The men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., will sponsor the 10th Annual Black and Gold Pageant tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the University Theatre Center. Proceeds from the pageant will help support several community service activities the organization has planned for the holidays.
According to Vice President Brown Henderson, Alpha Phi Alpha began the process of selecting pageant contestants early this semester. All prospective candidates had to be SHSU students, submit an application and go through an audition and interview process before the final seven contestants were selected.
Henderson said the pageant will feature many traditional beauty pageant elements that the participants have been rehearsing for approximately two months.
“The pageant will include talents presented by African-American females, interviews, formal wear and swimsuit competitions as well as an opening dance performance,” Henderson said. “There will be five judges, some who are scouting agents from E-Model in Houston and others with knowledge of dance and other pageant elements.”
This year the fraternity will award a $500 scholarship to the pageant winner, $300 for second place and $200 for third place. All who place in the top three will also receive a trophy.
Contestant Alisa Richardson said she became interested in the pageant for a number of reasons.
“I decided to get involved after I saw the pageant last year,” Richardson said. “I had also done pageants before and really enjoyed working hard and getting to know the girls. It’s just a great experience.”
Richardson said the main objective for the contestants is to win this pageant and advance to higher levels such as the state pageant to be held this January in Galveston.
“The winner will have the opportunity to go on to the state and even to nationals,” she said. “That, along with the scholarships, is a big incentive for all of us.”
Admission to the pageant is $5 and proceeds from this pageant and other parties and events Alpha Phi Alpha has held will go to support two upcoming community service activities to benefit local families.
“This year for the first time we will be having an ‘Adopt a Family’ program,” Henderson said. “We selected a female and will spend $150 dollars on her kids this Christmas. She has two boys, one is seven and the other is three, and we’re going to go to Wal-Mart and buy them toys to make the holiday special for them.”
Henderson said the fraternity will also pay one month’s rent for four families living in the Cedarwood Apartments located at 2201 Ave. I.
Henderson said the holiday season was not the only reason the fraternity was inspired to help the community.
“It wasn’t just the holiday,” he said. “We always look around and want to do something that is not being done. We strive to help the community in any way we can.”
Henderson said students should know that they too have contributed to the Alpha Phi Alpha community service effort.
“We throw parties at the Walker County Fairgrounds and in Houston and all the proceeds from that are going to help these things,” he said. “Students should know that when they attend one of our functions they aren’t just going to a party, they are helping their community.”