Archive for Events

April 2017 Newsletter

Dear Sister Zontians and Friends:

It is officially SPRING, but this club has not been hibernating during the winter months!
Plans are well under way for this year’s Silent “no more!” Auction and we are looking for items to bid on as well as people to attend.  There is a flyer in this newsletter that we hope you will share with everyone in your network.  We are pleased to have three very deserving organizations that benefit from our efforts!  At the end of the April meeting we will take some time to assemble baskets—so please bring whatever items, gift certificates and baskets/containers you’ve collected so far.  We hope to have over 100 items in the auction with initial bids of $25 and up.

Also at the April meeting, we will be voting on three new-member applicants—individuals who have made a commitment to join us in service and advocacy.

 Have you registered yet for the Spring Retreat in Maine?  There are several of us who will be heading up on Friday the 28th of April, so let’s plan on car-pooling! See the invitation in this issue.   Another opportunity for learning, fellowship and networking takes place June 2-4 in Virginia and Washington DC. Read about the Zonta International North American Interdistrict Conference (NAIDM) in this issue and consider attending with Mary, MaryAnn and Pam.

Read on:

Aprl 2017 Bog

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April Newsletter

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye!  Our annual Silent “no more!” Auction is but a mere 4 weeks away!! Just a reminder, please bring your auction items that need to be combined with other items, to our April meeting.  No item is too small!  A restaurant gift certificate could be added to a “Night on the Town” gift basket.  Use your imagination!  We will have fun making auction baskets at the April meeting.  We are also in need of baskets.

We have some wonderful items so far.  Two $100 dining gift certificates for Todd English’s Tuscany and Bob Flay’s Bar American at Mohegan Sun.  (One of these will be used for the auction, the other for the golf tournament);  a Summer Beach bag complete with Blanket, towel, flip/flops, frisbee, kid pops and water bottle (maybe someone would like to throw in a bottle of sunscreen and some sunglasses)?  A lovely grey/gold shawl; an Asian style tea set with tray; two beautiful hand knitted afghans, among other wonderful items.

Please look around your house for like-new items, check in with friends and family, ask the businesses you frequent for donations.  New this year: The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so donors may be able to take a tax deduction for cash or items donated to this event!

Of course, the Silent “no more!” Auction will only be a success if we have a great attendance.  So invite, Invite, Invite!

Trish Pupek, Auction Chairman


February Newsletter

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Greetings Sister Zontians,

We started out the second half of our Zontian year without skipping a beat.  January’s dinner meeting was not only productive but also a lot of fun, thanks to Dana’s Amelia Earhart challenge game. Karen Fontaine’s experience as a pilot may have given her team an edge!

Our friends from Soldier On worked with us to create 25 yarn dolls to donate to the Women and Children’s program at the Chicopee Women’s Correctional Center.  We will have the dolls on display at our February meeting and hand them off to Phyl Grondolski for delivery.

And that brings me to all the work Zontians and community members have done to collect items for our Fill A Bag with Hope project!  What an incredible outpouring of support we have seen—we have hundreds of bags! Many guests are expected  to be at the February 8 event for dinner and/or to help us with this hands-on project. Please join me in making them feel welcomed and appreciated.  We will set up the assembly line before eating and begin filling the pocketbooks about 6:30ish. We are working on plans for a smooth workflow.

At our March meeting we celebrate International Women’s Day and identify an organization which will benefit at this year’s Silent “no more” Auction.  Please give it some thought and submit proposals.  It is not too early to start collecting baskets, items, services and gift certificates for the May 2nd Auction.  Also help us spread the Save the Date message—we need good attendance at this important event.

Finally, I am looking for your input on awarding a Zontian of the Biennium at the June meeting. If you support this, what criteria would you recommend?  Email me your thoughts.

Thanks for all you do,
Lisa Sedelow


Fill a Bag Project


Women entering domestic violence shelters or surviving on the streets in poverty don’t usually have a nice bag they can call their own. The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley is planning to change that reality – at least for 100 women. They are collecting new or gently-used pocketbooks as well as quantities of toiletries, make-up and personal care items to fill those bags at its meeting on February 8th at the Ludlow Country Club. Filled bags, along with cards and notes of encouragement, will be delivered to local shelters in time for Valentines Day. Drop-off centers are being set up in local communities.  Thanks for any support you can provide.

bag poster

Mary Reardon Johnson chosen as Founder’s Day Recipient for 2015

Western MA ~ Mary Reardon Johnson has been chosen by the Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley  to receive its 2015 Founders Day award.  She will be honored with a reception and dinner on Monday, November 9, 2015  at Ludlow Country Club, 1 Tony Lema Drive, Ludlow, MA. 

