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Welcome to Chapter BL!


P.E.O. Sisterhood and Chapter BL take seriously the phrase, “Show a loving concern for each sister.” We develop deep and meaningful friendships with our sisters, supporting them through life’s ups and downs. Each member tries to live up to her initiation vows and the Objects and Aims recited at each meeting.


Education for women is our passion. We support this through contributions to our six projects - International Peace Scholarship, Educational Loan Fund, Continuing Education, Scholar Awards, Cottey College (our two-year women’s college in Nevada, MO), and the STAR Scholarship. We also assist worthwhile community projects through the Wisconsin H.E.L.P Fund and by offering support to local non-profit charitable organizations by volunteering time and talents as members.


Your P.E.O Pin Symbolizes Your Membership!


You’ve now been initiated into Chapter BL, P.E.O. Sisterhood. Our chapter treasurer has ordered your pin from P.E.O. International for you. Your pin is actually lent to you by P.E.O. It’s yours to proudly wear to P.E.O. meetings as long as you are an active member of a chapter. It’s worn on the left side over your heart on your blouse, dress, or jacket, but is never worn on a coat.


             From initiation on, you’ll always be a P.E.O. You maintain your membership by paying your annual dues to the chapter treasurer before February, when our books close and official memberships are reported to State and International. Your annual membership card will admit you to P.E.O. functions everywhere.


            If you move to another city, you’ll be glad to know that your membership is portable. Your chapter will do everything it can to help you find a P.E.O. chapter wherever you settle.  If you find your schedule changes so that it’s difficult for you to attend Chapter BL meetings, you can request our help in securing a lateral transfer to another chapter that meets at a time that is more convenient for you. We want to keep you involved!


            We encourage you to think ahead about the disposition of your pin at the time of your death. You may want to have it buried or cremated with you, or it can be returned to the P.E.O. International by your chapter president. Please inform your family or your chapter of your wish. You may want to fill out a wish form for your chapter files (available from your president)


Attending Your First Meeting


Chapter BL meets at 11:45 a.m on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month for lunch. After lunch, if we have an invited speaker, we hold our program which generally lasts 20-30 minutes.  If our program is to be presented by a member, our business meeting will begin at 1pm.  In either case, before that business meeting begins, you are asked to find the guard standing near the President’s table and whisper the password to her before taking your seat.


            When everyone has given the password, the president will tap the gavel to call the meeting to order. The President will ask everyone to stand as they are able while the report of the guard is given and remain standing until we have sung the Opening Ode and recited the Objects and Aims (see pp. 2-3 of your directory). You’ll eventually learn these words but, for the first few months, it’s okay to read them from your yearbook.


At the next gavel tap, everyone will sit down to hear the chaplain conduct the devotions--a reading from scripture, a prayer, and then we all join in the Lord’s Prayer (we use forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors). After that, you can just sit back and relax as the meeting goes forward according to this outline based on Robert’s Rules of Order. If you wish to speak during the chapter meeting, you raise your hand, stand when called on, and address the chairman.


Recording Secretary reads the minutes. You can stand to be recognized to make any corrections you feel are necessary.  A voice vote is called to approve the minutes; you vote “pro” or “con” and majority rules.

Initiation (if scheduled)

Treasurer calls the roll. When your name is read, you say “present.”  The monthly treasurer’s report is given and bills to be paid are presented.

Corresponding secretary gives the monthly report, reads the correspondence

            Committee and project reports

            Unfinished business

            New business

Presentation of names for membership (every meeting)

Election and installation of officers (in March)

            Remarks by visitors

Suggestions for the good of the Chapter. This informal time is meant to exchange news about yourself, your family, or other members, to make informal requests or announcements, or to make suggestions.

Closing benediction (Please stand and bow your head when the president taps the gavel. Raise your head after the prayer for the closing statement.)

            Adjournment by president


This procedure is followed at all P.E.O. meetings across the country, so that you will feel comfortable if you visit other chapters.


Chapter Organization and Responsibilities


            P.E.O. membership carries with it responsibilities which benefit both the member and the chapter and provide the member opportunities to grow by accepting new challenges. Your first responsibility is to attend chapter meetings regularly if at all possible.


            In Chapter BL, we live by the adage that many hands make light work, and we all do our share as we are able. You’ll be asked to do your part from time to time--by hosting a meeting in your home, serving on the food committee for a luncheon, taking an office, being a part of a committee or special project, or keeping us informed on one of the P.E.O. projects. In working out such assignments, we try to work with you to consider your preferences, space or time constraints, other demands in your life, and special talents. Your program, fundraising, organizational, and membership ideas and skills are always welcome, no matter what your current job!




Officers Are There To Serve!


