(l-r) Debbie Munson and Pat Perrier present a surprised Mary Lancaster with her award and flowers.
The Joliet Zonta Club announced their 2013 Woman of the Year at their May 14 meeting.
The Woman of the Year is elected by the membership. This is a once-in-a-lifetime award, and this year’s winner joins a treasured group of members who have achieved this honor before her. Balloting was close this year, with three top contenders separated by one vote each. Debbie Munson, chair of the Woman of the Year Committee, presented the award with outgoing club President Pat Perrier.
This year’s awardee is Mary Lancaster, CPA. Mary has been a Zonta Club member since 2003. She served as the Club’s treasurer for several terms and consults with current treasurers on state and federal filings for the group. She also is one of the emcees for our annual fundraiser.
Mary’s family and friends were on hand to help her celebrate this honor. Among the comments on the ballots were: “She is always willing to help any of us.” “I aspire to be her.” “She gives her time and talent to the community and elevates our club by being a member.” “She is willing to mentor those she works with.” She has been with the accounting firm of Wermer, Rogers, Doran and Ruzon for 25 years, and has been cited for her “integrity, dedication to her clients’ best interests, and her ability to see the potential in everyone she works with.” She is also a co-host on the popular “Lynne, Mary and Natalie” radio show Friday mornings on WJOL 1340 AM.
She was presented with a dozen yellow roses, the Zonta flower, and a crystal statue. Mary was astounded that the club would choose her, saying, “I was speechless when I heard my name. I thought it was a mistake.” And then she commented that she would proudly display the statue in her office.
The club sponsors a $500 scholarship in the name of each year’s Woman of the Year, which is awarded by the Community Services Council of Will County.
The Joliet Zonta Club’s mission is to advocate for the advancement of women locally and globally. The Club, which has been in the area for 40 years, provides yearly scholarships and funds a local community organization (chosen every 2 years). The organization the Club will be sponsoring for the next two years is Will County Habitat for Humanity. The Club also participates in international projects through the parent organization, Zonta International. Members of the club hold one fundraiser every year and are required to participate in locally-chosen service projects. Interested parties can follow us on Facebook and contact us at our website for more information. Zonta is a classified organization and potential members must be nominated by current members. The club is non-sectarian and non-political.