Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ques Getting Ready: Preparations Underway for the 64th Second District Conference

In about 100 days from now, Omega men from all across the five-state region of the Second District will converge on the banks of the Potomac River outside Washignton, D.C, for what promises to be one of the most exciting District meetings ever held in "2D."

Registrations are beginning to come in at a quickened pace for the 64th Second District Conference, set for April 26-29 (Thursday-Sunday) at the fabulous, new Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor in Prince George's County, Md. in the shadow of the Nation's Capital.

The Super Chapter at Thirkield Hall - November 2011

This is the first time in many years that Gamma Pi has hosted a District Conference. For "The Super Chapter" and other Brothers in the region, this will also be the largest venue of any District Conference in recent memory. Attendance records are expected to be broken given the level of early interest and the many amenities on the premises. It will be unlike any other District Conference anywhere.

Gamma Pi is home to current and two-time Second District Representative Bro. Kenneth Rodgers. Bro. Edward High II, a past Corridor I Representative, has been appointed District Marshal for the conference and is heading up the planning efforts. District Marshal Bro. High and his committees have been working overtime throughout 2011 to put everything in place and assure Brothers a memorable long weekend in April, long after the snow has melted and right about the time that "the locals" will be breaking out in shorts and tee shirts. Gamma Pi is also home to Second District Chaplain Bro. Dr. Gerald Folsom.

What is National Harbor?

Not to be confused with Baltimore's Inner Harbor which is about 35 miles further to the north, the National Harbor is a brand new, ambitious, waterfront resort and entertainment complex that when fully completed, will be "bigger and better" as a rival to the older Baltimore Harbor. Also, the National Harbor is just 10 minutes from downtown Washington, D.C., and because of its proximity to "D.C." and the multitude of national capital tourist venues, it is expected to draw more visitors in the long run. It is the hottest new tourist attraction on the East Coast.

Already, National Harbor is loaded with top-shelf restaurants and nightspots, shopping and recreation establishments, water taxis and boat rides, suitable for all ages (including families) and all anchored by the spectacular Gaylord hotel. All of this is within a stone's throw of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, as well the Lincoln Memorial, museums, the U.S.Capitol and The White House.  Brothers are already getting "worked up" about enjoying Omega business during the day in a picturesque waterfront setting and engaging in "social action" at night under the stars and the bright, colorful lights of the Harbor and downtown Washington, D.C.

"Like the Centennial" All Over Again

The upcoming Second District Conference is already being compared to a "mini version" of the Centennial Celebration held last summer in D.C. Given D.C.'s geographical proximity as "the border" between the Second and Third Districts for the Fraternity, many Third District Brothers will be "in the house" that week as well. There will be Ques in town from all over.

How Do I Register?

Registration is quick and easy. By resgistering now, you will save on the costs and assure your spot now. This is a weekend with Omega you absolutely cannot miss ass we go forward into Omega Psi Phi's next 100 years. You can register right here at the Second District Web site.

I Am Not an Omega - But I Am Interested in the Social Activities

Like the Omega Centennial held last July in Washington,D.C., a full agenda of social events -- including a golf tournament, March Down/Step Show, Pan Hellenic Dance, Founder's Banquet -- is being planned in conjunction with the District Conference. Activities are also being coordinated for Quettes. More information is forthcoming as social events are finalized. A Second District Conference Facebook page and a conference Twitter feed will also be available soon for exclusive updates on the upcoming conference. Stay tuned!

Want to Know More About NATIONAL HABOR? Watch the Video Below

Friday, January 6, 2012

You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Pout ... Santa QUE is Coming to Town

By Brother Dwayne "Pete" Ford

It was early in the morning of December 20,2011, 9 a.m., when they heard Omega Calling. A total of 20 Brothers (what a coincidence!), thoroughly immersed with true Omega Spirit, descended upon Kentland Community Center in Landover under the Leadership of Brother Orlando McDowell to do what all good Omega Men do and joyously participate in yet another of Gamma Pi Chapter’s many community service projects. Today it was Que Kidz Daze, a relatively new youth-oriented program, of Gamma Pi.

No stockings were being hung. No chimney for Santa. Just the joyous spirit of giving, love and support for the 27 children as the chapter helepd them get ready for Christmas.

Activities included breakfast, a Kwanza Celebration, lunch, Secret Santa and "stepping" which kept them all busy up until 1 p.m. Smiles filled the room, as the Brothers served and the Children ate and told the Brothers about their Christmas wishes, grades and their fantastic dreams for their future.

Brothers Darrell Dreher and Marcus Whitfield set up the Kwanza Celebration Display, while Brother Whitfield made the presentation. In short, the Kwanza is considered a 7 day celebration, which begins the day after Christmas. as a cultural holiday, it is meant to celebrate and embrace the Collective Work, Unity and Collective Economics in the Black Community. Three different colored candles -- red (represents blood shed for prosperity), black (represents Black people) and green (represents fertile land & prosperity) -- are to be lit over seven days. All candles will be placed in the Kanuri before being lit. With each day representing a common goal of the community, like Unity, Purpose etc. etc... Optional Kwanza display items included a Fertility Doll that represents prosperity and growth of the community and a Drum, which was the fastest and first means of long distance communication between African people.

The food was good and abundant. As a surprise, the Brothers provided the children with presents and played “Secret Santa”. Brother Roderick Lawrence (Rod #6 Genesis 10) displayed his Omega Talent by controlling 27 children while they negotiated (or "fought" maybe?) over all the great gifts. Other than not having enough footballs, all went extremely well.

In true Omega tradition, we started off strong with food and closed out strong by teaching the QKidz how to "step". Our MVP for the day, Bro. Marcus Whitfield and Bro. Anthony Kelly did the honors of being their "instructors." 

Laughter, joy and love were shared by all, if only for a few hours. Who said that STARS don’t come out during the day time? The support of all the Omega Men (List Below) was commendable. I’m sure Coleman, Cooper, Love and Just was smiling. Twinkle, Twinkle Bruhs!

Attending Omega Men: Rev. Rodney Barnes, Anthony Kelly, Thomas Boone, Roderick Lawrence, Kevin Buster Briscoe, Orlando McDowell, Bleu Colquitt, Kelvin Medlock, Darrell Dreher, Albert Slack, Joe Felder, Lucius Toney, Kevin Ford, Rob Waller,Steven Walls, Otis Fowler, Marcus Whitfield, Willie Hines Jr. and Reggie Marshall.

Thanks to Brother Kevin "Buster" Briscoe for the photos