MRJ Portrait 004Mary was born and raised in the Greater Springfield Area.  She holds her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Administration and has worked in Human Services for over 40 years.  Since 1983, Mary has served as the Executive Director of the YWCA of Western Massachusetts. She recently announced that she will retire in January. Under her leadership, the YWCA has gone from a negative fund balance to its current position of over $16M in assets. The YWCA has evolved as a statewide leader in the provision of responsive and responsible programs meeting the critical needs of women and girls.  They are the state’s largest provider of both Domestic Violence Services and Services to Pregnant and Parenting Teens.    Mary boasts the diverse YWCA staff of more than 125 employees and the quality of services the YWCA provides.  She maintains that Not for Profit is a tax status and not the way to run an organization with an operating budget exceeding $6M annually.  Currently operating at locations in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Westfield, the YWCA is the region’s largest and oldest women’s organization.

Mary has served on many statewide and several national committees and task forces.  Most recently, she served on the Baker/Polito Transition Team and was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Homelessness.  Mary has received numerous commendations and awards – among them the Pynchon Award for outstanding community service.

The public is invited to join us in honoring Mary Reardon Johnson on November 9th starting at 5:30. Please RSVP by October 31st. Either send a check ($25/pp) with names of all attendees to Pamela Albertson, 169 Aldrich St., Belchertown, MA 01007 or email her at with names of all attendees and pay $25/pp at the door – cash, check or credit card.

The Founders Day award is given annually to a woman in the greater Quaboag area who exemplifies the ideals of Zonta International, a global organization of professionals working together to advance the status of women and girls worldwide through service and advocacy.  Past recipients of the Founder’s Day award include Kathy Picard, Yoko Kato, The Honorable State Representative Anne Gobi, Bonny Rathbone, Nancy Fletcher, Gertrude (Trudy) Canterbury, Kathleen Conley Norbut, Janice Marciniec, Mary Ann Rigali, Tess Pelissier and Janice Kucesicz.

It is especially fitting that Mary Reardon Johnson is the honoree this year, as the club continues its participation in an initiative called “Zonta Says NO” – a campaign focused on ending violence against women and girls.  Zonta International considers this a societal issue.  Maria Jose Landeira Oestergaard, President of ZI, notes that we need to “address root causes and focus on prevention through education to change attitudes in men and women.”

The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley is part of Zonta International. Local projects of the club include raising awareness on issues of domestic violence, homeless women veterans, trafficking of women and children, and suicide prevention in Western MA.

Kathy Picard Named Founder’s Day Award Winner

IMG_4238The Founders Day award is given annually to a woman in the greater Quaboag area who exemplifies the ideals of Zonta International, a global organization of professionals working together to advance the status of women and girls worldwide through service and advocacy.  Kathy Picard of Ludlow, MA has been chosen by the Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley to receive its 2014 Founders Day award. She will be honored with a reception and dinner on Monday, November 10, 2014 at Ludlow Country Club.

A graduate of Cathedral High School and a receptionist at Valley Communications in Chicopee, Kathy was nominated to recognize her tireless advocacy on behalf of children and adults who are survivors of child sexual abuse. Just this year, she was present to witness a new bill signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick that extends the statute of limitations from age 21 to 53 for sex abuse victims to file suit against their abusers. Kathy worked for 12 years for passage of the bill. She has now filed suit against a male family member who abused her between the ages of 7 and 17. In addition to speaking at the Dunbar Community Center, the YMCA of Greater Springfield and with other groups of all sizes, she has been instrumental in raising awareness through Children’s Safety Events and through Childhelp “Speak Up Be Safe” – a child abuse and bullying prevention education curriculum. Kathy received the Unsung Heroine award at the State House in 2006 and will also be recognized as a recipient of this year’s prestigious Pynchon Award.    Pre-registration is required. Email Pamela Albertson at with names of all attendees and pay $25/pp at the door – cash, check or credit card.
Like last year’s honoree, Yoko Kato, Kathy Picard is a keen supporter of our initiative called “Zonta Says NO” – a campaign focused on ending violence against women and girls. Zonta International considers this a societal issue. Maria Jose Landeira Oestergaard, President of ZI, notes that we need to “address root causes and focus on prevention through education to change attitudes in men and women.”   Kathy has brought that vision to Western MA with the help of

General statistics from ChildHelp: A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse. Approximately 70% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion.


