P.E.O. Fashion Show to feature ‘everyday’ ladies

Published 10:45 pm Monday, May 17, 2010

How does an organization that has provided educational opportunities for more than 80,000 women and awarded more than $200 million in educational loans and scholarships and grants managed to be a “best kept secret?”

Jean Orendorff, president of the local P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), which is one of the pioneer societies for women, laughingly said it’s been relatively easy.

“The P.E.O. was founded in 1869 by seven teenage freshmen at Iowa Wesleyan College. It was originally a small campus friendship society but now has more than a quarter million members in the United States and Canada.”

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The P.E.O. spread first throughout the Midwest and then to the East and West Coast regions before making its way to the Deep South.

“Our local organization is seven years old and people are beginning to know about us – but quietly,” Orendorff said. “We are more of a project focused organization than a social one.”

But, to raise funds for its educational endeavors, the Troy P.E.O. is venturing out from its usual bake sales and other “inside the organization” events with a Spring into Summer Fashion Show and Luncheon at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 22 at the Family Life Center of Park Memorial United Methodist Church.

“This is a first for us and we are hoping that the fashion show and luncheon will be such a success that it will become an annual event,” said event chair Renee Chandler.

“The fashion show will feature fashions from the shops on the square in downtown Troy –First Impressions, Flirt, Glow, Pink Parlor and Renee’s ’ Boutique. The show will also feature high-end cosmetics.”

And the models?

“The models will be the everyday ladies around Troy,” Chandler said.

“We didn’t try to get fashion models. We just wanted to feature ladies around town in fashions that can be enjoyed and make you look good.”

The fashion show will feature teen and children’s fashions so young people will enjoy being a part of this event.

The luncheon will be catered by The Pines and the downtown restaurant will serve its popular chicken salad plate.

Tickets for the Spring into Summer Fashion Show and Luncheon are $10 each and include fellowship with friends and neighbors and the spontaneous fun that happens when “girls” come together.

Tickets for the fashion show and luncheon are available at First Impressions, Renee’s Boutique, The Pink Parlor, Home Gallery, The Pines and The Messenger and should be purchased by Thursday, May 20.