In 1908, a group of women formed Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Greek-lettered sorority established by African American college women. The sorority was built on the foundation of providing “service to all mankind,” and it continues to grow on that commitment through various community service projects.
Although the organization has been changing lives across the country for over 100 years, it wasn’t until 1998 that a local graduate chapter – Phi Alpha Omega – was formed in Northwest Arkansas. The Tea Rose Foundation of Northwest Arkansas serves as the charitable arm of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Phi Alpha Omega chapter. Over the past 18 years, the foundation and the local chapter have partnered to host Celebrity Waiter, the organization’s premier fundraising event. Each year the sorority turns the tables on traditional galas and has local “celebrities” act as the waiters for the night.
Celebrity Waiter attracts between 400 to 500 guests annually for an evening of dinner, dancing, live musical entertainment by Rodney Block and The Real Music Lovers of Little Rock, and live and silent auctions. In addition to the event’s normal program, the organizations will be raffling off a 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA or GLA provided by Mercedes-Benz of Northwest Arkansas. This year will also feature a high-end fashion show produced by Brandice Henderson-Daniel, founder and CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row. Brandice Henderson-Daniel is also the 2016 honoree for her visionary work in giving a platform to emerging fashion talent of color.
This event serves as an annual fundraiser for the Phi Alpha Omega Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for deserving high school, undergraduate and graduate students in our community. In the past five years alone, more than 100 local students have received scholarship awards totaling over $100,000. In total, almost 200 students have been awarded scholarships, valued at over $280,000. Funds raised also support the sorority’s other community service programs including health and poverty initiatives.
This year Celebrity Waiter will be held on November 19 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers at 7 pm. Learn more about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.’s Phi Alpha Omega chapter here.
Please contact event chairman Alison F. Jones at 443.790.1378 for event and raffle tickets, fashion show opportunities (including being a featured designer or model), if you’re interested in being a celebrity waiter for the evening or any further information.
Donate and learn more about the Tea Rose Foundation of Northwest Arkansas at their website here or contact Keisha Hines-Craft, president of the Tea Rose Foundation of Northwest Arkansas, at firstname.lastname@example.org.