The founding of Zonta International occupies a unique moment in women’s history. Established in Buffalo, New York in 1919, early members were among the first generation of college-educated women, the first generation of North American women to vote, and a part of the growing, though still comparatively small, legion of women entering the workforce. The objective was to create a strong network of women working in executive positions to advance the status of women worldwide.
One of the first service organizations to understand women’s unique role in achieving world peace, Zonta International continues to promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. With more than 30,000 members belonging to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 63 countries, Zontians all over the world volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship programs aimed at fulfilling Zonta’s mission and objectives.
The Zonta Club of Charles County was chartered on April 8, 1982. Over the years, we have participated in many local service projects and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our club is growing and now boasts more than 60 members. The club has four main projects each year: our ever-popular Fashion Show in March, International Service/United Nations Program in April, the RAVE Walk in October, and the Western County Moms project in December. The funds raised by our members are reinvested in our local community through grants and scholarships. This amounts to about $20,000 each year reinvested locally in the women of the Charles County area!
Zonta is a word derived from the Lakhota (Teton Dakota) language of the Native American Sioux people. It means honest and trustworthy, an integral component of the club principles. The word’s meaning was incorporated into the Zonta emblem. Mahogany and gold are the club’s colors and the symbol is the yellow rose.