Seventeen members of the AJ Larchmont Chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) and three visitors from Chapter K Yorktown Heights celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Larchmont chapter at a luncheon on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at the Larchmont Shore Club.
The AJ Chapter is part of an even older organization, The P.E.O. Sisterhood, which was established in January 21, 1869, by seven college girls at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. It was the second sorority to be founded in America, later becoming a community organization dedicated to increasing women’s opportunities for higher education.
P.E.O. has given nearly $180 million in financial assistance during its years of existence to more than 77,000 women. This was accomplished through its six projects and its own Cottey College, a two year liberal arts college for women in Nevada, Missouri. During the 2008-2009 school year, a record amount of $1,777,000 was awarded to 236 students.
The Larchmont chapter goes back to 1949 when Atha Anderson, charter president, together with four members from Chapter P New Rochelle and 12 initiates, formed a second New Rochelle group, Chapter AJ, in an organizational ceremony held at the Gramatan Hotel, Bronxville on October 29. In 1992, a name change was sought and Chapter AJ New Rochelle became Chapter AJ Larchmont.
At the current anniversary celebration, Celia Dentzer, President of Chapter AJ, read congratulatory messages from other chapters, the state president and former members. Other members participating in the program were Thelma Serenbetz (chaplain) and Mary Louise Cox (poet laureate, Town of Mamaroneck).
P.E.O. Supports Local Students
Recently, there have been two recipients from Larchmont who have benefited from P.E.O. scholarships, grants and loans. Last year, Chapter AJ recommended Mamaroneck High School senior Elise Geithner for a Star Scholarship of $2500. In April, word was received that Elise had been chosen as one of three recipients in New York State and she was given her award at the MHS Awards Assembly. Elise is now a freshman at Stanford University.
More recently, Chapter AJ received a thank you note from Christy Amlicke Marducci. “Words can barely describe how honored and grateful I am … your organization has helped make my dream of becoming a pediatric RN a reality!”
In August, Christy was the recipient of both a $1500 Program of Continuing Education grant and a $4000 ELF loan from P.E.O. Thanks to these funds Christy was able to stay in school and this fall began her first nursing rotation at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. She will complete her training in May of 2010.
For more on P.E.O. grants, scholarships or loans, please contact Jan Northrup at 834-5757, or visit: peointernational.org.