Sunday, January 10, 2021 - by Betty A. Proctor, Alpha Beta ESA
The Alpha Beta chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha enjoyed an engaging year in spite of limitations imposed by COVID-19. Just prior to the pandemic, Alpha Beta President Angela VanAllman and chapter members made plans for another exciting and fulfilling year that included supporting philanthropic efforts, ways and means projects, educational programs, socials, and more.
The Tony O’Rear Bowl for Life Tournament to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital marked its 20th anniversary in February 2020. Tony, the son of former Alpha Beta member Barbara Breedwell, lost his fight against cancer at age 12. Chapter members support this annual event by soliciting door prizes, registering teams, and preparing goodie bags with giveaways for bowlers. This event broke the $200,000 mark over a period of 20 years by raising more than $21K in 2020.
At the end of February 2020, US-101 sponsored its annual St. Jude Radio-A-Thon. Chattanooga area ESA members worked in collaboration with US-101 to raise funds over a two-day period.
Like other organizations, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway had to make adjustments as the coronavirus shut down face-to-face meetings and events during March. Alpha Beta supervises Chattanooga Dream Home ticket sales, but the pandemic forced ticket sales to be moved online. Thankfully, it did not impede sales; tickets were sold out for the fourth consecutive year raising $1.35 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Since mid-March Alpha Beta has adjusted to its new mode of communication by holding monthly Zoom meetings for members. Although AB is unable to gather for regular meetings and activities, the chapter has remained active and thriving, welcoming Amanda Harris, Lori Dodd and Kelli Seymour as new members this past fall. Members also congratulated Ann Bradley as she celebrated her 60th anniversary as a chapter member having joined in August 1960.
During October, two members assisted the Walter E. Boehm Birth Defects Center Golf Tournament at the Black Creek Club. Also in October, ESA members began collecting personal care items, games, snacks and more that were sent to active military service personnel for the holiday season in support of Hope for Heroes through the ESA national organization. These items were also donated to Veterans Affairs for local homeless veterans.
Still in progress, Alpha Beta’s annual Nut Sale offers a wide variety of nuts. Call Betty Jolly at 842-4507 to place your order. This annual sale is a ways and means project that helps the chapter raise funds for its philanthropic efforts.
One of the chapter’s final two projects for the 2020 calendar year included supporting Wreaths Across America. Chapter members sponsored the cost of one or more veterans’ wreaths to honor our fallen U.S. veterans locally at the Chattanooga National Cemetery and elsewhere. And finally, in the spirit of the holiday season, chapter members chose to participate in a Reverse Advent Calendar activity. Each member was assigned a particular food to donate on a certain day during December. Members collected non-perishable food items to fill boxes that were delivered to several non-profit organizations serving those in need of food just before Christmas.
Alpha Beta would like to extend an invitation to you to join the ESA chapter. Please contact Angela VanAllman at 763-8563 or Lori Gearinger at 280-1084 for more information.