            A nominating committee is appointed by the president in January to set up a slate of officers for election in March for the coming year. Officers serve for two years with the terms staggered so that there are always new and experienced officers on the board at any one time.  Chapter BL’s board of directors includes seven officers--president, vice president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer, chaplain, and guard. Each has her own individual responsibilities, but plays a role with the board in making decisions that affect chapter policy or direction; she also has a part in initiation. Here’s what the officers do individually:


President--presides at meetings, appoints committees, calls special meetings, signs official forms and reports, confers with candidates for membership, supervises chapter administration and planning, helps with chapter communication, and often serves as our chapter’s state convention delegate. The President attends two meetings yearly of the city-wide Reciprocity committee (together with the immediate Past President) which welcomes P.E.O.s new to the area and helps them find a new chapter; the Reciprocity Board also shares ideas and plans interaction between chapters. BL representatives report back on Board activities to chapter (April and September).


Vice-President--takes over for the president in case of her absence. Chapter BL’s Vice President also serves as board liaison on the membership committee, helps with pre- and post-initiation counseling, provides nametags at meetings


Recording Secretary--records and reads minutes of meetings and results of voting, reads

lists/ballots for portions of meetings, signs official forms, sends updated chapter bylaws

to state chapter annually, and is third in line to wield the gavel in the event of absence of

both the president and vice president.


Corresponding Secretary--conducts, reads, and responds to chapter correspondence, maintains general membership ledger and other records, issues chapter invitations to join or transfer, notifies other chapters of additions to our membership, fills out forms relating to membership and officer/committee changes or changes of address, presents a monthly report to the chapter, and prepares annual membership report for state chapter.


Treasurer--assists the budget committee in preparing a budget for the coming year, presents a monthly finance report at meetings, collects and records dues or fees or project proceeds, issues membership cards, maintains chapter bank account, pays chapter bills and makes chapter contributions to P.E.O projects, orders supplies, and reports on chapter finances/membership to WI chapter annually.


Chaplain--selects and conducts devotions and leads prayers at each chapter meeting (including initiation).


Guard--sees that meeting rooms are in order, takes the password from all members and P.E.O. guests at each meeting, makes sure that the meeting place is free from outside interference, and conducts each candidate to initiation.


Delegate/Alternate to State Convention--represents chapter at annual state convention and reports on that convention to chapter. Alternate becomes delegate if delegate is unable to serve.


Standing Committees Are A Great Way to Participate!


In addition to the board, you’ll have the opportunity to serve on any of nine committees. Committee chairs convene their committees at the beginning of their two-year term to consider ideas, plan the year ahead, and parcel out responsibilities. Committee members are asked to attend their committee meetings and if everyone does their share, the work will be light for all!


The standing committees (and the times they are busiest) are:


Budget and Finance--works with treasurer to become familiar with chapter finances and prepares a budget in March for April approval. (Busiest in Spring)


Bylaws--updates chapter bylaws as changes are made at state and international convention, or as changes are needed within Chapter BL. (Fall; new bylaws completed by February)


Community Service – coordinates the current local endeavors of the chapter to volunteer time and talents to local non-profit charitable organizations.


Courtesy--sends or delivers cards, gifts, or remembrances to members in case of birth, illness, marriage, other special occasion, recognition, or death in the family; delivers a yellow          rose to a sister in case of illness or hospitalization; coordinates assistance where needed. (All year)      


Membership--assists president with pre- and post-initation counseling (orientation), matches unaffiliates with chapter time preferences and invites them to meetings, assembles new member packets for initiates, plans ways to enhance sisterly relationships within the chapter for both new and experienced members. (Ongoing)


Program--sets up yearly schedule of meetings, signs up members to hostess meetings for coming year and confirms before printing in yearbook, assigns food committees for each meeting, plans programs and confirms speakers for the coming year, submits program details in early summer to president for approval and Yearbook chair for printing, announces coming program and hostess committees at each meeting, reconfirms speakers and gives them directions for their meeting date, and introduces speakers at each meeting. (Busiest time is late spring  and early summer, then ongoing).


Social--plans and sponsors at least one fun event or special field trip per year for the enjoyment of members, and sometimes, other guests or spouses (BILs). (Ongoing)


Ways and Means--chooses, plans, and executes fund-raising strategies or projects to raise money within the chapter to support P.E.O. scholarship and charity projects. (Ongoing)


Yearbook--plans, prepares, prints, and delivers chapter yearbooks for the coming program year. (June-August)


Project Chairs lead our efforts to find Scholarship and Loan Recipients


One chair is appointed for a two year term for each of our our P.E.O. projects-- Cottey College, Educational Loan Fund, International Peace Scholarship, Program for Continuing Education, P.E.O. Scholar Awards Wisconsin H.E.L.P.  Fund, and the STAR Scholarship. These chairs give an annual report to our membership about the project they chair and assist with recruiting efforts, applications, and keeping in touch with local scholarship recipients. (Ongoing)


Special Committees Pitch In Too!


