D8 History: Service Projects

District wide service projects:

2013: “Zonta Shelters Women” Each club was encouraged to donate items to their local domestic violence shelter on the same day.


District wide advocacy projects:

2014-15: Anti-bullying  – No Bullying posters were printed and distributed to D8 clubs to hand out to  local elementary and middle schools.

2015-16: Clothesline project (part of say not to sexual violence against women and girls). All clubs were encouraged to participate in having t-shirts that said, “no to violence against women & girls”. Put them on a clothes line and have it displayed in a prominent local location (or multiple locations).


From the History of District 8 (source: District 8 History- in- Brief 2016, including 16 club histories; updated July 2019)


District 8 Service projects.

Scholarship toLester B. Pearson College of the Pacific

1977: Shirley Baker, charter president of the Victoria Zonta Club, sat on the board of Pearson College when the ZC Victoria hosted the District 8 Conference.  A motion was introduced that the clubs in District 8 contribute funds to provide a Scholarship to Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacificfor a girl from Colombia.  (At that time, the International Project was providing roving medical units in that country). The motion was received with enthusiasm.  Jack Matthews, director of the College, spoke at the closing banquet.

1978: At the 1978 Conference, it was reported this is the first time that DVIII (now D8) had a district wide service project. District 8 was the first district to have its own project.

1980: Sannee McFarlane was ZC Victoria’s president and delegate to the District Conference held in Yakima.  She took a Pearson, Noran Akgoren, with her. They both addressed the conference body: Noran winning Zontian hearts.  Delegates voted unanimously to make this a permanent project.

1990: The district Board designated that the scholarship should include applicants from the eastern bloc countries as well as Colombia

1992: District Conference in Anchorage passed a motion that contributions from the clubs be divided 75% to current scholarship and 25% toward establishing an endowment fund which would eventually generate enough monies to fund a scholarship in perpetuity.  Later, as ZC Victoria could fund a full scholarship through Bingo funds, all District donations were to go to the endowment.

Since that time, the District Coordinators for Pearson College have introduced the pen pal program, goody packages, especially for Christmas, Halloween, Valentines and Easter as well as a Bed and Breakfast Program with and for Zontians: the fees going to the endowment.  Tours of the College have been a great attraction.

2007:the endowment now totals $206,914.53.  We are sincerely grateful for the large bequest from Past Governor Jen King’s estate.  ZC Victoria can no longer donate bingo dollars as the Gaming Commission rules have changed so their donations, too, to the endowment must be earned by other means. The scholarship recipient this year is Jelena Fomiskins from Latvia.  We need to grow the endowment to $400,000.00 to provide sufficient funds to be self-supporting.

2008: the endowment received over $100,000.00 from the estate of the late Audrey Tappin. Audrey had been very involved with “Friends of Pearson,” organizing the airport greetings and other student activities as well as delivering goody packages for other Zonta clubs.  Several Zonta members have been host families over the past fifteen years.

2019: As of March 2019, the total in the Pearson Endowment Fund was CAN$515,891. This funds just over 1/3 of the scholarship of a female student chosen by Pearson.

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the Yakima Valley

The Advocacy committee of the Zonta Club of Yakima Valley has been working to build awareness of Domestic Minor Trafficking (DMST) and Human Trafficking issues in the Yakima Valley as an ongoing advocacy project.


ZERO (ZontaEmergencyReliefOperation)

March 27, 1964 – CRUNCH!!!!! Anchorage, Seward, Kodiak, Valdez and other Alaskan communities experienced the biggest disaster in the history of our state – the Good Friday Earthquake and tsunami destruction. J. Marie Pierce, President of Zonta International, spread the word to all the clubs asking them to aid Anchorage families. Donations of money, material, clothing, medicines and food arrived daily from around the world and continued through the fall. Six hundred pounds of nails were sent to us along with the Northwest Lumberman’s Association donation to Anchorage. We had a little trouble storing the nails. The final destination of the nails was Afognak Island, near Kodiak, to aid in the restoration of the buildings that were swept away in the tsunami.


In late 2012, The Zonta Club of Grants Pass Oregon Foundation created ZONTA STEP (Safe Transitions and EmpowermentProgram). This project helps at-risk women and their families secure safe housing by providing financial resources, household items and ongoing mentorship. STEP is intended to help in conjunction with local agencies. The STEP program offers: gently used and new furniture and household items; limited financial assistance. Zonta is able to offer assistance and mentoring through the extensive network of Zonta members as well as partnering with local agencies: Financial literacy class, basic cooking, employment skills and more.


Harvest Program at Behavioral Health Resources

Starting in 2013, the Zonta Club of South Puget Sound started partnering with the Harvest Program at Behavioral Health Resources in Olympia, WA, USA. This program helps young women who are in recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction. The club supplies interactive workbooks that help these women with their reading skills while helping them with their required parenting classes.  Also, through a generous donor the club was able to supply this program and the new Harvest Home with many other household items needed to set up apartment, etc. Harvest Home seeks to support pregnant and parenting women struggling with mental illness and substance use disorder as they focus on recovery. It is currently the only residential program for women in Thurston and Mason counties. The 16-bed facility will provide a safe and stable home away from home for women and their children up to three year old, as well as those who do not have custody of their children.


The Alaska Women’s Hall of Fameis a collaborative project of the Zonta Club of Anchorage, the Alaska Women’s Network, YWCA Anchorage, the Alaska Women’s Political Caucus, the Anchorage Women’s Commission, University of Alaska Anchorage and many interested Alaska women.

There are currently 9 Zontians inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame! (including, Bettye Davis, Dorothy Halland, Shirley Holloway, Joerene Hout, Anne Newell, Leah Peterson, Mary Louise Rasmuson, Lidia Selkregg).

District 8 Advocacy Projects:

2019: Zonta Club of South Puget Sound held advocacy events all 16 Days  during the 16 Days of Activism with the theme “Against Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work”. The public were invited to join Zontians for the weekday lunch and learn session to hear speakers discuss the impacts of gender-based violence: psychological, deprivation of resources and physical. These were held in the WA State Legislative Building. There were also events scheduled all of the 16 days include showing the film “In the Time of the Butterflies” with an introduction by Congressman Denny Heck. “In Her Shoes”, an interactive workshop where participants experience the reality of individual affected by gender-based violence was held at the local women’s shelter. On  one Saturday, Gilda Yazzi, national VP of NOW talked about missing and murdered Native American  women and the need to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Finally, there was a “Call to Action” on the 70thAnniversary of Human Rights  day  held at the WA State Capitol.