Last weekend, at the Key to the Kingdom Church in Clinton, Maryland, my sorority sisters and I were elated to install five new members in our precious Delta Pi Chapter of the Eastern Region of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Incorporated. This year, after more than 41 years of membership, I’m back, elected to serve in a role I had not held for years.
One of the five newly installed was my daughter, Tanika Briggs Belis, plus there were three of my close cousins, Sandra Gourdine, Shand Simmons and Courtney Ward. With another member which made five in this pledge group, her name is Jennelle Thomas, another beautiful soul, a very professional young woman that worked extremely well with my family. They called themselves The Dynasty Five.
Over the past few weeks, new members have been added to The Eastern Region of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Incorporated, growing in record numbers throughout the country. Chapters that added members in our region are: Members-At-Large; Alpha Gamma Nu Chapter – Egg Harbor Township, N.J.; Alpha Omicron Chapter – Washington, D.C.; my chapter – Delta Pi Chapter – Silver Spring, Md.; Epsilon Alpha Chapter – Union, N.J.; Epsilon Iota Chapter – Trenton, N.J.; Epsilon Kappa Chapter – Buffalo, N.Y.; Epsilon Pi Chapter – Delaware County, Pa. – Inducted a brand new chapter for the state of Delaware. Congratulations to each and every chapter for your growth, but a special shout out to our newest chapter in the Eastern Region, Epsilon Pi chapter.
Our national President, Lenor R. Reese, has done and continues to do a Herculean job. Our region is led by our Regional Director Mary Porter, an award winner. Phyllis Vessels, our regional membership chair is responsible for membership and growth of our region, she keeps membership moving and growing. All are from the Mu Omicron Chapter of Northern Virginia.
Appointed to serve as the regional historian/chair by our director, Mary Porter, it gives me great joy to give a brief history of our sorority for your understanding of the work we do throughout the country, as we help others.
Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Incorporated was started in 1943 by two sisters, led by Elizabeth Garner. It all happened in Detroit in February 1943, 79 years ago. Our headquarters is located across the street from Hitsville, USA, formerly the home of Berry Gordy’s Motown at 2657 West Grand Boulevard. This was the building where all of the hits just kept on coming. In fact, our Headquarters was once owned by Berry Gordy. Professionals taught Motown singers how to do dance moves in sync, they learned how to move smoothly; they were taught how to dress to be ready for the world, right inside our headquarters. In fact, as I look back over the two organizations, they are very similar in some of our goals. In our own way, Gamma teaches young women who were recruited to become members of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Incorporated, just as they did for the Motown singers.
Blessed to stay together for nearly eight decades and still growing says a lot about how this organization has been run. We continue to help our young people, in particular, this sorority has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to help students go to college throughout the 79 years.
We help the needy at Thanksgiving and Christmas time, providing new clothing, toys and meals for those who may not have gotten anything for Christmas. Our programs are held in the month of March when we bring some joy to senior citizens who are living in assisted living homes and senior buildings.
Our youth talent shows showcase the talent of our youth and young adults. In fact, the late Grammy Award winner Marvin Gaye performed in our annual talent show for youth. We call it our Artist of Tomorrow, when our youth show off their talent — singers, dancers, poetry readings, those who play instruments, all types of talent is showcased.
Delighted to be a part of an organization that continues to live by biblical principles of helping others.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.