Zonta Club to mark International Women’s Day with rose fundraiser

The Oil City-Franklin Zonta Club is marking International Women’s Day on Monday with a fundraiser featuring rose plants.

The 2020 observance on March 8 featured a Pack-the-Plaza rally in Oil City’s Central Avenue Plaza. It was jointly sponsored by the Zonta Club and the Oil City YWCA.

Zonta Club president Suzanne Williams said the pandemic’s health-related directives changed plans to hold a public event this year.

“Due to COVID restrictions, there will not be any formal public events for International Women’s Day like we did last year when we hosted the ‘Pack the Plaza’ rally,” Williams said. “Instead, this year, Zonta Club is selling knock-out rose bushes during March.”

International Women’s Day, held annually on March 8, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, raising awareness about women’s equality and promoting fundraisers for female-focused non-profit organizations.

Deb Lutz, chairman of the Zonta Club’s advocacy committee, said the 2021 Women’s Day theme is Choose To Challenge.

“Zonta stands for women’s rights,” said Lutz. “We advocate for equality, education and an end to child marriage and gender-based violence. Zonta is engaged within our communities.”

To promote the observance, club members are selling two-gallon ready-to-plant rose bushes. The $25 plants are available in yellow, red, pink and white colors and are being provided through the Oil City Agway store.

Orders and payment are due by March 26, and plants will be delivered during the first week of May.

All proceeds will benefit local charities, said Cynthia Moon, a Zonta member who is leading the fundraising effort.

Order forms are available at Moon’s Gates & Burns office, 8 E. First St. in Oil City, or on the Zonta Facebook page, Zonta International, Franklin-Oil City Pa.

“The yellow Zonta rose is our floral emblem, symbolizing peace,” said Moon. “The roses would make a nice gift for Mother’s Day.”

Promotion is continuing

Zonta and the YWCA are continuing their “Run Like A Girl – Let’s Do This!” campaign to encourage local women to seek public office in the 2021 election cycle.

The promotion, tied to the International Women’s Day observance, includes an area set up inside the YW on Central Avenue that offers packets of election-related material. They are available free of charge now through the March 9 filing deadline.