Saturday, June 12, 2010

Annual Seniors Banquet Draws Huge Crowd; Brings Smiles to Prince George's Beloved Elders

A full house marks today's event
Every year, Gamma Pi's Senior Citizens Banquet is one of the most anticipated events in Prince George's County. Men and women who paved the way for today's generations look forward to a relaxing Saturday afternoon featuring a hot meal served at the table, exciting door prizes, live musical entertainment and a word from The Word.  In all, the event is one of the many ways that Gamma Pi chapter pays homage to Prince George's County seniors who are often among the most forgotten segment of our population. Today's gathering at the familiar site of Gethsemane United Methodist Church in Capital Heights did not disappoint as nearly 100 seniors joined the Super Chapter for the 2010 version of the Seniors Banquet. Among those in attendance was State House Delegate Jolene Ivey (District 47).

Parents of Bro. Melvern McCottry
For many seniors attending today's program, the highlight was the fellowship itself. So often,in today's fast-paced world, seniors get overlooked and often feel left behind.Today, however, those that attended Gamma Pi's program got all the attention and full attention in a way that reflects their contributions to all of us over the years.

Bro. Rev.Barnes speaks
In addition to the fellowship, there was a stirring sermon brought by Brother Rev.Rodney Barnes, newly installed as the Assistant Pastor of Gethsemane AME Church in Landover, where his wife  was also installed as the Senior Pastor.  Bro. Rev. Barnes talked to the "seasoned saints" about "Living a Life Guided by the Hand of God," leaving the seniors in the room wiping their brow and longing for more at the end. Also, Bro.Marcus Davis and sister Stephanie brought forth several musical selections and teamed with a guest, Brian Hill, on a soulful spiritual saxophone solo. Brother William Reese served as Master of Ceremonies.  Brother Ikey Staton has become familiar to the seniors as "prize man" for leading the prize giveaways and in the tradition of powerful pulpit ministers within Gamma Pi, Chaplain Brother Dr. Gerald Folsom gave the opening prayer and also stirred souls by nearly breaking into a sermon of his own.

In a first, the chapter sponsored a very informative presentation on Stalking and Domestic Violence as it relates to seniors,who are often tripped up by shifty schemes devised in the Digital Information Age. The presentation was given by Barbara Givens, a domestic violence support coordinator in the county and head of Seniors Against Stalking and Domestic Violence.

Seniors enjoy the program
Hours before the affair,a sizable group of Brothers spent the day preparing the food.  On a day when temperatures soared into the 80s, these men of Gamma Pi kept focused behind the scenes in the hot kitchen over stoves and ovens making sure that there was enough for everyone and that the food was tasty. The men served the seniors individually at their tables, delivering stacked trays from the kitchen to the dining room Once again,the men of Gamma Pi showed why they are "The Super Chapter."to Prince George's County seniors.

Finally, portions of the program were streamed live on the Internet via the chapter's new Ustream channel and remain available for re-viewing.

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