Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chapter Helps Elderly Homeowner Celebrate "Christmas In April"

When the small contingent of Brothers walked into the house at 6501 Woodland Road in Suitland early Saturday morning, it was Christmas for the owner -- as in, "Christmas In April." Gamma Pi lent some much-needed manpower to efforts to improve the home that was in vital need of repair as part of the annual commitment that the chapter makes with sweat equity to the countywide Christmas in April project.

The home was identified for the project by Christmas in April officials and is occupied by a female senior citizen and some other relatives, including a son. The small frame house sits way back off the road and needed work inside and out including in the spacious front and side yard. Brothers experienced in Christmas in April work remarked that it was one of the toughest challenges they had seen compared to previous homes served by the project.

In addition to about a half dozen Gamma Pi participants, a team of professional carpenters along with women from the Bowie-Mitchellville chapter of the National Council of Negro Women joined forces on the home.Work began around 7 a.m. and ended in early afternoon.One of the biggest tasks involved pitching several loads of trash and debris (large car parts, old aluminum siding, thick underbrush, old appliances, assorted junk) aboard a county dump truck for trips back and forth to the landfill.

"The (house) Captain was very impressed with the usual hard work we put in to gentrify one of Suitland's urban homes," said Brother Tony Kelly,who coordinated the project for Gamma Pi's Social Action committee. One of the sons was so overwhelmed by the work that he went around and personally thanked each project participant with tearful eyes and a hug. In an unusual twist, he even spent much of the day working alongside the Brothers and the other Christmas in April participants. He did not just sit and watch. Enjoy the photos and videos provided by Brother Kelly and bythe PR Committee from yesterday's very successful event:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chapter Supports March of Dimes on Historic Day

Today, April 17, 2010, will go down in history as a day to forever remember in Gamma Pi chapter as former three-term Basileus Brother Kenneth Rodgers becomes the 32nd Second District Representative during the Second District Conference near Syracuse, New York. It is fitting that Gamma Pi chapter would start such a special day doing what it does best -- providing Uplift to the local community as "The Super Chapter." This morning, about a dozen Brothers braved the chill at 6 a.m. and gathered at Watkins Park to start preparing food for the annual March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon. By the time the event ended, Brothers had helped serve food to hundreds of walkers from across the county who were participating to help raise money to support families with premature babies.

"Gamma Pi has been in charge of logistics since the beginning of the March of Dimes Walk which was in the early 1990s. So that means we do the food and help with setup and any other logistical assistance they need ,"said Brother Bo Ellis, who led the project. While a contingent of Gamma Pi Brothers traveled to New York for the District Conference, Bro. Ellis helped hold down the fort at home with the March of Dimes project.

The numbers may have been smaller this year because of the trip to the District Conference, but the contribution was as big as ever. In fact, during the Walk-A-Thon, Gamma Pi's professionalism and efficiency was so noticeable that a representative from the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome organization approached the chapter during the Walk-A-Thon to inquire about getting Gamma Pi to work logistics for the upcoming Annual Charity Walk for SIDS scheduled for September.

Here are some videos from today's successful event, which had nice, sunny weather as a backdrop: