On February 4 sixteen members and guest from the Highlands P.E.O. Group toured the Depot Museum in Avon Park. Because one of the guests, Sally Kinsey, had been a member of Florida State’s circus troupe back in the 1950’s, the ladies were especially interested in the circus performers from Avon Park High School in that same era.
After the museum tour the ladies enjoyed a delicious lunch in the Silver Palm Dining Car and stories of transforming the car from a Pullman to a dining car.
P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. The goal of P.E.O. is to motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.
Founded on January 21, 1869, by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, this circle of kindred spirits – bonded by their enthusiasm for women's opportunities – eventually expanded to include women off campus, as well. Today, P.E.O. has grown from that tiny membership of seven to nearly a quarter of a million members in chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada, with headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. The state of Florida has chapters; in Highlands County there is one chapter of 27 members, IA of Sebring, and a P.E.O. Group of 20 members. Unlike the chapter, that raises funds to support the college, scholarships, loans, grants and awards, the Group provides a social setting for members who are far from their home chapters during the winter season.