2009 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence in Service—Disadvantaged Women and Children

Quota International of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States, District 21


Helping to break the cycle of generational poverty for disadvantaged women and children is a major goal of the Quota club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The club dedicated half the proceeds ($10,000) from a Tour of Homes fund-raiser to partner with O’Brien House in sponsoring its annual Single Mothers Conference held on July 19, 2008, and designing and participating in subsequent mentoring workshops for conference attendees.

The conference, which has grown from just seven attendees in 2005 to 230 attendees in 2008, provides information, resources, support, and empowerment to single mothers to help them strengthen their families and raise the next generation, our future. Most of the attendees live on public assistance or in public housing or both and are referred for participation in the event by the O’Brien House Prevention Program, the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services, the YMCA, and other local outreach organizations.

Baton Rouge Quotarians not only volunteered to work the day of the conference, but also presented group sessions on Parenting and Family Support Services. Club President Jean Gatz, who is a motivational speaker and author, spoke on Realizing Your Importance in Raising the Next Generation. Club member Ina Navarre, an executive at Whitney National Bank, spoke on The Importance of the Family Budget.

Quotarians also worked the afternoon breakout sessions, where sign-up sheets were distributed to poll attendee interest in potential mentoring workshops. A committee chaired by Genny May, the club’s 2007-2008 Service Chairperson, used this information to design workshops that club members presented to 40 attendees on January 17, 2009. Workshops included Understanding and Learning How to Develop Credit—Stephanie Hughson, Regions Bank Executive; Financial Planning: Budgeting—Mary K. Carleton, CPA; How to Talk with Your Child’s Teacher—Bernice Arbonraux, Teacher and School Counselor; and Legal Issues of Marriage and Divorce and What it Means to You and Your Children—Janice Villarrubia, Attorney.

Although the conference and subsequent workshops alone cannot erase poverty, Quotarians believe they help to counteract the generational pressures that contribute to poverty by showing single mothers that there is “another way.” Club members also receive great satisfaction in knowing that their time and expertise can make a big difference in the lives of these women. It also rejuvenates club participation and reinforces the club’s service image in the community.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.


Quota International of Orillia, Ontario, Canada, District 18


When it comes to getting local businesses and the media to sponsor one of their events, Orillia Quotarians know how to do it. They raised more than $5,700 in cash and door prize donations from area businesses and more than $20,000 in advertising space and media coverage to promote an important educational program for women called It’s all about H.E.R…Health Eliminating Risk. The event, which occurred on September 10, 2008, was presented by Dr. Gwenn Jackson, a renowned obstetrician and gynecologist from Monroe, Louisiana, who is also a Quotarian and Quota’s current international president-elect.

In addition to a live television interview and news clips that ran several times on local television stations, a radio station conducted a telephone interview with Dr. Jackson. Advertising in local newspapers ran weekly and more often during the week before the event. Club members also distributed fliers and posters announcing the event, and a radio station provided a Master of Ceremonies for the evening.

During the event, Dr. Jackson presented the facts on the various stages of a woman’s life, including puberty, reproduction, menopause, plus heart disease, cancer in women and lifestyle of risk reduction, followed by a question and answer period. Everyone who attended the event felt they had learned a lot about their bodies and many said they would come back for another session. The Orillia club even added one new member and a potential recruit as a result of the event.

Tickets for the event were $20 per person, however part of the sponsorship money was used to purchase tickets for disadvantaged women who could not afford to attend and were referred to Quota by local outreach organizations.

Proceeds from the event amounting to $4,000 were donated to a local hospital to go towards purchasing diagnostic imaging equipment. Although this donation was not a Quota goal in planning the event, it speaks to the success of the Orillia club’s service activities and helps to increase awareness and support of Quota International in the community. Dr. Jackson was also invited to meet the CEO, department heads, and several physicians at the hospital, which added to the hospital’s knowledge of Quota and its work.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.


To return to the 2009 Excellence Award Winners main page, click here.

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