Local P.E.O. chapter celebrates 100 years of service

Submitted photo Members of Chapter DY, P.E.O. celebrate their 100th anniversary. Back row, left to right: Arlys Kremer, Becky McCue, Nancy McCue, Peggy Reed-Lohmeyer, Lindsey Hux, Susan Krumm, Heather Vodnansky, Kelly Nickelson and Shirley Kunkle. Front row, left to right: Mary Kate Saltzmann, Tina Hines, Patricia Wallace, Deanna Hudson and Jan Hankinson.

Chapter DY of the P.E.O. sisterhood recently held events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the organization in Fulton.

On April 20, an afternoon celebration was held at the First Christian Church for members, former members and Chapter KE. This event showcased the history of the charter members of the group, as well as a visual presentation of some of the chapter highlights from the past 100 years.

On April 29, another event was held to celebrate the organization's anniversary. Jan Hankinson, chapter vice president, hosted a chapter brunch at her house.

Throughout April, the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society highlighted P.E.O.'s history with a window display.

The Fulton P.E.O. chapter was officially chartered on April 19, 1923, although the seeds were planted for the group to start before then, a P.E.O. release states.

During their research, committee members Peggy Reed-Lohmeyer and Hankinson found that Margaret Reed was the first person to start planning for the Fulton chapter.

Reed was assisted by Myrtle Ben Kori, Blossom Pixley and Marth Wilson to establish Chapter DY.

13 women were on the original charter list. This chapter was the 104th to be started in Missouri, a release states.

The 13 charter members are Margaret Reed, Mary Hockaday, Grace Weigle, Elizabeth Rice, Leona Heath, Mary Humphreys, Olive Harrison, Lina Bolton, Belle Rood, Ida Belle McCleur, Mary Harris, Myrtle Ben Kori and Martha Wilson.

The first member to join the chapter by demit was Blossom Pixley. In 1923, the dues were $2 and membership was capped to 20 members. Meetings were held on the first and third Thursdays each month, which still holds true today.

Throughout the chapter's history, members have participated in several civic projects in the community. Some of these projects include preparing Red Cross kits for soldiers, sewing for the Red Cross, adopting families at Christmas and helping with the public library renovation.

The heart of P.E.O. meetings are the programs, which "are prepared with the objects and aims of the sisterhood in mind," a release states. Some of the previous programs include musical programs, guest speakers and book reviews.

P.E.O. has six international projects that aim to fulfill the organization's goal of being educational and philanthropic. The projects include the P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund, the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund, the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education,the P.E.O. Scholar Awards, Cottey College and the Star Scholarship.

Missouri P.E.O. chapters also support the Missouri P.E.O. Outreach Fund.

"For the past 100 years, the women of Chapter DY, P.E.O. have been an integral part of the Fulton community. The chapter celebrates the thirteen women who had a vision to start this group, believed in education and making a difference in other's lives," a release states.