Zonta International to celebrate 100th birthday Nov. 8 in Oak Brook

Submitted by Anna Weselak
Updated 10/18/2019 10:13 PM

Zonta International and the five Zonta Clubs in the Chicago area are planning to celebrate the 100th birthday of the founding of Zonta International.

Zonta is a worldwide organization that helps to raise the status of women and girls in areas that include education, health, social justice, exploitation, and domestic violence.


Zonta was founded on Nov. 8, 1919, in Buffalo, New York.

The name Zonta is a Sioux Indian word meaning honest and trustworthy.

Zonta International is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, and oversees 29,000 members in 63 countries.

A birthday celebration will take place on Friday, Nov. 8, at Maggiano's Banquets in Oak Brook Mall near the Zonta International headquarters.

The event begins at 11 a.m. with the introduction of honored guests including local officials and leaders from Zonta International.

The program will begin with the history of Zonta and the Zonta Foundation presented by past Governors of Zonta International District 6.

Moderator of the event will be District 6 Lt. Governor Anna Weselak.

After the luncheon attended by Zonta members and their guests from three states, birthday cake will be served.

Immediate past Governor Tamara Hagen will share her trip to Madagascar where Zonta assists with the operation of a school for young women.

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The keynote speaker for the event will be Rachel Steinberg from UNICEF USA who will highlight projects that Zonta and UNICEF have supported in the past and are currently supporting today.

The celebration will conclude with a reception at the Zonta International headquarters located in the Oak Brook Mall.

The Zonta Club of Aurora, Zonta Club of Chicago Loop, Zonta Club of Northwest Cook County, Zonta Club of Oak Brook and the Zonta Club of St. Charles-Geneva-Batavia are the host clubs planning the event.

Club presidents Pam Schindel, Ellen Weinstein, Barbara Jablonski, Mary Kay Nelsen, Christie Plotzke and Brandy Harrington are busy preparing for the luncheon.

Each of the clubs have also been busy celebrating 100 years of Zonta in a variety of ways in their own local communities. The yearlong celebration will conclude at the Zonta International Convention which will be held in Chicago in July 2020.


More than 2,500 women from around the world are expected to gather at the Marriott Hotel on Michigan Avenue to celebrate the work they have done in the past 100 years and to plan projects for the coming years.

For ticket information for the Nov. 8 celebration, call (630) 889-0626 or email zontaclubsgb@outlook.com.

For more information about Zonta, go to www.zonta.org.

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