The Zonta Club of Berkshire County is hosting the 69th annual Zonta District 1 Official Fall Conference, “Making our Voices Heard” on the weekend of October 20th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The conference speakers will present action items to progress Zonta’s vision of a world in which women's rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.
The conference will begin with a welcome by Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer and feature an array of topics on women’s issues. State Representative Tricia Farley- Bouvier will welcome State Representative Kay Khan as the keynote speaker to discuss the elimination of child marriages in Massachusetts and improving the treatment of incarcerated women. A Zonta representative to UNICEF USA, will offer an update from our ‘Let Us Learn’ partnership service project in Madagascar with ways we can help locally.
A forum of accomplished panelists dedicated to helping those with opioid addiction will discuss the depth of the problem and ways we can combat this growing health and community crisis. Panelists include Chantal Silloway - program director for CHD's Goodwin House; Jennifer Kimball - Director of Opioid Prevention Coalition in the Berkshires; Dr. Maria Gallo whose affiliations include Clean Slate Center for addiction treatment; and Debra McLaughlin - coordinator of Opioid Taskforce Franklin County.
Soldier On Women Veterans of Northampton will discuss their efforts in aiding the growing number of homeless female veterans in Massachusetts, and Kristen Van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre will share ‘Where Art Meets Activism’.
All attendees will participate in “The Period Project” with our Z Club of Miss Halls School. It's extremely hard for women living in poverty to deal with the monthly financial and physical burden of a period. Products are costly and are not covered by SNAP or WIC. Zonta Conference attendees will create "kits" for area shelters and/or service centers to give to women in need. Below is a list of what we're collecting.
- Sealed Boxes of Pads or Tampons
• Panty Liners
• Cleansing Wipes
• Hand Sanitizers and/or Soap
• New Pairs of Underwear (Any Size)
- or cash donation to purchase items in short supply
Donations are welcome. Contact your local club for details
In addition to the leadership of the Berkshire Zonta Club led by Vickie Palardy, District Governor Joanne Puopolo, Zonta Club of Malden will run the election for leadership positions, and International Vice President Sharon Langenbeck will address the group and share information about the upcoming Centennial Celebration.
Our local clubs are part of Zonta International District 1, representing the New England states and Nova Scotia. More info is available at ZontaDistrict1.org. Zonta International is a leading global organization of nearly 30,000 professionals in 1200 clubs in 67 countries empowering women through service and advocacy.