As comptroller and then IT director for Helzberg Diamonds for 15 years, Peg Billick was the perfect “security blanket” when her longtime friend Lona Harris considered taking on GAGV treasurer’s job four years ago. “I told her I’d help if she ever needed it, but I knew she wouldn’t. She’s a math teacher!” Peg said with a laugh. “I just follow Lona everywhere,” including joining GAGV.
The two have been friends for more than 50 years, beginning in Ottawa, Kansas, when their husbands were young professors at Ottawa University. Peg and Lona have traveled to Colorado, New York City and Peru over the years for hiking adventures and they walk together most Tuesdays, weather permitting.
That’s when they exchange mail. Peg picks up GAGV’s mail at the Overland Park post office box near her home and gives it to Lona, who lives in KCMO, and picks up mail for Peg who is treasurer of the Greater Kansas City Area Committee of the National Museum for Women in the Arts.
Besides handling GAGV’s mail, Peg has volunteered with Lock It For Love and once stored 600 gun locks in her basement for several months when extra storage space was needed. Before the pandemic, Peg regularly attended GAGV’s monthly meetings and continues to Zoom in. “The programs especially have been very good,” she said.
Peg is in her sixth year of volunteering with the IRS to help lower income seniors prepare their taxes. In the spring she works in her garden and keeps long-distance tabs on her son, daughter and three teenaged grandsons.