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Sanibel hosting Zonta’s annual district conference in September

By Staff | Jul 20, 2011

The Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva, part of Zonta International District 11 which is comprised of southeastern states and territories — from North Carolina to the Caribbean — has been chosen as the site for the District’s annual conference 2011. There are more than 40 Zonta clubs in District 11 and attendance at the annual conference is typically 150 to 200, and often includes one or more representatives of Zonta International.

Recent locations include Hilton Head, S.C.; Puerto Rico; Tampa, Fla. and Savannah, Ga. This year’s conference will be held at the Sundial Beach and Golf Resort on Sanibel from Thursday, Sept. 22 through Saturday, Sept. 24.

The local club, with other clubs in the region — Sarasota, Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and Naples — will serve as hosts.

“This is a great honor for our club and we look forward to showing District 11 Zontians our wonderful island,” said event co-chair Carolyn Gray, a past president of the local club.

For Zonta members, district conferences are a rich source of networking, sharing and celebrating successes all while meeting the Zonta International mission of improving the status of women. The theme for this year’s conference is “Saving the World, One Woman at a Time,” from the well-known inspiration of a child carefully saving starfish stranded on the beach. When challenged with the question of what difference the action made when there were so many, the child responded by picking up one more starfish and saying: “Made a difference to that one.”

Guiding the planning process is 2010-12 District Governor Jane Adams of the Boca Raton club. Adams will remain in her position through May 31, 2012 when the Zonta fiscal year ends. During this conference, delegates will vote on the leadership for the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2012.

Speakers lined up so far include Dr. Jose Leal of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, who will give a talk on — you guessed it — the science and aesthetics of shells, during Friday’s lunch. Other speakers from the Southwest Florida area include Rosemary Boisvert, managing director for the Transitional Living Center at Southwest Florida Addiction Services, who will speak on grant writing, service and advocacy; and Nicole Waid, acting chief U.S. attorney, Middle District of Florida, on the work of the States Attorney’s office and task force combating human trafficking.

Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra will open the conference on Friday morning with a welcome address and the invocation will be given by Rev. Ellen Sloan of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on Sanibel. Saturday’s keynote address will be given by Alice Bruner, executive director of the PACE Center for Girls, Lee County.

The Zonta Club of Sanibel/Captiva is a service organization of professional women working together to provide hands-on assistance, advocacy and funds to strengthen women’s lives on the islands, in Lee County and around the world through Zonta International.

For more information, visit www.zontasancap.com.