• Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sorority conference nets $4.7 million impact
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. has set a record for holding the largest conference in North Charleston. 
According to convention services manager Heather W. Austin, the sorority’s April 17 – 21 conference, provided an economic impact of more than $4.7 million. The North Charleston Visitors' Bureau reported that the more than 4,500 registered members constituted the largest conference held at the facility. 
The conference theme:  "Global Leadership through Timeless Service on Southern Shores" – reflected the area's southern charm and hospitality.
The conference was led under the gavel of Regional Director Marsha Lewis Brown and graced by the presence of International President Attorney Carolyn House Stewart and other members of the International Directorate. 
At the public meeting a special tribute to the military was provided in song by Miss Jada Orr from the Charleston County School of the Arts and saxophonist Mr. Devone Gary.
Chief Stephanie Green was honored with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Community Award for her service to the civilian and military families' communities. 
Other community award recipients were recognized for their contributions in areas which address the sorority's 2010-2014 initiatives:  Emerging Young Leaders: Miss Andrea Heyward, 14-year old middle school student and leader in service to her community; Health: Dr. and Mrs. Bert Gue, directors of the Orangeburg-Calhoun free medical clinic providing healthcare for uninsured and low income families; Global Poverty: Mrs. Georgia Good, Executive Director of the Rural Advancement Fund; Economic Security: Brigadier General (Ret.) Henry L. Taylor, Global Business Development for the three-county Charleston Regional Development Alliance; and Social Justice and Human Rights: the Rev. Joseph A. Darby, previously senior pastor, Morris Brown AME Church and consultant to the General Board of the AME Church on Social Action.
More than 450 middle to high school students participated in a successful youth summit hosted at Trident Technical College where in her welcome address to the students, International President Stewart stated that this was the largest gathering on a Saturday morning of any of the youth summits held throughout the sorority.
She commended the students on their initiative and encouraged them to take advantage of the knowledge and wisdom shared by panelists Mr. Brandon Shell, Ms. Ava Wilhite, Ms. Carolyn Hunter, Mr. Rod Wilson, Mr. Corey Davis, and Ms. Aleighsa Welch.  Terry Base Bryant, popular radio host of Magic 107.3, kept the interaction between panelists and audience on point, with the final challenge to the youth being issued by Mr. Jared Loadholt, Esquire.  More than 350 gift bags of school supply items and $150 in gift cards were presented to students.
More than 65,700 school supply items and $2,600 in gift cards were presented on Saturday morning to The Carolina Youth Development Center. The donation was part of the South Atlantic Regional Conference Service Project.
Throughout the conference, members were empowered and energized with a variety of leadership development sessions.
The conference culminated on Sunday with an Ecumenical Service. The Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, the founding and Senior Pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia, was dynamic and inspirational and left members impassioned to continue their "Service to All Mankind" as they returned to their communities in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. 
Keeping in Prayer
Viola Middleton, Ruth Williams, Ernestine G. Williams, Ernestine M. Williams, Gracie Williams, Annie Wiggins, Lamont Halback, Louise King, Loretta White, James Pinckney, Annie Graves, Deloris Montgomery, Dr. Hattie martin, Noel Smalls, Linnear Theirse, John Judge, Lillie Whitten, Margie Prioleau, Rev. Dr. Leon G. Brown, Naomi Fashion, Julie Ann Jenkins, Hazel Crawford, and all others in need of support and our prayers.
Items of Interest
Send items of interest to Yvonne J. Barnes, 1458 Colonel Maham Dr., Pineville, SC 29468. Call (843) 567-4182 or email ybarnes@homesc.com.

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