On Saturday, Oct. 26, five area P.E.O International Chapters and guests attended a luncheon at Silver Springs Country Club. The mission of P.E.O, a Philanthropic, Educational, Organization, is to celebrate the advancement of women and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations. In the spirit of that mission, guest speaker, Tracy Craighead, was invited to speak about the making of the cookbook Share that celebrates “our common humanity,” an announcement said. The organization, Women for Women International, was the inspiration for Tracy and four other women volunteers to develop the book to raise money and awareness of their work on behalf of women in war-torn countries.

There are many parallels with P.E.O and Women for Women International. They both support women in need; help women to further themselves; and care about the future of the world. WFWI works with women in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan and Syria.

The luncheon featured recipes from the cookbook, which was for sale. P.E.O was the recipient of a portion of the proceeds from books sold that day, with the rest going to WFWI. Recipes are from individuals who have made a commitment to the greater good. Contributors include well-known international chefs, leaders, celebrities and women from the eight countries WFWI support. A few celebrities included Christiane Amanpour, Ben & Jerry, Sir Richard Branson, Dame Judi Dench, Nelson Mandela, Paul McCartney, Jamie Oliver, Meryl Streep, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Alice Waters.

Additional books are available through Books on the Common. In the spirit of P.E.O helping women, food from the centerpieces was donated to a Women’s Shelter through Family and Children’s Aid of Danbury.