Wearable Art Fundraiser

When Chapter KQ, Iowa City, Iowa, was assigned fundraising for the 2011 Iowa State P.E.O. Convention, two sisters dreamed up a creative idea.

Julie Law, KQ, Iowa City, Iowa, phoned her sister Jan Kostka, LB, Mason City, Iowa, to brainstorm. They decided to create an accessory that could be worn proudly anytime, anywhere—a silk scarf that included powerful verbs symbolizing the positive actions of P.E.O. Jan designed the scarf and Julie organized production and sales. Jan wove words into patterns and colors (butterscotch yellow, black and white) representing the power and strength of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Our seven Founders are represented by seven circles of differing sizes, symbolizing diversity. Overlapping words symbolize the interconnectedness of our individual strengths while the rectangles show the stability and balance of our sisterhood.

Scarf sales took off both before and during the 2011 Iowa State P.E.O.
Convention in June. Postconvention, Chapter KQ is proceeding with the project on their own to replace their biannual holiday auction. All proceeds will be part of Chapter KQ’s gifts to the P.E.O. projects. Each month, different KQ sisters meet as a team to hand inspect and fold the scarves and process and pack orders. This team project has proven to be a wonderful opportunity for enhanced friendship, reflection and fun within the chapter.

Outside the chapter, the impact of the scarf as a conversation starter directly relates to furthering the interests of P.E.O. For one sister, wearing the scarf helped identify a candidate which her chapter then sponsored for a PCE grant. Another wearer said, “I wear my scarf at least once a week. It is recognized by
other P.E.O.s in restaurants, airports and churches. We have a hug and share good ideas!”

Last Wishes

When P.E.O. Vicki Foreman, T, Siloam Springs, Arkansas, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in August 2010, it was a blow to her and her family and friends. As she was battling the disease, her friend and P.E.O. sister Suellen Coleman Chase put her own life on hold to move in and give care and support to Vicki. One day Vicki asked, “Oh Suellen, what will you do with all of my clothes?” Suellen answered, “Perhaps we could give them to Chapter T so they could have a really big garage sale,” and they laughed. Vicki thought a minute then said quietly, “You know…I would like that.”

Thus began the plan to gather all of Vicki’s clothes. Invitations to the sale were made by word-of-mouth. The sisters of Chapter T paid double for the privilege of shopping early. At the end of the day when sales were totaled, Chapter T was thrilled to find they had raised more than $5,000—more money than their chapter had ever made from a fundraiser.

Vicki passed away in December 2010. The chapter was faced with
the question of how to honor Vicki’s thoughtful gift. In September 2011, Chapter T traveled to Cottey College to have lunch and tour the campus. They presented a check for $1,000 in honor of Vicki and voted to give $1,000 to the Cottey College Defining Moment Campaign.

P.E.O.s Go to Pot

For several years, Chapter IX of DeSoto, Missouri, has been letting their extra change “go to pot” in support of our P.E.O. projects. It’s a fairly painless way to collect just a little more for the P.E.O. philanthropies. Each sister was given a small old-fashioned flower pot. Each bloomed with a paper daisy and on the side was this verse composed by Maxine Jinkerson:

A penny, a dime, a nickel or so
Could help our P.E.O. projects to grow.
Yes, the change that you sometimes don't need
Could become a P.E.O. seed!
Just plant it in the Project Pot
And you’ll be a P.E.O. Forget-me-not!

Flower pots are kept at home and whenever a sister’s change purse is getting a bit heavy it can be emptied into this little flower pot. If strategically placed, even
BILs can empty pocket change there! Once a year at a designated meeting this change is collected; and it adds up. Since this is “small change,” sisters don’t miss it much as they “go to pot” for P.E.O. projects.

Quilt Raffle & Garage Sale

Chapter FR, Olney, Illinois, held a successful quilt raffle and garage sale. Ways and Means chairmen Linda Zerkle and Neva Casstevens created a picture display showing six quilts made by chapter president Dolores McNabb. Displays were posted around town—at three local banks and the public library. Raffle tickets were sold for $1 each or six for $5. The winner of the raffle was able to choose from one of the six quilts. Also advertised on the display was the chapter’s garage
sale, where the drawing was held. The quilt displays gave exposure to the purpose of P.E.O. and was an effective advertising tool for the garage sale, where funds were raised for the P.E.O. projects. The local paper ran a story about the quilt raffle and garage sale, giving P.E.O. and Chapter FR’s fundraising events even more exposure. Chapter FR’s quilt raffle raised $1,346 for P.E.O. projects on top of the profits made at the garage sale!

Growing Plants and P.E.O.

Chapter BS, Rupert, Idaho, is happy with their decision to follow International Chapter’s advice to talk about and promote P.E.O. A few years ago the chapter voted to take over the planter box at the entrance to town and purchased the P.E.O. recognition sign sold by International Chapter to place at the box. This year the chapter’s president, Peggy Goodman, who is also the PCE chairman, visited with two women who want to return to school. They have a landscaping business that has been hurt by the slow economy and are interested in returning to school and applying for PCE grants at the appropriate times. When the planter box was mentioned both women offered to help with the selection of plants and the planting.

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