Kappa’s Alumni Chapter plans 3rd Annual Spring Gala

The Chicago Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. presents its Third Annual Achievement at its Best Spring Gala on June 18 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel.

The Chicago Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. presents its Third Annual Achievement at its Best Spring Gala on June 18 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel. Proceeds from the “strictly formal” evening which begins with a 6 p.m. reception and continues with dinner and dancing will benefit the Edward G. Irvin Foundation and the Kappa Leadership Institute of Chicago. Tax-deductible bids to the yearly fundraiser are $100 per person; $1,000 for a table of 10, so says Kevin Scott, the gala chair.

The Kappa Leadership Institute of Chicago, also referred to as "Kappa

League," is a non-profit program operated and funded by the Edward G. Irvin Foundation and the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation. The program is designed for high performing under-represented and/or disadvantaged young men in grades 9 through 12 who attend a high school within the Chicagoland area, demonstrate superior academic potential and desire a high powered "Leadership", "College-Readiness" and "Mentoring" program that is challenging and extremely rewarding. For more info, email Kevin Scott at egotrp3@sbcglobal.net or visit cacspringformal.eventbrite.com/.

Movin’ Up! – Congrats to a long-time family friend, Atty. Michael

Merchant, who has been selected by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to head Chicago’s Dept. of Buildings, which in the past has been mired over and over and over again in controversy, scandal and corruption. Known in City Hall circles as “a Daley insider,” Michael served as deputy director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs before being named to his enviable present position by the new mayor.

Michael’s past employment also includes a position a Cook County assistant public defender, working for the Chicago Public Schools and as a private attorney specializing in commercial litigation and real estate. Says Mayor Emanuel: “Mike brings a proven record of pushing reform through government agencies, a strong legal background and a commitment to ensuring that the Dept. of Buildings helps Chicago maintain the safest, most efficient housing stock in America.

His “peacock proud” parents are Thelma Brown Merchant (“Sue Babe”), retired principal and a “Teesee” pal dating back to high school days at Parker (now Robeson), and Frank Merchant Sr., retired R.J. Reynolds sales exec. We are family!

Hats Off – to Taylor Ashley Alston, sophomore at Spelman College (Atlanta) who’s off to China in August to participate in the yearlong National Study Abroad Program at Shanghi University as Spelman’s first Global Scholar majoring in Chinese and Economics. The Carl Sandburg High School (Orland) Beverly Tatum expressing a desire to attend the college because she believed it would provide her the education and resources to become “A Woman Who Would Change the World.”

During high school, Taylor was active in the Speech Club, National Honor Society and track & field, among others, and was president of the South Suburban chapter of Jack & Jill of America. At Spelman, she was on the Dean’s List and served as president of the China Club. She’s the lovely daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Alston (she’s Tracey, president of Danielle Ashley Communications).

“Porgy and Bess” – A Chicago Defender exhibit of local artifacts along

with an accompanying exhibition, “Porgy and Bess: 1925-2011,” and writings of such luminaries as Langston Hughes and James Baldwin are on display at the DuSable Museum during the Court Theatre’s classic production of rough July 3. For tickets, call or visit Court Theatre Box Office, (773) 753-4472, 5535 S. Ellis; for group sales, (773) 834-3243.

Book Look – Chicago’s James H. Lowry, an advisor to the White House,

senior advisor to The Boston Consulting Group, among other titles,

discusses and signs copies of Minority Business Success: Refocusing on the American Dream on June 20, 6 p.m., at one of several free monthly “Authors Series” hosted by the Chicago Public Library. The Lowry book-signing will be held in the Reception Hall (lower level) of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St. Lowry lays out a new model for developing minority businesses “so that they can fully contribute to our national competitive advantage and prosperity.” Call (312) 747-4050 or visit chicagopubliclibrary.org.

Newsy Names – The Rat Pack of Chicago, led by Bill Williams, president, celebrates the birthdays of two long-time brother-members, David Rozell, vice president, and Leon C. Blair, former chair of the group’s sick and welfare committee. It all happens during this Wednesday’s Business Corner & Steppers’ Set at the Marmon Grand Ballroom … Also happy b’day to Kathy Chaney, Alonzo E. Brown, Bobby Sengstacke, Kenneth Conrad, Joi Johnson, Marissa Bullock, Barbara Kensey, Kyra Kyles, Annah Mitchell, Bill Campbell, Joe Moore, Robert Conrad, Cynthia Williams, Jim Taylor, Julia Huff, Bill “Dock” Walls, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Barbara Wright-Pryor, Jeff Davis, Ned Dunbar and Jean Williams … Senabella Gill, a.k.a. The Bronzeville Diva, sings “A Tribute to Fathers” on June 10 (Fathers Day!), 7 p.m., at Schultz Theater, 10 W. 35th St., (Ill. Institute of Technology campus). Visit www.bronzevillediva.com to purchase tickets online … Dr. Garth Graham, deputy assistant for minority health at the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, comes this way Tuesday for a Health

Disparity Conference at Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church presented by the Georgia Doty HIV & Hepatitis Organization, headed by Don Doty, president and founder. Cong. Danny K. Davis, D-7th, and Terry Mason, MD, interim chief executive of the Cook County Health & Hospitals System, will give welcome words. Visit www.georgiadotyhivandhepatitisinc.org … Get well cheer to Willie Gray, who’s on the fast mend in her Florida home after a fall landed her in the hospital for several days … Atty. Gwen Rowan, former executive director of the Cook County Bar Association, has joined the Office of the Chief Judge of Cook County in the Juvenile Child

Protection Division, working with Judge Sybil Thomas.

Whazup! Whazup! – Triple Grammy-winning R. Kelly’s Love Letter tour hits Chicago June 16 at Allstate Arena. He’s teamed up with four-time

Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Keyshia Cole and six-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter-producer Marsha Ambrosius who achieved success as the “Songstress” in the now defunct duo Floetry. Love Letter pays homage to soul artists Marvin Gaye, Sam Cook, Jackie Wilson, Donny Hathaway, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Whoa!

Literary Lore – Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun-Times film critic and author

Roger Ebert joins a cadre of distinguished past honorees — Toni Morrison, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nikki Giovanni among others — when he receives the coveted Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and CPL on Oct. 20 at the Annual Dinner at the UIC Forum. Awardees are cited “in recognition of a significant body of work that has enhanced the public’s awareness of the written word.” A prominent writer with ties to Chicago will be seated at each table and engage guests from the business, civic and cultural.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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