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Zonta Club faces shortfall, offers virtual ‘Peek’

By Staff | Apr 30, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Zontians Taryn Manning, videographer, and Sue Denham, right, create the virtual tour.

The Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva’s 19th annual A Peek at the Unique was sadly but wisely canceled in March two days before the event, due to rising concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the club lost needed funds and will face a larger than usual shortfall when grants are decided later this year for non-profits whose work empowers women.

Undaunted, Zonta has come up with an idea to bolster the proceeds – since, at a certain point, every dollar represents a dollar that will go directly to programs that improve women’s lives.

After the cancellation, a small team worked on a video “tour” of the five homes chosen for this year, seeking to provide the same experience as a Peeker would have, walking through each home, with information in a keepsake booklet. The video was made available via YouTube to Peek ticket holders.

Following a positive response to the video, Zonta decided to make a special offer: For a donation of $100 or more, donors will receive access to the unprecedented virtual tour. Enjoy the experience from the safety of your home. The tour includes brief comments from three of the five 2020 homeowners.

“Last year, Zonta netted about $135,000 from the Peek,” event Chair Susan Tucker said. “And we were on track to match or even exceed this amount, when for safety reasons we felt compelled to cancel. We lost out on extra donations Peekers would have made on Peek day through auctions and raffles. And while Zontians truly enjoy the experience of hosting the Peek, we never forget that our primary purpose is raising funds to help women.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Peek homeowners Charlie Sobczak and Molly Heuer featured on the virtual tour in their home.

Estimated proceeds from the 2020 event total $106,000, according to Treasurer Erika Steiner. With some pledges still to be collected, and a few outstanding expenses, the amount could change. However, she said, a shortfall of about $30,000 looks likely. Every dollar counts since fixed costs, such as printing and transportation, have already been covered.

To download the 2020 Peek booklet, visit www.zontasancap.com.

To donate, visit www.zontasancap.com and click on the “Donate” button.

Zonta accepts major credit and debit cards, along with PayPal.