Thursday, April 28, 2011

Zonta Club's Amelia Earhart luncheon big success Zonta Club's Amelia Earhart luncheon big success
Spirited and determined women have had a track record of success over the past century and now we must commit to helping those following behind reach the same goal. That was the message of the successful Third Annual Amelia Earhart Education and Scholarship Luncheon sponsored by the Zonta Club of Bonita Springs April 18th at the Bonita Bay Club. Ms Earhart is the most famous member of Zonta International, the Club’s parent organization.

Over 100 guests were motivated by the dynamic featured speaker, Susan Bulkeley Butler, author of Women Count: A Guide to Changing the World, and first female employee and partner of Arthur Anderson consulting firm, now known as Accenture. The founder of her own Institute for the Development of Women Leaders, Ms. Butler noted that since winning the right to vote in 1920, women have slowly won leadership in business and politics and the beginnings of equal pay. But the reality is their numbers no where match their over 50 percent representation in our population or the compensation paid to men for the same work, she said.

August 26, 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment which gave women in our country the right to vote and run for office. Our goal, Ms Butler advocated, is to lay out a plan, make goals and work in our own dedicated ways to ensure even greater numbers of women reach their pinnacle by that historic anniversary,

“Susan certainly inspired us to think how we can really make a change in the future of women's equality. That is what our luncheon was really about - making educational opportunities available for women in Southwest Florida,” said Maggie Petraits, Chair of the Club’s Financial Development Committee and co-chair of the Luncheon.

Club member Corinne Reed chaired the event “and she did a fabulous job and worked very hard to secure our speakers and solicit and organize our terrific silent auction items. Thanks to all our Club members, our attendance was great and as a result of the funds raised, the Club will be able to award a substantial scholarship to an area woman,” said Ms. Petraits.

Guests were also inspired by Faith Pearson, 89-year-old local veteran pilot, who met Ms. Earhart and was motivated to work very hard to become the first female certified to fly at an early Indiana aviation program. She was interviewed by Stacey Deffenbaugh, local NBC2 and ABC7 news anchor, who served as emcee.

Those attending were also treated to a display of Ms. Earhart’s personal effects including her pilot’s license and her prenuptial agreement that are part of the Women’s Archives at Purdue University sponsored by Ms. Butler.

Proceeds from the Luncheon will support the Club’s scholarship fund and grants promoting education of women. As a result of this annual affair, over the past two years the Club has awarded substantial scholarships to two area women continuing their education in math, science or business, fields that mirror those followed by Ms. Earhart. The Club also awarded grants to several local non-profits working to encourage and promote the education of local girls and women. To make a donation or learn more about the Club, visit the group’s web site,

No comments: