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Mayor Steve Allender is declaring Thursday as Centennial Celebration Day in Rapid City, recognizing the efforts of Zonta International and the women's suffrage movement to secure voting rights for all women.

The proclamation coincides with Thursday's Celebration hosted by the Zonta Club of the Black Hills. The event will be held at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center from 5-8 p.m. Mayor Allender and City Council President Laura Armstrong are scheduled to attend.

Mayor Allender's proclamation recognizes the decades-long movement for women's suffrage at both the state and national levels, which led to the 1919 passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote and the 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act, which secured voting rights for all American women.

The declaration also cites the vision and work of Zonta International during the past 100 years to make gender equality a reality for women and girls worldwide.

"We celebrate the monumental importance and achievements of those pioneering women 100 years ago and Zonta International who champions worldwide for the continued empowerment of women through service and advocacy," Mayor Allender's proclamation reads.

Thursday's centennial celebration will be held in place of the annual Zonta Expo and will include exhibitor booths, silent auction, wine and prize raffles, food and beverages. According to Zonta Club of the Black Hills officials, proceeds will support organizations that help advance the status of women locally and internationally.

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