Each year, the 700-plus worldwide individual chapters of the prestigious Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated observe Achievement Week as part of the Fraternity’s founding, on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. This year was no different, as the North Texas Metroplex Omegas and the Epsilon Alpha Chapter painted the DFW Metroplex royal purple and old gold November 13th – November 19th, as members of this prestigious, international fraternity celebrated 85 years of service during their annual Achievement Week celebration.
Founded in 1932, the Epsilon Alpha Chapter is known throughout Tarrant County and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex communities, for its generosity and willingness to help those in need. Epsilon Alpha answered the theme: When The World Calls Omega Men Answer”. This was shown through tireless effort and outstanding giving this past year, such as a fan drive for seniors in the summer, car washes, blood drives, coat and clothing drives, and unfortunately highlighted by collecting, packaging, and sending thousands of contributions to Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston, TX.
The Epsilon Alpha Chapter celebrated their legacy, along with other chapters of the North Texas Metroplex Omegas, starting out the week with an outstanding church service at St. John Baptist Church, followed by a Monday Night Football Watch Party on November 13th. This was followed up on Tuesday November 14th with Bowling with Brothers, a Cigar Social on Thursday, November 15th, and the annual Founders Day and Reclamation Celebration on Friday, November 17th.”
The highlight of Achievement Week was the Achievement Week Banquet held on Saturday, November 18th. The event, held at Concord Church in Dallas, TX, was designed to recognize individuals in the community who make the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex a better place to live, work, and entertain.
Before award recipients were recognized for their good deeds and community service, Bro. Aundra Bohanon, President of the North Texas Metroplex Omegas and Immediate Past Basileus of Epsilon Alpha Chapter, provided a riveting greeting.
“As, I look out over this room, you all being here is a testament to what the faces of intellectual triumph and steadfast determination looks like. You all are truly a reflection of what Omega Men looks like when they answer the calls of the world!”
Following dinner, Bro. Van Newborn’s, immediate Past President of the North Texas Metroplex Omegas, gave an intriguing introduction of the keynote speaker Bro. Terry Forest.
“Bro. Terry Forest is an outstanding representation of what an Omega Man should be. He is a dynamically hard worker, he is creative and passionate about improving the community. He will always make sure that those around him, as well as himself, aspire to give more and ascend to a higher level.”
Then, former North Texas State Representative, Bro. Terry Forest stepped to the podium and in doing so, took the room over with his creative and unique style addressing the theme for the evening, “When the World Calls, Omega Men Answer.”
“When the world calls, as men of stature and leaders in the community, we as Omega Men should always answer. There should never be time, where we are not present, accountable, and effective. Answering should be a personal challenge to each and every one of us, because solving problems and seeing it through is what we should do we are Omegas.”
“When we work together, we are an unmovable and unstoppable force. Let’s continue to answer the call and be the men…making a great impact, for an exceptional future, through extraordinary actions.”
The Achievement Week Banquet was then closed out by current North Texas State Representative Bro. Anthony Whitaker.
The Epsilon Alpha Chapter closed out Achievement Week celebrating their legacy with a phenomenal church service at Saint Luke Community UMC on Sunday, November 19th.
It was barely light outside on November 11, 2017, and Jenelle Crawford, a proud resident of the Southside of Fort Worth, was already waiting in her car outside the Hillside Community and Family Services Center for a Thanksgiving meal.
“I wanted to be the first one in line to get my turkey because I believe there is going to be a long line out here and I didn’t want to not get one, plus my son wanted to see yall hop and jump around” said Jenelle with a big smile.
Jenelle Crawford, who is battling cancer, has been coming to the Epsilon Alpha Turkey Trot give away for the last four years. This year she is accompanied by her 15-year-old son Mario, and her younger niece LaQuesha. She said she's grateful to be alive and to be able to share another Thanksgiving with her kids, family, and friends.
“It means a lot to me, especially for people on the Southside. A lot of us are low-income and middle-class people, just working hard and looking for a little help." Crawford said. "They (Omega Men) help the poor people, and they help all of us. Just last week one of them gave my cousin a jump when his car was broken down on Riverside"
Just then Teddy Jones, one of the two Epsilon Alpha coordinators stated, “There's going to be plenty of turkeys, ma’am. We were blessed this year to have received over and beyond, the number of donations that we expected.”
Over a hundred and thirty turkeys will be handed out this year. We set a goal of just helping the community by giving out fifty turkeys, but the love and generosity from the chapter (Epsilon Alpha members), as well as the community, touched us, as they continued to pour donations into us, allowing us to be able to bless over 100 families. I am in amazement and happy all at the same time.”
Jerry McDowell the other Epsilon Alpha coordinator stated, “Our partnership again broke a record”. "This year was outstanding, and the cold and rainy weather we have had lately did not deter people from coming out to donate and support and today I look forward to giving back to the less fortunate and seeing their faces light up."
And despite Teddy and Jerry urging Jenelle Crawford to come back in a couple hours, after everything had been setup and it was a little warmer, Jenelle, said she was willing to brave the elements with her son and niece to keep her spot to make sure she didn’t go home empty-handed.
“I’m going to stay in the car drinking some hot chocolate and stay warm.” Crawford stated. “I'm grateful for them, and for this turkey.”
A couple hours later, Jenelle Crawford, was blessed to be given her turkey and her son was able to speak to several of the men of Omega on a personal level, even though no hopping was had.
The Turkey Trot giveaway was from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Hillside Community Center in Fort Worth, TX. The Turkey Trot was a free event designed to benefit lower income families and provide them with food, fun, and a means to hopefully a better life. It was a joint effort event in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department of Fort Worth and several other community and non-profit business and organizations.