Tag Archives: Zonta International

Denim Day at hit at Prosecutor’s Office

Zonta Hilo joins Prosecutor's office in sporting denim.

Wow! the Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office really got into wearing jeans today

(International Denim Day) as part of the overall support for Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month.

Zonta Club of Hilo approached Charlene Iboshi, good Zonta friend, who is acting Prosecutor, and she gave her OK for the team to wear denim.

Check out the news release on Zonta Club of Hilo’s website….  http://www.zontahilo.com/announcing/denimday


Jane M. Klausman Scholarship 2011

Anna Hidano, Zonta International Club of Hilo Klausman Scholar

The Zonta Club of Hilo has awarded the $1,000 Jane M. Klausman Women in Business scholarship to Anna Hidano, a senior at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. She is majoring in Economics with a minor in Asian Studies and expects to receive her BA in May of 2012. Ms. Hidano was born in Hilo, HI and is a graduate of Hilo High School where she was Student Association President. She was recognized by the Business Education Partnership (BEP), earning three BEP awards during her participation in the program. She also won first place awards in the 2007 and 2008 High School Market Place Competition, a statewide competition. At Saint Joseph’s University she is an At Large representative for the student senate. She will be president of the economic club and has been accepted in Omicron Delta Epsilon, the school’s economic honor society. In addition she is secretary of the Asian Student Association. She has a goal to pursue a graduate degree in an international business field. She would like to return to Hawaii to work, live and raise a family. She believes that she can play a positive role in the local community.

5 New Inductees at June Meeting

Excerpts of President’s Report 06/13/2011

Hastings inducts Robin Messenheimer, Elaine Christian, Alison Lee, Tonya Ozone and Ida Ferris.

Barbara A. Hastings

First, I wish to tell you that it is indeed an honor for me to preside over this group.  The mission of Zonta—to me—is the most important mission in the universe today.  I believe it is the vehicle to solving most of the world’s ills.  We can start in our own backyards.

I pulled a small group together to go over our last strategic plan, and selected these objectives to be a primary focus for at least the first year of this biennium.

  1. Foster a positive image of Zonta in our community and a better understanding among current members and prospects.  Iʻm sure that you, like me, talk to friends about Zonta and they just donʻt know anything about it. Yet weʻre nearly 100 years old.  Some secrets should not be kept!
  2. Membership retention at 90%.  Our membership committee and immediate past president did an excellent job. With the induction tonight, we have 40 members.  We began the 2010-11 year with 35 members.  Onward!
  3. Well-informed membership that participates.
  4. Combine service and advocacy at the local level.

I want to thank Tonya Ozone, one of our newest members, who’s agreed to take on public relations tasks of keeping our website and blog updated and helping us keep in touch with each other.  Tonya has prepared a brief questionnaire to find out the best ways to communicate with our membership. We will be hounding each of you until we have all responses.

We will put a lot of emphasis on the Legislative Action and Advocacy Committee—which Zonta International has made one of the three required standing committees, along with Membership and Service.  I’m happy to announce that Pat O’Toole has agreed to chair, and will be ably assisted (and it was how I got her to say yes, by Kathleen Nielsen.)   If you have any interest in this group, contact Pat or me.

Julie Tulang has agreed to continue as Service chair, and to support the concept of small acts of service — little things money-wise or time wise, that two or three of us can do in the name of Zonta.

Karolyn Lundkvist, our new UN committee chair, will give us a 2-minute update at each meeting on status of women and girls in the world.  If you run across some important news, please forward it to Karolyn. We’ll be posting her reports on our blog so if you miss a meeting, you won’t miss the update.

With concurrence of a majority of the board, we’ve nominated Mele Spencer, our area director, as a candidate for the nominating committee for District 9.

Jane M. Klausman Scholarship:Iʻve been asked to announce that Anna Hidano was selected. Thanks to Pat O’Toole and Debbie Shigehara who handled the review and selection. Hidano attended Hilo High School.  She was in the Business Education Partnership program.  She earned first place finishes in 2007 and 2008 High School Market Plan Competition, a statewide competition.  In college she is studying economics  with a double minor in business and Asian studies.  Her goal is to pursue graduate education in an international business field.    She says that eventually she would like to return to Hawaii to live, work and raise a family.

