Zonta Club of Fenton

Did you know that, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States? That statistic is from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

 Locally, one non-profit group, Zonta Club of Fenton, is making a difference, with not only domestic violence but human trafficking, which is at an all-time high. The club is marking its 25th anniversary Sept. 28 so I thought a timely reminder about their mission is in order. The group is dedicated to empowering women through their service and advocacy.

 On Sept. 28, the Fenton club will hold a fundraising event with $25 donations at the Fenton United Methodist Church. They will also host their commemorative flag planting at 10 a.m. for all the women who have lost their lives to domestic violence in Genesee County.

 After joining two years ago, Candice Montie is the current president of the Zonta Club of Fenton. She’s been in the financial industry for 25 years and loves to help people achieve their financial goals. She says she is a dedicated advocate for women, especially since she has three daughters, one of whom also joined Zonta. She joined because she believes in giving of herself rather than just watching and hoping the world gets better.

 The local club is working on its second annual Women’s Summit on Nov. 1 at Tyrone Hills Golf Club that raises money for local non-profits like the YWCA-Flint. Montie says they plan to hold another movie night this winter.

 The need to bring awareness has increased because domestic violence and human trafficking is everywhere, even in Fenton, Montie said. “The internet plays a huge part in getting to the younger persons exposing them to predators,” she said.

 Zonta not only works with the YWCA, they work with local police departments when a victim needs money for a hotel room if it is unsafe to go home.

 Montie said every area is being targeted and social media has allowed the predators to spread out more. “With Michigan bordering Canada, we are exposed heavily in Detroit where they cross but also locally because they take,” she said. “It is scary and growing. Bringing awareness locally will hopefully help parents and young adults to be smarter on the web.”

 With Michigan being ranked No. 2 in human trafficking, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource center, Montie said she, the Zonta Club of Fenton and Zonta International hope to bring awareness to this epidemic in our society.

 For more information about Zonta Club of Fenton, visit their Facebook page or website at eventbrite.com.

Sharon Stone is the editor of the Tri-County Times. To contact her, email her at sstone@tctimes.com or call her at (810) 433-6786. 

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