Deltas compete to lend Oprah helping hand

The Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has kicked off a two-week fundraising event to raise money and compete for a spot on “Oprah’s Big Give,” a new reality show.

According to a news post found on the Web site of ABC 27, the Florida A&M Deltas have been selected along with the Kappa Sigma fraternity of Florida State University to raise money for non-profit organizations. The most profitable organization will go on to compete against other groups nationwide for a possible spot on the show. When the contest is over, both organizations will split $10,000 from “Oprah’s Big Give” with ABC 27. The first place winner receives $6,000 and the second place winner receives $4,000.

The Deltas began their fundraising Monday and have until April 6 to accumulate more money than their opponents. To that end, the sorority has launched a massive fundraising campaign. ABC 27 will be documenting the Deltas’ endeavors.

Bethany Jones, 21, FAMU chapter president, said the Deltas are ecstatic.

“As a whole, we are very excited,” said Jones, a senior biological and agricultural systems engineering student from Houston. “I know everyone has been working very hard. We’re just trying to raise as much money as possible.”

Jones said the Deltas are raising money for the Delta Success Trust Foundation. She said the foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for underserved women and youth through educational and personal development services.

Several sorority members also expressed their excitement. Mellori Lumpkin said the fundraising event is a great opportunity.

“I’m very excited,” said Lumpkin, 21, a business student from Bainbridge, Ga. “I watched some of the episodes already on television and seeing some of the things that people are doing to give back is nice. I know that in the past, the Deltas have come up with innovative programs to serve the community as well as the school. This is a great opportunity to show the world what we can do.”

Amber Bonner, another Delta, agreed.

“I’m honored,” said Bonner, 22, a senior psychology student from Maryland. “I’m very confident in our ability to succeed in this endeavor.”

Jones, who has been chapter president since April 2007, said she wants everyone to remember the nobility of the organization’s work.

“I really want to stress the point to individuals that this is for a good cause,” Jones said. “This is actually going to help people. It will create more well-rounded individuals.”

The Delta Success Trust Foundation is known for its etiquette classes as well as its grooming workshops. Through their foundation, Jones said the Deltas plan on raising money by hosting an ice cream social, a luncheon with a guest speaker, a talent show and a party at a local club. All profits received will go to the fundraising.

First on the Deltas’ list is a talent show this Thursday at Jack McClean Park at 7:30 p.m.