Sorority holds May Week observance

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Suffolk Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. celebrated its 42nd May Week Observance on May 5 at the Suffolk Hilton Garden Inn & Conference Center.

Chapters of Delta Sigma Theta all over the world celebrated this national program that highlights academic and professional achievement with an emphasis on the importance of higher education in the community, especially for black women.

Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 were given to a member of the Class of 2018 from each Suffolk public high school. The scholarships were received by:

  • Dyamon Daniels from King’s Fork High School
  • Trinity Woodson from Lakeland High School
  • Janelle Mabrey from Nansemond River High School

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Additionally, memorial scholarships in honor of deceased members of the chapter were given in the amount of $200 to:

  • Jade Mobley from Nansemond River High School — The Laurie “Ann” Hall Scholarship sponsored by members, Lula B. Holland and Helivi L. Holland
  • Kaylah Simmons from Nansemond River High School — The Lillian M. Jones Scholarship sponsored by member the Rev. Pamela Jones and family

For the first time, the family of the chapter’s deceased charter member, Hattie Powell West, sponsored a scholarship in the amount of $1000. This scholarship will be given for the next five years. The inaugural scholarship award was given to:

  • Dyamon Daniels from King’s Fork High School

Annually during this celebratory event, the chapter recognizes the accomplishments of those who provide exceptional services that address the needs of the Suffolk community. The 2018 recipients:

  • Martina Campbell, retired Suffolk firefighter — Female Community Service Award for breaking the glass ceiling and becoming the city of Suffolk’s first female firefighter in 1986
  • Russell Andrews — Male Community Service Award for sharing his extraordinary musical talents and teaching hundreds of youth in Suffolk to play, sing and appreciate music
  • Enlightened Minds Mentoring — Community Service Organization Award for the organization’s dedication, innovation, work and accomplishment with mentoring high school young men
  • Niyasia Scott — Youth of the Year for her academic success and outstanding work with Boys & Girls Club

The event was attended by more than 100 guests and members of numerous chapters of the sorority from Virginia and North Carolina. The guest speaker was South Atlantic Regional Director of the Sorority, Juanita B. Massenburg. She was accompanied by several members of her leadership team. The South Atlantic Region encompasses the Chapters that are in the states of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina as well as Bermuda. Mrs. Massenburg is a member of the Durham, N.C., Alumnae Chapter of the sorority. She assisted with giving the awards to all award recipients, including the Delta Gems that are graduating from high school and the members of the chapter who reached the milestone of having been a Delta for 25 years. These recipients included the chapter’s president, Gayle Ridley, and members, Mary Steverson, Lula B. Holland, Helivi L. Holland, Adrienne Turner, Guinelle Koontz, Brenda Boston, Pharnethia Jackson, Debra Fitzgerald and Vicki Pittman.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax provided greetings along with the Virginia state coordinator of the sorority, Michelle Lewis.