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Zonta hands out more than $100,000 in grants

By Staff | Feb 6, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED On Jan. 22, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva handed out checks for local grants totaling $104,700 to 16 Lee County programs, including two on Sanibel.

Each year in January, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva, through its foundation, awards grants to local non-profits whose missions mirror Zonta’s own: empowering women and girls. The funds represent proceeds from Zonta’s annual A Peek at the Unique and on Jan. 22, through the generosity of island businesses and individuals, checks for local grants totaling $104,700 were given out to 16 Lee County programs, including two on Sanibel.

Zonta followed the same rigorous, time-honored selection process and grappled with challenging decisions, with requests totaling over $167,000, more than the funds available for distribution. Diane Chesley and Janine Boardman, co-chairs of the Grants Committee, commented that many grants once again went to organizations with whom Zonta has had a long-standing relationship.

“These organizations serve and support women at risk due to financial, health or domestic safety issues,” they said. “Their work is critical to helping women achieve a sense of safety, success and self-worth.”

Zonta also budgeted $34,900 for Zonta International for global initiatives.

For 2020, local projects supported by Zonta grants include:

PHOTO PROVIDED Dr. Ella Piper Center Executive Director Nida Eluna, left, with Zontian Susan Tucker.

– Abuse Counseling & Treatment for continuing economic empowerment program

– Children’s Network of Southwest Florida for a program for 18-year-olds aging out of foster care

– Community Housing & Resources for educational support and emergency funds for female residents

– Dr. Piper Center for Social Services for “foster grandparent” program uniting seniors and children with special needs

– Dress for Success/Fort Myers for two programs helping women find employment or succeed as entrepreneurs

– Earn to Learn for assistance with college or trade education for women

– F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva for emergency medical and dental care for women

– Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida for support for its Micro-enterprise Institute promoting economic independence

– Habitat for Humanity’s Lee County Women Build for rehab or help building homes for female heads of household

– Healthy Start Coalition of Southwest Florida for FOCUS program to educate teen mothers

– Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships for ArtReach on the streets for pre-teen awareness

– OILE, or Organizacion Internacional de Latinos en el Exterior SWFL, for Healing Stitches program and language skills for immigrant women

– PACE Center for Girls Lee County for attendance at PACE day and a field trip to the state Capitol

– Parent University at Head Start for literacy classes and support for immigrant women

– Partners for Breast Cancer Care for mammograms for women in at-risk communities

– SalusCare for economic empowerment for women in recovery

In addition, the committee awarded a small support grant to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge to help fund a naturalist program specifically designed for girls at PACE Center Lee County.

The 19th annual Peek at the Unique is set for March 14.

Tour tickets are $100 plus a small service fee, available through EventBrite.com.

Anyone needing assistance can email peektickets@gmail.com.

For more information, visit www.zontasancap.com, follow Zonta Sanibel-Captiva on Facebook or “like” them on Instagram @zontasancap.