Reading for Success Jan 13, 2020

    Brothers Miller and Matthews with students - R4S Jan 13 2020

As the chapter conducts its second read aloud, of the “Reading for Success” program at Riverside Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, we were again welcomed by the Gifted Education Center Teacher, Third-Grade Teachers, and especially the Third-Grade Students.

The Second Read Aloud follows the Kickoff and First Read Aloud session on November 8, 2019.  The Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter known affectionately as “The Sirs,” supported six third-grade classes consisting of 125 eager students.  Our reputation is well known, our services appreciated, and the chapter brothers excelled during the session.

The chapter’s Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc., provided a new book for their individual reading library.  We chose “Buddy Ran Away” by Thea Feldman, as a twenty-seventh book for their individual library.  The book tells the story of a boy name Sam and his dog named Buddy who ran away while visiting the countryside.  Buddy returned home after being missing for a week using instinct.  The students easily related to the story since many of them had pets.

Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter was represented by thirteen brothers who served as reading mentors.  Brothers Warren Bacote; Bradford Caldwell; James George; Sidney Gourdine; Brandon Grooms; Jerry Hubbard, Sr.; Frank Matthews; Clarence Miller; Danny Watson, Jr.; and coordinating this program was the chapter’s Social Action Coordinator, Brother Kenneth M. Younger.

“The Sirs” are proud of the fact that we have supported this program for the sixth school year.  The brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter will continue to do their part to inspire these young readers and we look forward to the third of our four Read Aloud sessions in March 2020.

By Brother Kenneth M. Younger

 

    Students engaging the reading session - R4S Jan 13 2020

PsiAA 39th Anniversary Dec 26, 2019

On December 26, 2019, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. celebrated our 39th Chapter anniversary at Brother Chisolm’s residence in Virginia. Brothers came together for an evening filled with enthusiasm, fellowship, and rejoicing to have been blessed with yet another tremendously successful year for the chapter. The chapter continues to maintain its duty to operate in true Omega spirit and excellence.  This is done both in honor of our illustrious fraternity and the 13 PsiAA chapter charter members who laid the groundwork as the chapter continues to provide service to the Fairfax County community. An acknowledgement highlighted when the chapter was honored with third place for Third District Large Chapter of the year award respectfully.

Basileus Eric Kelly and Vice Basileus W.J. Williams, Jr. offered Brothers a few inspirational words and thanks to all for coming out. On this occasion, Brothers in attendance were giving the opportunity to provide some history related to the chapter along with any other insights they might like to mention regarding their walk in Omega. Charter members Brothers Isiah E. Barnwell, M. Barnwell, and C. Brown expressed significant knowledge of the chapter’s history and vision of the charter members. Other Brothers Charles Latten, Charles Sias, Donald Glover, Jerry Hubbard, and Oscar Dailey answered the call and spoke as Brothers listened attentively. Some of the comments were memorialized on video by the Chapter Reporter (Calvin Beidleman). The purpose for creating the videos is to provide current and future Brothers the opportunity to become better acquainted with chapter and Omega history while also understanding the aspirations and vision of the thirteen founding members of PsiAA Charter members and others who have walked similar paths.

The celebration was well attended as Brothers found themselves in continuous fellowship and breaking bread. It was evident that Brothers remain grateful for another successful year filled with the continued development of lifelong friendships with other men of Omega. The PsiAA Brothers continue to stand upright, ready, and eagerly await 2020. The road to 40.

PsiAA Christmas Food Basket Donation 2019

 (L-R) Basileus Emeritus Marion “Barney” Barnwell, Jacob Berenbroick, U.S. Army Chaplain (Colonel) Robert Hart, the Installation Chaplain, and Brother Kenneth Younger, Social Action Coordinator.  The Shoppers gift cards presentation | Christmas Food Basket Donation | December 19, 2019

For well over 25 years, Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter has provided Christmas baskets in the form of gift cards to deserving citizens selected by Gum Springs Community Center Director, Neighborhood and Community Services; and Fort Belvoir families selected by the Installation Chaplaincy.

This year’s project involved providing the community center $240 in gift cards for food from Shoppers Food Warehouse and the chaplaincy $300 in gift cards for food from the Fort Belvoir Commissary – for a total donation of $540.

Both donations were made on December 19, 2019, by our Basileus Emeritus Marion “Barney” Barnwell and Brother Kenneth Younger, Social Action Coordinator.  The Shoppers gift cards were presented to Jacob Berenbroick, Program Director, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, at the Gum Springs Community Center and were won by a raffle at the senior citizens holiday luncheon held that day.