Lastly, Iʻd like to thank each and every one of you IN ADVANCE for saying yes. Saying yes to giving some of your time—we will try to keep it very reasonable—to helping change the lives of women and girls in our world.

Zonta Hilo Hears about Heifer International

When women around the world have control of income, it tends to be used for the family,” said Wendy Peskin, who worked as a fundraiser for Heifer International. When men have economic control “it’s not that way.”

Heifer International works mostly with women in rural areas, often where men are absent.  Its mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty


Peskin talks about international self reliance.


and to care for the earth. Beginning with heifers more than 60 years ago, the group has branched out to many types of animals and been providing families with a source of food and training, rather than short-term relief. Millions of people in 128 countries have benefits from these gifts that promote self reliance.

“Pass on the gift,” Peskin said, is a cornerstone of the Heifer program.  “If you get a cow, the first calf must be raised and passed on,” she said.  Generations and generations of animals have been passed along, “that has an enormous multiplying effect.”

It also has the effect of giving a poor person the dignity to pass on athe gift to someone else, she said.

Heifer International does not send people into the countries to handle the training and gifts.  “They hire people in the area,” Peskin said.  When a village woman exhibits leadership skills, Heifer is likely to train her as a para-veterinarian so she can serve her community.

Peskin said when a woman has an income, its likely she will no longer uffer at the hands of an abusive husband. Often, she said, the woman’s initiative creates meaningful work for her husband in tending the food crops sustained by the gift animal.

Part of the Heifer training, she added, is centered around issues of gender.  Frequently men are victims of their cultural milieu.  During gender workshops, the men and women detail their day’s activities.  The men are often surprised by what the women do.

Heifer also promotes sending girls to school through a “girl child education fund.”

Go to heifer.org to see how you can help with a gift as small as $10.

Zonta Club of Hilo Inducts New Members


Nagao, McCall and Aoki


Bev McCall, elementary school principal, pictured here with Irene Nagao and Ellen Aoki, was inducted into the Zonta Club of Hilo at the October program meeting.  At the September meeting, Jan Haraguchi-Abundo, a sales promotion officer, was inducted.

The inductions are part of Zonta Club of Hiloʻs membership drive.

Zonta International Accepting Scholarship Nominations

Zonta International’s Young Women in Public Affairs Awards recognize young women for demonstrated leadership skills and commitment to leadership in public policy, government and volunteer organizations. The 2011 District YWPA recipients will receive US$1,000; five international recipients will be selected from the district recipients to receive additional awards of US$3,000 each.

There have been a few changes to the eligibility criteria for the 2011 Young Women in Public Affairs Award. Those changes our outlined below.

• Applicants must be 16 to 19 years old.
• Applicants must be living or studying in a Zonta district or region at the time of application.
• Applicants must also demonstrate evidence of the following:
• Experience in local or student government
• Knowledge of Zonta International and its programs

• Advocating on behalf of Zonta International’s mission to advance the status of women worldwide.

Applications for the 2011 Young Women in Public Affairs Award are now available on the Zonta International website. Please note that the application has been revised and make sure that all applicants use the 2011 version.

Rowena Loo, a Hilo Zonta founder, passes

Rowena Mae Busse Loo, a founding member of the Zonta Club of Hilo in 1950, passed away peacefully on Tuesday evening, June 29, 2010.  She was 90 years old.

Rowena Loo

Rowena’s life should stand as a model for triumph over hardship.

Born on October 30, 1919 in Coer d’Alene, Idaho, Rowena was the older of two children (younger brother William) of Henry and Effie Busse.  Rowena experienced a difficult life in her growing-up years as her father relocated his family often in pursuit of employment in order to support his family.  But times were bleak and to survive, Rowena recalled that she and her brother often helped themselves to potatoes, chickens and eggs from their neighbors’ fields.

