Building Peace Through Serving and Sharing

"Wouldn't the world be a wonderful place to live in if it were Zonta's world! If the influence of Zontians were felt in communities everywhere, of women carrying out the purpose that those founders, 62 years ago, so wisely laid out for us!”

This sentiment was what Amey Grubbs Adams wrote when she was running for the position of First Vice President almost 40 years ago. Amey went on to become international president from 1986-1988, carrying with her that passion and spirit of Zonta to the world. Sadly, the Zonta community lost Amey this week with her passing.

Looking back to 1986, Amey’s theme for her biennium, “Building Peace Through Serving and Sharing” was lived through her actions and goals during her term as president. She carried out many key projects and inspired movements for Zonta, including the purchase and fundraising for the first Zonta International World Headquarters in Chicago, managing the decision to expand membership to men and encouraging member growth in districts old and new alike.

Amey was born to a Spanish father, and an American mother, and spent the first few years of her life in Spain. Amey’s mother died when she was 4 and she returned to America to be raised by her aunt in Rhode Island. Later in life, Amey received her bachelor’s degree with a Spanish major and English minor from Smith College in Massachusetts. Afterward, she taught Spanish and spent summers working and teaching in Colorado, where she met her husband, Mark Grubbs.

Amey and Mark married and went into business together, operating a Dude Ranch for 25 years, during which Amey served as executive director of the Dude Ranchers Association and editor of the Dude Rancher magazine. They had a family, raising two sons, Timothy and Matt, and a daughter, Margaret, who was also a Zontian.

Before becoming international president, Amey served as the first woman president of the Colorado Guest Ranch Association and was appointed to the County Planning Commission, where she served for eight years and was chairman for three. She was also affiliated with the Epilepsy Task Force and board membership of Club Salud, which strengthened Spanish language skills of local residents.

Amey was active in the Zonta Club of Fort Collins, having joined in 1969. In the 1986 Program Issue of The Zontian magazine, Amey recalled her first club meeting: “I found friends, interesting and even exciting women, a purpose and a lot of fun. Just plain fun has to be an important part of Zonta.”

Amey herself expanded her idea of friendship by traveling the world representing Zonta. She visited District XVII (at the time, Hong Kong, Philippines and Taiwan) where she met the president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino. She also embarked on the Latin American Study Tour, for extension to what is currently Region South America with the main purpose to encourage and engage the Latin American clubs into the Zonta world. Later, Amey invited Dr. Mabel Bianco to the 1988 Convention in Finland. Dr. Bianco had founded FEIM, an NGO working to improve women's rights, and returned home to Argentina inspired to organize a Zonta club. The Zonta Club of Buenos Aires was chartered in 1989 followed by the Zonta Club of Rio Gallegos in 1993.

We are grateful for Amey's friendship, fun and leadership and offer condolences to all those whose lives she touched and influenced.

06 NOVEMBER 2020