P.E.O. is 150 years old | Around About North County

This is certainly the year for some big birthdays when it comes to a couple of women’s organizations. I recently mentioned that Quota International is 100 years old this year. Another organization known as P.E.O., which stands for Philanthropic Educational Organization, turned 150!
It was on Jan. 21, 1869, when seven young women came together at Iowa Wesleyan University, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, with their vision of P.E.O.
For 150 years the founding ideal of loyal and compassionate friendship that created the Sisterhood’s structure has stood the test of permanency. From P.E.O.’s first days, wise flexibility also provided strength for endurance and expansion. Some early practices, like total secrecy, diminished with a changing cultural viewpoint.
P.E.O.’s mission is to celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College; and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.      
The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a nonprofit organization that has helped more than 105,000 women pursue educational goals by providing over $321 million in educational assistance, making a difference in women’s lives through six philanthropies and a foundation.
Cottey College is a nationally ranked, fully accredited, independent liberal arts/sciences college for women located in Nevada, Missouri, and has been owned/supported by P.E.O. since 1927. The college offers baccalaureate and associate degrees in a variety of majors. Cottey College, a debt-free institution, welcomes women from around the world.
The other philanthropies include P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund (ELF), P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship (UPS), P.E.O. Program For Continuing Education (PCE), P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA), and P.E.O. Star Scholarship (STAR).
P.E.O. is a wonderful organization for all ages. It provides opportunities for women through local chapters and educational opportunities for women throughout the world.
In SLO County, there are eight chapters of P.E.O. including Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, and Arroyo Grande. My chapter is Chapter VF, here in Atascadero.
Chapter VF has always been one of the nonprofits participating in the Tuesday Evening BBQs sponsored by the Atascadero Chamber during the summer. Look for us again this summer, raising funds for our scholarships.
The Convention of International Chapter of the P.E.O, Sisterhood will take place on Sept. 12-14, in Des Moines, Iowa, where the organization will celebrate 150 years. The delegate from SLO County will be Judy Judge from Chapter VF in Atascadero. Judy’s mother was a P.E.O. and Judy is a long time member. Her three daughters are also members. I know Judy is looking forward to representing our county chapters at the historic convention and celebration in Des Moines.
Speaking of celebrations, we joined Carol and Paul Porter, Pete and Linda Hendy, Michael and Kathy Nutt, Mike and Karen Lopicallo, Joe and Cathy La Fayette, and Travis Keena and Kay Morris, at Bob and Lyn Fowler’s St. Patrick’s dinner party. We ate outside where we were surrounded by the lush green hills around the Fowler’s beautiful property — looked a wee bit like Ireland! The corned beef and cabbage was delicious and the company was delightful!
I’m looking forward to tonight’s performance of Dancing With Our Stars at the Lake Pavilion. The “stars” have all been rehearsing for months and raising money for the non-profits they each represent, through the votes that are purchased by their families, friends and ardent supporters!
Under the leadership of producer Jeannie Malik, and artistic director Molly Comin, and with support from previous director and current choreographer Frank Sanchez, “Time Machine: Back to the ‘80s” promises to be another hit.
This year’s stars include Terrie Banish, Karen McNamara, Tom Butler, Jan Lynch, Mayor Heather Moreno, Steffi Ketzler, Susan Funk, and Nancy Beckett. Best of luck to all of our Atascadero Stars!
On Saturday, April 6, Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County is presenting “Under the Big Top” Charitable Chic Fashion Show. The event will be held at Embassy Suites, 333 Madonna Rd., San Luis Obispo.
Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. with the fashion show and luncheon from 12-2:30 p.m.
Fashions will be featured from 2 Blondes Boutique, Office Hours, Patrick James and Old Navy in San Luis Obispo; Kelly’s Casuals in Atascadero; and Kohl’s in Paso Robles. There will be a special segment showing fashions from the Assistance League Thrift Store, 667 A Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo.
Entertainment will include numbers by Elliott the Magician and local children and teens.    
Proceeds will benefit the League’s philanthropic program, Operation School Bell, providing new school clothing and dental hygiene kits to students in need in SLO County.
Tickets are $85 and are available for purchase online at alslocounty.org/Events—“Under the Big Top.” Limited tickets are available and must be purchased by March 29.
According to the Main Street Association Downtown Paso Robles, the Easter Bunny will “Hop To It” and be located in the Downtown City Park Holiday House to meet and greet children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You won’t want to miss saying hello!
Mark your calendars now for April 27, from 9 a.m. to3 p.m., when the Main Street Association will present the Vintage Sidecar Rendezvous, Recycled Treasures, British Car Club and Antique Motorcycles Show in the Downtown Paso Robles City Park. For more information call Main Street at 805-238-4103.
Atascadero Performing Arts Center Committee (APACC) is presenting
“Afternoon Tea with Phoebe Hearst” on Saturday, April 13, from 2-4 p.m. at the Atascadero Community Church Hall, 5850 Rosario, Atascadero.
Hearst Castle is a state monument dedicated to the memory of two people; “to William Randolph Hearst, who built it, and Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who inspired it.” Everyone has heard of William, but who was his mother, Phoebe?
APACC presents a one-woman performance featuring local actress and former Hearst Castle guide, Karen Harris as Phoebe. The event is presented with an afternoon tea featuring fancy desserts, a glass of sparkling wine or cider, English black tea and “Blue Eyes” fruit tea served in vintage china cups and teapots.
Karen presents stories from Phoebe’s life in costume and in the “Chautauqua” style of lectures designed to provide higher learning to adults in an informal setting that were popular in the late 19th century.
APACC”s mission is to provide a permanent, joint-use facility where the youth and adults of the community may develop, express or experience live performances of all forms of art.
Tickets are $50 and are available at the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, or online at BrownPaperTickets.com (search Phoebe Hearst). Or call 805-712-9824.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the green hills while they last!


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