Zonta Club of Oakville hosts COVID-friendly Rose Day campaign and fundraiser 

The Zonta Club of Oakville in Ontario, Canada, is preparing for Zonta Rose Day and International Women's Day on 8 March. Everything will be coming up yellow roses in their town: shop windows, the Towne Square, social media feeds, mailboxes and more. The club's "Zonta Celebrates IWD 2021" campaign encourages everyone to celebrate all the wonderful women in their lives—mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, bosses, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, anyone. These women are the 'Zonta Roses' that make the garden of life beautiful.

The Zonta Club of Oakville has been celebrating International Women's Day since the club's inception in 1973. The Zonta Celebrates Dinner Gala at the Burlington Convention Centre is their signature event, which sells out every year. In 2019, they welcomed keynote speaker Canadian Olympian Catriona Le May Doan, and in 2020, technology leader Amber Mac. Through these two events, the club was able to donate CA$75,000 (approximately US$59,070) to the Oakville Hospital Foundation.

Since hosting a gala is not possible this year because of COVID-19, the Zonta Club of Oakville organized the following wildly creative COVID–friendly campaign:

  • #ZontaRose social media campaign – Those celebrating International Women's Day are encouraged to post a photo, message or video on social media about their #ZontaRose. The Zonta Club of Oakville also used this program as an opportunity to celebrate their hardworking members. Foluso Olawunmi, membership chair, is featured to the left.

  • 'I Celebrate You' greeting cards – With social distancing keeping friends and family apart, the Zonta Club of Oakville designed and printed beautiful International Women's Day 'I Celebrate You' cards. One package of five cards is CA$30 plus shipping and handling. That means 'Zonta Roses' all around Oakville are receiving heartfelt messages of gratitude in their mailboxes!

  • Shop Local campaign with Oakville businesses – Oakville residents are encouraged to treat their 'Zonta Roses' to a special gift or meal from a local Oakville business. Shops and restaurants received free  'I Celebrate You' posters for their front windows and were encouraged to decorate their establishments with yellow and offer special IWD discounts to customers. "We're thrilled that so many members of the Downtown Oakville Business Improvement Association are celebrating and honoring women in this way," says Liz Hibberd, event co-chair. "Best of all, Oakville residents are showing their love in return and shopping at these stores and restaurants."

  • Towne Square Zonta Celebrates IWD display – Lastly, all Oakville visitors and residents are encouraged to visit the "Instagrammable" Zonta Celebrates IWD display in the Oakville Towne Square from 26 February to 12 March. Few will be able to resist taking a photo under the large Zonta Celebrates archway decorated with yellow roses! 

None of this could have been possible without the tireless dedication of the 41 Zonta Club of Oakville members, their corporate sponsors, donors, supporters and community. The club also secured a matching donor who graciously will be matching every dollar donated during the campaign. The proceeds from Oakville's Zonta Celebrates IWD 2021 will be donated to the Oakville Hospital Foundation and women's charities.

More information can be found at zontacelebrates.ca.