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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 2007)
P.E.O. - Women Helping Women, It’s No Secret
By Scott Laird
Many people have heard of P.E.O. Many of
you know about the great work this group does
within their communities. Many of us probably
know a lady who is a member. This is not a se-
cret organization, but I’ll bet none of us know what
P.E.O. stands for.
year, taking a short break over the summer. Mem-
bership is by invitation. Our main focus is raising
money to give local women scholarships and to as-
sist the work of the entire organization. Every year
we award at least one scholarship to a graduating
senior girl from the community. This past year
we were able to give two scholarships. We also
P.E.O.’s mission statement states “P.E.O. is have social programs and meet yearly to celebrate
a philanthropic organization where women cele- Founders Day with other local chapters.”
brate the advancement of women, educate women
through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and
I asked a couple of local members “What
stewardship of Cottey College, and motivate each does P.E.O. stand for?” and was told “We are a
other to achieve their highest aspirations.” It is Philanthropic Educational Organization,” by each
a sisterhood, similar to a sorority, with chapters of them. According to the P.E.O. Record, a bi-
throughout the United States and Canada, has over monthly periodical the organization produces,
a quarter of a million members, and was estab- when P.E.O. began it was a college sorority and
lished in 1869.
keeping “secrets” was part of that era and a way to
create bonds of friendship. Today the organization
Locally in Columbia County there are chap- continues to honor their founders by keeping the
ters in St. Helens and Clatskanie as well as in Ver- meaning of P.E.O. private.
nonia. The Vernonia chapter has a long history,
having been established in 1945. According to
P.E.O. strives to meet its mission by maintain-
current Vernonia Chapter President Mary Tolonen, ing five educational projects: P.E.O. Educational
the chapter here continues to be very active.
Loan Fund, to lend money to worthy women stu-
dents; Cottey College, an accredited liberal arts
“We have twenty-three current members,” said college for women, located in Missouri, that is
Tolonen. “We meet bi-monthly throughout the owned and supported by the P.E.O. Sisterhood;
P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund that
provides funding for international women to pur-
sue studies in the U.S. and Canada; P.E.O. Pro-
gram for Continuing Education for women who
are returning to school; and P.E.O. Scholar awards
for women pursuing advanced degrees.
Besides the locally awarded scholarships, local
women are also eligible to apply for funds through
the Oregon State Fund if they are sponsored by
their local chapter and receive a letter of recom-
The Vernonia Chapter primarily raises its funds
for scholarships with the annual Christmas Wreath
Sale in December. The ladies will be at the Christ-
mas Bazaar with the wreaths for sale, or you can
call 429-4814 or contact Carol Davis at 429-9671
to pre-order them.
So what does P.E.O. stand for? Peace Em-
powers Others? People Eating Onions? Here’s
my guess - Propagate Esoteric Oblation- but your
guess is as good as mine!
Commission on Children and Families Promotes “Undie Sunday” Benefit
In August, the Columbia County Commission on Children and Families along with County churches and Wal-Mart, sponsored a month-long
event called Undie Sunday. The goal was to gather underwear and socks for new-born through high school age children.
Local church and community members, County and Department of Human Services staff, the St. Helens Book Shop, Senator Johnson’s office and
Wal-mart donated items and money. 1,435 items were collected including diapers, underwear and socks of all sizes, and slippers for the elderly.
Commission on Children and Families members, Fred Butcher and Robin Loper, took the lead in organizing Columbia County’s Undie Sunday.
This has been successful in Tillamook for several years. Undie Sunday is part of the Commission on Children and Families’ “Advocacy for
Children” agenda and will be an annual event.
The underwear and socks are being delivered by the Northwest Regional Education Service District to Co-
lumbia County school nurses and staff who will give them to students in need.
The Commission would like to thank everyone who donated items and participated, with special thanks to
members of our faith community.
Small and Large Animals
Flock of Turkeys Needed For Vernonia Cares
It is time, once again, to begin herding turkeys for the Vernonia Cares
Christmas food boxes. Cares will provide groceries for an entire Christ-
mas dinner, including a turkey, for low- income households. This is
the fifth year for the Christmas Turkey Drive.
Currently, more than 300 clients representing 100 households are
helped each month according to Director Sandy Welch. The goal this
year is to provide 175 Christmas food boxes to clients as well as other
households who need a helping hand during the holidays.
Open in Vernonia
Wednesday & Saturday
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Call for Appointments
Or 24 hr. Emergency Number (503) 397-6470
805 Bridge Street Vernonia, OR
Between now and Thanksgiving, most grocery stores advertise their turkey promotions. Lo-
cally, the turkeys are distributed only at Christmas, but now is the time to gather and store
them frozen for the Christmas food boxes.
The Saver Shield program, through Vernonia Sentry, has in the past, allowed Cares to purchase
turkeys at a reduced price. With the corporate decision to eliminate the Saver Shield program,
more turkey donations are needed. Vernonia Cares has benefited from Sentry’s assistance
through check stand donations of turkeys, Christmas food box sponsorship and food barrel
receptacles. Thank you Sentry for agreeing to offer the check stand giving again this year.
Donors may also opt to sponsor a family food box at a cost of $30.00 that will include a turkey
or make a $10.00 donation that will allow Vernonia Cares to purchase a turkey. This may be
done at any Sentry check stand or mailed Directly to Vernonia Cares at P.O. Box 126, Vernonia.
Simply specify on the check that it is for the Christmas food boxes.
Call Pat or Bob Stacklie at (503) 429-7563 with questions, or for turkey ‘taxi’ service. Sug-
gested turkey weight for donation is 10-12 pounds. One hundred percent of donations stay in
the community and all donations are tax deductible.
Tuesday thru Sunday
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
62467 N. Hwy 47
Vernonia, OR 97064