On Feb. 19, guests gathered at The Priory Grand Hall to celebrate the Eighty-third Founders Day weekend for the Alpha Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The room had been transformed into a winter wonderland that did not require shoveling or snow boots, all you had to do was look and admire.

GOLDEN LADIES— Fifty-year members of AKA are from left: Madelyn Giddens, Alma Burgess, Della Burt, Martha B. Hunt and Dolores Gaines.

Before the evening’s main event, attendees dined on butlered hors d’oeuvres, a fabulous pasta bar and beverages to warm their bodies. Alpha Alpha Omega Chapter President Toni Kendrick and Christina L. Wilds, president, Ivy Charitable Endowment of Pittsburgh, Inc., welcomed their sorors and friends to the reception that honored individuals and organizations in the Pittsburgh community. Peggy Harris, vice president of ICE presented the beautiful crystal awards.


In the category of the arts this years recipients was actor and Pittsburgh native, Bill Nunn, known for his work in “Do the Right Thing,” “New Jack City” and the “Spider-Man” trilogy.

Also in the arts, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, an organization that has been known to change lives of disadvantaged youth and adults and has earned the attention of foundations, public officials, private donors and community leaders. In business, Debbie Hickman owner of Giant Eagle (East Hills), the first African-American to become an independent owner of a Giant Eagle market and Galen Moorer, owner of Rita’s Italian Ice. Moorer actively engages the neighborhood schools to participate in the Reading with Rita’s program and offers weekly incentives to those students who have met their reading goal. In education, Patricia Bluett, director of the Boys and Girls Club of Duquesne, Pa. Bluett makes a difference in the community and is a positive voice that constantly advocates on behalf of Duquesne’s children and their parents.

For organizations in education honors went to NEED. NEED offers scholarships, grants, counseling, mentoring and internships to assist under-represented, low-income and first generational youth to fulfill their dreams. In the area of health honors went to Floyd Cephas, executive director, Northside Christian Health Center. Cephas led the capital campaign that raised $2 million for the center’s new facility and helped the center gain status as a federally qualified health center. Also in health the East Liberty Family Health Center was honored for its prenatal care to well child checkups to care for elderly and homebound patients, patients find a committed group of health care professionals that offer loving care to all patients regardless of their ability to pay.

In the area of humanities, city of Pittsburgh police officer Brenda Tate, a 35 year veteran of the force, was honored for her service to her community. Tate has served in leadership positions with the Boy Scouts of America Troop #59, Centre Avenue YMCA, Ebenezer Development Cooperation and the Hill House Board of Directors.

Most recently she performed in the cast, “Women of the Hill.” The Mt. Ararat Community Activity Center was also recognized in the field of humanities. MACAC offers a variety of programs that include after school programs, food and clothing banks, community technology center, early childhood development, seniors programs and mentoring projects.

The AKA’s were honored to be joined by their regional director, Schylbea Hopkins of Detroit. Hopkins covers Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Western Pennsylvania and Western New York. The celebration continued with a luncheon Feb. 20 at the Omni William Penn with Hopkins as guest speaker and Sunday worship at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.

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