|Zonta Club of West Hidalgo County - History Note
In the early 1960’s,to encourage young women to enter the nursing profession because of a shortage of nurses in the
local community, The Zonta Club of West Hidalgo County established a revolving Loan Fund to assist with tuition
costs. Candidates for the loans were recommended by instructors from Pan American College , Club Past Presidents
Clara Belle Harrop and Joan McCarter reviewed the applications, and Faye McBath did the paperwork.
To raise funds, the Club participated in Rotary Club’s citywide garage sale and Zonta’s annual Homes With a Heart
tour. After almost twenty years, when it was determined that the Loan Fund was no longer feasible for the Club to
continue due to time constraints of the officers, the funds were transferred to Pan American University for
The Rotary Club (there was only one in McAllen at the time) would rent the Tourist Center and sell spaces to any one
or club who wanted to sell merchandise at the Citywide Garage Sale. They charged a small entrance fee. Each vendor
retained all proceeds from their sales. Zonta members would save up items to sell and bring them to the sale site on
the night before the sale so that they could be sorted and priced. All Zontians were expected to participate both in
gathering sale items, but also in the sale itself.
Homes-With-A-Heart tour was the annual fund raiser for several years, but was discontinued when home owners
declined to allow their homes to be shown because of fears of criminal activities. Home would be supplied with plastic
carpet covering, and Zonta members would act as tour guides for the hundreds of people who went to see the three
homes featured each year. Large heart signs advertised the event which was held on a Sunday in February.
Today the fund continues to provide assistance to qualified students in the nursing program at The University of
Texas-Rio Grande Valley.
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