PsiAA Appreciation Cookout 2019

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On July 27, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. hosted its annual “appreciation” cookout.  The annual cookout is held to express appreciation for the chapter’s members event sponsors, partners, family, and friend for their dedication participation and support during the year in executing the fraternity’s mandatory programs including talent hunt, essay contest and Achievement Week, to name a few, as well as local community initiatives such as the “ManUp” program, blood drive and health fair, and Reading for Success – all designed to help improve the quality of life in Fairfax County, the chapter’s service area.  The appreciation cookout allows the brothers of PsiAA to socialize among themselves, along with their families and friends.

Food and fun are the two most important consideration of each cookout.  Therefore, an array of foods, both hot and cold, was provided to satisfy all tastes and pallets – including BBQ chicken and ribs, sliced beef, greens, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, as well as light fare such as potato chips, nuts, hot dogs and hamburgers.  Beverages included bottle water, of course, and a wide assortment of juices and sodas. The men of PsiAA demonstrated their skill on the grill by grilling the burgers and hotdogs. The remaining entrées and side dishes were catered.

Attendees were at liberty to participate in any or all entertainment events such as basketball/softball batting cage, corn hole, table and card games. There were those willing to accept the challenge.

The cookout, as expected, was well attended because it allows brothers to relax and enjoy themselves in an atmosphere of brotherhood while at the same time, sharing time with their families and friends in spirit of friendship.

Top 40 Under 40 Award

 Bro. WJ Williams Jr (After receiving award)

On July 11, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. celebrated Bro. Willie "W.J." Williams, Jr., was awarded a "Top 40 under 40" Award by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce at the United Way Worldwide building.  The "40 under 40" program was established in 2016 by the Chamber to recognize top men and women, age 40 and under, engaged in a variety of fields including business, technology, nonprofit management, civic life, public service, education, and the arts, who are shaping Alexandria for the future. The Chamber recognized W.J as one of these such people.

W.J. is currently a Senior Systems Engineer with OGSystems in the Alexandria area. He is also the Founder & CEO of W2W Technologies, LLC, a small company he started that is a full-service technology, design, development and support company that provides clients/organizations of various sizes with quality work to help entrepreneurs establish their brands and support their companies. W.J. has worked in the aerospace and defense industry for over 14 years, supporting the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. He is a 2004 graduate of Clemson University and a 2007 graduate of Boston University. W.J. has earned recognition at the IMPACT Awards, National Engineers Week, and received The Modern-Day Technology Leader Award at the Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference.

In addition to his passion professionally, he is also a strong community leader with a focus on serving under-represented communities and promoting STEM awareness and engagement. He is an active member and leader in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Co-Founder and Board member for the Aspire 2 Inspire Foundation, and Board member for the Bernie L. Bates Foundation.

         

Bro. W.J. Williams, Jr. with his Mom                       Bro. W.J. Williams, Jr. posting for picture before the event.

  Bro. W.J. Williams, Jr. with the city of Alexandria’s mayor, Justin Wilson

PsiAA Reading for Success June 2019

On June 5, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. conducted the fourth and final “Reading for Success” program at Riverside Elementary School was conducted on June 5, 2019 and it was a huge success.  The brothers, known affectionately as “The Sirs,” once again, supported six third-grade classes with a total of 223 students.  We chose “What a Day” by Rena Korb.  The book tells the story of a young girl who volunteered at an animal shelter during a winter blizzard and how she helped calm the shelter dogs and rescued a lost dog.  Eight chapter brothers supported this effort and enjoyed the mentoring session as much as the students.  The highlight of this session was the appreciation personally expressed by the Principle Mr. Paul Basdekis.  He thanked us for our continued support and stated how important is for “The Sirs” to make a presence and impact the young readers.  With today’s book donation, the program has provided 4,044 age appropriate books to the third-grade students at Riverside Elementary School this school year.  We look forward to supporting this program in the coming school year this fall as we will enter our sixth year of supporting Riverside Elementary School.

PsiAA at Celebrate Fairfax Festival 2019

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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.

Rebuilding Together April 2019

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PSI Alpha Alpha Omega Men 

On April 27, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. partnered with Rebuilding Together to revitalize a home in Alexandria, VA., for this year’s project.  The chapter brothers have invested hundreds of hours in sweat equity in similar rebuilding projects during each of the past 31 years. This year’s project continues the spirit of providing excellent community service by way of Omega men volunteering their time, talent,  physical and skilled labor to improve the homes and living conditions of low-income families (some with physical limitations) and non-profit organizations that house and serve a vulnerable population in the chapter’s community.  Individuals who enjoy the benefits of this effort over the years through the national Rebuilding Together project now have safer, healthier and more comfortable places to live.

