Quota International is celebrating a 100 year history of “service to the community” this year. To celebrate, our local Quota Club, served a beautiful birthday cake that had a picture of Wanda Frye Joiner, the founder of the organization, on top of the frosting, at our regular luncheon meeting at the Lake Pavilion on March 21.
Organizations often need to go through change to stay alive and meaningful. Sometimes the changes are small – just a tweak here and there. However, big changes may be needed and an organization has to reorganize and rebrand itself, still keeping their mission in focus.
Rise is a perfect example and was born from the combination of two vital organizations in SLO County. The North County Women’s Shelter and Resource Center and the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center of SLO County. The nonprofits were merged on Jan. 1, 2013 to create a stronger more effective agency.
The reason I mention this is that we must not forget the history of the original organization and the people who worked very hard to form it. They saw a need in the community and moved forward to meet that need and make a difference in the lives of individuals and families. In this case, I’m referring to all of the women and men who served on the board of directors, put on fundraisers, and volunteered in so many ways. They were key to building the organization to the point that a merger did make the organization stronger, but did not diminish the original mission.
I know my next thoughts are a stretch – I’m going from Domestic Violence to the Charles Paddock Zoo and there is absolutely no connection to their missions! However, there was an original organization, the Zoological Society of San Luis Obispo County, that developed a large membership made up of people who loved animals, held lucrative fundraisers for the Zoo, worked many hours as docents to educate visitors, visited schools to put on programs to educate children about animals and conservation, and a group of puppeteers headed Joyce Zimmerman, who called themselves the “Paddock Puppet Players.”
The Zoological Society was very instrumental in pointing out the need for a Master Plan for the Zoo and many of us worked on this idea. In fact, there were several plans out there until the final one was developed years later and was approved by the City of Atascadero.
I joined the board of directors of the Society in the mid 80s and served a two year term as president. At the same time I was a Parks and Recreation Commissioner so I remember all of the hours and planning that went into the various long range plans for the Zoo.
For various reasons, some of them financial, some political, the Zoo never seemed to be the strongest focus for the different City Councils through the years I was involved. Many of us believed it to be a “treasure” in this county and really wanted to give it our full support.
Then it happened that the Zoo Society disbanded and another organization, more “current” and known as a “Friends of” group, formed to take up the banner in support of the Zoo. Also, the City Council finally saw the importance of the Zoo, as not only an educational facility for school children, but as an exciting destination for families to visit and enjoy the “Norman Rockwell” setting at the Lake Park, the playground, bandstand, and of course, Atascadero Lake itself. So now, the Zoo is “on a roll” as they say and I for one am very excited.
What I’m leading up to is the opening of the Red Panda Exhibit this Saturday. I talked with Terrie Banish, Deputy City Manager/Outreach, Promotions, and Events for the City of Atascadero, and she is inviting everyone to come to the Zoo and “Experience the Red Panda Exhibit.”
This is what we have all been waiting for – building the Master Plan!
Thanks must go to Thelma Vetter, a long-time Atascadero resident, who has been gone for some time, but whose name will live on through the Red Panda Exhibit due to funds left in her trust, specifically for the Zoo.
Two more events this weekend: Atascadero Historical Society potluck dinner at the Community Church Hall on Saturday evening, 5-9 p.m. and the Community Band Concert on Sunday, from 3-5 p.m., at ABC Church. The concert will benefit Coats for Kids.
Hope to see you there…somewhere!
Quota International Is celebrating 100 years this month and members gathered for the celebration. From left to right: Shary Goulart, Quota Region 17 Director, Atascadero Quota Club member Kathy Johnson, representing Wanda Frey Joiner, the founder of Quota International and Atascadero Quota Club President Deena Pangborn.
The Birthday cake, to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Quota International, had a likeness of Wanda Frey Joiner on the frosting. The celebration was held at the Atascadero Lake Pavilion. (Contributed photo)