Archive for Publicity

February 2018 Newsletter

Dear Sister Zontians and Friends:

January’s dinner meeting honoring Amelia Earhart featured WPI PhD. student, Sharada Bhavanam.  Her enthusiasm was contagious—we can expect to hear more about this fabulous up-and-coming aviator and aerospace engineer!

All the clubs in Western MA are taking part in the 2018 Period Project. Feminine products are costly and are not covered by SNAP or WIC. For some women, that time of the month could not come at a worse time. Please help us raise awareness and collect pads, tampax, panty liners, soap, wipes, and underwear.  We are also accepting cash donations to be used to purchase items in short supply. Drop-off locations are listed at  On February 12th we will gather at the Ludlow Country Club with representatives of shelters, foodbanks and survival centers to assemble monthly kits. Contact Trish with guest list so we can have an accurate count for dinner.

The International Woman’s Day 2018 theme for gender equality in March is #PressforProgress. To appreciate that sentiment, we will  travel back in time to experience societal norms with Lucy Stone, who was born in West Brookfield MA in 1818. Actress and historical interpreter, Judith Kalaora, will perform her one-woman play as suffragist Lucy Stone on March 12th.  If you would like to ensure that students and others without means can experience this timely educational event, we invite you to send a donation (in any amount) to Zonta Quaboag Valley with a note in the memo: “Lucy Stone Free Admission.”  We will take care of the rest!

On the FIRST Monday of May, we will sponsor our 9th annual Silent “no more!” Auction—a festive and amazing fundraiser to benefit Zonta International Foundation, Solder On Women Veterans and one more deserving nonprofit to be determined. Let us know your thoughts on the third recipient and start gathering those themed baskets and gift certificates.

As February’s business meeting will be abbreviated, Committee Chairmen have kindly included their reports in this newsletter.  Please review in advance.

Thank you as always for your dedication and service!

Mary Knight


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January 2018 Newsletter

Dear Zontians and Friends:

Wishing all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.  As you craft your intentions for 2018, please consider: “Who is left out? Why? How can I be an instrument of change?”

We have a lot to look forward to in the next several months, and it’s a perfect opportunity to share these events with individuals who desire to be part of something much larger than themselves.

In January we honor Amelia Earhart and welcome an up-and-coming aviator and aerospace engineer, Sharada Bhavanam.  Please contact Trish to confirm your attendance for the January 8th meeting and provide names of guests.  We need an accurate number for dinner.  Thanks.

The public is invited to join us on Monday, January 8, 2018 starting at 5:30 at the Ludlow Country Club, Ludlow MA. A buffet dinner will be served at 6pm, followed by a short business meeting and the program.  Please RSVP by January 3rd (note any dietary restrictions). Either send a check ($18/pp) with names of all attendees to Mary F. Knight, PO Box 1034, Belchertown MA 01007-1034, or email with names of all attendees and pay $20/pp at the door – cash, check or credit card.

Between now and February 12th, all the clubs in Western MA are taking part in  #ThePeriodProject. Feminine products are costly and are not covered by SNAP or WIC. For some women, that time of the month couldn’t come at a worse time.   Read more….



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December 2017 Newsletter

On Monday, December 11th we are delighted to welcome Linda van Werthooven and learn about how the Tanzania Nursing Scholarship program is changing lives of young women and their communities.

Members and guests are invited to bring an unwrapped gift for a child staying in transitional housing during this holiday season. Janelle Estrada from Woman Shelter Companeras suggests reading books, activity books, board games, dolls—items that occupy the imagination and take up little space

We meet starting at 5:30 with a social and 6:00 dinner, followed by the program, at the Ludlow Country Club, Ludlow MA.  RSVP by December 6th is appreciated.  Either send a check ($18/pp) payable to Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley, with names of all attendees to ZQV, PO Box 1034, Belchertown, MA 01007-1034 or email with names of all attendees and pay $18/pp at the door – cash, check or credit card.


