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Zonta Club of Hilo Scholarships, Award Available

The Zonta Club of Hilo is accepting applications for its 2017 Nursing, Math & Science Scholarships, the Jane M. Klausman Women In Business Scholarship, and the 2017 Young Women in Public Affairs Award (YWPA).

Each scholarship awards $1,000; the YWPAA awards $500.

The Nursing Scholarship is open to women enrolled in a nursing degree program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH) or at Hawaii Community College (HCC).

The Math & Science Scholarship is open to women enrolled full-time at UHH or HCC, working towards a degree in mathematics, physics, engineering, technology, computer science, pharmacy and astronomy.

The YWPAA recognizes young women who are committed to volunteering, demonstrate leadership skills and are dedicated to empowering women and girls. YWPAA applicants are asked to reflect on their volunteer work and the problems limiting the advancement of the status of women in their community and worldwide. YWPAA applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 19 on April 1, 2017, and be a resident of Hawaii County.

The application deadline for scholarships and the YWPAA is Friday, March 31, 2017.

Applications are available at zontahilo.org or through Zonta Hilo’s Service Chair, Julie Tulang at info@zontahilo.org.

Zonta Hilo’s Mele Spencer Recognized at Hawaii State Senate

On February 1, Mele Spencer was recognized at the Hawaii State Capitol for assuming the volunteer post of Zonta International District 9 governor for 2016-18. The ceremony was arranged by State Senator Lorraine Inouye.

Mele Spencer with recognition at the State Capitol with Hawaii State Senators and members from the Zonta Clubs of Hilo and Leilehua.

Zonta is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

“How super to have our state senators recognize Zonta International’s work to empower women across the world,” said Spencer. “What a personal honor for me. Big mahalo to Senator Lorraine Inouye for arranging.”

As governor, Spencer serves as the link between the district and Zonta International and administers affairs of the district, which is comprised of 25 clubs and 543 members in Hawaii, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. District 9 also includes seven Z clubs (high school) and six Golden Z clubs (college), one of which is at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Spencer is one of 31 governors worldwide and nine Zontians in the United States serving as a district governor this biennium. She has been a member of the Zonta Club of Hilo since 1998.

Kojo Couture, 19th & Whimsy to Headline Zonta Fashion Frenzy

The Zonta Club of Hilo presents Zonta Fashion Frenzy, Hawaii Island’s premier fashion event, February 9-11, 2017, headlined by Maui’s Koa Johonson of Kojo Couture and Oahu’s Lauren Hayashibara of 19th & Whimsy. More than 60 local designers and businesses will participate over the course of the three-day event.


Fashion Frenzy puts the clubs mission – empower women through service and advocacy – into action by creating a venue for local designers and women-owned businesses to showcase their unique talents and products.

The event kicks off Thursday, February 9 with Dine Like a Diva at 6:30 p.m. at Wainaku Executive Center. Jasmine Silverstein of HeartBeet Catering and Casey Halpern of Café Pesto will prepare a locally-sourced, fashion-inspired menu. Each pupu will incorporate a fashion element by a participating designer, from garment silhouette and fabric texture/color to collection theme. For dessert, attendees will enjoy a chocolate fountain with fresh local fruit and cookies, and Kau coffee and espresso. Tickets are $65, which includes food and wine bar curated by Kadota Liquor.

On Friday, February 10, the community is invited to attend the Friday Night Market from 5:30-9:00 p.m. at Sangha Hall. The night market features nearly 45 fashion, art and food pop-ups, specialty cocktails, craft beer and wine, live music, fierce photo booth and mini fashion shows on the hour. There is no cover charge and all ages are welcome.

The finale Runway Fashion Show takes place Saturday, February 11 at Imiloa Center and is a showcase of Hawaii’s leading and emerging designers. Headliners Kojo Couture (Koa Johnson, Maui) and 19th & Whimsy (Lauren Hayashibara, Oahu) are joined by Alohiwai, Wehi Designs, Colors of Life, Simply Sisters, Hana Hou Hilo and Vested Interest Hawaii from Oahu. Tickets are $60 and includes fashion show followed by a pupu reception and exclusive shopping experience with designers. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., show starts at 6:00 p.m.

All event proceeds go to the Zonta Club of Hilo Foundation to support local service projects including “Pay it Forward,” a program that provides micro-grants to women starting or expanding a business; scholarships for young women furthering their education in STEM, business and nursing; and a “Dress for Success” program to benefit Hawaii Island women in need.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.ZontaFashionFrenzy.org. Event sneak peeks available on Facebook and IG @ZontaHilo; find posts using #ZontaFashionFrenzy.

