Women’s History Month: Zonta Club and the Evergreen Award

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MARQUETTE– Around the Upper Peninsula, there are Zonta Clubs, branches of an international group that’s all about women helping other women. In the Marquette area, the club started in 1972.

“We as an organization, we want to reach out to other women and young girls to let them know that we are there for them,” said Darlene Kyto, President. “They can come to us at anytime. We like to mentor young girls, just be a sounding board for them.”

One way the club does this is through fundraisers.

“You might remember our big fundraiser in the fall, is the Koeze Nut Fundraiser,” said Kyto. “From that, we give out scholarships to local areas here, local organizations, students that go to Northern.”

The money that the club raises each year is given out the following year. This year Zonta will be giving out seven thousand dollars. Throughout the year, the club comes together to give out awards as well, one of them being the Evergreen Award.

“The recipient of an Evergreen Award is a person, which could be a man or woman that supports women and girls so that they can reach their full potential,” said Cheryl Jackson, Zonta Member.

It was originally called the Athena Award from 1996 until 2004.

“This was an international award that was granted locally,” said Jackson. “Like we had a Marquette recipient. We decided to try to do it locally. So, Zonta felt strongly about this and organized local people to get together to discuss if this was something that could be done. And of course they had to create a new name and that name became the Evergreen Award.”

One of those recipients is Tami Seavoy. She was given the recognition in 2017.

“I had to be nominated and I was nominated by someone who works with me and she actually got input from a lot of different people about what things I’ve done in the past and what things I’m currently doing,” said Seavoy.

One thing that Seavoy does is mentoring in the Student-Leader Fellowship Program at NMU.

“The mentoring of women and girls is just a really important thing to me,” said Seavoy. “I was a Girl Scouts leader as well and I think it makes a big difference in girls lives. I have two daughters myself and I think it’s really important for them to have mentors other than me.”
 

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