Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gamma Pi and Omega Psi Phi Prepare for Centennial 5K Event for Prostate Cancer

Bro. Reggie Thomas
African American men are profoundly affected by prostate cancer. When it comes to prostate cancer, African American men have the world's highest incidence and mortality rates. These are our Omega Brothers, our fathers, grandfathers, our blood brothers, nephews and co-workers. These are men in our church and the men active throughout our communities. Omega men understand this plight real well and that is why Omega Brothers across the country are gearing up now for the Centennial 5K Run/Walk to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer as part of the upcoming Centennial Celebration of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Brother Reginald Thomas, of Gamma Pi chapter, is among the lead planners for this historic event set against the backdrop of an historic celebration for Omega Psi Phi. It is a first for any Conclave and a symbol of Omega Psi Phi's commitment to Uplift in the community in the form of health awareness and education.
Brother Thomas, who pledged Xi Psi chapter at South Carolina State University, took some time recently to give a Q&A interview on the upcoming July 30 event to try and interest Brothers to put it on their calendars now for the Centennial week or commit to pledging financial support through sponsoring a participant or making a donation. Below is the interview with Brother Thomas.

 Q.  What is the Centennial 5K Run/Walk and when, and where will it be held?
A.  The Centennial 5K (3.1 miles) Run/Walk is a family focused event for all Brothers and their families coming to the 100th Centennial Anniversary of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. It will be held on the beautiful and historic campus of Howard University, the birthday place of Omega, Saturday, July 30, 2011, 8:00 a.m.  Pre-race activities start at 7:30 a.m.

Q.  How did this get linked to the Centennial?  What is the significance?
A.  Myself and group of other Brothers from various chapters across the nation realized that we wanted to do something more than just throw a great party at our national conventions. We also realize that we as men need to become more health focused.  So we did our first major 5K Run/Walk event in Little Rock Arkansas following the 2006 Grand Conclave in honor of the Little Rock Nine 50th Anniversary in 2007 and it was a great success (see Little Rock Photo gallery).  We believe as we honor our proud past that we must put something in place for the next 100 years and want this event to set the stage for future health related Conclave events that the entire community can participate in regardless of what city we're conduct our conventions.

Q.  Why should we as Omega Men care about this event?
A.  Our health is one of the most important gifts from God and it is our duty to take care of our bodies and lead our families by example.  Additionally, Omega Men have always been at the forefront of Social Action issues affecting our community and the greater community at large.  Prostate Cancer affect African American men 70% more than any other ethnic group in America and we must and can bring greater awareness for our brothers to get check early.

Q.  How does an Omega Man participate--what role can we play individually in making this a success for the Conclave?
A.  We need Omega Men to start training now with daily walks or runs so that they can be confident that they can actually do it.  Also we desperately need brothers to register to participate in this event online at, keyword "Centennial".  We will also have hard copy registration forms available as well.  You can register as a "chapter", "a line", "district", it doesn't matter, just register.  Individual and collective participation by registration will make this a success.  We also need  brothers to assist as volunteers to man water points and help with race set-up, music, photographer, etc.  There is a definite need for assistance.  We currently have more women registering for this event than Brothers by leaps and bounds.

Q.  Is there a fund raising goal for this event?
A.  Our goal is to raise $10,000.00 for the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN).  In fact, all checks will be made and paid directly to PHEN for transparency.  Brothers and chapters can help us reach this goal by making pledges and supporting this event through sponsorships. 

Q.  Where can Brothers learn more about this upcoming event?
A.  Brothers can go to, use keyword search "Centennial" and all the information will pop up.  We also have a Facebook Account and you can call the Co-Chairs, myself, Reggie Thomas, (301) 326-3658 cell, or Steve Coles (202) 387-8857.   We only have a limited number of  "Under Armor" quality T-shirts made for this event and when they're gone, that's it.  So Brothers please, please, register.

Click here for more information on Prostate Cancer from the National Cancer Institute. There's more cancer information for African Americans at this link as well.

Brothers at the recent Washington, D.C. Run/Walk for breast cancer