Thursday, April 21, 2016

April Meeting: East End Arts and The Retreat

We had a full business meeting in April.

Patricia Snyder, Executive Director of East End Arts, took us on a tour of the gallery and surrounding grounds, including the music school. She also described the various events sponsored by East End Arts year-round in the Riverhead community. We were delighted to catch the juried, all-media show "Color."

That artwork made an interesting backdrop for Maggie Goldfarb, Director of Development for The Retreat. Maggie outlined the goals and activities of her organization, which provides shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse. She also shared with us a letter from a woman who had stayed in the shelter with her children more than 20 years ago and, thanks to the organization's help, had turned her life around. The Retreat is headquartered in East Hampton, and Peconic Bay, originally chartered in 1987 as the Zonta Club of Eastern Suffolk Area, donated funds many years ago for the construction of a children's room at the shelter.

At our May meeting, we will continue our discussion about how we can collaborate with both organizations.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Outreach on Human Trafficking

On January 27, 2016, Peconic Bay joined with the Zonta clubs of Suffolk and Westchester to present a program on human trafficking at the Congregational Church in Patchogue, NY. This was a followup to a successful event three months earlier at the North Shore Library in Wading River, NY, with Patricia Latona as the speaker (see the post on October 28, 2015). The January program was organized by: Kathy Walker, Linda Rundlett and Liala Strotman of Peconic Bay; and Deborah McKee of Suffolk. Read some of the comments circulated afterwards.

“Thanks Deb, it was a pleasure working with you and I hope we can collaborate on more events in the future. It was a worthwhile night and we all enjoyed being together and making a difference. Pat, your presentation gets more moving each time I see it and thanks for coming out on your birthday! We are all looking forward to making a trip to the UN in the spring. Once again, thanks to everyone for making last night possible.”
– Kathy Walker

“Thanks to Kathy Walker for all her efforts in coordinating the evening!  No easy task, with e-mails, flyers, and details, details. Thank you, Patricia, for facilitating the evening, and sharing your time, knowledge and wisdom with us, and on your birthday to boot! It was another opportunity to share the vital importance of ZONTA, and bring awareness to these heartbreaking, all-too-real issues. Thank you ladies!”
– Linda Rundlett

“Congratulations ladies. Thanks to Linda's yummy treats we have 50 dollars for the [ESL] scholarship fund. We sold over 242 of Mayan Hands goods. The presentation was moving. Thanks Linda for setting up the evening. It was great to have such a great showing of Zonta members as well friends who are considering future membership. Best to all! Well done.”
– Liala Strotman

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Slavery in Our Time: See Film on January 27

On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Peconic Bay Zonta will show the film "Not My Life," a documentary about slavery in our time. The program starts at 7 p.m. at the Patchogue Congregational Church on Main Street in Patchogue, NY.

Filmed in a dozen countries, "Not My Life" takes viewers into a world where millions of children are exploited through forced labor, domestic servitude, begging, sex tourism, sexual violence, and child soldiering.

The film will be introduced by Pat Latona, Zonta International UN Representative and member of the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons. After the showing, she will lead a Q&A session. 

  • Increase your knowledge of the crime of trafficking of humans
  • Identify how you can act to abolish modern slavery and protect human rights
  • Refreshments at 6:30 p.m.
  • Bake sale to benefit ESL scholarship
  • Craft sale to benefit Mayan women artisans

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

ESL Scholarship to Ginet Xiomara Arias Rendon

Ginet Xiomara Arias Rendon (center)
Ginet Xiomara Arias Rendon of Hampton Bays won a $300 scholarship from Peconic Bay Zonta, a service and advocacy group that works to improve the status of women. Peconic Bay Zonta members Barbara Pierce (left) and Diane Greenberg joined Rendon at Suffolk County Community College’s eastern campus, where she successfully completed Level 3 of the school’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program. The local Zonta group awards the scholarship biannually to a female student in an ESL program who is studying to achieve an educational goal.

Rendon came to the U.S. about eighteen months ago from her native country, Colombia, where she studied nursing. She hopes to eventually pursue a career as a nurse in the U.S. In her scholarship application she wrote, “This scholarship can give me the opportunity to learn more English, and therefore perform better in this society, offering my knowledge to serve those in need.”

Based in Riverhead, Peconic Bay Zonta covers the East End of Long Island and is affiliated with Zonta International, which works to empower women worldwide through service and advocacy.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

$$ for Mayan Hands

At the start of the holiday season, Peconic Bay Zonta held a craft sale to benefit Mayan Hands. This fair-trade organization supports Mayan women artisans in Guatemala who continue the ancient tradition of weaving on a backstrap loom. The money is used to support the women's families, educate their daughters and purchase school supplies.

We raised $1,156 one evening, with intricate baskets, lovely scarves, colorful bags, felted animals, and other items displayed at Mesquite Tex Mex Grill in Wading River, NY. Peconic Bay member Liala Strotman and friend Deb Lohman then held two additional sales and netted another $1,200. Well done, everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

At the UN: Eliminating Violence Against Women

Each attendee received an orange scarf
to demonstrate support for stopping violence against women.
“What an amazing morning,” said Liala Strotman, a member of Peconic Bay Zonta. Acting on an open invitation to Zontians, Liala went to the United Nations in New York City on November 25, 2015, to attend the official commemoration of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

She reported that the event was emotional as well as fact filled, with past accomplishments noted and plans discussed for continuing advocacy on this issue.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave opening remarks. “The Secretary General is a huge supporter of empowering and protecting women and girls,” noted Liala.

Liala made new friends from the Middle East:
Roula Azar Douglas, author, journalist and woman activist
Saba Al Asfoor, president of Bahrain women’s association for human development

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Turkey Meal for Maureen’s Haven

Peconic Bay's Barbara Pierce (center, in blue top with handbag strap) and Liala Strotman (to the right of Barbara) delivered the turkey dinner to the community center in Cutchogue. They are surrounded by volunteers from Sacred Heart Church.
As the members of Peconic Bay Zonta sat down to Thanksgiving dinner this week, we reflected on the meal we prepared for Maureen’s Haven.

Maureen's Haven partners with houses of worship throughout the north and south forks of Long Island to provide shelter for homeless adults during the coldest months of the year.

On November 15, 2015, ten days before Thanksgiving, Peconic Bay Zonta prepared a full-course turkey dinner for 30 and delivered the food to the community center in Cutchogue, where members of the Sacred Heart Church had made up beds and decorated tables. They were ready to welcome, feed and house homeless individuals for the night.