   (L-R) Basileus Emeritus Marion “Barney” Barnwell, Jacob Berenbroick, Program Director, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, and Brother Kenneth Younger, Social Action Coordinator.  The Shoppers gift cards presentation | Christmas Food Basket Donation | December 19, 2019

The second presentation was made to U.S. Army Chaplain (Colonel) Robert Hart, the Installation Chaplain, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  Chaplain Hart will ensure deserving military families receive the $300.00 in commissary gift cards through the chaplaincy so that they, too, can enjoy a more joyous Christmas season.

As the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in 2019, we are humbled as we “uplift” others this Christmas.

MANUP Donation to MVHS Youth Dec 18, 2019

The Psi Alpha Alpha MANUP Program of Fairfax Virginia donated $1000 to Mount Vernon High School in support of one of the students in need for the Christmas Holiday’s on December 18, 2019. (L-R; Monty Fritts III, Coach MVHS Football Team | Bro. Michael Frazier, MANUP Vice Chairman)

On December 18, 2019, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. joined together to ensure a youth and his family has something for the holiday, since he lost his mother. The Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha generously donated $1,000 to a worthy MVHS student and family in need of uplift. The MANUP Program services the MVHS Majors in conducting a speaking series throughout the scholastic year and sponsors a 10-week study hall program for 90+ students on the MVHS Football teams from freshman to varsity.

The MANUP Program mentorship program started its partnership with MVHS in January of 2019. The program has since provided over 20 series of speaking events and activities for the young students in Fairfax County to learn and establish friendships with college educated professionals while establishing a professional network. The MANUP Program has over 40 students currently within MVHS.

Quote:

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.
And is there aught you would withhold?
All you have shall someday be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.

See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.
For in truth it is life that gives unto life while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

Kahlil Gibran

Gum Springs Christmas Party 2019

        To view event photo Gallery

On December 14, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. continued our 25+ years collaborating with Gum Springs Community Center to host their Annual Christmas Holiday Party.

This important project that supports those less fortunate along the Route 1 Corridor, brings the holiday experience to deserving families and children who might not otherwise have a traditional, joyous holiday.  The party is possible due to a tremendous partnership between Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, Gum Springs Community Center, Gum Springs Community Center Advisory Board, Fairfax County Fire Department, and of course Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter.

So, what’s involved?  The brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter arrived early to prepare the snacks and then, assisted in the opening ceremony, helped as the children of all ages created Christmas crafts, received their gifts, and ended with a visit and photo with Santa.  And you guessed it, we provided the Santa.  In addition, the Chapter purchased and donated nearly $1,000 worth of toys that consisted of six bicycles, and 20 gifts for young girls and 20 gifts for young boys.  Our holiday gifts were made relevant since they were gift wrapped by the senior citizens who participate in the Seniors Outreach Program at the community center.

The Party started at 2:00 p.m., with the children and parents in the gym for the official program and where 22 bicycles were given away by a raffle.  Also, the program included a Christmas carol sing-along.   Following the raffle, the families were directed to four arts and crafts rooms by age, and during the arts and crafts activities, the children were escorted to have pictures taken with Santa Claus.

The finale was when the kids were called by age group and lined up and received a gift-wrapped toy from Santa Claus and his Elves in the Gift room.  The beaming smiles on the children’s faces with their new toy made this uplifting event worthwhile and extremely rewarding for the chapter brothers who participated.

This year’s effort was led by Mr. Jacob Berenbroick, Program Director, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Gum Springs Community Center, and our own Brother Marion “Barney” Barnwell.  As a bonus, Mrs. Jimi Barnwell, wife of Bro. Marion "Barney" Barnwell, birthday club donated 15 gifts in lieu of her usual birthday present.  Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter was an integral part of the program’s success and we were proud to touch the lives of so many as we celebrate the world’s greatest gift – the birth of Christ.  Merry Christmas!

Food Bank December 2019

Every month, on the second Saturday, the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. gather at the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) in Lorton, VA (6233 Hill Park Dr., Lorton, VA 22079) to engage in a little fellowship while working to do our share to help the less fortunate in our area.

At the Food Bank, at the direction of the workers there, we pack donated food items into bags that are then sent out to those in our community who are in need. This month the men of PsiAA, along with numerous volunteers, between the hours of 8:15am – 11:15am packed 1,350 bags filled with cooking oil, lentils, and oatmeal meal.

The Lorton CAFB services individuals in Annandale (the Evergreen House), Arlington (Harvey Hall, the Shelton, Hunter’s Park at Cherry Dale, Lockwood/Elmwood House, Hunter’s Woods Fellowship House), and Fairfax (United Community Ministries, Bailey’s Senior Center, Yorkville Cooperative, Lake Ann Fellowship House, Winter Hills Apartments) Virginia.

