Popular annual program supports local and international projects.
Doctors may not make house calls any more, but Santa Claus
does—thanks to the Rent-A-Santa program sponsored by Zonta Club of the Santa
Santa, with a full entourage of elves and Mrs. Claus, is
available for community events, private or corporate parties, family holiday
get-togethers and personal visits with local children, with proceeds helping to
support Zonta’s local and international projects. Cost is $100 per hour, and
early reservations are recommended, especially for the most popular few
weekends before Christmas.
Zonta Club is also seeking volunteers to fill out its ranks
of Santas for the holiday event. The club has a supply of costumes and handles
all the booking arrangements.
“There’s something about being Santa that brings out the
personality in our volunteers,” said Pat Allen, who along with husband Sheldon form
one of the most frequently booked Santa couples in the program. “Even people
who are shy in person light up when they see the look in kids’ eyes at the
sight of Santa.”
“We’re still awaiting confirmations from a number of Santas
who have served in previous years, but if the calls continue to come in as they
have been doing, we are going to need all the Santa volunteers we can get,”
said Barbara Stearns-Cochran, Rent-A-Santa reservations chair. Pat Warford is
this year’s committee chair and Pat Allen and Alyce Huff also serve the
committee in leadership roles.
Zonta Club is hoping to bring in almost $5,000 with this
year’s Rent-A-Santa program—one of the largest fund-raising eventsin the club’s
local calendar after the Celebrity Roast and Zonta Golf Tournament. The club
uses its money to support Zonta International’s mission of advancing the status
of women around the globe.
Internationally, the club’s focus is on health issues and elimination of
abuse against women worldwide.
Locally, Zonta Club offers grants to local non-profit
organizations which support the club’s mission and administers the Virginia
Wrage Memorial grant program to help women who are facing a life-changing
crisis. The club also hosts the annual Women in Service Celebration which
honors outstanding women from organizations throughout the community, and
selects a Young Women in Public Affairs winner to carry the community’s
standard in district and, hopefully, national and international competition.
Zonta offer free women’s health screening at its annual
Healthy Woman’s Day and has worked for many years with young girls from the Val
Verde community, encouraging them to break the cycle of poverty, gangs, drugs
and early pregnancy that robs many of their peers of their full potential. In
addition to hosting educational and character-building programs for younger
girls, the club offers a scholarship to Healthy Kids Club alumnae who go on to
“One of the things that makes our Zonta Club outstanding is
the community outreach programs such as Rent-A-Santa,” said Chris Miller, local
club president. “We make a lot of local children happy while earning money to
support our worthwhile causes.” She also lauded the number of club members,
spouses and community volunteers who give their time during the busy holiday
season to make the program a success.
The club also offered its thanks to Dry Clean Express,
Soledad Canyon Rd.
club’s Santa costumes.
Local residents or organizations interested in reserving a
visit from Santa, or prospective Santas interested in volunteering their time,
can call Stearns-Cochran at (661) 251-1352 between and