Fashion Frenzy 2017 is made by possible by Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hastings & Pleadwell: A Communication Company, Crush Skincare, Markham Insurance, A3 Telecom, Aloha All Natural Cleaning, Edward Jones, Day-Lum Rentals & Management, Mary Begier Realty, Altres Staffing, GUM Design, Mermade Spa, HeartBeet Catering, Cafe Pesto, Kadota Liquor, OK Farms, Big Island Delights and Kau Coffee Specialty.

Zonta Club of Hilo to Honor Jackie Pualani Johnson with Rose Award

The Zonta Club of Hilo will honor Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson with its biennial “Rose Award of Excellence” on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson

Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson

The Zonta Rose Award of Excellence recognizes women who have made significant impact on the lives of others through their employment, volunteer activities and associations. The award is part of Zonta International’s observance of International Women’s Day and Zonta Rose Day. Zonta’s mission is to empower women through service and advocacy.

“Zonta Hilo is proud to play a part in celebrating Jackie’s extraordinary achievements and contributions to the arts, education and throughout the community,” said Julie Tulang, Zonta Hilo Service Chair. “For nearly four decades, Jackie has worn many hats—teacher, mentor, performer, director—inspiring and sparking creativity wherever she goes.”

Johnson was born and raised in Hilo. She is a graduate of St. Joseph High School, where she began singing under the direction of Clarence Waipa. Johnson received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in drama from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has performed hula and chanted oli for international audiences, and played a number of roles in local theater productions including Golde in Fiddler on the Roof and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Johnson helped organize, and appeared in, Hilo Community Players’ Shakespeare-in-the-Park, now in its 39th year. For the outdoor summer production’s 25th anniversary, she fulfilled a lifelong dream, presenting a pidgin version of a Shakespeare classic re-titled One Uddah Mid’summah.

Johnson is professor and chair of the Performing Arts Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, where she began teaching in 1979. She has taught acting, stage make-up, costuming and directing, and provided oral interpretation of literature with an emphasis on works by local writers. Johnson has directed more than seventy productions, and plans to retire from UHH in May 2017.

Recently, she acted in and directed historical performances for Kona Historical Society including Isabella Bird at Kealapuali, Kona Coffee Days and A Visit to Kalu Kalu as well as scripts based on the lives of female monarchs in Hawaii including Queen Kaahumanu and Queen Liliuokalani. Johnson is married with three daughters and six grandchildren.

For more information about the Zonta Rose Award event or to purchase tickets—$25 includes dinner—contact Ashley Kierkiewicz at (808) 989-4004 or via email: alk@hastingsandpleadwell.com by March 9.

About Zonta Club of Hilo
The Zonta Club of Hilo was founded in 1950 and is part of Zonta International, a global organization whose mission is to empower women through service and advocacy. To learn more about the club’s service projects, special events, advocacy efforts and scholarship opportunities, visit zontahilo.org.

Presentation – Understanding the Dynamics of Human Trafficking in Hawaii

The Zonta Club of Hilo is hosting a presentation by Kathy Xian, Executive Director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, on understanding the dynamics of human trafficking in Hawaii on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 at the Hilo Women’s Club located at 7 Lele Street from 5:30 – 7:30.

The free, public presentation is part of the Zonta Says NO 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence—an international campaign that aims to inspire action and end violence against women and girls around the world.

16 Days of Activism kicked off on Nov. 25 (International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women) and ends on Dec. 10 (Human Rights Day).

  • WHO: Kathryn Xian, Executive Director of The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS)
  • WHAT: “Understanding the Dynamics of Human Trafficking in Hawaii” Presentation

kathy xian

NOTE: Presentation is free and open to the public. Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, and Zonta Says NO Hilo campaign chair, Ashley Kierkiewicz, will be present and available for remarks.

In addition, Zonta Hilo has teamed up with local businesses to host shoe displays geared towards increasing awareness of gender-based violence. Each display includes a pair of shoes, “Who will be next?” poster, domestic violence survivor quote and resource cards. To date, 12 businesses have agreed to host a display for the duration of the 16 Days of Activism. A limited number of displays are left; interested individuals should contact Ashley Kierkiewicz at (808) 989-4004 or by emailing alk@hastingsandpleadwell.com.