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Zonta Club of NF annual installation, awards dinner

Thu, May 16th 2019 01:15 pm
From left, Bonnie Weidert, Zonta education and awards chair; scholarship winner Sarah LoCurto; and Pam Kilmer, awards evaluation committee. (Submitted photo)
From left, Bonnie Weidert, Zonta education and awards chair; scholarship winner Sarah LoCurto; and Pam Kilmer, awards evaluation committee. (Submitted photo)

The Zonta Club of Niagara Falls held its annual installation and awards dinner at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel on Wednesday evening. Zonta International, founded in 1919, celebrated its 100th birthday, while the Zonta Club of Niagara Falls celebrated its 95th birthday.

Passage House Director Larissa Bachman and Residential Care Coordinator Debbie Aloian received a $500 check from Zonta’s Service Chair Angie Henderson. The money is used for the Fresh Start Fund, which helps purchase incidentals for the shelter’s residents that are not covered by federal or state Medicaid sources. 

Zonta has contributed annually to this 15-bed domestic violence shelter in Niagara Falls for over 20 years. Zonta members also collected large reusable shopping bags for the shelter’s women to carry their personal items when they transition out of the shelter into other residence accommodations.

Niagara-Wheatfield senior Sarah LoCurto received Zonta’s 2019 Young Woman In Public Affairs Local Award and a $500 check. 

In addition to being an outstanding student, athlete and community volunteer, Zonta members and dinner guests had the privilege of watching a Channel 2 “DayBreak” piece on WNY “Great Kids,” which featured LoCurto and the charity she founded “Because Char Smiled.”

Sarah started “Because Char Smiled” as a project to bring smiles to cancer patients at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and patients at other hospitals who could not receive fresh flowers because they posed a health risk. This project creates paper flowers for patients in need of a smile, and LoCurto has shared the flower creation process with groups and organizations across Western New York. 

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