Photo Description
~ ~ ~ Celebrating 64 Years! ~ ~ ~


Zonta St. Charles-Geneva-Batavia
Chartered in 1953 under the first club president, Lucile K. Lindo, our club celebrates 62 years of service. 

As of February 2017, the club has 11 active members and our club president is Beth Bartlett. 

This club has always been about raising funds to give back to Zonta International service projects and local community organizations.  The club was most widely known in the surrounding communities for the Duck Race—the annual fundraiser through the Pride of the Fox River Festival.  For the Duck Race, club members would sell numbered rubber ducks to individuals and businesses within the community.  On race day, as the cannon roared, the ducks were dropped from their own special chute into the Fox River.  Club members, families, members of the business community and friends awaited the winners at the finish line—many in the water!

The money raised supported many local organizations that we still support today—Fox Valley Literacy Volunteers and Community Crisis Center, just to name a few.  We have been fortunate to sustain and increase our fundraising and now support many other local organizations who provide services to women and children.
We have had many members who have not only served at the club level, but have gone on to serve our Area, District and at the International level. 

Luella M. Hoffman was one of those whose contribution will always be remembered.  Lu, as we affectionately called her, joined the club in 1962.  She was a real trailblazer for women—a local community banker in a field dominated by men.  Lu had a real passion for Zonta and her name lives on through our Luella Hoffman Scholarship Award that began in 1983.  This award enables a local graduating high school senior young woman to begin her education at the college of her choice. 
The club also sponsors the Second Chance Scholarship Award to allow a local area woman an opportunity to complete one year of higher education at a local college.  We also have a Math Camp award, Young Women in Public Affairs and Jane M. Klausman awards at the club level.

We have had many long-time members in our club—many celebrating 35+ years.  Our club has benefitted from some new, younger members which has been incredibly important as our older members move into other phases of life.  Our service projects often are partnered with other local organizations within the community.  We have the benefit of being close to Zonta International Headquarters and regularly participate in activities in our Area.  We have enjoyed celebrating our 60th anniversary and look forward to the next 60!

Local Historical Documents

Article about the Duck Race
Photos from a Duck Race
Article about Luella Hoffman

Zonta International History
The founding of Zonta International occupies a unique moment in women's history. Established in Buffalo, New York, USA in 1919, early members were among the first generation of college-educated women, the first generation of North American women to vote, and a part of the growing, though still comparatively small, legion of women entering the workforce.

While working in a prominent role at the Buffalo Express at a time when women rarely held leadership positions, playwright and journalist Marian de Forest conceived the idea of an organization that would bring together women in executive positions. She envisioned a strong network that would help women reach their rightful places in the professions.

By March of 1919, five women had chartered Zonta International's first club, in Buffalo, New York. Membership grew rapidly. By 1920, a confederation of nine Zonta clubs had formed with 600 members. For more information, click here.

Zonta's Name
Each club submitted a list of appropriate names. The final vote was almost unanimously in favor of the Binghamton club's suggestion of "Zhonta" as it was then spelled. A letter from the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. corrected the spelling to Zonta: "the word in question is from the Teton dialect of the Siouan stock of native American languages. The word signifies 'honest and trustworthy'." The name "Zonta International" was officially adopted at the 1930 Convention in Seattle, Washington, In September of that year, Zonta was incorporated under that name in the state of Illinois. The following year, the word "Zonta" was registered with the Trademark Division of the United States government in Washington, D.C.

April of 1920 saw the first executive session of the Confederation's officers convene in Rochester, New York. Among the considerable business conducted, the Zonta colors-- mahogany and gold--were chosen, and the Zonta emblem, designed by Buffalo Zontian and artist Helen Fuchs Gundlach, was officially authorized. In October 1920, the presidents of all existing clubs met in Syracuse, New York. Two important recommendations came out of the meeting: that the Zonta clubs take for their specific aim education and constructive work for girls and young women and that the Confederation's first convention be held in Syracuse in May of 1921.

The Confederation was incorporated under the laws of New York State in February 1922. Five years later, the Zonta Club of Niagara Falls, which was composed of members from Canada and the United States, organized Toronto as the first club in Canada, and Zonta became international. In 1931, Zonta was introduced to Europe when clubs in Vienna, Austria and Hamburg, Germany were organized. For the next decade, growth continued steadily in Europe and Scandinavia. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Zonta established itself in Latin America and Asia. By 1970, Zonta became truly worldwide when six African nations joined the organization. The last frontier was crossed in early 1991 when Szombathely, Hungary became the first Eastern European Zonta country.

The Yellow Rose
By Any Other Name, It's Still a Zonta Rose to Us

The beauty of a single yellow rose has been a favorite Zonta symbol for nearly 20 years.

The "Zonta Rose" was introduced at the 1984 Sydney Convention, thanks to the dedication and support of District 16 Zontians. In 1983, then Lieutenant Governor of District 16 (New Zealand), Valerie Webster, proposed that a breed of roses be developed as a living symbol of Zonta International. The renowned England-based nursery Harkness Roses worked to cultivate the flower, while Zontian Maureen Ross of Ross Roses in Adelaide, Australia enabled it to be introduced at the Convention.

Today, the lovely yellow bloom can be seen in members' gardens, memorial plantings, schools, hospitals, homes for the elderly, and in the forecourt of Australia's National Parliament in Canberra. Most recently, a Zonta Rose Bed was inaugurated at Bältesspännarparken in Gothenburg, Sweden, as part of the 2002 Zonta International Convention festivities.

But the Zonta Rose is much more than a lovely flower. Since 1999, it has served as the symbol of Zonta Rose Day, which falls on March 8 and coincides with International Women's Day. On this special day, Zontians worldwide are encouraged to publicly distribute yellow roses or items bearing the image of yellow roses, accompanied by information about Zonta International and issues relating to improving the lives of women.

The Zonta Rose itself has bright yellow blooms, produced in large sprays, and neatly spaced to form a bouquet. Each bloom is formed on its own long stem and has a particularly long life, whether on the bush or cut. Its fragrance is light and pleasant, while gardeners will appreciate that it is easy to grow and hardy, reaching an average of 1.2 meters in height.

The Zonta Rose is registered internationally under the name "Hartanna." It also goes by the name "Princess Alice" in Canada and the UK, and "Bright Lites" in the United States of America. The Yellow Rose is a ZONTA International emblem, which signifies: "Radiance and Beauty"