PEO group hosts fashion show to raise funds

Published 10:50 pm Monday, April 9, 2012

The P.E.O. Chapter AF’s 3rd Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon Fundraiser is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 21, at Park Memorial United Methodist Church Family Life Center.

Elaine Bassett, Chapter president, said the runway will feature fashions for all ages and all shapes and sizes.

“The fashion show is an opportunity to view fashions for the summer that are available right here at home,” she said. “Featured fashions will be from First Impressions and The Pink Parlor and include apparel for children through the mature woman.”

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Admission is $10 and tickets are available at First Impressions and The Pink Parlor. A few tickets will be available at the door. All proceeds will go toward P.E.O. scholarships and projects to help further education women.

Entertainment for the fashion show and luncheon will be members of the Troy University dance ensemble. Assorted items, including baked goods and ferns will be available for purchase.

Jean Orendorff, chapter past president, said monies raised by all P.E.O. chapters across the country and a couple of Canadian provinces are directed to the P.E.O. national headquarters and, from there, educational grants, scholarships, loans, awards, special projects and Cottey College for women in Missouri are funded.

“Chapters don’t award scholarships but can sponsor students they find worthy and deserving of assistance,” she said. “We are a relatively new chapter so we haven’t been active in pursuing financial assistance for women in our area until this year. We have a young woman for whom we are seriously seeking funding.”

P.E.O. is not exactly a household word around town but the work that the Philanthropic Education Organization is doing provides opportunities for thousands of women across the country and beyond.

And, the women of the local P.E.O. Chapter AF are proud to be a part of the Sisterhood.

Bassett and Orendorff are among 30 members of the P.E.O. Chapter who are dedicated to the mission of promoting educational opportunities for women.

“Education continues to be the primary philanthropy of the P.E.O. Sisterhood,” Orendorff said. “The P.E.O. Sisterhood sponsors seven international philanthropies designed to assist women in their educational goals.”

P.E.O. Chapter AF was organized in 2005 and, two years ago sponsored a fashion Show and luncheon as a fundraiser.

“The fundraiser was a big success and we decided to make in an annual event,” Bassett said. “We are excited about this year’s event as it promises to be the best yet.”

More than 85,000 women have benefited from P.E.O.’s educational grants, loans, awards, special projects and stewardship of Cottey College. To date, P.E.O. has awarded Educational Loan Fund dollars totaling more than $130 million, International Peace Scholarships are more than $27 million, Program for Continuing Education grants are more than $38 million, Scholar Awards are more than $14 million and P.E.O. STAR Scholarships are more than $1 million. In addition, about 8,300 women have graduated from Cottey College.