The Phi Omicron Zeta Chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was chartered at the 13th Joint State Leadership Conference at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Macon, Georgia on March 7, 2008. This chapter serves the Covington/Conyers area of Georgia. The eleven charter members include the following sorors: Gloria Fallings, Joyce Hancock, Eula Smith Hardeman, Runette Bell Hines, Alison S. Jackson, Denise Johnson, Veronica Lawrence, Susie Little, Evon Denise Mazyck, Delores A. McCrary, and Dorothy Ruffin Moss.
Phi Omicron Zeta hit the ground running by participating in the March for Babies walk in Covington, GA on April 12, 2008 and exceeding their chapter goal for donations. Additionally, the chapter completed a Z-HOPE project by donating to Loaves and Fishes for women. The President and other officers represented the chapter at the Boule`. Later that year in November, Phi Omicron Zeta continued with one of Zeta’s signature programs, the March of Dimes’ Prematurity Awareness, and exceeded that goal they set as a chapter. Also, in November 2008, President Gloria Fallings and First Vice-President Veronica Lawrence represented Phi Omicron Zeta at the Southeastern Regional Conference in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Finally, the chapter was informed that five members would become inactive in 2009. They are Joyce Hancock, Runette Bell Hines, Alison S. Jackson, Denise Johnson, and Delores A. McCrary. Therefore, the chapter saw a need to grow their membership to better serve the communities of Newton and Rockdale Counties, so they hosted an elegant Blue and White Holiday Social in December 2008, for the purpose of reclaiming inactive members of the sorority, as well as having some great fun. The event was well-attended, and was fruitful in adding four new members to the Phi Omicron Zeta Chapter in the spring of 2009. The reclaimed members are Dalphine Browder, Diane Rawls Griffin, Audrey Williams, and Kathryn Williams. Also, in attendance were then Georgia Executive State Board Chair, Myra Reese, and then Georgia State Director, Chrislyn Turner. To top it all off, gifts were collected at the Holiday Social and donated to Toys for Tots for children ages 13 to 17, who are often neglected at Christmas time, and turned in as a Z-HOPE project.
In 2009, Phi Omicron Zeta added a reclaimed member, Gladys Gordon. Top officers of the chapter were in attendance at the Zeta Phi Beta State Leadership Conference in Augusta, Georgia in March 2009, where they gave a chapter donation in support of women who were victims of domestic violence in Augusta. In addition, Phi Omicron Zeta reached its March for Babies goal in Conyers and exceeded its Relay for Life goal. Subsequently, the chapter stretched itself once more, and added a scholarship initiative to award two scholarships to deserving area high school graduating seniors in June 2009. Phi Omicron Zeta sponsored a couple of fundraisers by doing an “At Home Tea” and selling T-shirts, to help with funding their new scholarships. In November, they participated in Prematurity Awareness, and ended the year with their annual Toys for Tots at their Blue and White Scholarship Social, which was well-attended. Unfortunately, two more members became inactive near the end of 2009 – Diane Rawls Griffin and Susie Little.
In 2010, Phi Omicron Zeta started their chapter website and a scrapbook, which chronicles the activities and achievements of their members. Soror Dorothy Moss was elected President of the Fort Valley State University National Alumni Association, Inc. in July 2010, for a two-year term. Soror Kathryn Williams was appointed by the Zeta Phi Beta Georgia State Director, Myra Reese, to the office of Protocol and Amenities Coordinator for the State of Georgia for a two year term. Also, the chapter participated in the Zeta-Sigma Day at the Capital, and Zetas worshiped together at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Covington, GA. They continued with March for Babies, Relay for Life, Prematurity Awareness, Toys for Tots, annual scholarships, and their annual Blue and White Holiday Social. Fundraising continued by all members, selling coupons for Belk Store Sales and a few members working several hours at the sale event. Chapter members also participated with the Downtown Diabetes Dash and supported our Sigma brothers at their Conclave in Atlanta, GA. The chapter continued to send the President and other officers to the State, Regional and Boule` Conferences to represent the chapter.
In 2011, the chapter repeated all the activities they had done in previous years: March for Babies, Relay for Life, fundraising, scholarships, website, scrapbook, worshiped together, Prematurity Awareness, Toys for Tots, and the Blue and White Social and added two new initiatives: the Sickle Cell Anemia Walk, and donated 16 shoeboxes stuffed with toiletries to the Sixth Annual United Way Shoebox Campaign, a program that supports homeless women and children. In addition, they reclaimed six more inactive members. Those members are Felicia Arnold, Shakema Allen, Marilyn Barton, Alison S. Jackson (Charter Member), Tara Y. Seright, and Sandra Speaks. In addition to growing chapter membership through the reclamation of inactive Zetas, Phi Omicron Zeta began the Membership Intake Process for two ladies interested in joining our illustrious sisterhood. At the State Leadership Conference in Savannah, GA in February, 2011, Phi Omicron Zeta won three awards: 1st Place – Chapter of the Year Award (for scrapbook), 2nd Place – Z-HOPE Award (for service), and President Barack H. Obama Volunteer Service Award was presented to their Basileus, Gloria Fallings, (for setting a standard for service and inspiring others to do the same). She received a Presidential Certificate and lapel pin.
