Friday, January 21, 2011

With Cold Hands, Gamma Pi Brothers Display Warm Hearts on MLK Day

by Bro. Terry Rogers

with Bro. Grand Basileus Ray (2nd,left) 
I started out the morning not knowing exactly how the day would go, but I had a feeling that it was going to be great! The reason that I felt it was going to be great was because it was celebration day; it was a day in which I would be honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Not only would I be serving as Dr. King taught us to serve, butI would be doing so while wearing Purple and Gold with my Gamma Pi fraternity brothers as well as brothers from all over the region.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity is a GREAT fraternity because its foundation is built on friendship and service, and on this day we were serving the needs of the less fortunate which is what our Social Action Program is all about. Social Action is about service. Dr. King, in his "Drum Major Instinct" speech spoke of what it takes to be GREAT. He quotes Jesus by saying, "But whosoever will be great among you, shall be your servant: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all." In other words, in order to be GREAT you should be a servant.

with DR Bro.Kenneth Rodgers (left)
When I arrived at the Martin Luther King Jr. library and looked around and I saw a sea of Purple and Gold men carrying boxes, setting up tables, distributing food, handing out bags, talking and showing love to the downtrodden, I knew this was a GREAT fraternity. But then I looked again and Brother Grand Basileus Andrew Ray was making his way through the crowd shaking hands not only with Brothers but with ALL the people. The "Grand Brother" was not surrounded by a team of security, he was simply among the people. Brother Ray did not hesitate to jump right in and "serve". It was another one of those Proud Omega Moments for me, one that I will cherish forever.  Brothers please join in with the Gamma Pi Social Action Committee and serve Prince George's County. Our motto is "Service is Our Mission, UPLIFT is Our Goal." FIETTS ... (Photos from Bro. Dr. Harrison Foy).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gamma Pi Gearing Up for Two Big Social Events: Super Bowl Sunday and Mardi Gras

When the weather turns cold, Gamma Pi chapter "heats up" as two of the biggest social events of the year are on the horizon within the next two months. First up is The Big Game Jump Off 2011 Super Bowl viewing party that is set for "Super Bowl Sunday" February 6. The Grand Centennial Mardi Gras Extravaganza is set for Friday night, March 18.

Already, regular patrons have begun inquiring about tickets to both events and with the Super Bowl much closer in the rear view mirror, numerous ticket purchases for that event have already taken place. Space is limited. There is a new surprise venue this year. Information about both events is available on Gamma Pi's Web site and from the chapter's public video channel, where you can access video previews under the "Upcoming Events" video playlist. You can also contact Brother Ian Alvarez, Brother Rodney Beverly or Brother Orlando McDowell of Gamma Pi via e-mail for more information about the Super Sunday Big Game Jump Off.  Brother Alfonzo Powell is your conact for the Mardi Gras.

Proceeds from both events go to fund the chapter's numerous social action programs that aid children, youth, families and seniors in the Prince George's County community. One such initiative is Project ENRICH, a four-year program that grooms young high school students for college and also provides them with some scholarship monies.

Bro. Alvarez - Super Sunday
Q. Gamma Pi is known for its great Super Bowl viewing parties. What's different this year?
A. In the past our Super Bowl Party ended a short time after the conclusion of the game, usually because of time restraints by the establishment that we have rented. This years event is being held in a unique location; The Down & Dirty Motor Cycle Club, there we are able to have use of the location until 2a.m., In the past brothers and guests have wanted to keep dancing and parting well into the wee hours. So this year we are trying something new, by continuing the music and dancing until 2am (Club Omega) . We have also added a raffle for a Big Screen TV, which is included in your ticket price. ( you do have to be present to win and the drawing wont be until the wee hours)

Q. What will the setup be for this event? What can patrons do to entertain themselves?
A. The Setup this year is a lot like past set ups, with food, drink, DJ, Large Viewing screens, vendors and more.

Q. What makes this event so popular?
A. The Super Bowl is viewed by an estimated 130 million Americans, and is the most viewed TV program in the U.S. every year. When you combine that with the men of Omega and a hot DJ, its a perfect mix and creates a very popular event.

Q. How do people get tickets and what do they get for the money?
A. Tickets are available on our web site or by contacting any Brother in the chapter, who can get you in contact with the brothers on the fundraising committee who are tasked with selling tickets; when you consider that your ticket price includes food & beverage including the nectar of Omega (Oil) and the chance to win a big screen television, the ticket price also includes Club Omega until 2a.m. Our guests are getting a great evening for a reasonable price.

Bro. Powell - Mardi Gras
 Q. Why is Gamma Pi's Mardi Gras so popular?
A. Gamma Pi Chapter's Mardi Gras Extravaganza is extremely popular because our patrons recognize Gamma Pi men as leaders in our community who have distinguished themselves through timeless service to humanity and they want to be associated with great men who put on great events. Also, people are aware that the proceeds from our Extravaganza goes to support our social action programs and our scholarship efforts. Oh!! Did I mention that people also know that the Ques know how to party and they will always have a great time at our Extravaganza.

Q. What are the new ideas in store for Mardi Gras this year?
A. Yes. This year we have added a theme for our Extravaganza, "The Sensational Seventies". Not only can our patrons choose to dress in Semi-Formal attire, African attire, costume consistent with New Orleans style Mardi Gras. This year they may choose to bring back their bell-bottomed pants, hot pants, mini skirts or platform shoes like they wore in the '70s. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes and best dressed individual and groups.

Q. What about the music? Is "Soul Patrol"band coming back?
A. Yes, indeed. The Soul Patrol Band is back and better than ever. They promise to perform and keep everyone on their feet. Music makes the event and we are fortunate to have Soul Patrol back again this year.

Q. What kind of "spread" can we anticipate? The food at Mardi Gras is always good.
A. We have an outstanding menu again this year: roast beef, baked chicken, Italian meatballs, seafood jumbalaya, and many vegetable and dessert choices.

Q. Why did Gamma Pi keep ticket prices at last year's levels?
A. This year we instituted a series of cost cutting measures and passed the savings on to our patrons, thereby holding our ticket prices at the same level that it has been for the last three years. We work hard to give folks the best bang for their buck and the best time to be had on the planet.

Q. How do we secure tickets now?
A. Tickets can be purchased from any member of the Mardi Gras Committee, by contacting a Brother of Gamma Pi Chapter or purchase online. People may contact me directly at 301-467-2607 and I will make tickets available to them.