ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM – TV) – The Elmira Zonta Club is a place of deep history and heritage.
Located at 742 West 1st Street in Elmira, the building is perched proudly at the corner.
Zonta International recently celebrated 100 years.
The first Zonta Club was founded in Buffalo, New York on Nov 8, 1919. It was organized along the lines of the Rotary Club or the Lions Club.
Currently, Zonta International is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois. The organization has more than 31,000 members in 65 countries The organization’s name derives from the Lakota word Zónta meaning “honest” or “trustworthy.
At the very first meeting in Buffalo, the formation meeting, there were women in attendance from the Elmira Business Women’s Club – 18 members from Elmira and, this initial meeting formed the original 5 chapters of Zonta – one of which was Elmira – and Elmira’s Club is the oldest continuously operating club of the original five.
The Elmira Zonta Club purchased this house in 1968 for retired Zonta Club members who were in need of good, inexpensive housing. The house was never used for that, as subsidized housing in the area met that need, but the house officially opened in 1972 and has served as the headquarters for the Elmira Zonta Club ever since.
As an organization, Zonta does a lot to support legislation and encourage interest in women’s and children’s causes. As a matter of fact, they are currently in the middle of a drive lobbying for The Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The Elmira Chapter gives awards to college students in Chemung County. As many are aware, a student’s record of community service is one of the most important factors in determining which students will receive the awards.
Zonta, as an organization encourages people to be of service in their communities –and continue to perform formidable work in the Twin Tiers.