Next, Phi Omicron Zeta began planning for a Stork’s Nest by continuing with various fundraisers, collecting donations of baby items, and finding a partner to provide ample space for storing their items and for a classroom to teach the unwed expectant women prenatal care, postnatal care, and care for themselves during pregnancy and after delivery. On September 24, 2011, Phi Omicron Zeta had the Grand Opening of their Stork’s Nest at the Rockdale Medical Center in Conyers, GA. Several Zetas attended this event, to include nationally elected officer, Soror Shanessa Ashford, some traveling from as far as Augusta, GA. Also in attendance was then State Director, Soror Myra Reese. Rockdale Medical Center has become a great partner with Phi Omicron Zeta and the March of Dimes. Sorors Evon Mazyck and Sandra Speaks are Co-Coordinators of the Stork’s Nest. Soror Eula Hardeman earned a certificate of Theology from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, GA. Soror Evon Mazyck and Soror Kathryn Williams traveled to Washington, DC to attend and become certified in the Zeta Organizational Leadership training.
In 2012, the chapter participated with March for Babies, Relay for Life, fundraising, scholarships, scrapbook, website, worshiping together, Stork’s Nest, Prematurity Awareness, Toys for Tots, and the Blue and White Social. This year, the chapter is adding a new twist to the Blue and White Social by hosting a Christmas dance called “1st Annual Very Merry Blue Christmas Party”, where proceeds will benefit their scholarship and Stork’s Nest programs. They have been very effective in meeting all of their program goals each year. They also formed a partnership with the Newton High School at the request of the principal, Dr. Calvin Lockhart, where they adopted the school. How rewarding is it to have your customer recognize and appreciate the value that you bring to the community by requesting you to engage with them more? This is what makes working for Zeta so very great and rewarding. As partners, they provided financial support to the Newton High School Band for a trip to the Super Bowl, started a Mobile Stork’s Nest at Newton High School, and started a recurring Voter Registration Drive among the high school students. Phi Omicron Zeta also initiated a Sisters Movie and Lunch Day, where they wear their sorority letters. In addition, they had a Finer Womanhood Program in early 2012. Phi Omicron Zeta participated in and was a Bronze Level Sponsor for the “Back to School Supply Drive”, hosted by the Newton County Sheriff’s Department in July 2012 at Newton High School, Alcovy High School, and Eastside High School, along with other Greek organizations and citizens, to hand out hundreds of packets of school supplies to the children of Newton County. They also donated supplies.
This year, Phi Omicron Zeta Chapter was one of only a few chapters to receive a plaque for paying $1,000 towards Capital Campaign. Current Chapter Basileus, Soror Kathryn Williams, was recognized by Georgia State Director, Myra Reese, during 2012 with the Zeta GEM (Going the extra mile) Award. Soror Kathryn Williams was appointed, to the office of Georgia State Protocol, Amenities, and Logistics Coordinator and Soror Evon Mazyck was appointed to the office of Georgia State March of Dimes & Stork’s Nest Coordinator by the new Georgia State Director, Shaneesa Ashford.
In 2012, Phi Omicron Zeta added five inactive or transferred members: Kimberly Amedee, Breisha Dupree, Sharon James, Linda Joyner-Knight, and Meracita Minns. The chapter also had two members to leave, who were pursuing higher education goals: Veronica Lawrence and Audrey Williams. Phi Omicron Zeta will participate in and host the October 13, 2012 State of Georgia Area Meeting, which will include MIP training. The chapter continued to have representation at the State and Regional conferences and also sent the president and vice president to the Magnificent Mile Boule` in Chicago, IL. The chapter also elected new officers:
Basileus – Soror Kathryn Williams
First Anti-Basileus – Soror Evon Mazyck
Second Anti-Basileus – Soror Alison Jackson
Third Anti-Basileus – Soror Gloria Fallings
Grammateus – Soror Dorothy Moss
Tamias – Soror Dalphine Browder
Tamias-Grammateus – Soror Felicia
Arnold, Phylacter – Soror Sandra Speaks
Antapokritis – Soror Marilyn Barton
Chaplain – Soror Eula Hardeman
In 2013, Phi Omicron Zeta will continue all its annual programs, such as March for Babies, Relay for Life, fundraising, scholarships, scrapbook, website, worshiping together, Stork’s Nest, Eldercare, Prematurity Awareness and Toys for Tots, and the 2nd Annual Very Merry Blue Christmas Party. In addition, the Intake of Aspirants and reclaim a minimum of two inactive members. This year, Phi Omicron Zeta will continue to raise the bar of service for the citizens of Newton and Rockdale counties. They certainly do make it a priority to answer Zeta’s call!
Runette Bell Hines
Delores A. McCrary
Alison Smith Jackson
Dorothy Ruffin Moss
Eula Smith Hardeman