Zonta District 15 June 2019
Official Zonta Mission: Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

September 21 - UN International Day of Peace

October 18-20 - Fall Conference, Detroit
"Service is the rent we pay for living." -- Marian Wright Edelman

It's all about the NUDGE. You started at the club committee level, and from there became a committee chair. Then you were NUDGED to run for club office. I would guess that most of our past and present leaders waited for someone to NUDGE them to consider a district position. It may have taken a few NUDGES.

We're all community volunteers, usually in more than one role, and we all have unique talents to share. The tasks involved are not earth-shattering. If you hide your light under a bushel by not sharing your leadership with Zonta, then both you and the world will be greatly deprived.

If each of us would look around our club and identify one person to NUDGE...and if you get the NUDGE, run quickly...straight to this link  


District 15 Governor
Zonta International Foundation Report  
Bonnie McArthur - Foundation Ambassador
The first year of the biennium is over and 26 of our 37 clubs - or 70.3% made their club contribution to the Foundation. Thank You! It is not too late to turn in the gifts pledged to our international projects and scholarships this past year.  
As budgets are built for the upcoming year, please remember the recommendation that 2/3 of the monies raised stay in the local community, and 1/3 support our International Projects. And let us pledge - once again - to have 100% of our clubs donate to the Foundation this year and support our sisters around the world.
Deadline for the JMK Scholarship is coming up July 1. The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship is for women of any age, pursuing a business or business-related program, who demonstrates outstanding potential in the field, and are living or studying in a Zonta district/region. Each Club can send 1 recipient to the District Governor to compete for the $2,000 District 15 award. That winner will compete for one of the 6 international awards of $8,000 - pretty good odds considering there are only 37 clubs in District 15, and 35 Districts/Regions around the world.   
For the first time, we will be using some JMK fund money raised in a previous biennium to help fund the awards. To date 44% of the $224,000 goal has been raised. This is just one of the many projects the Zonta International Foundation - and your donation - supports.
Membership News

Happy Summer fellow District 15 Zontians!  
Our official centennial anniversary is getting closer and closer. As we round out our 99th year of service to our local communities as Zontians, let's celebrate the longevity of Zonta with current, former and perspective members. With the start of the new Zonta club year (June 2019-May 2020) and the 2nd year of this biennium, it is a time of renewal. During this time of renewal, let us each refresh our Zonta zeal by reflecting on the information shared during induction ceremonies. Let us recommit ourselves as members of our perspective clubs and be reminded of the Objects of Zonta, which are:
* to improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local level through service and advocacy;
* to work for the advancement of understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of members;
* to promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and
* to be united internationally to foster high ethical standards, to implement service programs, and to provide mutual support and fellowship for members who serve their communities, their nations, and the world.
Membership in Zonta is an honor and a privilege. Every member has the opportunity and the pleasure of sharing Zonta with other prospective members according to the procedures in your club. Every member also has responsibilities. Regular attendance, participation in club service projects, and support of our international programs is expected of all members. If called upon for leadership responsibilities, you are expected to serve enthusiastically. Zonta is strongly committed to the ideal of equality for all as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights. We are confident you will contribute your caring, enthusiasm and talents to our club. (Taken from Protocol Manual)
June Membership tip:
As we celebrate 100 years of Zonta service, be sure to reach out to former members to offer them an opportunity to reconnect and realign themselves with the Zonta mission.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions.
****Club Presidents please send me the name and contact information for your membership chairman.
Thank you!
Lieutenant Governor, 2018-2020
District 15 Membership Chairman and
Zonta International District 15 Membership Committee
History of North America District 15
The history of District 15 dates to 1919 with the founding of ZC Detroit, which was one of the nine clubs that organized the Confederation of Zonta Clubs in November 1919.

Since 1920, Zonta has grouped the clubs in districts. Designation and boundaries have changed over the years. 

1947: The current District 15 was part of District V when the latter was founded in 1947 comprising clubs from
Western Ontario.
When clubs were organized in Kentucky, they became part of District V.

1968: District V encompassed 50 clubs with a membership of 2,064. District 5 voted to divide into two districts. Permission was granted by Zonta International and was effective from 1970.

1970: at the Fall Conference in Toledo, Ohio, District 5 was divided into 
District 5a hosting clubs in Michigan and Western Ontario 
District 5b hosting clubs in Ohio and Kentucky. Clubs in northern western West Virginia petitioned this year to become part of District 5b. They were welcomed into the district.

1972: The International Board decided all Districts be named numerically: 
District 5a became District XV comprising clubs located in Michigan and Western Ontario, Canada
District 5b became District V comprising clubs in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

1974: District XV comprised 31 clubs grouped in twoareas, designated area 1 and area 2

1978: District XV comprised 34 clubs grouped in three areas, area 1, area 2 and area 3

1980: District XV comprised 36 clubs grouped in three areas

1990: ZI Board decided to abandon Roman numerals; District XV became District 15

1990: September, District 15 counted 45 clubs and 1,920 members (Source: The Zontian 1990-92 program issue)

1995: District 15 comprised 32 clubs grouped in three areas. Area 01: 14 clubs; area 02: 12 clubs; area 03: 6 clubs.

