AKA’s Gamma Rho Omega Makes History for the Community With Groundbreaking Fundraiser Blending Pink Splendor, Arts, and Culture

Lights Shining Bright on Gamma Rho Omega in the Community Service Landscape

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated that she is a “pretty girl,” – she will most likely blush and remind you that the revered
sorority born in 1908 is the ‘first and finest’ of them all. The service organization that began on the campus of Howard University spearheaded the Divine Nine Greek letter organizations charting the course for future sororities and fraternities. Over 100 years later, the sorority now has thousands of chapters throughout the world including three in the Jacksonville community.  The Gamma Rho Omega Chapter is the grandmother of that triad touting 82 years of service after its 1948 chartering. Last weekend the chapter continued its’ legacy of making history by presenting IKONIC. After a 10-year absence from public fundraising, the sorority held the largest known fundraiser by an organization of color in Jacksonville’s history.

Planning for the event began over ten months ago by the sorority’s fundraising committee. Systematically organized into three components including logistics, operations and creative, members set forth to deliver something different that would enable them to not only empower and expand their service arena, but build their brand as well. The resulting “IKONIC” event brought over 1,300 Jaxons to the Prime Osborn Convention Center for a packed evening of entertainment giving new meaning to the term “Black Excellence.” Proceeds from IKONIC will help fund strategically focused programs in the areas of education, health, economic development, scholarships, and support the Childhood Hunger Initiative Power Pack program to fight hunger and provide meals to children in the local underserved communities. For over eight decades the chapter has served the northeast Florida communities and beyond. With sorority members serving as boots on the ground, the industrious international membership provides a cadre of services to a diverse community. The City of Jacksonville even joined in the fun by lighting up Friendship Fountain on the Riverwalk for First Friday at the Fountain on the preceding Friday. The festive pre-celebration included a DJ, food trucks and of course the Fountain lighting and light show at 8.p.m. Several other downtown buildings lit the Jacksonville sky in pink and green.

“This is absolutely phenomenal,” said Candice Ingram. “I am not a sorority member but have long admired the work of Alpha Kappa Alpha. This display of diversity in their outreach only furthers that admiration,” she shared while posing with her caricature artwork.
The pink “takeover” bearing the sorority’s signature color, featured a variety of themed rooms for guests to enter and experience the entertainment of their choice throughout the night. Guests freely roamed throughout the evening in various experiences that included the Old School Basement Party, Masquerade, Seven Bridges Blues Lounge, Monte Carlo Casino Royale, The Pink Rose Tea Room, Harlem Nights and the Chill Factory. For those who chose to optimize their giving and entertainment experience, there was Club 1908 for VIP ticket holders. Both the general admission ($125) and VIP tickets ($275) sold out. There were also raffle drawings throughout the evening for prizes and a marketplace for shopping with everything from paraphernalia and clothing to candles and custom dolls. Photo booths and decorative spaces allowed guests to capture the moment as they mingled, ate, danced and were entertained for the event.

Whether your entertainment palate longed for classic jazz, old school music, blues, jazz violin, the art of dance, games of chance, comedy or even fantasy, IKONIC was the place to be leaving each soul satisfied.

The Gamma Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® was chartered in Jacksonville, Florida on June 23, 1942, and its membership consists of over 400 professional, influential community leaders. IKONIC: A Fusion of Pink, Arts & Culture will serve as a tribute to the remarkable achievements and contributions of the sorority and its 82 years of contributions to the northeast Florida community as they continue to pay it forward through service. Gamma Rho Omega, Jacksonville is already abuzz asking when is the next IKONIC experience?

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