The CAFB is the largest organization in the Washington Metro area that is working to solve hunger and a lack of nutrition.  Psi Alpha Alpha is one of the many community organizations that partners with them and we have been doing so for more than twenty years.  The CAFB is helping 540,000 people each year, to get access to good, healthy food.

Brother Barney Barnwell has been leading the efforts to work with the CAFB from the beginning.  Psi Alpha Alpha always has a strong turnout and more than twenty Brothers were again in attendance this month.

Of all the things that our chapter does, this is one of the most rewarding, as we know that our hard work will translate to providing a true necessity to those in our region who are most in need.

New Hope “Kennedy Shelter” Thanksgiving Dinner 2019

               To view event photo gallery

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather and celebrate the bounty of the season.  More pointedly toward the reader of this article (Omega Men), it is also a time of reflection of gratitude and thanks for God’s blessings, our family, home, careers, communities, daily comforts, and abilities to give back.

For those without a home or family, Thanksgiving can be very lonely. And for many in Fairfax County along the Route 1 corridor, the holiday is a stark reminder of their struggle with hunger.  Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated is an enduring community partner with New Hope Housing Inc. and is heavily involved in many of its volunteer programs.  The Chapter’s heartfelt act of service to New Hope Housing Inc is serving a homemade Thanksgiving meal to its homeless neighbors.  The Brothers get super excited about demonstrating compassion in action.

For a third year, on Monday, November 25, 2019, Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, INC. served over 70 dinners during “Thanksgiving Monday” at the Kennedy Shelter of New Hope Housing Inc.  Chapter Brothers played a massive role in making “Thanksgiving Monday” extra special for our homeless neighbors and staff.  The meal consisted of ham, roast beef, smoked brisket, fried turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, seasoned corn, green beans, collard greens, candied yams, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, and assorted cakes.  Enough food remained to feed another 40 or more who would come in later after serving hours.

Brothers with lesser culinary skills rolled up their sleeves and got to work wherever needed, be it setting up tables and chairs in the dining area, washing dishes, emptying trash, or keeping the kitchen clean.  Brother Malcom Murray, our resident Dentist handed out dental packets.  Other Brothers gave spectator support to those frying the turkeys.

General feedback from our homeless neighbors and some staff was while the meal was excellent, it was the thoughtfulness and care of strangers who were volunteering their time, which made me feel loved. A lady came through the serving line said, “it was hard to believe they would give up time on their day to serve someone like me.”

Brother Antonio Coleman, Thanksgiving Committee Chairman, stated “when Brothers take time to serve a meal, offer a compassionate smile, and treat our homeless neighbors with grace and dignity, never expecting anything in return—it is a beautiful picture of how Christ loves each of us and thus, we, the men of Omega get the opportunity to love thy neighbor as thy self.”

After our homeless neighbors departed the dining area, the pots and pans were washed and put away and Brothers left the shelter, it was safe to say Thanksgiving Monday was a tremendous success.  In the spirit of Manhood, the first of four Beloved Fraternity’s Cardinal of Principals, Psi Alpha Alpha following the example of Jesus, the Chapter washed the feet of its homeless neighbors by sharing and serving a Thanksgiving meal of love.

Gum Springs Thanksgiving Dinner 2019

On November 21, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. joined and was honored to answer the call for service to being invited by Gum Springs to participate in the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. The event was held at the Gum Springs Community Center in the gym. The men of PsiAA provided support to the event by preparing meal plates and delivery to the table for the guests, participating at the dessert serving station, and clean-up (rolling up table and stacking chairs, etc.).

The goal for this worthwhile event was to uplift, support the community, and allow the community to share and enjoy in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Various community leaders were present to include but not limited to Debra Graves-Sanders (Gum Springs Community Advisory Board). The event was well attended by more than 100 community leaders, youth, and residents.

General feedback from the guests and some staff was while the meal was excellent, it was the thoughtfulness and care of strangers who were volunteering their time, which conveyed the true spirit of the season.

Thanksgiving Donations – Gum Springs and Ft Belvoir

As the Nation and Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter prepared for the Thanksgiving Holiday, we again committed to our annual uplifting of two important communities in Fairfax County.  The communities we supported are Gum Springs Community Center and Soldiers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

For well over 20 years, Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter’s Social Action Committee has provided Thanksgiving baskets in the form of gift cards to senior citizens selected by the South County Program Director, Neighborhood and Community Services, and Fort Belvoir families selected by the Chaplaincy.  This year’s project involved providing $240 in gift cards to Gum Springs Community Center and $300 in commissary gift cards to the Fort Belvoir Chapel – for a total donation of $540.