This year’s event involved an end unit of a two-story townhouse, requiring the entire interior to be painted; walls, ceilings and all trim work. The house consists of three (3) bedrooms, one and a half (1 1/2) baths, a kitchen and a living room.  The inside stairway walls and ceiling were also painted.  Other services provided included replacement of two toilet seats, installation of two smoke/CO detectors with 10-year batteries, and replacement of dryer flexible duct.

This year’s Psi Alpha Alpha volunteers included Barney Barnwell, Jason Barnwell, Calvin Beidleman, Joe Briggs, Ken Cain, Brad Caldwell, Marvin Chisolm, Richard Garvin, Brandon Grooms, Ben Floyd, Eric Kelly, Myron McDaniels, Richard Morris, Hector Sheppard, Craig Spraggins, Tony Wells, Kevin Williams, W.J. Williams, and Ken Younger.  Other volunteers included Chris Anderson, Eric Carter, Sanford Crenshaw, PJ Drayton, Earl Higgins, Eric Holland, Jose R. Lacayo, Dante Marshall, and Delane Rouse.  Two young volunteers, Marvin Chisolm, Jr. and Eric Kelly Jr. (both related to chapter members), supported the project. Total volunteer attendance was 31.

 

Adopt A Highway April 26, 2019

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Psi Alpha Alpha Omega Men ⇑

On April 6, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. met to perform our first Adopt-A- Highway event of the year. Over the past several years, our chapter has collaborated with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to help clean up litter along Alban Road in Springfield, VA.  Each year, nearly 18,000 Adopt-a-Highway volunteers collect more than 25,600 bags of waste along Virginia’s highways. The state of Virginia estimates that our assistance contributes to saving the commonwealth over $1.34 million that would have otherwise gone to clean up Virginia’s roads.

Saturday’s cleanup was extensive, as over 15 brothers with 5 civilian volunteers came out to support this important initiative. All told, we collected 25 bags of trash and debris. Based on the county’s calculation methodology of (Hours X participants), this equates to 50 work hours of community service. Additionally, this year’s April event was significant in that it coincided with Earth Day, which happens during the month of April. As the chairperson, I want to thank all that came out to support. Lastly, as a chapter, we hope that our efforts to uplift the community through the support of this important community initiative, continues to have a lasting and positive impact on our community as a whole.

PsiAA Reading for Success – March 2019

On March 13, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. as a part of the “Reading for Success” program at Riverside Elementary School, the brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter conducted their Third Read-Aloud session. The brothers, known affectionately as “The Sirs,” once again, supported six third-grade classes with a total of 223 students.  We chose “Joanie’s House Becomes a Home” by Donna Latham for the reading.  The book tells the story of a young girl whose family moves from San Francisco, California to Boston, Massachusetts.  The book is told from Joanie’s point of view and explains what makes a home. Thirteen chapter brothers supported this effort and made it a success.  With today’s book donation, the program has provided 3,821 age appropriate books to the third-grade students at Riverside Elementary School this school year.  We look forward to our fourth and final reading session on June 5, 2019.

       

PsiAA NCAA Scholarship Raffle 2019

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)
  • $400

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!

PsiAA MAN UP Mentoring Program – March 2019

The MANUP program spoke to students about college, military, athletics, aerospace, and setting goals at Mt. Vernon High School in Fairfax Virginia on March 27, 2019.  (United States Army (L-R) | LTC Louis P. Hawkins, MAJ Melake Whyte, MAJ Herbert Gamble, Bro. LTC Chester Keller)

On March 27, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. conducted their MAN UP mentoring program by speaking to 25 students from Mt. Vernon High School in Fairfax Virginia about military, college, goal setting, aerospace, and pursuit of excellence. Speakers of this lecture series had various backgrounds and military experience that they used to engage, empower, educate, and exposed the students to different strategies for success. The speakers included Bro. LTC. Chester Keller, LTC. Louis P. Hawkins, Bro. MAJ Melake Whyte, MAJ Herbert Gamble. The MANUP mentoring program is a male mentoring program sponsored by the men of Psi Alpha Alpha of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. The MANUP program partners with Mt. Vernon High School, West Potomac High School, and Gum Springs in Fairfax Virginia and has over 60 students ranging from 6th grade to graduating seniors in their program. The program consists of mentoring students thru exposure to various careers and pre-college initiatives by way of lecture series and field trips throughout the scholastic calendar year.

