Zonta Service Club celebrates 10 amazing local women

Barb Gallagher, Laurie Alfano and Brenda McTaggart

As a celebration of International Women’s Day and Zonta Rose Day on March 8th, the Zonta Club of Sault Ste. Marie Area presented a yellow rose to 10 women who have made outstanding contributions to our local community. The following were honoured:

1 and 2. Laurie Alfano; Andrea Pietramale (We Care About Your Hair)

·        Volunteers providing financial assistance for rental of Arctic Cold Caps to women with cancer undergoing chemotherapy; held fundraisers totaling almost $30,000 proceeds and helped four women to date

3. Leslie Cassidy-Amadio

·        Volunteer firefighter in Prince Township for 30 years; Volunteer B.A.B.E.S. presenter (Beginning Awareness Basic Education Studies), Catholic Women’s League, Soup Kitchen; Founder of Joy-FULL-Socks project since 2011, providing essential grooming items to families in need. In 2019, 4,224 pairs of socks were collected, and more than 250 boxes and bags were filled

4.  Mary Code

·        Volunteer at Christmas Cheer for 18 years, knitting more than 200 mitten pairs each year making it a total of 1,600 pairs of mittens!

5. Shauna DiGasparro

·        Volunteer at St. Vincent’s Place for 4 years:  meets clients face-to-face to gather personal information, then provides a food order and other community resources for clients to access; Advocate for Soup Kitchen; initiated financial sponsorship from her employer, McDougall Energy, heading up the McDougall Energy Soup Kitchen Team, and sits on the Soup Kitchen Board of Directors

Kathy Greening

6. Kathy Greening

·        Activist – past Board Member and President of Women in Crisis; was active in Women Teachers of Ontario and ETFO and presently involved in Retired Teachers of Ontario; Breton House Board member, sharing her talents with New Link; volunteers her crafty talents to various Zonta events and fundraisers, including the Literacy Program

Wendy Gutcher

7. Wendy Gutcher

·        Founder of 7-year-old Helping Hands program that collects donations and helps distribute them to people in need; started a new not-for-profit Hub House location at 146 Gore St. where everything in store is under $5, but essentially, a “pay what you can” system is in place

8. Karen Lefave

·        Executive Director and Founder (with husband Greg) of the charity, Twinkie Foundation, providing financial assistance for families with a sick child requiring medical attention out of town. After a personal experience, Karen felt the need to close the gap left from the Northern Ontario Travel Grant and often full-to-capacity Ronald McDonald House.

9. Joanne Mantha McConnell (Posthumous Award)

·        A volunteer and role model sharing her musical talent in schools, church and Arch Hospice. Joanne was an active member and leader of Retired Teachers of Ontario after a 35year teaching career.

10. Morgan Nadon Turner

Morgan Nadon Turner

·        A volunteer and role Model – at 16 years of age in 2019, founded Santa-For-Seniors, providing gifts for individuals in nursing homes; through cash donations and gifts, 94 gift bags of $100 each were delivered, including homemade cards and crafts from elementary school students.

“We have been honouring women in our community since 2006 and are always amazed at the variety of experience, ages and strengths of these community leaders. Presenting each of these wonderful women with a yellow rose on International Women’s Day is a simple act of recognition for the contributions they have made to Sault Ste. Marie and area and/or globally. They are part of a special group of women honoured across the world on Zonta Rose Day. The Zonta club is proud and privileged to do this,” said Sharon Kirkpatrick, President of the local club.

Zonta is a global organization of members working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. Zonta International is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2019. The Zonta Club of Sault Ste. Marie Area has served the Sault Ste. Marie Area since 1978.