On November 19, 2019, at the Gum Springs Community Center, Ms. Cynthia Kennedy, Program Director, Senior’s Program, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, received our gifts.  Present at the donation was Basileus Emeritus Marion “Barney” Barnwell and Brother Kenneth M. Younger, Social Action Coordinator.  Mrs. Kennedy was happy to receive our support again this year and will ensure that deserving senior citizens receive our donation of $240 in gift cards.

Also, on November 19, 2019, our Basileus Emeritus Marion “Barney” Barnwell and Brother Kenneth M. Younger, Social Action Coordinator made the donation to U.S. Army Chaplain (Major) Douglas Weaver, the Resource Manager, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  Chaplain Weaver will ensure deserving military families receive the $300.00 in commissary gift cards so they, too, can enjoy a well-deserved Thanksgiving dinner.

The Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter are humbled as we uplift those less fortunate with $540 in food gift cards for Thanksgiving.  We will also be giving another $540 donation to these same organizations for Christmas.

Achievement Week Celebration 2019

  

On November 9, 2019 the brothers of the Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) chapter in conjunction with the Bernie L. Bates Foundation gathered to celebrate our individual and collective accomplishments from the 2018 to 2019 Omega Year.  The banquet was held at the elegant Waterford at Springfield where two hundred and ten brothers, family members, guests and friends were treated to an evening of elegance and fine dining.  Brother Marvin Chisolm served as the Achievement Week Committee Chairman and coordinated an evening of elegance and the acknowledgement of excellence. The current PsiAA Basileus Brother Eric W. Kelly, Sr. closed out the banquet with words of thanks and an empationed-plea for continued financial support of the Bernie L. Bates Foundation.  Brother Sheldon Schanck expertly served as the Master of Ceremonies and the Army Chief Information Officer, Brother Lieutenant General Bruce T. Crawford treated the audience with inspiring words on the Achievement Week theme: “Omega – Now is the Time for Serious Thinking and Impact”.

The dinner event gave all in attendance the opportunity to formally recognize and celebrate the following awardees:  Omega Man of the Year, Brother Calvin C. Beidleman III; the Superior Service Awardee, Brother Tony A. Wells; the Colonel Charles Young Military Leadership Awardee, Brother (Colonel) Myron B. McDaniels and the Citizen of the year Mount Vernon High School Head Football Coach, Mr. Monty Fritts.   Brother Eric Kelly (Basileus) presented two Basileus awards to Brothers James W. Cherry and Chester B. Keller. Special recognition was also afforded to several brothers celebrating a fraternity service anniversary:

 

Fifty-Five Years                               Fifty Years                               Forty-five Years

Bro. Leroy C. Latten                        Bro. Curtis A. Baylor                Bro. Peter L. Burnett

'.                                                         .Bro. Eddie Franklin                  Bro. Bradford M. Caldwell

.                                                          .Bro. Edward L. Craig                Bro. Robert H. Lewis

.                                                                                                               .Bro. Connie A. Brown

Forty Years                                     Thirty-five Years                     Thirty Years

Bro. Phillip L. Wilkerson Jr.            Bro. Foster P. Payne II              Bro. George E. Davis

Bro. Danny R. Ross

As always, we used this elegant opportunity to highlight the youth in our community.  The audience was treated to a contemporary dance performance from our 2019 Talent Hunt winner Miss Sydney Pollard and a solo song selection from Mr. Nicholas McCatty.  As a special treat, our high school essay contest winner Miss Brynna Boyd presented her thought-provoking and winning essay.

The Fairfax County Ques kicked off our Achievement Week activities on Election Day (Nov 5th) by supporting the Fraternity’s voter registration, education and mobilization call to action by supporting the polling station at the Walt Whitman Middle school in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria.  On November 8th we conducted our first “Reading for Success” program event of the year at the Riverside elementary school; reading one book and providing twenty-five books to every 3rd grade student and later that day the chapter hosted our annual Pre-Achievement Week happy hour. The Happy Hour was a joint Northern Area II event held at Dudley's Sport and Ale.  Over 30 brothers gathered for an evening of food, fun, and fellowship. On November 14, we hosted an evening of fellowship during the Thursday night football game.   We concluded our Achievement Week activities on November 17th with brothers worshiping together and providing a donation to the Harvest Assembly Baptist Church.  After the church service, more than thirty brothers traveled to Howard University to participate in the annual rededication ceremony.  This year’s rededication was well attended and featured Brother Dr. David Marion (Grand Basileus of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.) was the Keynote speaker who delivered an enthusiastic, inspiring, motivating, and uplifting speech. The 2019 PsiAA Chapter Achievement Week events were a resounding success due to the effort of the committee and but more important due to the participation from the Fairfax County Ques, their families, and friends.