Grants support four women-owned local businesses

The Zonta Club of Auburn has a long history of working to make the world a better place for women and girls through service and advocacy.

These goals are achieved by supporting various agencies that provide a variety of programs that offer financial, emotional and educational support.

This year, the Zonta Club of Auburn created a new financial grant program (mini-grants) for women-owned businesses to assist them in making their business more successful. The qualifications for the grant were that the business had to be less than five years old and have a demonstrated record of success. The grants can be used for a variety of needs, such as marketing, social outreach, equipment or property improvement.

The Zonta Club of Auburn awarded four mini-grants to locally owned business leaders/entrepreneurs to help them grow and expand their business, and the winners of these grants are listed as follows:

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• Melissa (Mel) Colvin, owner of Ooh La La Laser Hair Removal, has been a registered nurse for over 10 years. She started her laser hair journey as a client and found it so satisfying and empowering that she decided to transition from being a registered nurse to becoming a certified laser professional. She opened her business in 2022, and her mission statement and goal is to “help others achieve their own personal vision of beauty.” She is also the proud mom of three. She will be using her grant for radio advertising in order to increase her business (39 Arterial West, Auburn, [315] 217-1848).

• Sue Ferlenda is owner of Suzy Q’s. She will be using the grant to reseal the store’s driveway. If you haven’t stopped by Suzy Q’s, you’re missing out on a very unique gift store primarily featuring hand-made items by local artisans. This gift store has an amazing variety of treasurers for sale, artwork, clothing, home decorations and books, just to name a few (449 N. Seward Ave., Auburn [315] 224-2235).

• Lucy Janssen is owner of Reuse Refuge, which specializes in items that can are reusable or can be repurposed. It is also a refillery for various personal and household needs, and you bring your own container. The goal of this eco-market is to reduce waste output by helping to eliminate single-use products. Lucy will use her grant for new signage for the store (144 Genesee St., Suite 104, Auburn, [315] 544-5656).

• Sandy Shutter is the owner of Artistic Impression, which is located in the historic Willard Memorial Chapel. After a career in retail management, Sandy now pursues her passion for the arts and has created a unique niche by painting pictures of local historic figures, buildings, etc. She has a passion for promoting women’s rights, empowerment and famous women past and present and their contributions to society. She will use her grant for marketing to increase visibility and foot traffic (17 Nelson St., Auburn, [315] 252-0339).

Congratulations to all the winners, and the Zonta Club urges the Auburn community to visit their stores and support locally and women-owned businesses.

The Zonta Club also extends an invitation to all community members who are interested in being part of an organization that works for the advancement of creating a better world for women and girls. There are three levels of membership: the club level, high school and college.

The local club meetings are held in the community room at Lyons Bank on Grant Avenue in Sennett on the second Thursday of the month, and start at 6 p.m. The club meets from September through June of each year.

More information regarding our history, activities, etc. are posted on our website at zontadistrict2/ and our Facebook page, @ZontaClubofAuburn.

Since the Zonta organization is worldwide, there is more extensive information on the Zonta International Foundations website that provides much more in-depth information on what the Zonta Clubs do and what the goals are.


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