The Zonta Club of Chatham-Kent is a non-profit organization. We empower women through advocacy and activism. Our mission is to help women and children locally here in Chatham-Kent as well as globally. Zonta CK consists of a group of women who volunteer their time raising money for various local and global causes as well as volunteering around the city where we are needed. Membership is always open and YOU are always welcome here.
Want to learn more about Zonta International and see what we do on a global scale? Check out the international website:
In a write up in the Chatham Daily News covering this event, it stated that dignitaries from Michigan, Ohio and south western Ontario attended to welcome the latest club to the then District 5 of Zonta International. As was the custom of the day, the head table guests were listed in the report (as well as having the gowns they wore described). Guests included Zonta District 5 Chair Miss Grace Beck, the Mayor of Chatham Ralph D. Steele, past international presidents Louise Grace, Ethel Francis, and Helen Cleveland (the first Canadian International President). Two Zontians from Dallas Texas attended to bring greetings and others attended from Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Hamilton, Highland Park, Lansing, Pontiac, Port Huron, Saginaw, St. Catharine’s, Toledo, Toronto, Windsor and Chatham. Considering it was 1948, it is amazing that people traveled so far for this event, and speaks to the importance of the formation of the new club in Chatham.
The Zonta Club of Windsor, under the direction of Miss Edna Nairn, did the initial work to spark interest for forming a new club for women in Chatham and Kent County. A preliminary meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Mildred Fisher on April 20, 1948. Countless meetings followed. The task of finding women who were committed to advancing the status of women began. Temporary officers were put in place and plans began for the charter dinner in September of the same year. Considering the post war times, the women who choose to belong showed foresight and commitment to following the ideals of Zonta. Miss Nairn went on to become the President for Zonta International from 1966 to 1968.
The nineteen charter members were: Pearl Wilson (charter president), Phyllis Grand, Vera (Baughman) Armstrong, Dorothy Reynolds, Eileen Walker, Emma Veale, Priscilla Campbell, Pam Haney, Mildred Fisher, Bessie Grieve, Audrey Langford, Sara Noble, Phyllis Thomson, Delmarion Rutherford, Jean Wolverton, Grace White, Helen Pilkey, Jem Trotter and Louise Schryver.
Early projects undertaken by the Chatham Club included:
- offering support to children with Cerebral Palsy
- collecting clothing and food to send overseas
- making contributions to a variety of health charities
Today there still is much to do to assist women both locally and internationally to improve their economic standing, health, education, social and cultural life. In 1948 a dedicated group of women embarked on an important and ground breaking journey. An equally dedicated and motivated group of women continue that work today. Consider becoming a member. Contact us for more information.