Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

March 25, 2014

Leave them laughing

Zonta’s celebration of women has Wichita Falls JP dishing out luncheon humor


Mineral Wells Index

— By TYLER MASK

Zonta Club of Mineral Wells hosted their Status of Women Luncheon on Monday at the Holiday Hills Country Club, and it was comfortably packed. The luncheon’s purpose was to promote professional and executive women, ZCMW President Dacey Malone said.

“The Status of Women Luncheon is an annual tradition wherein we honor several women in the Palo Pinto County area who have excelled in all areas of life, including their professions, contributions to their communities and their personal lives,” Malone said.

Special to this year’s event was guest speaker, Wichita Falls Justice of the Peace Janice Ralston Sons, with her program entitled, “Laughter: The Best Medicine.”

Sons was Woman of the Year in Wichita Falls (1990-1991) and is well-known throughout Texas. She has held a public office in Wichita County Since 1988 and is active in the community, serving on the boards of the Arc of Wichita County, YMCA, Susan G. Komen Wichita Falls Race for the Cure and  Constable Association of Texas. She currently serves as president for Arc and YMCA. Her awards include Hirschi High School Alumni of the Year, induction into the North Texas Women Hall of Fame and two Distinguished Leadership Awards by Leadership Wichita Falls.

The moment Sons took the stage, the audience was not prepared for the massive workout they were going to receive from laughter. According to the audience’s nonverbal response, Sons was a riot.

From stories dealing with Wichita Falls’ inmates and performing marriages to stories about her own life, she bombarded the audience with what she calls “the best medicine.”

One of the audience’s favorite laughing “doses” was a story about an 80 year old man dating a 40-year-old woman.

“There was an 80-year-old man going with a 40-year-old woman,” Sons said. “The-40-year-old wanted to go partying. The 80-year-old man did not want to go party. She hounded him until finally they went out dancing – she wanted to go dancing. Well, they get out dancing, and he hooked up with another woman. They got into a row, and [the 40-year-old woman] shot her. So now, [the man] is in front of the judge, and the judge says, ‘You’re charged with aggravated assault.’ [The man] said, ‘Stop, stop that right here. I want you to know, I didn’t aggravate her, she aggravated me. I didn’t want to go dancing in the first place.’”

Story after story, the jokes rolled on, and the audience seemed to fall in love with Sons’ persona. However, beyond all the laughter lied a serious message, which appeared to be the real medicine Sons came to share.

“I am telling you, you as ladies, you are the ones that are there to encourage,” Sons said. “We, as mothers, have that heart that we are there to pick [people] up. ... You and I are here for a reason. You are there with that child that may need a ‘hand-up,’ [or] with that coworker that may need a hand to learn, to grow and to become all they can be. You are the ones that will do that because you care about your fellow people.”

When Sons walked off the stage, the people cheered with what little energy they had from laughing so hard and were left to ponder the depth of what she had just shared.



Local honorees

During the luncheon, three local women, Palo Pinto General Hospital Women’s Services Director Carolyn Holt, RN, LeAnn Johnson, of Children’s Alliance Center for Palo Pinto County, and Clark Gardens Executive Director Carol Clark Montgomery were honored for their distinguished work in the community.

Zonta International was founded in 1919, and is a prominent international women’s advocacy group with more than 30,000 members hailing from 1,200 clubs in 66 countries, according to Zonta International’s website.

“Mineral Wells Zonta Club was formed on Dec. 10, 1955,” Malone said. “We currently have about 40 members.”

Local Zonta projects include:

• Meals on Wheels.

• Palo Pinto General Hospital.

• Girl’s State.

• United Way.

• Coats for Kids

• Relay for Life.

• Annual Zonta scholarships.

• Z-Club.

• Back Pack Buddies.

• Project Graduation.

• Mineral Wells Center of Life.

• “Look Good, Feel Better” program.

For more information on Zonta International, visit www.zonta.org.