Phi Tau Omega

Formed in 1925 by eight women, Phi Tau Omega became a national social and philanthropic sorority. With chapters in five different states, Phi Tau Omega’s generosity reaches numerous communities.

National Philanthropics include Box Tops for Education, Coca-Cola Gives, Stamps for the Wounded and card fronts. Each year, the National President selects a Philanthropic Platform that all chapters are encouraged to work to benefit. In addition, each chapter selects local philanthropic endeavors to benefit from volunteer hours as well as monetary donations.

With an active membership of over 250 women, Phi Tau Omega is always looking for women who share our passion for friendship and philanthropy. For more information about our sorority, please contact us at

National Platform – National Down Syndrome Society

What is Down Syndrome?

In every cell in the human body there is a nucleus, where genetic material is stored in genes. Genes carry the codes responsible for all of our inherited traits and are grouped along with rod-like structures called chromosomes. Typically, the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.

This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm – although each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all.

How Common is Down Syndrome?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the most common chromosomal condition. About 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year.

2019 Member of the Year – Karen Zerngast, Alpha Kappa

Our nominee has served as chapter president twice, vice-president twice, recording secretary three times, social secretary four times, treasurer five times, scribe once and historian four times.  Each time she has done an excellent job.

Our candidate has chaired numerous chapter committees including Founders Day, Safehouse collections, Project Warmth kitchen manager and money-making projects.

She attends faithfully both business meeting and socials.  She has an endearing personality that unites us all.  She can always be counted on.  She is a wonderful seamstress and cook, so we follow her lead in those areas.  She has inspired her church ladies to knit baby caps for preemies as well as sewing weighted vests and sensory stimulator quilts for autistic children.  Her love for others inspires her to help them.

She loves mentoring grade schoolers who need extra help with reading and math and life.  Occasionally she meets a grown, former student who comes to hug and acknowledge her and how she helped in their lives; that is always so gratifying.  Not only is she helping with their academics but also helping with life lessons and problem-solving.

Our member of the year candidate has not been a national officer nor a committee chairman, but she has served twice on the National Incentive Committee.  She also served as a Convention Treasurer.

Our nominee is a faithful convention attendee and has participated in almost all conventions over her 44-year membership.  She inspires us to always go to Convention and to host a party; “it’s just not as much fun if we don’t host a party”, she reminds us.

On a personal note, our nominee has been married for over 52 years and has a very close relationship with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters.  She is a faithful Christian who works for her church weekly and volunteers when needed.  She volunteers in the local Clothes Closet that provides clothing at minimal cost to local citizens in need.

She is instrumental in helping annually with a spaghetti feed at her current church and the one she attended before her move to another town; these are moneymakers and her assistance is invaluable.  By the way, she cooks all the spaghetti herself to make sure it is consistently delicious.  Do you know how much spaghetti is needed to feed 500 people?

Our nominee exemplifies the PTO tenet “Pals true unto the end”.  Her relationship with the chapter members is special to her and to them.  We find our candidate is thoughtful and willing when it comes to giving, whether of her time or resources.  She exemplifies what we should strive to be as PTO sisters.

2019 CHAPTER OF THE YEAR – Kappa Gamma

Established April 15, 1978
We began as a little band of 10 ladies who were connected in various ways: 2 married biological brothers, 2 others married frat brothers, 2 were childhood friends, several had family working at the same school, one charter member was a former student of another charter member. We were an eclectic group, but we had strong ties, so strong that today, some 38 years later, 5 of the original 10 are still active with the chapter.
We like to do things with a twist and strive to provide the unexpected, but when asked to do a convention party that combined fairy tales and the military, well that one pushed our creative boundaries a bit. We’ve dressed as calendar girls, toy soldiers, women in history. We’ve been Little Orphan Annie, waitresses, and circus animals. We’ve done a mermaid, a queen, and even the Phantom of the Opera.
We have been a very successful chapter nationally having had 4 National Presidents, 5 members of the year, 4 or 5 Chapter of the Year awards, a couple of Scribe of the Year honors, and numerous scribe of the issues, and committee appointments.
Our men are quite involved in chapter activities. One of the nicest things they do for us every year is to prepare and serve our Christmas dinner, then clean everything up and do the dishes so we can enjoy our evening. We took them with us on a Silver Anniversary trip to Branson to celebrate the chapter’s 25th anniversary with some shows and a dinner trip on the Branson Belle.
We’ve slowed down a bit, our fundraising is a little less strenuous, and socials have become a little more mellow. But one thing has never changed—we do life together, providing the shoulder to cry on during the bad times, someone to share our happy events, someone to be supportive no matter what is needed. Don’t get me wrong, when there are this many women together there is bound to be aggravation and disagreement from time to time. But speaking from experience, when you need them, they come without being asked and rally around you. It is a very special group.
– Theresa Collins, Sponsor of Kappa Gamma Chapter

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