Veterans Enjoy Outing

2014-05-17 11.24.09Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory with amazing group of women veterans went well said Carolyn Braskie, coordinator of the event.

“Well”… just doesn’t give it justice!! The women had a fantastic time learning about the animals and the butterflies. I’ve heard continuous comments all day long:

Educational and Interesting-Relaxing-Therapeutic-Delicious food-Beautiful Day-Wonderful Zonta women.


Thank you so very much for this amazing event!

We are so fortunate to have you all in our (and their) lives!
Warm regards,

Virginia Lieblein
Director of Women’s Wellness Programs Soldier On              More pictures

Republican Article on Auction
Quaboag Valley Zonta Club plans Silent No More auction in Ludlow

By Kathryn Roy | Special to The Republican
on April 28, 2014
DVposter.jpgThe Quaboag Valley chapter of Zonta International plans a fundraising auction to benefit agencies which fight domestic violence.

LUDLOW – The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley will raise funds for projects aimed at stopping violence against women and children through its Silent “No more!” auction on May 5 at the Ludlow Country Club.

The Zonta Club works to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. It is one of 1,200 clubs around the globe, which are part of Zonta International.

“The auction began in 2009, and it’s part of our mission to work through international and local events, raising awareness and advocating and providing service and funds,” said Mary Knight, past president and the communications chair for the Quaboag Valley club. “We decided we needed to do something locally.”

Knight said the fundraiser helps to raise awareness about issues affecting women and children that are often not spoken about, such as domestic violence, mental illness, bullying, depression, and suicide.

“We want to raise funds for agencies that work with victims, directing it to where it’s needed most,” she said. “A lot of times, they have to abide by their funders in terms of where the funding is used. We want to raise funds for any unmet needs.”

The event will include about 60 to 100 items up for bid, all donated by Zonta Club members, Zonta supporters and local businesses. They are valued at $25 up to $500. They include themed baskets, services, getaways, and tickets to box seats at the Saratoga horse races.

“The admission cost of $30 pays for the entire meal and all other expenses, so the auction profits go directly to the agencies,” Knight said.

The event includes an extensive buffet, with pastas, vegetables, a carving station and desserts. There will be a cash bar.

“The venue is just amazing,” Knight said. “The Ludlow Country Club is not only a beautiful setting, but it’s easy to get to, right off the Mass Pike.”

About one-third of the funds raised through the Zonta Club’s fundraisers go to Zonta International and projects it picks to raise the status of women and children around the world.

This year, one-third of the funds will also go to “Soldier On Women Veterans,” an organization the local club has worked with for a few years. Club members work with veterans who are homeless or have been through trauma and are in need of additional support.

“We do things with them every month, as well as raise money to fund projects to help them succeed in moving on to a better life,” Knight said. “We have donated to them for the past two or three years.”

The final third of money raised will go to the Carson Center for Human Services’ domestic violence program.

“We know that domestic violence, especially in the Quaboag Valley, is quite high, and the resources for women and children are not easy to get to,” Knight said. “People are scattered around a very large area in the Quaboag Valley. The Carson Center for Human Services is doing a great job working with the Ware Police Department and domestic violence task forces, but the funding (can be) very restrictive. They can only work in certain areas of the Quaboag Valley, and when they get calls from other areas, sometimes they can’t help those people.”

Representatives from each of the organizations will be on hand with information and materials about what they do.

Past recipients of funds include Bridges Inc., Tri-County Domestic Violence Task Force, Womanshelter Companeras and WestMass ElderCare.

Knight said it should be a fun event.

“It’s just before Mother’s Day, and we have some great things people can bid on for mothers, or graduation gifts, or men,” she said. “There’s something for everybody. It will be a really interesting evening.”

The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 5, at the Ludlow Country Club. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by contacting Ann Cormier at 413-283-4646 or To learn more about Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley, visit

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