Zonta celebrates 100 years

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Edie Ignacio Neumiller, Sue Kanoho and Darrellyn Lemke, left to right, are recognized for years of service to the Zonta Club of Kauai during the club’s regular meeting that followed the celebration of 100 years of Zonta International Thursday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano, seated left, is recognized for 47 years of service, and Betty Bell, seated right, is recognized for 52 years of service, and are joined by members of the Kauai and Hanalei Zonta Clubs and government dignitaries in celebrating the 100th anniversary of Zonta International with proclamations Thursday at the Lihue Civic Center Mo‘ikeha Building. At left is County Councilmember Mason Chock, at right is Dickie Chang, and third from right is Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami.

Combined, the years of service of Zonta Club members Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano and Betty Bell nearly equals the 100 years of service by Zonta International.

Kano was recently recognized at the District 9 convention for putting in 47 years of service, while Bell has been serving for 52 years, for a combined 99 years of service.

The veteran Zontans were joined by members of the Zonta Club of Kauai and Zonta Club of Hanalei in receiving proclamations and certificates celebrating 100 years of service by Zonta International.

Zonta International is a worldwide organization that has empowered women and girls through service and advocacy for 100 years after being founded in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1919.

“For 100 years, Zonta’s vision has been to achieve gender equity,” said Zonta International President Susanne von Bassewitz. “Back then, our founders already knew that equal opportunities for women and men are necessary to build a better world. The last 100 years were marked by considerable progress, but also by pushbacks.”

Zonta’s founders envisioned a women’s service organization that would advocate for laws and policies that ensure gender equality and help every woman and girl realize her full potential.

“The centennial anniversary reflects our perseverance to our cause and mission,” said Jeanette Bonilla, president of the Zonta Club of Kauai.

Since 1923, Zonta International has provided more than $40.9 million to empower women and expand their access to education, health care, economic opportunities and safe living conditions.

The Zonta Clubs of Kauai and Hanalei have raised more than $100,000 in scholarships for Kauai girls and young women.

More years of service recognition followed, as Zonta Club of Kauai members Edie Ignacio Neumiller (15 years), Sue Kanoho (20 years) and Darrellyn Lemke (25 years) were recognized for their individual years of service to Zonta’s mission of empowering women through service and advocacy.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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