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PEO home tea tour will mix gardens with artwork

Once every two years, the two Detroit Lakes branches of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) -- Chapters DQ and FG -- get together to host their Biennial Garden Tour & Tea.

This year's incarnation, with the theme "Artists in the Garden," gets underway on Thursday, July 27, and though tickets don't go on sale until June 1, local gardeners and artists are already hard at work, making sure the annual event will be a feast for both the eyes and the palate.

"Each artist will be displaying their own work," says PEO member Joann Knapp, who is also one of the five contributing artists for the event. The other four artists featured will be Linda Sheryak, Linda Doebbert, Eloise Irvine and Delores Heggestuen.

One artist will be showcased in each of the five gardens on display during the tour, which will include:

n Mona and Al Boehne, 258 Shorewood Drive;

n Becky DePree, 264 Court Lake;

n Kathy Dixon, 448 Shorewood Drive;

n Dr. Jim and Nancy Christensen, 25673 Muskrat Lake Drive;

n Marsha and Jim Watland, 14070 East Fox Lake Road.

According to Claire Wilson, publicity co-chair for this year's tea, original artwork by some of the featured artists will be for sale at the tea, which will take place at First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes.

There will be three scheduled seatings for the tea, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The first seating is from 11 a.m. to noon; the second, from 12:30-1:30 p.m.; and the third, from 2-3 p.m. Guests are invited to tour the gardens before and after their scheduled tea time.

All of the food will be prepared by P.E.O. members, with an "artist's palette" theme, Wilson noted.

All tickets are $25, with proceeds to benefit P.E.O. charitable projects. Some of those projects include:

n Cottey College, a two-year liberal arts college for women in Nevada, Mo., which is owned by the P.E.O.'s 5,921 chapters located in the U.S. and Canada. Nine Minnesota students attended Cottey in 2005, and 11 are registered for 2006-07.

n The P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund, a low-interest loan fund that enables women of all ages to obtain loans of up to $9,000 to pursue their education, with six years to repay the loan.

n The International Peace Scholarship Fund, an international scholarship program, through which six students representing six different countries studied in Minnesota this year.

n Program for Continuing Education, a grant program for continuing education; 40 grants totaling more than $46,000 were made in Minnesota last year.

n P.E.O. Scholarship Awards, a program for women of the U.s. and Canada who are pursuing a graduate degree or are engaged in advanced study and research. A total of 85 awards of $10,000 were made in 2005.

For more information about the tour, contact Mary Nordmark, 847-1432, Claire Wilson at 846-1594 or Mary Seaworth at 847-8434.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454