On Feb. 15, at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel, the distinguished men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity presented their 23rd Annual Valentines Extravaganza: Party With a Cause. Nearly 300 attended the evening that featured a special tribute to their late brother Rex L. Crawley, PhD. Crawley’s life was cut short due to his battle with cancer as he awaited a matching bone marrow donor. Doctor Crawley, the former assistant dean and a professor at Robert Morris University’s School of Communications and Information Systems, and co-director of the Black Male Leadership Development Institute, died Nov. 25 after a long battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Crawley was also a board member of the National Marrow Donor Program.
Howard Russell Jr. says, “During his final months on earth his focus was to increase the number of African-American registrants on the bone marrow donor registry. He realized that although he may not receive a bone marrow donation in time to save his life that we as community need to make every effort in making certain other lives can be saved.”
The centerpiece of the evening was the debut of “Rex” a short documentary on Crawley. The ten-minute film was created by Emmy Award Winning producer/director Emmai Alaquiva and sponsored in part by Be The Match. During final remarks, Daria Crawley, PhD, widow of Crawley, spoke tenderly about being introduced to Crawley by Dewitt Walton and the first Kappa Sweetheart Ball that they attended.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, PhD, president, Robert Morris University, and Nadya Dutchin, Be The Match/Pittsburgh, says more people have to be educated about bone marrow donation. Blacks represent only 7 percent of the bone marrow registry. As far as educating the public about bone marrow donation Dell’Omo quoted Nelson Mandela, saying, “education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.”
The evening was a time for friends old and new to gather together, celebrate the memory and legacy Crawley and celebrate the excellence of the Kappa Scholarship Endowment Fund of Western PA and the distinguished men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
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