Zonta Club of Everett members (from left) Marilyn Kent, Judith Strand, Cindy Phillips and Linda Lepak chat while standing on Colby Avenue in Everett in an effort to raise awareness about violence against women on Friday. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Zonta Club of Everett members (from left) Marilyn Kent, Judith Strand, Cindy Phillips and Linda Lepak chat while standing on Colby Avenue in Everett in an effort to raise awareness about violence against women on Friday. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Zonta Club of Everett works to protect women from violence

EVERETT — When she was a pediatric nurse, she tended to traumatic injuries.

She remembers a young woman who was admitted into the hospital. Her boyfriend had shot her.

Medical personnel were told to keep quiet. The man was supposedly in a gang.

“We were all under the impression that they would come back to finish the job,” retired nurse Lyn Kent said.

She spent her career caring for girls who were targeted in acts of violence. She helped them heal as best as she could.

After retiring, she joined Zonta, an international organization with a mission to support women and protect them from violence. With help from the United Nations, Zonta has implemented advocacy projects worldwide.

Local chapters are scattered around 67 countries. The Everett chapter has contributed to projects closer to home for the past 87 years.

A handful of members donned small orange ribbons Friday, a symbol for the Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women campaign. They bundled up for the November chill and set up a table with information about the campaign in downtown Everett.

More women and men are affected by violence than one might think, Kent said. Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County received 5,706 calls to their hotline last year.

Linda Lepak, president of the Everett chapter, was a victim of violence. She knows other people who also were victims.

Many don’t like to talk about it, she said.

In past years, Zonta Club of Everett has participated in clothing drives, asking for business clothes that women can wear to job interviews. Members cook a meal once a month at Cocoon House, a nonprofit that assists young people in finding a safe place to live. They also hosted a forum for students at Edmonds Community College about human trafficking.

A fundraiser gala is scheduled for February. They hope to collect $40,000, Lepak said.

The club has donated more than $1.5 million to local organizations and international projects.

In addition to raising money, Zonta International also offers scholarships to women across the world. One is named after Amelia Earhart, the legendary aviator and a fellow Zonta member. It is awarded to women working toward a doctoral degree in aerospace studies. Scholarships for women pursuing careers in business or public affairs also are available.

Despite the club’s long-standing history in Everett, not many people know about it, said Judith Strand, member and former president.

“We’re the best-kept secret in Everett,” she said.

Cindy Phillips joined in 1982 when she was 23. A former boss introduced her to the organization. The club became a place of personal and professional growth. She travels around the world for Zonta’s international projects.

“When I joined, I couldn’t stand up in a room and say my name without turning beet red,” Phillips said.

Over the years, membership has dwindled to 30 members. They’re looking for young women to keep the club.

“I’ve been actively working for women’s rights since 1968,” Strand said. “We’re trying to stay relevant.”

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com.

Zonta Club

For more information about Zonta Club of Everett, go to www.zontaeverett.org or email info@zontaeverett.org.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Providers at Community Health Center of Snohomish County vote to form a union

Providers expressed hope for improving patient care and making their voices heard with management.

Granite Falls
Two suspects charged in motorhome shooting near Granite Falls

Bail was set at $2 million for each of the suspects, Dillon Thomas, 28 and David Koeppen, 37.

The Everett Police Department hosted its first Guns for Gift Cards exchange on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at the South Precinct in Everett, Washington. 241 firearms were exchanged for $25,000 in gift cards. (City of Everett)
Everett considering ARPA money for business boost, gun buyback

Another proposal gives each council member discretion on spending $75,000 of the federal aid on local pandemic recovery efforts

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Supreme Court rules state’s new capital gains tax is legal

The 7-2 ruling clears the way for collection of payments starting next month. The tax is expected to bring in $500 million a year.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A thumbs up for capital gains, kind words for the Senate budget

It’s Day 75. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

A residential home is demolished at what will be the site of a new Lake Stevens Library on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Sophia Gates / The Herald).
Site clearing begins for new Lake Stevens library

The initial work on Chapel Hill property brings dream of a new library closer to reality.

Rep. June Robinson, D-38
Schools, housing, salaries score big in Senate Dems $70B budget

The proposed spending plan also spends money to fight climate change, help abortion providers and study police pursuits

Dr. J. Matthew Lacy, Chief Medical Examiner for Snohomish County, answers preliminary questions from the state regarding his qualifications and experience as a medical examiner during the trial of Richard Rotter on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
At Rotter trial, debate breaks out over graphic autopsy photos

A judge ruled some close-ups of Everett officer Dan Rocha’s injuries could be used, while others were ruled out.

In this side-by-side image, the Totem Diner and Pacific Stone Company signs put on a flirty display for all to see Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Signs of love on Rucker Ave: blushing rocks, scrambled eggs, a coffee date

Messages on display on Totem Family Diner and Pacific Stone Co. signs reveal “secret crushes.” More updates expected.

Most Read