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P.E.O. Sisterhood marks Founder’s Day

On Saturday, Jan. 21, the P.E.O. Sisterhood celebrated Founder’s Day and the 143rd anniversary of the exact date of its founding. The event was held at Woodbury University.

Chris Welker, Burbank Reciprocity President and Chairwoman of the day welcomed guests and introduced 50-year members, Skip Flora and Helen vonSeggern, Chapter EO and Jane Shanks, Chapter U.

After brunch, the ladies enjoyed a fashion show with their members depicting the original seven founders of 1869 in modern-day dress with the message of Founder’s Day, which is continuity through adaptation to time.

Committee members included Donna Michel, Chapter EO, reservations; Rene Bancroft, Chapter EO, name tags; Kay Hamilton and Laura Marro, Chapter ES, decorations and publicity; Shaunna Raab, Chapter EO, menu and location. Erin Malleus-Mayer of Bon Appetit was the caterer.


P.E.O. is a philanthropic and educational organization interested in bringing to women increased opportunities to enhance their lives through learning and higher education. It is among the oldest women’s group in North America. Originally begun as a friendship society at Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, it has evolved into one of the largest nonsectarian, community-based organizations. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter of a million active members.

More than 85,000 women have been recipients of over $210 million given in financial assistance provided by P.E.O. International philanthropies through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College, in Nevada, Mo., which is owned and supported by the organization. Local chapters’ fundraisers are the primary means of supporting these philanthropies.

-- Toni Shepherd

Shepherd is a member of P.E.O.