Women promote education for women

Media Relations Coordinator Jan Thompson, Chapter President Sharon Kiker, Coordinator Sue Greer work to raise scholarship money during Games Galore Aug. 30. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

Media Relations Coordinator Jan Thompson, Chapter President Sharon Kiker, Coordinator Sue Greer work to raise scholarship money during Games Galore Aug. 30. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

RIVERCHASE – The newest chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization held “Games Galore” at Riverchase Country Club on Aug. 30 to raise money for women’s education.

“There are seven chapters in Birmingham, and we’re the newest chapter,” President Sharon Kiker said of the AK Chapter of PEO, which is comprised mainly of Shelby County residents. “The other chapter had gotten so large. We meet in homes, so the club can’t be too large. We have 31 members of all ages.”

The PEO is a “sisterhood,” Kiker said, as members must be invited to join. Members are women who are “interested in finding ways to continue girls’ education,” she said.

“We’re women who want other women to have the opportunity for education,” Kiker said. “I’m from a rural community, and if someone wouldn’t have helped me, I never would have gone to college.”

The AK Chapter established a local foundation in order to provide local young women with educational funding. Kiker said she has interviewed two high school candidates for $1,500 to $2,000 scholarships, and hopes to offer five scholarships total.

“Counselors give us names of girls in the schools,” Kiker said. “We’re looking for A or B students who are not necessarily the top in the class, but got missed by upper scholarships.”

Games Galore gave PEO members the opportunity to bring friends and relatives to play games, enjoy lunch and bid on silent auction items. About 120 women attended, playing bunco, canasta and a variety of other card games.

“If you know of anyone who needs to go back to school or further their education, that’s what we do,” Event Chairperson Sue Greer said.

For more information about the Philanthropic Educational Organizaion, visit Peointernational.org.