The Zonta Club of Spearfish grants over $32,000 to local groups

Grant recipients pose for a photo April 8 when they were awarded a combined $32,000 from the Zonta Club of Spearfish. Pioneer photo by Mark Watson

SPEARFISH — The Zonta Club of Spearfish service organization recently awarded more than $32,000 in grants to 36 non-profit groups in the Northern Hills. The Zonta grant night event was held Wednesday, April 8 at the Matthews Opera House in Spearfish.

The mission of the local Zonta chapter is to serve the Spearfish community by recognizing and supporting the needs of women and children. Non-profit groups that work in these specific areas are encouraged to apply for the grants at the first of the year, with the monies being distributed in early spring.

"Zonta is just another example of how our community works together and is always willing to give a helping hand. I believe there is nothing more rewarding than helping make a difference in our amazing community," said Cher Rhoads, president of the Zonta Club of Spearfish.

In addition to the grants, the Spearfish Zonta chapter Service Committee has purchased over $6,000 to purchase all types of clothing for needy children, through the vetting of school counselors and the Artemis House. The Spearfish club also sponsored free screenings of the “It’s A Girl” documentary film to promote public awareness about societal infanticide in the countries of China and India.

Organizations receiving grants were: Northern Hills Rotary Club, Math and Science Club (Belle Fourche), American Legion Auxiliary Unit 164, The Mathews Opera House and Art Center The Big Read, Kids and the Arts, Creekside Elementary, Mt. View and West Elementary schools, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish High School We the People, Western Hills Humane Society, Northern Hills Quilt Guild, Spearfish Community Coalition, Kenadi Jean Weis Foundation, Spearfish Nutrition Site / Meals on Wheels, Good Shepherd Clinic, Lutheran Social Services, Canyon Hills Center, Lawrence County Child Protection Team, Free the Black Hills of Human Trafficking, Family Health Education Services, Fine Arts Booster Club, Victims of Violence Intervention Program, SD Center for Enterprise Opportunity, Spearfish Foundation for Public Education,   NH C.A.S.A., Lutheran Campus Ministries, Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons, Teen Court, Parents Who Care Post Prom, SMS Student Council, BH Foster Parent Association, Girls on the Run, Spearfish High SCHOOL #5, Spearfish Amateur Hockey Association, Spearfish Rec and Aquatics Center, Young Life, and Youth Wise.

“It is important for our local Zonta club to help these organizations through grants, as that is what our club is all about, helping women and children in our community.  It is the way our club gives back to our community,” said Angie Leonard, grant committee chairwoman.

The main fundraiser for the Zonta Club of Spearfish is the annual Festival of Trees auction held in early December.  Money raised from that event is used to award local scholarships, put on the Young Women’s Leadership Forum in April for high school girls and assisting non-profit groups in the local area that meet the mission of Zonta.

The Zonta Club of Spearfish is affiliated with Zonta International, founded in 1919. The name Zonta is an American Indian Lakota word meaning honest and trustworthy. Zonta is a global service organization of executives and professionals working together, across political and social boundaries, to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. The organization has more than 30,000 members in over 1,200 Zonta clubs in 66 countries.

If you are interested in learning more about the Zonta Club of Spearfish or joining the organization you can visit their page on facebook or go to

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