Bro. LTC Chester Keller spoke to students about his humble beginnings and the level of perseverance needed to excel in life. LTC Keller is a Program Manager Acquisitions officer in the United States Army. His message to the students was centered on meeting the daily challenges and pursuit of excellence in all matters with consistent effort.  LTC Keller read two poems, ‘See It Through” by author Edgar Albert Guest and “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

Aviation and Acquisition Officer LTC Louis P. Hawkins gave an empowering oration on setting goals, dreaming big, taking action, and never giving up. He gave a personal testimony and journey of being an Aviation Officer in flying helicopters for search and rescue missions. In addition, he focused on careers in the aerospace industry and the need for more diversity for African American and Latino men and women.

Maj. Herbert Gamble spoke to students about performing, image, and exposure (PIE). His focus examined the concepts of PIE and putting forth the right energy and effort to obtain goals. In addition, Maj. Gamble spoke to students about having more than 1 goal – as life often does not work out as originally planned. Maj. Gamble serves as a Program Management Acquisitions Officer for the United States Army.

Maj. Melake Whyte currently serves as a Human Resource Officer for the United States Army. He connected to the students by using his unique background of being a first-generation American. Maj. Whyte ran track collegiately at Oregon University and later joined the military. He challenged the students to not settle on being a product from their community, but to shape their community by being leaders and doers. In addition, he also urged students to not waste their talents and to live up to all their potential in all avenues they pursue.

 Bro. LTC Chester Keller

   LTC Louis P. Hawkins

 Maj. Herbert Gamble

  Maj. Melake Whyte

PsiAA Talent Hunt March 2019

On March 16, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held an extraordinary Talent Hunt program in the beautiful auditorium of Lee High School in Springfield, VA. The curtains opened and the program began at 10am in front of a supportive audience of Brothers, family, friends, and other residents of the community eager to support a great group of enthusiastic youth displaying their talents in the performing arts.  Thanks to the Men of Psi Alpha Alpha, assisted by civic student organizations like the Beautiful and Progressive Educated Sisters (BAPES) and Powerful African-American Males about Success (PAAMAS), our collective efforts resulted in another magnificent Talent Hunt Competition.

We were privileged to have 9 great performers this year with acts ranging from vocalists, percussionist, cello player, saxophonist, and instrumentation to dance.  All of the student participants performed extremely well pleasing the crowd of newly-minted fans and “wowing” the event judges.

Our Master of Ceremony was Bro. Adimu Colón.  A graduate of Hampton University, he is an accomplished content producer, television host, radio personality, executive, philanthropist and entrepreneur.  Bro. Colón is a Spring ‘93 initiate of our great Fraternity by way of the Gamma Epsilon chapter.  As a personality, he’s hosted his own #1 rated radio shows in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New York.  He is the former host of the Emmy Award-winning TV show Teen Summit on BET and the recipient of two NAACP Image Awards. The WPGC weekly music radio host did an outstanding job encouraging the performers while also engaging the audience by informing them of the community activities that our chapter conducts or participates in throughout the year, general facts about our Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and our chapter as a whole.

With an extremely close competition this year, the judges had an arduous task selecting a winner.  Unfortunately, as with every year, one winner had to be selected. Out of our talented group of young performers, Ms. Sydney Pollard took the first place honors.

Sydney hails from Dumfries, VA and is a junior at Charles J. Colgan High School. Her hobbies include cooking, traveling, and of course her passion for dancing.  Dancing since she was only 8 years old, her moves have caught the attention of many famous dancers including Debbie Allen, Eartha Kitt, and Darrell Moultrie.  She attended the Debbie Allen Summer Intensive Program in Atlanta, GA and has been recently invited to attend the Summer Intensive Program again this year in Los Angeles, CA.  After graduating from high school, she hopes to attend Virginia Commonwealth University to study Dance.  Along with her hobbies, Sydney has also been a high achiever in academics maintaining a 3.5 GPA as an ‘A’ Honor Roll student.  She gracefully captivated the judges and everyone else in attendance at our program this year with her classical dance to the music of Andra Day’s song "Rise Up”.

Sydney will represent Psi Alpha Alpha in the District Talent Hunt during the 86th annual 3rd District Meeting on Saturday, April 13th in Herndon, VA.

The other participants were:

  • Jordyn Strange – Soloist (2nd place)
  • Nicholas MaCatty – Soloist (3rd place)
  • Jonathan Canamaso – Bassist
  • Caleb Wallace – Saxophonist
  • Elaine Ramson – Soloist
  • Jada Appiah – Dance
  • Chris Love – Soloist
  • Cameron Jackson – Drummer