The Hibiscus Coast Zonta Club had plenty to celebrate at its 30th birthday celebration held at Centrestage Theatre in Ōrewa on October 17.
“It has been 30 years of lasting friendships, fun and fellowship,” club president Janet Hope says. “The club almost wound up in 2002 due to low membership numbers, but 17 years later we are still going.”
Zonta is an international organisation formed for the purpose of empowering women through service and advocacy.
The Zonta Club of Hibiscus Coast Area, New Zealand, was certified on December 13, 1969.
Over the years, the branch has fundraised for numerous community organisations running everything from quiz nights to movie viewings.
One of its most significant fund raising events was the Living and Leisure shows, which ran from 1992 to 1998, and raised between $20,000 and $30,000 every year.
Organisations supported by Zonta today include Hestia Women’s Refuge, the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre and Plunket.
The group presents a Second Chance Scholarship worth $2000 biannually to a local woman over the age of 30 who wants to further her education. This year’s winner was Catherine Copley, a single mum who is halfway through her studies towards a midwifery qualification.
“I could tell you that this award will pay for my parking, one of my papers or the petrol it takes me to drive to Manukau every day,” Catherine told assembled Zonta members in her acceptance speech.
“However, that would not communicate how much it means to me that there is a group of women here who believe I can do it.”
Zonta New Zealand’s 100th birthday was also celebrated at the Hibiscus event.
Centennial anniversary certificates were presented to Abbey Fouche, on behalf of her charity The Mum’s Clique, and Sue Sanders, for her commitment to mental health.
Olympic heptathlete Sarah Cowley, whose mother belonged to the Rotorua Zonta Club, travelled from Cambridge to make a special guest appearance.
The evening ended with Hibiscus Zonta welcoming six new members, which increases their membership to 16 women.