Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. will be celebrating their Founders’ Day, sorority member Kamala Harris’ inauguration, and they’ll be raising money for scholarships.
By Megan Reed
January is always a major month for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Pink and green floods social media as their Founders’ Day is January 15. And on a yearly basis they participate in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. International Day of Service, which takes place on the third Monday of January.
This year there’s going to be one other special event: the inauguration of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority member Kamala Harris as the Vice President of the United States of America on January 20.
“From January 15th to January 20th, it’s about to be the most AKA week of all time,” said Rasheeda Garner, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Tau Tau Omega Chapter (Santa Monica).
While Alpha Kappa Alpha members will be celebrating their Founders’ Day and Harris’ inauguration, community service will be at the forefront of this non-profit organization. Tau Tau Omega Chapter in partnership with the Twenty Pearls Heritage Foundation will host their annual Pink & Green Golf Classic, which has helped college students pay for their education. The in-person tournament has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but on January 18 there will be a virtual golf tournament.
“In 12 years, through the Pink & Green Golf Classic, we have awarded over $80,000 in scholarships and charitable donations,” said Twenty Pearls Heritage Foundation President Audrey J. Owens. “We continue this legacy to fulfill our purpose ‘to be of service to all mankind.’”
Even though the in-person event is canceled, Tau Tau Omega is still raising money for scholarships.
“The need to provide scholarships is constant, no matter if we’re in a pandemic or not,” Garner said. “The students who applied said that they didn’t know how they were going to pay for school. This is the first class that started their college experience virtually. We just felt that it was important to do something.”
This year’s golf tournament will be played through the mobile phone app Ultimate Golf. This is dramatically different from the typical in-person luncheon, banquet, or activity to raise scholarship funds, and it may become a new model for charities to follow.
“We’re not limited in time or space,” Garner said. “So this can be an event that someone in a different time zone can participate in. There’s really no limit in the amount of participation that we can have. It’s an experience that can be repeated throughout the year in order to raise funds.”
Tau Tau Omega Chapter tested out the game last month when they hosted a golf tournament with about 10 people. All of the participants were able to play in the same game, and it was broadcast on Zoom. The participants were able to interact through Zoom as they were playing, making the game more fun.
“It’s a really fun virtual golf game, and as a golfer, it very much mirrored what the golf experience is like,” Garner said. “I very much enjoyed playing it, and I’ve been playing it outside of the tournament ever since.”
This type of fundraiser could become more common place, as it’s simpler to plan and more people can participate.
“If we’re successful in generating a fundraising model that works, then we’ll end up having this gaming event multiple times throughout the year in order to raise funds,” Garner said. “This is something that charities need to explore to offset whatever their in-person events were.”