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Zonta Club hosts auction

Melissa Topey • Mar 31, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Reporter turns fashion model for annual event.

Intelligent   women. Beautiful style. Elegant atmosphere.

Glitz and glamour were in abundance Thursday night when the Zonta Club of Greater Sandusky hosted the 15th Annual Spring Auction at the Sandusky Yacht Club.

My job? Fashion model.

Yes, me, who doesn’t even stand 5 feet tall and has never been called statuesque. I was more than willing to don the title of “model” for an On the Job segment.

Some of the things I heard more than once:

“Love the outfit?”

“How much is it?”

“Look at the bracelet”

I also heard: “The Sandusky Register reporter is looking hot” For that, I have to thank Holly McGory and Margie Gildenmeister, who dressed me up and gave me that “Wow” factor for the show. McGory is general manager and buyer at the Shops at Sawmill Creek, where Gildenmeister is a sales associate.    I went into the store a few days beforehand and tried on seven outfits, which Gildenmeister helped me choose. She’s a genius — she knew my size and, more importantly, she knew what would look good on me.

Zonta Club of Greater Sandusky programs and support
•Sponsor of the Make-A-Smile program, the club’s signature effort to provide dental care funds for women and children.

•Major contributor of The Volunteer Center of Erie County’s annual Women of Excellence Celebration.

•Donates to Safe Harbour Domestic Violence Shelter’s Homeward Bound Program.

•Scholarships provider for high school girls in Erie County, and for Buckeye Girls State.

•Non-traditional scholarships for women returning to school

•Others work supported: Heartbeat; Habitat for Humanity; Kinship


Zonta Club of Greater Sandusky’s $1,000 scholarship winners this year:
•Camille Gill, Edison High School

•Audrey Braun, Margaretta High School

•Abigail Spitler, Perkins High School


 I don’t always like trying on clothes, but I loved every minute of this assignment.

McGory finally chose one of the last outfits I tried on. It had a long, blackand-white cardigan, a matching tank that was short of a short dress, and black leggings.

“This is more fashion” McGory said.

Kathy Parzynski, a Zonta member who is also a sales manager for KBI, and Kathy Dailey, president of Zonta Club of Greater Sandusky and vice president and investment services manager for Citizens Bank, invited me to be a part of the action at the auction.

The yacht club was elegantly decorated by Kirk Miller Floral Design.

I joined Kathy, McGory and Dr. Lata Stefano in walking the fundraising event, just like the old-school fashion houses would do when they modeled clothes for customers. We showed off the glamorous outfits to the best of our abilities, turning and talking to those in attendance as they sipped wine and nibbled on the hors d’oeuvres before dinner. Ladies would buy raffle tickets to win different glamour bags, a wine wall, a money tree, gift card tree and lottery tree.

“I joined because I wanted to be able to give back to my community,” Parzynski said of her work with Zonta. “I wanted to help those who needed a start in life, such as with education”

She has been a Zonta member for four years.

Zonta’s Greater Sandusky chapter was chartered about 50 years ago as a part of Zonta International, a worldwide organization made up of women who work to empower and advance the status and causes of women. Programs are specific to the chapters, and they’re designed to meet needs in each chapter’s region.

Bottom line: They make a difference in the lives of women by improving their economic, health, educational, professional, political and legal status.

And clearly, they do it with style.

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