The local P.E.O. Chapter Q recently celebrated 100 years of philanthropic work for the advancement and education of women. P.E.O Chapter Q was formed on October 29, 1919. The 10 original charter members were Florence Thompson, Anna Kief Moyer, Emma P. Mericle, Luella Fisher, Alice Whitmore, Edna B. Kief, Bertha B. Hunt, Kathryn Moyer, Mattie Crandall, and Antonia Williams Eliason.

P.E.O. Chapter Q currently is 57 members strong with two “Golden girls” or individuals who have been members for more than 50 years.

Through membership, the P.E.O. Sisterhood (Philanthropic Educational Organization) has brought together more than a half a million women in the United States and Canada who are passionate about helping women advance through education, while supporting and motivating them. In addition to the educational philanthropies, the P.E.O. Sisterhood provides a framework of support and community for all members.

What started with a bond of friendship among seven women in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is one of the oldest women’s organization in North America with close to 6,000 chapters. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a nonprofit organization that has helped more than 109,000 women pursue educational goals by providing over $344 million in educational assistance, making a difference in women’s lives through six philanthropies and a foundation.

• Educational Loan Fund (ELF) A revolving loan fund established in 1907 to lend money to qualified women students to assist them in securing a higher education.

• P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship (IPS) A fund established in 1949 providing scholarships for international students to pursue graduate study in the U.S. and Canada.

• P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education (PCE) Established in 1973 to provide need-based grants to women in the U.S. and Canada whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to support themselves and/or their families.

• P.E.O. Scholar (PSA) Established in 1991 to provide substantial merit- based awards for women of the U.S. and Canada who are pursuing a doctorate-level degree at an accredited college or university.

• P.E.O. Star Scholarship (STAR) Established in 2009 to provide scholarships for exceptional high school senior women to attend an accredited postsecondary educational institution in the U.S. or Canada in the next academic year.

• Cottey College A nationally ranked fully accredited, independent, liberal arts/sciences college for women located in Nevada, Missouri, has been owned/supported by P.E.O. since 1927 and offers baccalaureate and associate degrees in a variety of majors. Cottey College, a debt-free institution, welcomes women from around the world.

• P.E.O. Foundation A nonprofit corporation established in 1961 to encourage tax-deductible giving to the educational and charitable projects of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. It is a service to the Sisterhood.

The Minnesota P.E.O. Home Fund was established in 1929 to provide charitable grants to individuals who lack financial means to provide housing medical care, and other necessities of life for themselves. This fund primarily serves Minnesotans who may be facing unique challenges related to advanced aging, illness or disability.

Our P.E.O. Chapter Q is proudly making a difference in women’s lives with educational projects and stewardship to Cottey College. It is a legacy given by our founders to encourage and support women in realizing their potential and talents.

For more information on the local P.E.O., visit the P.E.O. website at www.peointernational.org.