In addition to the standing committees, you may be asked to serve on a special committee--the nominating committee (which selects a slate of officers for the coming year--Jan.-Feb.), an auditing committee (which checks treasurer’s financial records for preceding year--early March), or for a specific project or issue. The chapter also has a historian and a group of willing musicians who volunteer individually to provide music for us while we ballot or initiate. Two members also chair each of our chapter interest groups--books and bridge.


We Love Our Hostesses and Their Food Committees!


            Because we have a fairly large chapter (average attendance is now 32 members), we ask your cooperation in either phoning or e-mailing the hostess for a particular meeting ahead of time if you will be unable to attend the meeting at her home. It makes it easier for her to set up if she has an approximate number to expect.


            If you agree to hostess a meeting, you will make all feel welcome by providing the space, seating, beverages (coffee, tea, water), and utensils/plates. Your food committee will help you with serving and clean-up. The chairman of the food committee gets in touch with her committee in advance to plan the menu for a specific meeting and pass out food responsibilities. She also assists the hostess with set-up, serving, and clean-up after the meeting. Food committee members help plan the food for a given meeting, prepare one food item, and assist with the set up, serving, and clean-up..


            None of these responsibilities is huge, but each is so important to the smooth working of our chapter, and to the benefit you gain from being a participating member of our group. We thank you in advance for pitching in!


Your Chapter Yearbook


            While much of your yearbook is self-explanatory, it contains several items to note at the beginning of a program year (fall). First check the list of Chapter Committees and Project to see what your responsibilities are for that year. After some of the committee listings, one or two people are starred; those are the committee chairs


            When you get to the Program section, please see where and when you have duties in the year ahead. The member’s name that is underlined is the hostess. The member’s name that is starred is the *food committee chair. The rest of the names listed after the starred name are the members on the food committee for that meeting. If the time is not right for you as assigned, trade with someone and let the program committee know. If you are assigned the hostess or food responsibilities and are unable to serve when assigned, trade with another member or find a replacement and let all know about the change.  If you are unable to change with another member and cannot provide food, you will be expected to make a monetary contribution toward the meal.


            The next section of the yearbook is usually the list of Resident Members. This section will be invaluable to you in communicating with your sisters.  Please check your email regularly as we use this means for most communication. We assign a buddy to pass along the most recent chapter communication to our members who don’t have e-mail access. This list is found in your yearbook under the Emergency Contacts heading. Check to see if you are listed as an e-mail buddy. If so, please keep in touch with your non-e-mail buddy by copying your chapter e-mails and mailing them to her, or by phoning her to keep her up-to-date. Remember, she’ll be counting on you all year long, and so will we! If you find you’ll be away, ask one of your sisters if she’d keep in touch with your non-e-mail buddy while you’re gone.


Suggesting A Name for Membership


            You are always welcome to ask a friend to attend a luncheon or program with you, but please notify the hostess in advance. If your friend is not a P.E.O., she’ll be asked to leave before our business meeting.  If your guest might potentially become a member, we ask you announce before hand to the chapter that you are bringing her to a meeting.


            After you’ve been a member of our chapter for one year, you may suggest a name for membership anytime. By then, you’ll have a clear idea of what we are looking for and who you know that would be a suitable addition to our chapter. Before you suggest a name, you’ll want to see indirectly if she might be interested, line up two other members who are familiar with and willing to vouch for her, and notify the president that you have a name to suggest for membership at the next meeting. It will take us two meetings to get this proposal considered by the group, and if approved, your friend would then receive a formal invitation from the chapter to join. If she responds positively to that invitation, she’ll receive a visit from several members who’ll answer her questions, share some information about the organization, and see when she is available to join us. After her initiation, she’ll receive a huge welcome and another visit from chapter members who will answer her questions and give her a new member packet. Then, she’ll truly be a sister.


Enjoy Reading? Like To Play Bridge?


            Chapter BL members who share these interests get together periodically for fun and fellowship above and beyond what we have at chapter meetings. If you’re interested in joining either our Book Group or Bridge Group, phone the chairman (listed in your yearbook) and let her know you’re interested. You’ll be given the specifics about getting involved or attending a meeting--no permanent commitment is necessary.


Online Resources

All P.E.O. forms, most publications, and project information is available at sisterhood, seven.  The Wisconsin chapter website is


You Are Now a P.E.O.


            And we’ve shared a bit about how things work in Chapter BL so you can feel right at home from the beginning! You have years of fun and friendship ahead of you. Now it’s up to you, to sit back, get involved, and enjoy! We’re so glad to have you as a sister!


                                                            Lovingly in P.E.O....Your Sisters in Chap

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