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the UN Population Fund, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and the UN International Children's Fund (UNICEF). Zonta partners with many of these various United Nations agencies.

In 1949, the Zonta Club of the Pikes Peak Area was established to mirror the goals of Zonta International locally. Since that time, they have devoted funds to scholarships for women returning to the workforce as well as to high school seniors seeking to further their education in Public Affairs or Aeronautics and other highly technical fields. Many funds as well as hands-on service hours and mentorships have been dedicated to TESSA, Intercept, Full-Circle, and support of the locally-placed Liberian refugees. Opportunities to network, build leadership skills and serve the needs of women are numerous with varying levels of hands-on involvement and time commitment.

Annually, the Pikes Peak Chapter of Zonta International hosts The Glass Slipper Ball Featuring the Best of the Chefs. Proceeds from ticket sales are directed by Zonta to support women's education and projects both locally and globally. A portion of the proceeds benefit TESSA: A Community Without Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

The Glass Slipper Ball event features one of Colorado Springs' top dance bands, Gentle Rain offering music from swing to jazz. Many chefs are featured from various restaurants and caterers in the Colorado Springs area. The black tie optional affair also offers a cash bar and a special, complimentary wine-tasting event. In addition, a silent auction with many fabulous items, mystery bags and gift surprises makes for an exciting event to remember.

The members of Zonta pride themselves on their spirit of hard work and volunteerism. Every dollar raised, every volunteer hour worked goes directly to their mission of serving women. Each club member is a crucial part of the team. If you have a Zonta heart and would like more information about membership or meetings, please contact us at info@ZontaPikesPeak.org

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