|A full house at Saturday's program|
In many African American communities, senior citizens are more economically challenged than their counterparts from other communities and many of them outlive their family and close friends and are sometimes left to fend for themselves with little contact with the outside world.
The Super Chapter's banquet has become a "red letter" day on many Prince George's County seniors' calendars. You would think after more than 20 years of holding the banquet, it would become routine. But every year, the Brothers bring different and new twists to the event, and the atmosphere is always charged. Each year, seniors look forward to it with more and more anticipation and to them, it is like Christmas. One would only have to look at the smiles and laughs spread across the room to know that Gamma Pi was welcomed and embraced. It was also an emotional lift for the seniors, many past 80 years old and struggling with health challenges. In fact, the chapter recognized the oldest woman (95) and oldest man (83) among the audience, both who seemed to be in excellent shape for any age.
|Barbara Givens (right) talks to seniors|
Others on the program included Gamma Pi Basileus Bro. Gordon Everett, Second District Chaplain Bro. Dr. Gerald Folsom, Bro. Rev.Tony Lee, Bro. Terry Rogers, who co-chairs Social Action for the chapter, Emcee Bro. Bill Reese and Bro. Dr. George Edwards, who led the music. Bro. Phil Ferguson, a former member of the church who helped put together the program for Gamma Pi for so many years and has now passed on to Omega chapter, was remembered Saturday. The all-Gamma Pi kitchen staff was also recognized headed by Bro. Greg Johnson.
|Seniors listening intently|
The Gamma Pi Senior Citizens' Banquet began and was held at the First Baptist Church of Highland Park in Landover by Gamma Pi’s Founders for a number of years. It was later moved by the late Bro. Ferguson to Gethsemane.
Listen to Gamma Pi Brother William Talbert, who was the lead organizer of yesterday's successful banquet, talk on video about the history of the event and explain why Gamma Pi chapter gives time to seniors in the community: