Members of the Rich South High School jazz band play at the recent Black and Gold Scholarship Gala. | Supplied photo
Updated: February 6, 2014 6:16AM
The men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Theta Mu Lambda Chapter, and their affiliate, Theta Mu Lambda Charitable Foundation, recently hosted the 24th Annual Black & Gold Scholarship Gala at the Holiday Inn Chicago Matteson Conference Center.
It was a special night since it also marked the chapter’s 50th year in existence, according to a news release from the organization.
The event is the flagship event of the year for raising funds for college scholarships for deserving youth, the release said. The night included a reception featuring the Rich South High School jazz band, a dinner, a silent auction, a 50th anniversary program, and the Audley Reid Band, a disc jockey and dancing.
Five presenters provided highlights of the chapter’s five decades and the impact it has had on the Southland.
Poet, author and motivational speaker Allen J. Bryson and the Rich South jazz band entertained the audience, and leadership awards were given to founding member Hank Boswell and former chapter president and historian Ernest Gibson, the release said.
Among the chapter’s historic highlights, according to the release:
■ In the 1960s, a chapter member who was a friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. got him to speak to the community at Joliet Stadium.
■ In the 1970s, the chapter formed an after-school program for youth at the Second Baptist Church in Joliet, and started a youth-mentoring program at Elmhurst College.
■ In the 1980s, the chapter formed a Cub Scout troop in University Park and hosted health fairs and youth tutoring at the Jones Community Center in Chicago Heights.
■ In the 1990s, the chapter hosted its annual Black History Month plays at the Illinois Theater in Park Forest.
■ In the last decade, the chapter has supported south suburban church programs such as Project Angel Tree, by delivering Christmas gifts to families who had a parent in prison. Meanwhile, the charitable foundation has given out more than $155,00 in college scholarships, the release said.