2002: District 15 comprised 47 clubs grouped in four areas

2007-2010: District 15 has held strong with 35-40 clubs for most of its history. The U.S.A. recession of 2007-2010 hit the auto industry quite hard, which is the main manufacturing business of Michigan supporting a variety of complementary businesses. This resulted in the loss of about 200-300 members and the loss of 8 clubs between 2005 and 2015. 

In the twenty years between 1995 and 2015, there was very little club growth, just 3 clubs and of those clubs only one remains truly viable today.

2008: District 15 comprised 45 clubs grouped in four areas

2010: District 15 welcomed their first male members in the newly chartered Troy-South Oakland Club. (source, D 15 History in brief December 2016)

2016: District 15 comprises 37 clubs grouped in four areas.

2017: one club was chartered in MI. Since 1978, no clubs have been chartered in Ontario. 

2018: As of March, District 15 counts 808 members.


Think Child Marriage isn't an issue in Canada or the US? Think Again!

At the North American Interest District Meeting, we had the opportunity to learn first hand from a survivor of child marriage and a survivor of force marriage.

Samra                            Fraidy

We learned about the life of Samra - forced into marriage at the age of 16 to a 28-year-old, and moved from the United Arab Emirates to Canada. It took her a decade to escape her abusive situation, but through her thirst for education and determination for her daughters, she found a way out, providing others hope that they can do the same. For those who were unable to attend you can read her article in Toronto Life, She also founded Brave Beginnings, a non-profit to help survivors of oppression.

We also learned about Fraidy Reiss, who was in a forced marriage at the age of 19 in New Jersey. Her husband turned out to be violent. She defied her family and religion and found a way out, gaining full custody of her two daughters. She founded Unchained at Last - designed to advocate for ending child marriage, making marriage 18 years and older, no exceptions, and supporting women. Unchained at Last provides women and girls with free legal and social services and looks to help women and girls leave abusive marriages or avoid getting into them.
In Michigan, there is no minimum age to marry. If a 28-year-old wanted to marry a 12 year old, he could. Why is child marriage a bad idea? Children who have children are more likely to die in childbirth. They are often isolated from their peers and society. It masks violence and exploitation - many states have Criminal Sexual Conduct laws - however one way around statutory rape laws, especially when the girl is pregnant, is a forced marriage. It impacts the next generation. There are limited legal rights before 18 - including getting a divorce. It impacts economic ability and education aspirations including getting a high school diploma.
In November, legislators in Michigan introduced bills, SB1255 and SB1256, that would set the age to marry at 16. It would also require the consent of both parents for 16 and 17-year-olds, rather than one parent alone. The legislators were afraid there'd be too much push back if the minimum age was 18.

Unfortunately, these bills do not end child marriage, they only put a Band-Aid on the issue.
District 15 Leadership Development  
2019 North American Inter-District Meeting (NAIDM)

Two hundred and fourteen Zontians met in Dallas, TX June 7-9 for the 10th NAIDM. President Susanne von Bassewitz and the International Board joined North American Zontians for this meeting.

The pre-meeting workshop on Training Skills for Zonta was well attended and received excellent reviews. Participants learned the difference between descriptive and evaluative feedback and practiced their delivery skills. They reviewed questioning skills and group process activities, while sharing their knowledge with one another.
  Samra Zafar and Fraidy Reiss, two victims of forced marriage, spoke about the need to advocate for marriage laws to state "18 or above" as the legal age for marriage with no exceptions. The "no exceptions" phrase will help prevent child marriage and forced marriage for girls who are not old enough to sign a legal contract. As the women shared their stories, it was apparent that ending child marriage is necessary if we are to achieve women's rights as human rights. Both women spoke about how difficult it was to build a life for themselves and any children after experiencing forced marriage.
Very lively Round- table discussions with Zonta International Committee chairmen and members ended the Friday program. Twenty tables with representatives of Zonta's International Committees provided many options for attendees to lean how things get done in Zonta.

District 15 Zontians , minus Carole Calvert-Baxter and Bea King, pose in front of the Centennial banner with International Director Salla Tuominen from Finland, our liaison to the International Board.
Our district was well-represented on the program, with Jacquie Gudmundsen leading the Friday morning Training Skills program, aided by Jackie McCarroll, Karen Macier, and members of the International Leadership Development committee, Kathleen Douglass, Lori Robinson, and Shelli Cutting. Joy Smith and Anna Sylvester facilitated workshops and Denise Sylvester co- presented a workshop on advocacy issues. Denise Quarles and Mari McKenzie led round-table discussions.

