By Pat Willett, Newhall Community Contributor
Zonta Club of SCV will award more than $14,000 in grants and scholarships at the club’s annual Awards Night program Wednesday, May 9, at Embassy Suites Hotel. The evening starts with hors d’oeuvres and group photo opportunities at 6 p.m., followed by the program and presentation of awards at 6:30 p.m.
Winners have already been notified that they will be honored at the reception, and will be allowed to bring a limited number of guests to the annual ceremony. Awards are based on the club’s fund-raising efforts in the previous year.
The club will present $2500, divided among two Community Grants recipients. The winners are local non-profits that have pledged to use the grants to improve the lives of women and children in the local community. This year’s recipients are Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) and Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, Inc..
Six women will share $8,000 in Virginia Wrage Memorial Scholarship grants, given to mature women who have faced a life-changing situation and need help to become self-sufficient again. The award is named for a former Zonta member who re-started her life as a flight attendant in her 50s and followed her dream for several years before succumbing to cancer. The club developed the memorial scholarship program in her name shortly thereafter and has maintained it every year since her death. This year’s recipients include Fidelie K., Frances Sotelo, Asha Blanchard, Nairy S., Mary Lightbourn-Rowe and Luz Garcia.
One recipient will receive $2,000 as the club’s Jane M. Klausman Women in Business winner. Amanda Ameson’s application has been forwarded to Zonta’s District 9, where the winner will receive an additional $2,000 cash prize and become eligible to compete for 12 additional prizes of $8,000 each from Zonta International. The award is open to women who are pursuing advanced degrees in business administration or related fields.
Three young women will share $2,000 in the club’s Young Women in Public Affairs program. The prize money is distributed to first, second and third place winners who attend local high schools or college, and are 18 years old or younger. The competition, which also has District 9 and Zonta International levels, is designed to encourage young women to take an interest in public affairs and perhaps pursue a career in a related field.
Committee chairs and co-chairs will announce each winner at the upcoming awards program, the first public announcement of the recipients.