On June 1, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held the fifth annual Scholarship and Community Recognition Breakfast; the event was underwritten by the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc.—a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.
Brother Eric Kelly, President of the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, and Brother Richard Morris, President of Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc, long other chapter and foundation members greeted nearly 120 attendees.
The Foundation/Psi Alpha Alpha awarded $22,950 to 21 scholars for the 2019 Scholarship and Community Recognition Programs. The awards were presented in three groups of honorees and community recognitions: Students who apply to the Bernie L. Bates Foundation’s Scholarship Program are selected based on the scholarship committee’s selection criteria; the community recognitions are selected by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
In 2019, the selections were Scholarship Honorees ($18,000), University Recognitions ($2250), High School Recognitions ($200), and a Special Perseverance Award ($2,500). Of special note, the five highest awards were given in the names of prominent Omega men whom devoted their lives to the service of their communities and set the example of a selfless servant. Each had family members present to witness the honoring of their selflessness through scholarship
In addition to the mellow sounds of DJ Kool K, the Chapter’s first-place Talent Hunt contestant performed a rhythmic dance to the sounds of “Rise Up” by performing artist, Andra Day. The second-place contestant, Mr. Nicholas McCatty provided his wonderful vocals to the soulful classic “Everything Must Change” by Quincy Jones. Both artist received standing ovations for their brilliant performances. In true Psi Alpha Alpha fashion, the chapter utilizes every opportunity to highlight the skills of our Talent Hunt winners and participants.
The event was highlighted with strong words of wisdom from the dynamic speaking of Brother Barrye Price, a retired Major General of the United States Army. His charge reminded the students that while in college, they must always remember what they came there for, not to lose sight of their own stuff, seek help before finding yourself underwater, and that there are no shortcuts, so do the work!
Mr. Shamaal Sheppard, a 2019 graduate of Columbia University with a Masters in Health Policy and Management; provided an excellent charge to the honorees. His final and most powerful point was to challenge the scholars to find the “why” in what they are doing. He described it as the passion that gets them up each morning. This is what keeps the fire burning and brings purpose to your being.
Over the past thirteen years, the Foundation and Psi Alpha Alpha have provided over $400,000 in support of the Fairfax County community; our programs include, but are not limited to- the Youth Aviation Program, Reading for Success Program, Gum Springs Community Center, New Hope Housing, Northern Virginia Urban League, Capital Area Food Bank, Boys & Girls Club and a myriad of other community support activities.
Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter and the Bernie L. Bates Foundation will continue to support the community through the cardinal principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift.
On the weekend of June 7, 2009, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. returned to the “Celebrate Fairfax” event as a vendor, offering a wide variety of adult beverages to the event patrons. As a non-profit partner to the “Celebrate Fairfax” organization, the Chapter donates man-hours at a designated sales station, and in turn receives a portion of the profits from those sales as a fundraiser. Celebrate Fairfax is a “county fair” activity hosted by the Fairfax County Government and its sponsors, and is the largest community wide celebration in Northern Virginia. The annual event hosts tens of thousands of visitors during its three-day run. The site hosts twenty-five acres of exhibitors, food vendors, interactive activities, and carnival rides, with continuous live entertainment. Psi Alpha Alpha was one of nonprofit groups to host an unlimited craft beer tasting event on June 9, 2019. This year, Psi Alpha Alpha raised over $5,073 in total fund-raising, supporting Chapter activities as well as scholarships via the Chapter’s associated charitable (501(c)(3)) organization, the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc. Although this activity represents a substantial amount of labor on the part of the Chapter, brothers always enjoy participating in this excellent fundraiser because it offers them an opportunity for brothers to directly interact with our constituent county. As the event chair, I wish to thank all the Brothers who volunteered their time to work a shift, and we look forward to next year’s event.
On March 15, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. combined their staple reclamation and retention gathering with the chapter’s biggest fundraiser. Every quarter Psi Alpha Alpha hosts its Third Fridays Event as a means to reconnect and reclaim fraternity members who may not be affiliated with a chapter or have been away from the fold. The event attracted 10 potential brothers to add to the chapter’s roles with one brother becoming financial at the event. Additionally, with the 50 current chapter members and the 150 patrons in attendance made the event a tremendous success. The NCAA raffle committee changed the format of choosing the winning tickets by utilizing a wind machine to scramble the loose ticket stubs. Four patrons were chosen and graciously agreed to enter the machine to grab the winning ticket stubs. This new format was of great enjoyment to all in attendance and helped make the event a huge success.
Tickets for the NCAA Final Four Raffle went on sale in October 2018 with the last ticket sold just minutes prior to the drawing. The money raised from ticket sales routinely exceeds $20,000 with 2019 following form. Proceeds from the raffle are awarded as scholarships for college-bound high school seniors and provide financial support for activities designed to improve the community.
This year’s raffle winners are:
Grand Prize – Mr. Brandon Northington
- Round trip airfare for two
- Hotel accommodations for four nights
- 2 tickets to both NCAA Final Four semi-final games
- 2 tickets to the NCAA Final Four Championship game
- Rental car (less taxes)
2nd Place – Mr. Marvin Chisolm, $500
3rd Place – Ms. Giavonna Richardson, $250
4th Place – Ms. Shennah Alleyne, $150
Stay tuned for the 2020 NCAA Final Four Raffle. The Grand Prize winner will head to Atlanta, GA!
The Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha and Eta Delta Delta Chapters of Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Incorporated will host its Annual Achievement Week Banquet. The guest speaker is the Bishop Dr. Stacatto Powell, Grand Chaplain of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. Entertainment will be provided by Brother Keith Wilson and two of our 2016 Talent Hunt participants Miss Arielle Brown and Mr Christopher Love.