deltas-miami-dade.jpgMIAMI — The Dade County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. celebrated 30 years of doing good with a "meet and greet" event March 31 at the Macy's department store on Flagler Street in Downtown Miami.

"Delta Heritage Celebration Day at Macy's" took place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and was three-fold: commemorating the chapter's 30th anniversary, observing Women's History Month and recognizing "Go Red for the Heart."

"Our major focus is to enhance the people in our community via the chapter's Five Point Thrust,” said Maud Newbold, chairwoman of the event.  "The Five Point Thrust is our vehicle in which we help to eradicate social ills such as HIV/AIDS and drug addiction in our communities.  We are also reaching out to families, providing skills to help them have a better status of living.

"In addition, we are telling our story of the things we have done in the community in the past 30 years. That's what this day was established for, to reflect on some of our historical moments and share those highlights with the community."

Newbold said the chapter couldn't have selected a better site for the anniversary celebration.

"Macy's was very responsive to us," she said.  "After all, we shop in  this store, even going back to the days when it was Burdines.  [Black women] have always supported this store and, besides, the colors [red and white] were in place.”

The American Heart Association provided the chapter with printed information to be distributed to those attending the function.

One main purpose of the event was to introduce and honor the "visionary" charter members and past presidents of the Dade chapter.  Thirteen of the charter members are alive, Newbold said, including herself.

They are Margaret Baulkman, Bobbie Bowen, Pernella Burke, Thelma Davis, Martha Day, Darlene Gay,  Juanita Lee, Newbold, Beverly Nixon, Zandra Rucker, Dorothy Saunders, Marcia Saunders and Evelyn Wynn.

Special tribute was paid to the deceased charter members: Cleomie Blomfield, Ruth Jones, Elmer Kilpatrick, Sheba Martin and Dorothy Sawyer.

"I enjoy being a part of an organization that gives back to the community,” said Charter member Martha Day, a retired elementary school teacher who has been a Delta for 63 years. “We serve as mentors to young black women and inspire them to consider careers that once were not open to women."

Charter member Dor-othy Saunders loves “the sisterhood and the togetherness” of the group. She joined the sorority 57 years ago while a student at then Bethune-Cookman College.  "Through this event. we want the community to see how we reach out and bond with them."

In its 30 years, the chapter has adopted many projects and passions, including the senior citizens at the Claude and Mildred Pepper Towers; and instituted the Delta Haitian Project and the celebration of "Jou Zentrenn" for Haitian children and parents at Delta's national birthday party in Miami with the sorority's National President Soror Mona H. Baily in attendance.

Health fairs, tutorial programs at schools, support for single mothers, and teenage pregnancy prevention, and treading are also among its initiatives. Its signature event, "Putting on the Ritz,” raises funds for scholarship projects.

Others who worked with Newbold to plan the celebration were Gale Glass-Aldrich, Carolyn Bullard-Jordan, Eulusandra Coats, Martha Day and Evelyn Wynn.