ZONTA positively changes women’s lives in our local community and internationally.
We advocate for women's rights
We partner with our community to achieve common goals
We contribute our time, talent and treasures
We raise money for scholarships, grants to local non-profit organizations, and support Zonta International's projects
Young Women In Public Affairs Award
DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 14, 2023
TIME FOR ACTION:
Eliminating Child Marriage
Zonta's Young Women in Public Affairs Award Program was introduced in 1990 to encourage more young women to participate in public affairs by recognizing their commitment to volunteerism, public service and civic causes.
Zonta Club of Olympia has annually provided a $1000 award to a young woman aged 16 to 19 in our local and Puget Sound communities. Since inception, Zonta International has awarded over $1,300,000 to YWPA recipients in over 60 countries.
*Application cycle is now closed.
Learn more about our scholarship programs here
Meet Our 2022-23 Toy Kay Scholarship Winner!
Akuyea Karen Vargas
Photos by Nora Phillips
Akuyea is quite an amazing force. She is a well-respected community leader and has done impressive work to further racial equity in Kitsap County. Akuyea is currently attending the Evergreen State College where she is focused on ethnic studies.
Learn more about her story and our scholarship programs here.
Pictured: Toy Kay and Akuyea Karen Vargas 2023
URGENT: WASHINGTON STATE
House Bill 1455 Child Marriage
As of 2022, only seven states have passed laws ending child marriage and Washington is not one of them. Currently, there are many loopholes that allow marriage under the age of 18.
HB 1455 will be eliminating some of those loopholes that exist in Washington State such as:
Void of marriages that were attained under the age of 18.
Void of marriages with persons incapable of consenting or when consent was obtained by force.
Removing the exception of parental/guardian consent to underage marriage.
Take a closer look at the amendments being proposed here.
January 31st: HB 1455 was presented at a public hearing and passed out of committee by a vote of 11-0!
February 24th: HB 1455 is now scheduled on this date to be reviewed in the House Rules Committee.
There are deadlines for getting the bill out of the house of origin and they are coming up soon!
You can help the End Child Marriage project by contacting your representative and ask them to support the bill!
Find contact information here.
There are many representatives that are sponsoring this bill as well: Stonier, Berry, Farivar, Rude, Fey, Reed, Morgan, Thai, Fosse, Pollet, Macri, and Bateman
Check back for updates on HB 1455!
Learn more about the how Zonta International is supporting the End Child Marriage project in this flyer and in the video below.
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Event
On November 17th, Zonta Club of Olympia held a MMIW Call to Action event to discuss how we as a community can fight against the injustices and violence on Native American women and families.
We owe a special thank you to all of our speakers; Harvest Moon, Representative Debra Lekanoff, Karyn Kameroff, Chaynanah Squally, and Roxanne White.
Our meeting brought a new understanding to those who attended about the vulnerability of our indigenous people. If you could not attend, there will be more events in February and May 2023, so check back for updates!
Annual Fundraiser Update
Our Murder Mystery fundraiser on September 17th, 2022 was highly praised, well attended, and a wonderful success! Between our amazing sponsors and the generosity of the event attendees, we raised about $20,000 for our grant recipients! Thank you so much to everyone who attended and to the fundraising committee for all of the hard work that goes into putting on such a major event.
We've already started making plans for next year! Make sure you have September 16th on your calendar so you can attend the 100th Anniversary Hotel Olympian Gala. This original play, written by Olympia local, Bryan Willis, will be performed at... the Hotel Olympian ballroom, of course! The whole town will be talking about this one for years to come!
Meet our Kinship Family
Each year Family Education and Support Services connects our club with a family.
Morgan is a single working mom with twin 17 yr old girls at home who help with her grandchildren (ages 1, 4, and 8). The grandchildren came to her last January when her oldest daughter relapsed. The youngest Luna has many medical challenges. She’s spent almost 2 months at Seattle Children’s this year in two separate stays.
What is a Kinship Family?
Kinship is where a Grandparent, aunt, sister or other sibling takes over the care of children that have been taken away from their biological family for various reasons. The caregivers of these youngsters often are unprepared for this huge responsibility and the cost of making a new healthy safe environment for them.
How our club supports Morgan's family with our gifts
Kinship giving is the most satisfying giving of all. Our selected family receives Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and Easter candy. With money collected we purchase a gift for each on their birthday and provide gifts and special needs for Christmas.
This program gives the community and members a feel-good way to give directly to a family in need.
Thank You Glenda Drebick and Ann Jackson Co-Chairs
End Child Marriage in the United States
4,831 children were married in the State of Washington between 2000 and 2018
Zontians are working with Unchained At Last and UNICEF USA to pass state laws to make 18 the legal age to marry. Only seven states have passed laws to end child marriage and unfortunately Washington State is not one of them.
Zonta International has supported ending child marriage since 2014
2014-2018 Zonta contributed US$2 million to delay early marriage in Niger
2018-2020, Zonta contributed US$2 million to the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage – the first private-sector donor to the Global Programme.
2020 Zonta International announced an additional commitment of US$1,500,000 to UNICEF USA to support Phase II of the Global Programme through 2022.
You don't have to be on the advocacy committee to contact the legislature asking them to sponsor a bill to make 18 the legal age to marry in the State of Washington.
Learn more about our involvement in the End Child Marriage project here.