P.E.O. home garden tour and fund-raiser is Saturday | AspenTimes.com
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P.E.O. home garden tour and fund-raiser is Saturday

Allyn Harvey
Aspen Times Staff Writer

A local women’s organization is sponsoring a garden tour around Aspen Saturday to raise money for scholarships for both women and girls.

The tour, featuring five of the Aspen area’s finest outdoor gardens, will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is a fund-raiser for P.E.O., a national organization dedicated to offering educational opportunities to women. P.E.O. has had a presence in Aspen for 73 years.

“They really are showcase gardens, with different features at each one – some with water features, some smaller with pots only,” said Linda Keleher, a P.E.O. member and one of the tour organizers.

The tour is fashioned after a successful garden tour that P.E.O. put on two years ago. Those on the tour go from home to home viewing some of the most spectacular gardens in the valley.

Tickets this year are $25 in advance, $30 on the day of the event. Through Friday, they can be bought at Carl’s Pharmacy, Discovery Center and Vectra Bank in Aspen, at Vectra Bank and Sundance Drug and Liquor in Snowmass Village, and the Vectra Bank branches in Basalt and El Jebel.

On the day of the event, tickets (and refreshments) can be found at HeritageAspen’s Wheeler-Stallard House at 620 W. Bleeker, or at any of the gardens on the tour. For further information contact Barbara Bakios-Wickes at 925-8254 or Debra Brown at 963-4255.

Over the years, the local P.E.O. chapter has supported women seeking higher degrees, made loans to undergraduate students and funded books and reading glasses. They have even helped pay for individual classes at Colorado Mountain College.

The current beneficiaries of the local P.E.O. chapter’s scholarship programs include an aspiring violin player from the Carbondale area and a single, working mother who is attending beauty school.

“We’re going to try and help her get a scholarship to a liberal arts school,” Keleher said of the violin player, who also happens to be in high school.

P.E.O. began in 1869 at Iowa Wesleyan College as a sorority. As time passed, its emphasis shifted to educational assistance to women through low-interest loans and scholarships. Today, P.E.O. has chapters in all the states and most Canadian provinces.

P.E.O. has been operating in Aspen since 1917, though its roots date back to 1913, when a number of Aspen women formed a group called the Shakespeare Club. In 1917 they applied for and received a charter for membership in P.E.O.

About 50 women belong to the Aspen chapter, which supports projects on a national level through dues and monetary contributions to the parent organization.


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