P.E.O. takes center stage
June 11-13 in Rapid City More than 200 delegates of South Dakota's 102 P.E.O. chapters will descend on Rapid City June 11-13 for its annual convention at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel. Registration will begin at 3 p.m. June 11 and the event will end at noon on Saturday, June 13.. The theme of the 93rd convention is P.E.O. Center Stage – Get In the Act. The keynote speaker is Maria Baseggio, International Chapter Organizer. State Officers of P.E.O are President June Hansen, Pierre; First Vice President Lisa Edwards, Wessington Springs; Second Vice President Lisa Rasmussen, Sioux Falls; Organizer Judith Jencks, Aberdeen; Corresponding Secretary Arlis Ley, Rapid City; Treasurer Carol Flynn, Sioux Falls; and Recording Secretary Cathy Stromberg, Madison. Co-chairmen of the convention are Julie Darger and Jessica Haeder. Doris Lind is convention secretary and Diane Dahl is convention treasurer. All are from Rapid City. Hosts for the event are 10 P.E.O. Chapters from Rapid City, Edgemont, Custer, Hot Springs and Martin. P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), one of the pioneer societies for women, was founded on January 21, 1869, by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Originally a small campus friendship society, P.E.O. soon blossomed to include women off campus. Today, P.E.O. has grown from that tiny membership of seven to almost a quarter of a million members in chapters in the United States and Canada. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is passionate about its mission: promoting educational opportunities for women. The sisterhood proudly makes a difference in women's lives with five international philanthropies: P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund, Cottey College, P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund, P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, and P.E.O. Scholar Awards. This year it also piloted the P.E.O. Star Award for young women completing high school. South Dakota senior, Kelly Wong, Custer, received one of the 151 scholarships of $2,500 awarded to women throughout the United States and Canada. Hers was the only scholarship awarded to a South Dakota student. P.E.O. is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.