Rose Jaynes, delegate from P.E.O. Chapter AQ of Brighton, attended the 127th annual Convention of Iowa State Chapter P.E.O. Sisterhood held June 1-2 in Des Moines. Also in attendance from Chapter AQ were Ruth Ann Stacy, Joyce Dunbar, Rosemary Pacha, Sarah Robison, Joyce Wilson, Shirley Schooley, and Marcella Loeffler.
With the theme “The Gift of P.E.O.,” Kate Raun, Chapter OR, Norwalk, presided over 750 delegates and visitors. Twenty chapters from eastern Iowa served as the hostess group for the convention. This committee was headed by Betsy Helmich, IB, Davenport; Marsha Pedersen, JS, Davenport; and Laurie Derby, AH, West Liberty.
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 the 2019-20 executive board officers headed by president Bev Templeton, FN, Garner; vice president, Sue Aanes, EV, New London; organizer, Carol Goldsmith, CB, Ida Grove; treasurer, Carrie Wilkinson, OP, Cedar Rapids; and secretary, Christin Smith, HL, Dubuque.
P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization were 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 377 chapters and nearly 16,000 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 University in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Originally a small campus friendship society, P.E.O. soon blossomed to include 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 United States and Canada. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is passionate about its mission: promoting educational opportunities for women. The sisterhood proudly makes a difference in women’s lives with six international philanthropies: P.E.O. Educational Loan 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, Missouri. The international headquarters of the P.E.O. Sisterhood is in Des Moines, Iowa.