Thursday, November 23, 2017

HAVING A BALL, FOR A CAUSE

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s 11th Annual Emerald Ball boosts education in Las Vegas.

BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD

Local AKA chapter president Jaqueline Brown.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (AKA) is the world’s oldest Greek-letter sorority for black women. Founded at Howard University in 1908, it has 950 chapters in the United States. As part of its mission to boost local education, AKA’s Las Vegas chapter, Theta Theta Omega, recently hosted its 11th Annual Emerald Ball at the Rio Hotel.

“This year’s Emerald Ball was a Mardi Gras theme,” said chapter President Jacqueline E. Brown, who has served in the post since 2011 and is nearing the end of her term. “There were over 350 people who attended this year’s event, which serves as our only major fundraiser for the year to support our scholarship and community programs. Our programs consist of the International Program for emerging middle school girls in sixth through eighth grade; an initiative on health; a program on global poverty; feeding the hungry with Second Baptist Church; and a Thanksgiving gift basket drive for seniors at Doolittle Community Center.”

The Emerald Ball is also an occasion to honor people in the Las Vegas community who are making a difference. “The best part of the Emerald Ball is recognizing people who are doing the work to enhance the Las Vegas community,” Brown said. “These are the people who are doing the work. We enjoyed having Lisa Mack from “Menopause the Musical,” and Caesars Entertainment executive Fred Keeton as emcees for the evening, and all enjoyed the New Orleans buffet-style menu.”

From left, Brigit Grant, Rabbiyah Hazziez, Sonya Jones, Janella Williams-Carlisle, Robyn Carter and Jaceta Fevrier.

AKA’s efforts in Las Vegas are emblematic of its strong reputation for effective advocacy, and deep generosity, in the area of education.

“Our sorority was founded on cultivating and promoting high educational standards, and the Emerald Ball is a time that we raise funds for the children in our community to have the option for a higher education and to better themselves,” Brown said. “It is wonderful to have a great time, and to also raise money for education.”

As principal of Charlotte Hill Elementary School, Brown is optimistic about the state of education in the Clark County School District.

“I think we are trying to get better, and I am excited about the new initiatives with the curriculum,” she said. “It is a whole mind shift for education. The focus in the Clark County School District is on quality and career readiness, because we know not all students will go to college. We need to make sure that students are ready for a career. We still promote the benefits of a college education. Actually, the skill sets for college and career are the same. I am really encouraged by a wonderful new CCSD program that was initiated by Nevada College Kick Start Savings Program. It is for for kindergartners, and encourages them to save for college.”

Carmen Jones and Lisa Mack.

James and Keysa Rogers.

More highlights from the AKA Emerald Ball.

Members of the UNLV Chapter of AKA.

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