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Photos by Shirin McArthur

More than twenty Grant County women gathered on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, to prepare one hundred purses for the sixth annual Purses for Every Occasion Auction, which will take place on Saturday, October 21, at First Presbyterian Church in Silver City. Members of Chapter AG, P.E.O. (which stands for Philanthropic Educational Organization) stuffed the purses with various surprises in preparation for the auction.

The event includes a live purse auction, a silent auction, and a variety of delectable sweets and tasty edibles. More than a fundraiser, this is a FUN-raiser, due to the talents of experienced auctioneer Danna Stout of Matney Auctions of Deming. She makes this Purses for Every Occasion Auction fun for all with her fast-paced patter and sense of humor. She says it’s a treat to auction purses.

A large variety of silent auction items will be available, including original art, jewelry, gift baskets, books by local authors, collectibles, gift certificates and more. All auction items are donated by P.E.O. members and friends as well as local businesses, authors and artists from the Grant County community.

According to Purse Auction Chair Carol Barrington, “This event really isn't about purses, silent auction items, great refreshments, or even a fun afternoon. It's about scholarships and educational opportunities for young women.” The proceeds of this event will endow the Nancy Champlin P.E.O. Foundation Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is awarded annually to a qualified Grant County graduating senior woman.

P.E.O. is an international organization that is passionate about supporting women’s education and motivating women to achieve their educational dreams. Their international sisterhood makes a difference through six educational projects. They started with their Educational Loan Fund 110 years ago. This revolving loan is available to women studying at accredited post-secondary educational institutions and charges only a simple 2% interest rate on its educational loans.

Other P.E.O. funds have been added over the years. These include the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship, the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, P.E.O. Scholar Awards, and P.E.O. STAR Scholarship. Each of these funds assists women in furthering their educational goals.

In addition to these various funds, P.E.O. also owns and supports Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. This undergraduate women’s college has been supported by the P.E.O. Sisterhood since 1927. For further information on Cottey College or any of P.E.O.’s other philanthropic projects, visit www.peointernational.org.

P.E.O. means more than just purses in Grant County. Chapter AG also sells Pecans Every October to support local scholarships as well as P.E.O.’s projects listed above. These New Mexican pecans come from Legacy Pecans in Las Cruces and can also be purchased by contacting Bonni Jo Rogers at 575-574-2002 or any other Chapter AG member.

If you are interested in attending the upcoming purse auction, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. on October 21, there are a few tickets available for $10.00 each. You may purchase a ticket by contacting Greta Oberg at 575-538-3919. Pecans will be available for sale at the purse auction. Tickets for the auction are also available at The Place and Yada Yada Yarn

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