International Club Ignites Change, EMPOWERS COMMUNITY

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Sandy Manning is the vice president of the Zonta Club of Greater Deerfield Beach. She refers to herself as “a chronic volunteer.” She spent several years in the Bahamas volunteering with the Special Olympics and School for the Handicap, and served as an Aquatic Director for the YMCA.

When Sandy relocated to Boca Raton, joining Zonta International was a natural decision. “It’s a women’s organization but they serve women that are underserved, or are trying to advance. It’s advocacy and service. That’s something I’ve always held close to my heart because it’s what I like to do,” Sandy said.

Zonta International is a classified service organization of professionals intent on empowering women and improving their circumstances. Although Sandy has been a member of Zonta since 1978, the club has been around for nearly 100 years. Since its 1919 inception under journalist and playwright Marian De Forest, the club has sustained its mission to forge a world where women’s rights are human rights; every woman can achieve her full potential; women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions; and women do not have to live in fear of violence.

Committed to local action, Zonta of Greater Deerfield Beach, which was established in 2012, hosts several events throughout the year to support its vision. Through sponsorships and annual fundraisers like the Cabaret Brunch in March, and the Festifall Arts and Craft Show in September, Zonta encourages the community to give so the organization can too.

One of the Deerfield Chapter’s largest partnerships to date is a $25,000 endowment given to Broward College for Non- Traditional Students.

“One of the major things in Zonta is for the advancement of women. We picked Broward College because it has three campuses and they were very keen on the idea of the non-traditional student because they have a lot of them. Community colleges especially open their doors to women going back into the workplace and trying to improve themselves. It takes a lot of courage and determination for a woman to do that and I certainly take my hat off to them. It’s not an easy road,” Sandy said.

On June 20, Zonta of Deerfield released the second installment of the Broward College endowment and honor college selected recipient. Zonta also awarded its annual charitable contributions to Women in Distress, PACE, Center for Girls, Sylvester Cancer Clinic in Deerfield Beach, Senior Services North East Focal Point, and Ronald McDonald House.

With legacies like Amelia Earhart and Sandra Day O’ Connor, Zonta International has grown to 66 countries and 30,000 members. “I certainly am proud to be a Zonta. I think it fills a niche in society where women of like mind can get together no matter where they came from or what they do for a common goal,” Sandy said.

Zonta of Greater Deerfield Beach meets on the third Tuesday of every month at Deerfield Beach Hilton Hotel and is always looking for more business women willing to serve and enhance the community.

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