Her mother, engaged in an illegal activity during the Prohibition, wound up in jail where she later died of complications from appendicitis.  Her father, a broken man, vanished with Rowena’s younger brother and left her with an aunt who was unable to care for her.

Rowena ended up at a Salvation Army GIrls’ Home, which provided her with a more stable environment –  schooling and an education that resulted in a nursing career.  Rowena’s love of music led her to sing in the Salvation Army choir and provided her with the opportunity to play the cornet and alto horn, an instrument she cherished and kept to her dying days.

Rowena applied for and was accepted for the position of live-in nurse at the Salvation Army’s Girls’ Home in Hilo, Hawaii in 1946; she arrived in Hilo by ship. She immediately made a mark, helping her charges at the Girls’ Home.  On one occasion while taking one of the girls who became ill to the Hilo Hospital, Rowena had a chance encounter with Dr. Walter Loo.  After a courtship, not without complications, they were married and raised five children – two of whom live in Hilo, two in California and one son who predeceased his parents a few years ago.

Rowena’s 60-year involvement in the Zonta Club of Hilo was full, taking on various committee assignments and supporting the mission of advancing the status of women locally and internationally.  She was honored at the Zonta International District 9 Conference in September 2007 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel during the welcome reception and “Hoike”.

Rowena attended all club meetings to the extent that her health allowed (she recovered from a heart operation in her later years), faced carefully made up, dressed comfortably in her muumuu and hair coiffed with a red streak in her forelocks, even after her mobility was reduced to confinement in a wheelchair.  But how she loved the club’s yearly Holiday Dinner and Auction!  She delighted in donating mementos from her past and invited her entire “ohana” or caregiver’s family to the occasion – all who lovingly called her “popo” (Chinese for grandmother).

Her quiet presence and frail voice will be missed by the Zonta Club of Hilo as members will bid Rowena good-bye at a memorial service which will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2010 at Dodo Mortuary Chapel.

Hilo Zontian Elected Area Director

Mele Spencer, Area Director

PRESS RELEASE — (Hilo, Hawaii—June 15, 2010)—Mele Spencer of Hilo was elected to the Zonta International – District 9 Board, covering Arizona, California, Hawaii, one city on the Mexican border, Nevada, and Utah.  Spencer will represent Hawaii’s six Zonta Clubs for 2010-2012.

Kathleen Nielsen, President of the Zonta Club of Hilo said Spencer follows “a long line of Hilo Zontians who have assumed duties at the district level.  Her leadership will insure the direct link between Zonta International, District 9 and the Hawaii Zonta Clubs.”

“In this austere time,” Spencer said,  “women and children are the most likely to be affected by economic turndown.  Zontians must focus resources on those in need and continue to advocate for them.”

Spencer and her spouse, Joseph, operate a plant and tree farm in Pana’ewa Hawaiian Homes Farm Lots.  She is the president of the Keaukaha Pana’ewa Farmers Association, and is a former program manager for USDA, Rural Development.  She has been a member of Zonta Club of Hilo for 12 years.

Zonta International and its local clubs advance the status of women around the world through service and advocacy.  Individual clubs develop local programs and priorities that are consistent with the overall goals of Zonta International.

The Zonta Club of Hilo provides four annual scholarships, participates in a variety of projects including support of robotic programs in our schools, Hale Ohana shelter, Weinberg Friends program and advocates on issues affecting women. This year the Hilo chapter is focusing on a Weinberg project at the Neighborhood Place of Puna, to help women in need.  The club is one of 1,200 clubs with 31,000 members worldwide in 67 countries and areas.

Zonta International is a recognized NGO with United Nation status and supports service projects in Rwanda, Guatemala, El Salvador and Liberia.  The organization raises more than $3 million annually to support international projects.

Membership is available to executives and professionals committed to advancing the status of women through service and advocacy.  Information on Zonta International and the Zonta Club of Hilo can be found on www.zonta.org or www.zontadistrict9.org, or calling Ellen Aoki, membership chair, at 808-959-9098.