uac050714001.gif The first Upsilon Kappa Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority An Evening of Jazz took place in 1999 at the Prince Charles Hotel. The event has grown over the years and sold out last year, raising more than $12,000 for the sorority’s many causes. This year, An Evening of Jazz is set for May 17 at the Crown Expo enter.

An Evening of Jazz offers a chance to have an elegant night out. It includes appetizers, a cash bar, door prizes and raffles. The Raleigh-based jazz band Something for the People will provide entertainment. A DJ will be there to keep things lively between sets. Guests can expect the red carpet treatment –literally. Entering the Crown on a red carpet sets the tone for the glamour and upscale entertainment that will follow.

“Last year we had a great time and a really good turn out,” said Tracy Allen, event coordinator and Upsilon Kappa Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority member. “We are hoping for the same number or even more people. It is going to be a great night. The event is not just for us, it is for the community and we want to include everyone.”

An Evening of Jazz has a solid history of showing guests a good time and Allen hopes this will be one of the best years for the event so far, not only because she wants everyone to have a great time but also because the proceeds go right back in to making the community a better place. The Upsilon Kappa Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is serious about making a difference.

With 91 members in the Upsilon Kappa Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, this group is a huge asset to the community. Last year the sorority co05-07-14-jazz-story.gifllectively donated more than 22,000 volunteer hours to the community. “We have a very active membership,” said Allen. “We support many causes in the community and are always looking for new ways to give back and to make a difference.”

Some of the initiatives that the sorority supports include he Back pack Buddies program, asthma awareness programs, human trafficking awareness and prevention, financial literacy and counseling, lupus awareness, the Heart Walk, breast cancer awareness programs and events, mentoring programs for young girls, the bicycle man initiative and Habitat for Humanity. The sorority also holds yard sales to raise funds for the needy and adopts families during the holidays.

Allen loves that a portion of the proceeds is also used to give scholarships to local kids. For many years the chapter has proudly awarded thousands of dollars to students in an effort to prepare our next generation of leaders with higher education. Several corporate sponsors help fund the scholarships, too. “The scholarships give high school students in Cumberland County, Harnett, Hok05-07-14-jazz-story2.gife and/or Sampson County and on Fort Bragg a chance to pursue that degree, to pursue that dream that will lead them to success and put them in a position to help someone else later down the road,” said Allen. “A lot of times it is something small that we give that can make a big, big difference to someone else and that is a lot of what we do. We try to lead by example and help influence the next generation. People need to know that you don’t have to let your past determine your destiny.”

Tickets cost $35 per person. The event starts at 8 p.m. Call 988-7880 to purchase tickets. Visit www.ukoaka1908.com to learn more about the sorority and how you can support its work in the community.

Photo: middle left; With 91 members in the Upsilon Kappa Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, this group is a huge asset to the community. Last year the sorority collectively donated more than 22,000 volunteer hours to the community.  Bottom right;  psilon Kappa Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members can be found all over town most any time there is work to be done or people to help. From food pantries to mentoring, UKO plays a big part in helping local youth.

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