Sunday, September 29, 2013

District 3 Conference

Mona Rowe represented Peconic Bay Zonta at the District 3 Conference in Annapolis, Maryland, spending a full Saturday out of the three-day meeting from September 27-29, 2013. Saturday's program included presentations and discussions on violence against women, the conference theme.

Zonta Club of Annapolis hosted the event, and Mona brought a raffle basket from Peconic Bay to help Annapolis defray conference expenses. Peconic Bay’s basket was stuffed with greens (mostly edible): Abbada date, aloe vera, fern, kalanchoe, lavender, oregano and sage.

Below is the president’s report (given at the conference) for the past Zonta year, June 2012 through May 2013:

The Zonta year 2012 was super for Peconic Bay. As the year began, we gained a new member, Liala Strotman. As the year ended, we met a prospective member, Kathi Hendrickson, who joined in 2013. Nice to the have the year book-ended by these great additions to our team! Liala will have her hands full – literally – organizing a turkey dinner for a local homeless shelter in November, one of Peconic Bay’s long-standing service projects.

The year was full of other highlights, of course.

Peconic Bay awarded its first English as a Second Language scholarship to Veronica Rivas.

We had been working for two years to raise dollars to support this effort and to develop a sound process for choosing a female student at the local community college. In her scholarship application, Ms. Rivas explained that she enrolled in the ESL program “because I want to have better opportunities … a better job, travel to new places, and have friends who speak English.”

Here’s some background: Peconic Bay’s region encompasses eastern Long Island, which boasts spectacular ocean beaches and picturesque country roads dotted with farm stands. The area is a playground for the rich and famous.

But the East End has another side:
- Lack of affordable housing and public transportation
- Deep poverty amidst great wealth
- Feelings of isolation from those who live there doing the service jobs that support the wealthy

When Peconic Bay’s Mary Ann Miller met Ms. Rivas to give her the check, the woman reported that she had just been promoted at one of her three jobs, going from bussing tables to waitressing. Improving her English is directly linked to the young woman's success in this country, and Peconic Bay was pleased to give her a boost, both financially and emotionally.

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