Category Archives: Club Events

Paint for Paws raises $3,000 for family pet sheltering at CASA

by ZontaDoris

Feedback on our Paint for Paws fundraiser is ALL positive!

In case you missed our fabulous fundraiser,our purpose was to help CASA, the domestic violence shelter in St. Petersburg, start its family pet sheltering program onsite to keep loving family members–including canines and felines–FULLY together and safe from abuse.

Friday night, two Paint for Paws artists told me, again, more than four weeks after the event, how much they enjoyed the evening. The friends of other Zonta Club members are giving similar praise for the event on October 5 at Painting with a Twist

Here is what we are cheering about: 

  • We sold out Painting with a Twist. The capacity is 55 guests. We actually had more than 55 people there because some of us organizers gave our easels to guests to use.
  • The crew at Painting with a Twist–owner Marvin Gay, manager Joshua French, and art instructor Adrianna Auriemma are wonderful hosts and partners for this kind of event. They kept us informed of our growing reservations list. They helped us plan pre-event how we would set up our food and auction tables. They gave us early access to set up our 25+ auction baskets and food and they adjusted quickly to keep things moving well during the event. Joshua and Adrianna, equipped with different instructional styles, each came across well to the guests.
  • Kathy Scott from CASA spoke to the crowd. She explained that the pet sheltering had been a dream of Linda Osmundson, the former ED who passed away in January 2016 as the new CASA state-of-the-art domestic violence shelter came into being. Room had been set aside for a kennel to be built on the site. The catch was that new money had to be raised apart from the funds for sheltering human survivors of domestic violence.
  • So many businesses and individuals helped underwrite the event with donations of items and services for auction baskets. (See our slider on the home page for the logos of sponsors, supporters, and pals.) We also had plenty of tasty food and wine. Cicis delivered pizza–savory and cinnamon-sweet–and Subway donated sandwiches. We even had a special chocolate cake baked by cake artist Jazmin Demerjian to raise even more money and eat by the end of the evening.
  • We raised over $3,000 for the Zonta Foundation through our raffle sales, silent auction, and donations on our website with our new donations button. Now we are talking with John Biesinger at CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) to find a good time to present a $3,000 check to CASA to keep domestic violence survivors’ families intact while they are living in the CASA shelter. CASA will become only the 8th DV shelter in Florida to house pets onsite with their families.  
  • We are thrilled with the outcomes we achieved. Thank you to everyone who contributed their time, energy, and money to make it successful. We could not have done it without you!

Picture of brushes from Pixabay

Views expressed in this blog post are mine and may not reflect the stance of the Zonta Club of Pinellas County or Zonta International. — Doris Reeves-Lipscomb

 

Zontafest was a blast!

by ZontaDoris

Undoubtedly, the craft beer inspired some to come but it was far from the only, or even main, reason. Many guests also said they wanted to learn more about the Zonta Club, advocate for women and girls, expand their knowledge of gender equality issues, and network with people who share their interests and passion for change.

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We also have a few pictures of the evening to share with you. 

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Views expressed in this blog post are mine and may not reflect the stance of the Zonta Club of Pinellas County or Zonta International. — Doris Reeves-Lipscomb

Wear Orange on June 2-3 to Honor Gun Violence Victims and Spark Change

by ZontaDoris

Have you heard? 

National Gun Violence Awareness Day is Friday, June 2.

Kathleen McGrory, staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times, recently interviewed Michelle Gajda, Florida chapter leader of the advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Gajda explained that the national Wear Orange campaign is intended to end gun violence and save lives.

McGrory reported that “Florida will host more Wear Orange events than any other state — a deliberate attempt to ‘highlight the magnitude of the gun violence epidemic.'” (Gajda)

A horrifyingly high percentage of deaths from Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)/Domestic Violence (DV) happens when assailants shoot their partners. From the 2016 Fatality Review report by the Pinellas County Domestic Violence Task Force (which we will feature later in June in this blog), we learned that

FIREARMS were the LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH in Pinellas County IPV/DV cases 44% of the time, which is far more than knives (used 30% of the time) or strangulation (12% of the time).

In IPV/DV cases in 2016 involving a homicide/suicide in the home analyzed by the Task Force, an OVERRIDING MAJORITY–89% of the Pinellas County homicide/suicide cases reviewed by the Task Force involved a firearm.

AS INSTRUMENTS OF DEATH, GUNS ARE WAY TOO EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE. (caps and bold are mine)

Additionally, the report notes that while:

“Federal Statute prevents anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor from possessing or purchasing a firearm, in Pinellas County, many people charged with domestic battery are placed in a diversion program which does not qualify as a conviction, thus allowing them to possess firearms.”

WHAT IS THAT ABOUT? The net impact is that while we try to hold batterers accountable and help them learn better ways to manage their anger and behavior in domestic relationships, because they are not charged with a crime, THEY CAN KEEP THEIR GUNS CLOSE BY, thereby increasing the likelihood that if they lapse and abuse their partner again, death could result for the person they abuse and anyone else who happens to be present. 

TO SUMMARIZE, IPV/DV GUN VIOLENCE IS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL IN PINELLAS COUNTY.

Wear Orange events in Tampa Bay will be held on June 2 and June 3  as follows:

  • June 2, Candlelight vigil, Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, 8:00 PM
  • June 3, St. Pete Wear Orange Party for Peace, Gladden Park, 3901 30th Avenue N, St. Petersburg, 10:00 AM
  • June 3, Orange KISS: Keep It Safe & Smart, The Portico, 1001 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, 2:00 PM

The Zonta Club of Pinellas County supports the Wear Orange goals.

WE WILL BE IN ST. PETERSBURG ON SATURDAY MORNING. PLEASE JOIN US!

We will participate in our customized orange T-shirts to honor IPV/DV victims and show our support for IPV/DV survivors and our bonds with Zonta Club members in Macedonia and Albania. They held their event early in May to stop violence against women.

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Views expressed in this blog post are mine and may not reflect the stance of the Zonta Club of Pinellas County or Zonta International. — Doris Reeves-Lipscomb