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November 2017 Newsletter

Our November dinner meeting will celebrate our 2017 Founder’s Day award recipient: Gail Gramarossa of Belchertown.  Read all about Gail on page 2 of this newsletter.

The public is invited to join us in celebrating Gail Gramarossa on Monday, November 13th starting at 5:30 with a reception and dinner at the Ludlow Country Club, Ludlow MA. RSVP by November 6th is appreciated.  Either send a check ($30/pp) payable to Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley, with names of all attendees to ZQV, PO Box 1034, Belchertown, MA 01007-1034 or email with names of all attendees and pay $30/pp at the door – cash, check or credit card.


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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


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.

December Newsletter

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Sister Zontians,

 December is upon us and for many it is the busiest time of the year. Celebrating the holidays with family and friends can be both stressful and rewarding. Some of us have new additions to the family, making this special time even more exciting; others have lost loved ones or are dealing with family illness, making this a time of reflection and changed traditions.  Regardless of your circumstances, I encourage you to count your many blessings – open your heart, mind and soul to goodness, gratitude and light.  Be proud of your ability to share your time, talent and treasures not only with friends and family, but also with women and children locally and globally who benefit from your generosity.

I recently received a request from Dana A. Brendecke-Carrier, bCRE, Development Manager for Zonta International & Zonta International Foundation asking for our ‘success formula’.  Cheryl Dorfman nominated us to part of a pilot program because “… as a former Foundation Ambassador and now ZIF Development Committee member, I have been continually impressed by  the fact that a small to medium size like yours is able to raise a substantial amount yearly through your fund raising efforts and is most generous in your contributions to the Foundation, exceeding the amounts often given by larger clubs.”  I am not sure how we will proceed with the request, but the ‘ask’ is certainly something to be proud of!

The Board has asked Pam and Tina to handle Nomination Committee honors this year, with the goal of presenting a slate of officers for 2016 – 2018 at our March meeting.  Pam has been elected to the District 1 Treasurer position and Tina will be moving out of the area next spring – so neither can be a candidate for office. I invite all the rest of you to consider serving as an officer, on the board, or be a committee chair. Our club is small at this time, so we all need to take on a leadership role as we rebuild our ranks.  Job descriptions for these positions are outlined on page five (5) of this newsletter.  Thanks for stepping up!

On a recent afternoon at Solider On, one of the veterans shared how truly grateful the women are for our friendship and generosity. She shared that “the time that we take out of our busy lives to spend with them” is what makes the biggest difference to them. This heartfelt thank you reminded me of how fortunate I am to be a part of our club and how special and unique we all are. It is truly an honor serving as your President.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season.

Lisa Sedelow


November Newsletter

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The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley has been successful in many ways. This year has built upon the stunning success of the past several years and the commitment of members to participate in working the activities. I would like to highlight one of our clubs significant accomplishments:  The Soldier On Project.


Our workshops and activities with the Women Veterans are enriching to all and truly appreciated by these ladies. The variety of activities has been outstanding, ranging from our most recent horseback riding trip in September to the Greenhouse tour in October.  The group enjoyed the relaxing greenhouse atmosphere, conversation, refreshments and live plants to bring home to their newly built residence in Leeds, MA.  Please join us for our next Soldier On activity on Saturday November 21 in Leeds for a pie making workshop.  Please also keep the creative ideas coming so we can plan a fun and interesting year of activities with our Veteran friends. This is a wonderful way to reach a high point in service as well as fundraising.


We are a small but impressive club. My goal is to have us become even stronger and larger. This is a goal shared with Zonta International. Please help us spread the word about the difference we are making locally and globally; invite a friend or two to our November Founders Day meeting and December Holiday Celebration. Share that are meetings are interesting, the dinners delicious, and the fellowship could not be more welcoming.


Thank you for your commitment to Zonta!


Lisa Sedelow


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