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RVA Zetas continue Centennial Service amidst pandemic

The year 2020 marks an important milestone for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. as its 100th, or centennial, anniversary since its founding on January 16, 1920. Founded by five illustrious women - Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Pearl Anna Neal, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Viola Tyler Goings, and Fannie Pettie Watts - the sisterhood was poised to celebrate the work of the community-conscious, action-oriented organization in finer style during its bi-annual convention. And then in March, Coronavirus cases ramped up and the sorority's centennial celebration in Washington, DC was cancelled.

As we continue to wear masks and remain socially distant in the battle to halt the spread of Coronavirus 2019, Alpha Phi Zeta Chapter remained committed to celebrating this centennial year through service. Having cancelled a number of in-person chapter events for the spring, RVA Zetas turned their focus on what they could do to meaningfully help the Richmond community.

"At its core, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. endeavors to always be a friend to humankind. That includes being of service, especially in difficult times," said Chapter President, Tiffany Coleman.

The chapter reallocated funds to support Communities in Schools - Richmond and the Autism Society of Central Virginia. Both organizations provide key services to families and individuals with autism in Richmond. "COVID-19 has impacted many families in the pocketbook and in getting the services they need. We felt it important to stand in the gap and help cover some basic needs," said Kathleen Turman, Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Other People Excel) chair for the chapter.

During the month of June, Alpha Phi Zeta chapter adopted a locally black-owned business. RVA Zetas and their Amicae Auxiliary purchased and enjoyed 100 meals from Maple Bourbon to provide economic support to a local restaurant and honor the sorority's 100 year anniversary. The effort resulted in over $1300 of economic support. “Rather than focusing on our dismay over this June’s centennial celebration being cancelled due to the pandemic, we redirected our collective energy toward our community,” said Marilyn Brooks, organizer of the Adopt-A-Restaurant effort.

Coronavirus has impacted our community in ways we have yet to begin to comprehend. Alpha Phi Zeta Chapter will continue to serve Richmond and uphold the sorority’s founding principles and legacy.

(Above: Adopt-A-Restaurant certificate at Maple Bourbon)

Soror Flanagan dropping off a meal to elder Soror

(Above: Soror Nancy Flanagan on right dropping off a Maple Bourbon meal to Soror Joan Christian, left)

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