Iowa State Chapter P.E.O. Sisterhood convention
The 122nd Convention of Iowa State Chapter P.E.O. Sisterhood was held May 31 to June 1 in Des Moines.
With the theme “P.E.O. Shining Stars,” Glenda Dixon, Chapter OP Cedar Rapids, presided over 700 delegates and visitors.
Attending from the area were Elizabeth Garrels, past President International Chapter and past President of Iowa State Chapter; Carol Nemitz, past International Chapter historian; Sue Aanes, membership committee Iowa State Chapter; delegates Lesa Fitzpatrick, Chapter Original A Mt. Pleasant; Betty Lowe, Chapter NZ Mt. Pleasant; Pat Coe, Chapter OX Mt. Pleasant; Jane Simmons, Chapter EV New London; Joan Thompson, Chapter GT Winfield; visitors Karen Brimhall Chapter NZ Mt. Pleasant, Janice and Holly Jones, Chapter OX Mt. Pleasant.
Attendees participated in workshops and heard from recipients of P.E.O’s six philanthropies and the Iowa P.E.O. Project Fund, Inc. The convention concluded with the installation of of the 2014-2015 executive board officers headed by president Liz Bunnell, Chapter OO Fairfield; vice-president, Kathy Wilke, Chapter DS Odebolt; organizer, Cathi Fouts, Chapter AO Newton; treasurer, Pat Shipley, Chapter CH Viilisca; and secretary, Kate Raun, Chapter OR Norwalk.
P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College; and motivate each other to achieve their highest aspirations.
There are approximately 6,000 chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly 250,000 members. Iowa is the second largest state chapter with 382 chapters and nearly 18,000 members.
P.E.O. is one of the pioneer societies for women and was founded on Jan. 21, 1869 by seven young women at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant.
Originally a small campus society, P.E.O. soon inclued women off-campus. Today, P.E.O. has grown from that tiny membership of seven to almost a quarter of a million members in chapters in the U.S. and Canada.
There are six philanthropies: P.E.O. Educational Lund Fund, P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund, P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, P.E.O. Scholar Awards, P.E.O. STAR Scholarship and the ownership of Cottey College in Nevada, Mo.
The international headquarters of the P.E.O. Sisterhood is in Des Moines.