Your P.E.O. sisters in Akron, Ohio, have been meeting the crowd at the Rubber Ducks ballgames, spreading the word about P.E.O. while raising funds for our philanthropies. The Rubber Ducks are a Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians, with a non-profit concessions program. Volunteers earn money for their non-profit organization while working the concession stands at the stadium.

Chapter BK was the first from our reciprocity to take advantage of this fundraising opportunity. They started in 2021 and earned $2,392 their first year! Chapter BK shared their success with our reciprocity and the fundraising opportunity grew to five chapters in 2023 and this year two more chapters are joining the program. Volunteers include P.E.O. sisters, spouses, family members and friends. Participation varied from four to 32 different volunteers who worked three to 34 games over the Rubber Ducks season. Various chapters’ earnings ranged from $1,147 to $8,237 dollars. Overall, earning more than $20,000 for P.E.O. philanthropies from all the chapters participating in the Rubber Ducks program. Peggy Messaros, Chapter P, states, “I love this fundraising venture because there is no planning, no start-up costs, no selling—just time spent at the games.”

P.E.O.s and their spouses volunteering at the ballpark, wearing P.E.O. t-shirts, hats and aprons

Front row left to right – Diane Genetti (AU), Nancy Hartman (ET), Susan Wright (AU), Rosanne Keillor (AU), Nancy Reinhart (BK), Karen Gordon (BK), Pam Kimble (BK)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have learned some very important things doing this fundraising project. First and foremost, our reciprocity group is very valuable to all our chapters. The 10 chapters in our reciprocity group have shared ideas on fundraising, sold each other purses, mums, bean soup and many P.E.O.-themed items. We joined together on a chartered bus to travel to the International Convention in Pittsburgh this year. We enjoy our yearly Founders’ Day celebration hosted by a reciprocity chapter.

 

The value of reciprocity is not only the support of other chapters, but also the friendships we make by meeting sisters from other chapters. Susan Wright, Chapter AU, found friends in P.E.O. from another chapter who attended her church. She also made some new golf partners with sisters from other chapters that she met at reciprocity meetings. However, the enormous value of reciprocity is seen in this story. One chapter started this fundraising with the non-profit concessions program and told other chapters about it at a reciprocity meeting. Then the fundraising spread to other chapters, helping each chapter to meet and exceed their fundraising goals.

Additionally, we learned the importance of having community support for our philanthropies. We raised funds for P.E.O. with support from the community through the non-profit concession program and additional customer tips. We shared information about P.E.O. with the baseball community. This year we wore yellow hats with the logo “I am a P.E.O.,” specifically so people would ask “What is P.E.O.?” We made signs indicating tips benefit women’s education, which led to more questions about P.E.O. We met baseball fans who were attending college and were interested in obtaining P.E.O. support. We met several fans who had received P.E.O. support in the past and found many fans who were happy to donate extra tips toward our support of women’s education.

Finally, we strengthened our Sisterhood. When we work together, we build a stronger chapter and a stronger reciprocity group, makingour P.E.O. bonds unbreakable. Sisters from one chapter worked side by side. At other times, sisters from different chapters worked together at a game. Joyce Filipovitz, Chapter ET, stated, “It’s a FUN fundraiser, having a good time while getting to know each other.” Chapter P had two sisters and their spouses working games together calling it their “date night.” Sharing this time together in support of our philanthropies cemented our “WHY” for being a part of P.E.O.—celebrating, educating and motivating women!

Look for a NPO (non-profit organization) concession opportunity near you and we’ll see you at the ballgame!

Article Info

Byline

Roseanne Keillor, AU, Akron, Ohio

Topic

Fundraising, Promoting P.E.O., Reciprocity Group

Article Type

Special Feature

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