District 10 host, Judy Kautz welcomed attendees to Dallas. We saw and heard an update on Zonta's Madagascar service project from two of the site visitors. The pictures told the story of Zonta's positive and powerful impact on girls' education in this very poos country.
President Susanne shared her pleasure at attending this meeting and introduced the International Board members who updated attendees on the status of the biennium goals.
Then participants had a choice of 12 workshops in 4 tracks: Service and Advocacy, Leadership and Innovation, Media and Partnerships, and Membership and Outreach.   

Denise Sylvester (pictured) and Connie Deckert presented Advocacy Issues for US and Canada.     

Angela Smith. Zontian from D10, entertained banquet guests as Marian de Forest and told about starting Zonta.


A choice of four more workshops was offered Sunday morning, followed by a snack and the wrap-up session, offering key take-aways from each workshop and an invitation to the 2021 NAIDM in Cincinnati.
View from a participant - Gail Johnson:

District 15 was well represented by Denise Sylvester who co-presented a workshop Highlighting Advocacy in the US and Canada.  Facilitator's, Jackie McCarroll, Joy Smith, Anna Sylvester and Bea King did us proud and their summaries were right on point. Our own Jacquie Gudmundsen led a pre- meeting leadership training session on Friday morning.   It was well attended - 134 people registered for it!  Jacquie is one of the founding members of NAIDM.  Our International President praised the event and our own Jacquie for all the work to help make this possible.  It pains me to say - that I have not taken advantage of all the leadership modules on our ZI website.  We should all allocate some time in the week for Zonta Training.
Four tracks to choose from - Service and Advocacy, Leadership and Innovation, Media and Partnerships and Membership and Outreach.   I spent most of my time in Media and Partnerships which was fascinating and made my head spin with ideas.  The Saturday Lunch Speaker was the best - we had a visit from Marian de Forest, one of our founding sisters.  A well earned THANKS to Angela Smith, Zonta Club of Austin who shared her (Marian's) story with gusto and enthusiasm.  Who knew just how interesting Marian de Forest was. 

Governor Joy Smith with Zonta International board members Salla Tuominen from Finland, D5 Area 1 Director Lani Ochs and ZI Treasurer/Secretary, our own Mari McKenzie.

Governor Joy Smith with D15 Zonta International Liaison Salla Tuominen and Zonta Lenawee member Mary Gilson.


District 15 Fall Conference
October 18 - 20, 2019

Booking is open for accommodations only at the Motor City Casino. Click here. For more information, contact Kristine Armaly at



During the youth-led discussion of the child protection club, Zontians heard first-hand from participants who shared that sexual violence, rape and child prostitution are common, while two girls shared their own experiences with their parents wanting them to marry early.

Both boys and girls related that they shared what they had learned with others, including classmates who were not in the club, siblings and friends.

Congratulations to 2019 YWPA winner, Miniya Williams.  She is presently a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mark your calendars!  This is going to be an amazing celebration of Zonta, including celebrity characters, a photo booth, entertainment, and Zonta of Petoskey's 100 for $100 campaign to fund our Barrier Buster project for women in our area.

Watch for online registration soon!
Zonta Club Pontiac North Oakland

Great Spring Breakfast. Thanks to all who came to help celebrate our club's achievements this past year. On to more Zonta adventures.


We had our June meeting and reviewed our busy year. We said thank-you to our outgoing president Heather and hello to our incoming president Sharon and inducted the 2019/2020 board. We meet the first Wednesday of each month at the Grand Gardens North. Last month we had Neveah Pine present her powerful speech on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. We had our district governor Joy Smith and we presented Gabbe Zagordo with the Young Women in Public Affairs Award. 


Congratulations to Athena Grand Traverse 2019 nominees: Deb Jackson, Noelle Moeggenberg and Karen Schmidt! They are all outstanding women in our community!

We are pleased to announce Noelle Moggenberg as the recipient of this year's award!

Who is Eligible?
Women of any age, pursuing a technology degree or closely related program full time and who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field.  Only those graduating in December 2019 or later will be eligible for this year's award.

Women not enrolled in a university, who are pursuing continuing education in IT or a closely related field, are also eligible to apply with certain restrictions.

Log in to and go to Just scroll down to find the documents.
Patty Johnson, District 15 Coordinator
Women in Technology Scholarship
Centennial Anniversary Endowment Campaign

As we approach the 100th anniversary of Zonta International (ZI), members and clubs are encouraged to contribute to the Zonta International Foundation (ZIF) Centennial Anniversary Endowment Campaign (CAEC). 

Former District 15 Governors Denise Quarles and Carole Calvert Baxter are the CAEC Regional Representatives. They can be contacted for additional information and to make presentations to clubs. 

Legacy Gift

Members can also make a legacy gift to the Zonta International Foundation. Through a planned gift, members can bequest a specific amount, or a percent of their assets, life insurance policy or other financial instruments.

Everyone who informs the ZIF of their provision of this kind of gift will become members of the Mary E Jenkins 1919 Society. Mary was a pioneer. In 1903 she became the president and owner of the Syracuse Herald. Several years later she helped establish one of the nine original Zonta clubs and became the first president of the Confederation of Zonta Clubs.  
Zonta District 15 Newsletter| |

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