Entre Nous: Making a Difference

Entre Nous welcomes newcomers to the area as well as women who have recently experienced lifestyle changes.

Three women at Entre Nous
Renee Bolden, Aparna Baman and Etty Prager at a September fundraiser for Entre Nous

In 1945, Beulah Cook Speers organized a club to welcome women new to the Peoria area and help them become better acquainted—with each other and with the community. She called it Entre Nous (French for “between us”), and over the years her vision expanded beyond just a social club. “Supporting women in the area was always a priority to Beulah,” explains Dani Gibson, current board advisor.

Speers established a scholarship at Illinois Central College (ICC) on the day it opened in 1967, and Entre Nous has awarded scholarships every year since, using proceeds from their annual fundraisers. This year’s fundraiser was a masquerade ball: “Women Helping Women Shine.” The event featured a wine pull and various raffle items, including a specialty piece of jewelry from Bremer Jewelry—raising enough to fund six $1,000 scholarships. “We are proud of our relationship with ICC,” Gibson adds. “By continuing to support the scholarship program, we know we are making a difference in so many women’s lives.”

No longer just for newcomers, Entre Nous has expanded to welcome women who have experienced lifestyle changes, including divorce, retirement and empty nest syndrome. New members are welcomed through referrals from the group’s 140 current members, who meet for lunch on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Poised to celebrate their 75th anniversary next year, the members of Entre Nous are proudly carrying on their founder’s vision, welcoming and supporting women in their community. entrenouspeoria.club