The local chapter of a national sorority took it upon themselves to recognize a few members of the Dover community. Phi Delta Kappa is a national sorority for professional educators, with a chapter called Alpha Pi based in Dover. The Alpha Pi chapter wanted to say thank you to community members who have made a difference over the past several years.
The sorority elected a committee who then selected nine honorees. On Saturday, the Alpha Pi chapter held its community appreciation banquet at Whatcoat United Methodist Church's Harvest House. The sorority decided to give back to those who give so much of themselves, said Sheila McDowell-Griffin, a Phi Delta Kappa member.
"We saw so many people in the community who were always giving and no one was giving back to them," McDowell-Griffin said. "We wanted to reach out to them and let them know we love them."
The nine honorees were treated to an afternoon of entertainment, food and awards. Musical performances were given by Jamar Boyer and Ruth Shelton accompanied by Henrietta Dums and Marva Thomas. A dance performance was given by Perfect Praise, a group from Greater Hope Church and Ministries, of Ridgley, Md.
Five Phi Delta Kappa members were honored for their lifelong works as educators, including Susan B. Young, Dorothy Elizabeth Brady Cooper, Blanche Crim, Theresa C. Holmes and Lola Metcalf Tue.
Rep. Donald Blakey (R-Camden) was honored for his political work as an elected official both on Kent County Levy Court and most recently the state legislature.
"It's a wonderful feeling to be honored," Blakey said. "I'm not sure I deserve it, but it's a wonderful feeling."
Prior to serving in county and state politics, Blakey and his wife both worked for the Caesar Rodney School District. He views the work that he has done for his community as his way of giving back, Blakey said.
"They didn't know us and they allowed us in," he said. "They welcomed us with open arms. I feel as if I haven't given back what they've given to me, but I'll keep trying."
Carlton Brown was honored for his work as a football coach. Brown served as a football coach in the Capital School District for 16 years. He stepped down as Dover High's head coach in December.
"I've gotten a lot of awards but this is really big," Brown said. "It means a lot that they took the time to honor me."
Kenneth Robinson Sr. was honored as a humanitarian. Robinson is known for volunteering for Whatcoat United Methodist's soup kitchen and Sunday school breakfasts. He also drives a Sunday school bus route for the church and helps work with students to earn college scholarships.
Page 2 of 2 - Matthew Smith was honored as an entrepreneur. Smith has worked as a contractor and a landlord. He currently owns and operates Matthew Smith Bus Services. His fleet of 40 buses serve Capital School District, Polytech and the Academy of Dover. Smith enjoys knowing that his bus company makes a difference.
"That's precious cargo that we're carrying around," Smith said. "We're carrying the future."
Regardless of their job titles, the banquet was about saying thank you to those who have given back, said Calmetta Brinkley, Phi Delta Kappa president.
"We just noticed so many people doing great things to help children and the community in general," she said.