OKK Named Reston Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year

By Brother Roscoe Nance

RESTON, Va. – Omicron Kappa Kappa (OKK) Chapter has been a stalwart in community service in the Western portion of Fairfax County, Va., since it was chartered 22 years ago.

The Reston Chamber of Commerce recognized OKK and the OKK Foundation, the chapter’s charitable arm, for its community service with the Volunteer of the Year Award during its Annual Meeting and Awards for Chamber Excellence (ACE) Luncheon on June 28 at the Reston Sheraton Hotel.

OKK Basileus Gordon Person and OKK Foundation President George Johnson accepted the award.

“I was surprised,’’ says Bro. Person. “I didn’t expect us to win.’’

However, as the Master of Ceremonies read the recipient’s  list of accomplishments, Bro. Person thought to himself “We did that.’’ When the MC said, “This group of African-American men…’’ it hit home. OKK and the OKK Foundation was the choice.

Receiving the award was personally gratifying for Bro. Person, who has been a chapter officer for the past seven years.

“At times, there was no traction,’’ he says. “I think this will catapult us to greater heights.  I hope it’s something we can build on so we can bring in more displaced brothers and bring in more like minded me to serve the community. This definitely was a group effort.’’

OKK received congratulatory letters from U. S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.). U. S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D.-Va.), who represents Reston/Herndon in the United States Congress, recognized OKK and the other award recipients on the floor of the House of Representatives. OKK received a copy of the Congressional Record that documented the proceedings.

Fairfax County Supervisor Kathy Hudgins also presented OKK with a proclamation during the chapter’s Parisian Nights black tie gala fundraiser on June 9.

OKK joined the Reston Chamber of Commerce six years ago. The chapter and the OKK Foundation support the Chamber at all its Reston Town Center festivals, specifically The Taste of Reston and Flavors of Fall.  During that time, lead beer captain Bro. Howard Ford Jr., has led an army of OKK Brothers has manned the beer and wine pavilions and pitched in wherever a critical need arose.

Bro. Dr. Gary Powell was a volunteer with the Chamber’s 2017 membership drive Phone-A-Thon and helped convince local businesses to purchase Chamber memberships.

OKK Brothers also volunteered for a variety of  roles  at  Cornerstones’ Embry  Rucker  Shelter, the  Reston  Chamber of  Commerce and  a number of local  tutoring  programs. In addition, OKK was a leading  volunteer  force  at  local community  events, including,  Relay  for  Life – Team OKK raised $7,380 and was fourth among 33 participating teams – Reston  Community  Center  MLK  Day, Northern  Virginia  Project  Giveback and  the  Fairfax  County  Police  Department  ROAD  DAWGS Summer  Camp  for  at-risk  youth.

OKK Adopt-A- Highway Project Overwhelming Success

RESTON, Va. -- Omicron Kappa Kappa (OKK) Chapter was out in full force on April 7 for the quarterly Adopt-A-Highway Project with half of the chapter’s 32 financial Brothers participating.

The Brothers picked up litter along an approximate one-mile portion of Sunrise Valley Drive that is home restaurants, a convenience story, a hotel, office parks, a newly constructed condominium development and a number of businesses. The weather that brisk for the time of the year, but the nippy temperature didn’t chill the enthusiasm of these Men of Omega, who thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship that went along with their task.

The common bond that the Brothers – love for Omega and her cause -- motivated young and old Brothers alike to participate in the project.  The stories that the ‘50s), ‘60s) and ’70s brothers shared with the younger Brothers kept conversations flowing without pause.

Immediately following the street cleanup, the Brothers went to Amphora Diner in Herndon, Va., where the fellowship and fraternization continued during brunch and went well into afternoon.

Unknown to the Brothers, this would be the last organized chapter event for Bro. Norman Franklin (Alpha Sigma, 1967).  Bro. Franklin entered Omega Chapter 10 days later after suffering a heart attack. He is truly missed by all the Brothers of OKK.

The Brothers are elated to have the lasting memory of that brunch, and sharing laughs and stories about “the old days’’ that were told during the Adopt-A-Highway project.

OKK Scholarship Recipients Eye Medical Careers

By Bro. Roscoe Nance

A pair of high school students who aspire to become medical doctors are the recipients of the Omicron Kappa Kappa (OKK) Chapter’s scholarship for the 2017-18 school year.

Hana Lee graduated from Centreville (Va.) High School on June 8; Lee will pursue an undergraduate degree at North Carolina Central University and then enroll in medical school. Kelcey Parks Jr. graduated from George C. Marshall High in Falls Church Va., on June 13; he plans to become a pediatrician. Parks will attend Baylor University where he will study Medical Humanities with a Pre-Med focus.

Lee and Parks were chosen from among 13 applicants.

Lee carried a 3.68 cumulative grade point average and was a member of the W.E.B. DuBois Honor Society at Centreville High School. She was an outside hitter on the varsity volleyball team, and she is very active as a volunteer in her community and church.

Lee volunteered with the Special Olympics, tutored students who needed help in Math, was a teacher’s helper at area elementary schools and participated in food drives at her church. Lee is also a member of her church’s youth choir and Dance Ministry.

Parks graduated with a 3.61cumulative grade point average and was involved in numerous extracurricular activities at Marshall High. He was a member of the football team and the band; he was also treasurer of the Black Student Union, a member of Junior Achievement and Future Business Leaders of America, and he sat on the Executive Board of his chapter of Jack and Jill of America.

Parks attends First Baptist Church of Vienna, Va., where he is active in the Youth Ministry as a member of the Youth Brass Ensemble. He is also a member of the Youth Ministry.

OKK Talent Hunt Contestants Give Stellar Performances

By Bro. Roscoe Nance

RESTON, Va. – A variety of vocal talent was on display at the 2018 Omicron Kappa Kappa Chapter Talent Hunt on March 16 at Centreville (Va.) High School.

Ana Cajayon, a senior at Centreville High who was performing publicly for the first time, won first prize and represented OKK in the Third District Talent Hunt. Cajayon performed Feeling Good Nina Simone.

Tyrus Pincham, a junior at McNamara High in Washington, D. C., claimed second place with his rendition of Jesus, You’re The Center of My Joy. Centreville High senior Ricardo Avalos placed third. Avalos, the 2017 first-place winner, performed My Way (A mi Manera) by Il Divo in Spanish.

Bro. Cornell Huddleston was Master of Ceremonies for the program.