The 2023 #AlphaDerbyWeekend provides a reminder there's nothing like being in the Winner's Circle
During the first weekend of May (May 4-7, 2023), the Alphas of Atlanta (a 501c3/nonprofit comprised of members from its Metro-Atlanta graduate chapters), present their #AlphaDerbyWeekend. From its inception in 2015 (2015-19, 2021's stand-alone golf tournament, and last year's return to its 3-day weekend), it's truly become a staple event in Atlanta and arguably, the Southeast (and the country). As the largest event of its kind and an impressive 1/3 of its attendees traveling from outside the state of Georgia, it's more than just a destination weekend for all who patronize the weekend.
It's about raising proceeds to support multiple nonprofits throughout Metro-Atlanta, making it an advanced and evolving "party with a purpose (click HERE to read our preview article)".
With the support of an ever-expanding collective of businesses and related entities, including Woodford Reserve, Volkswagen, Anheuser-Busch, and Hideoki, the weekend opens with an impressive networking event (on May 4, 2023) for sponsors to connect and engage in a mature setting to help set the tone for the weekend.
And given the ensuing days, an energetic, festival, and sincere tone is set.
Friday, May 5th, is more than just the start of the weekend; it's the start of the weekend.
A sold-out allotment of teams and players start the day with the #AlphasOfAtlantaOpen, the golf tournament at Wolf Creek Golf Course. The competitive play is complimented by the intimate presence of the aforementioned title sponsors and related vendors to provide a relaxed atmosphere to set the stage for the day and weekend.
The evening takes on an energetic yet fun way for patrons to "kick-back" at the College Football Hall of Fame.
Building on previous years (which previously feature classic hip-hop artists Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, and Slick Rick), the "old-Atlanta (late '90's to early 2000's hip-hop)" spin provides the kickoff party and concert a truly "Southern-influence" and vibe. The performances by Young Dro, Fabo, Lil' Scrappy, and Pastor Troy bring the evening to a enthusiastic conclusion and anticipation for the main event (on Saturday, May 6th).
An estimated 2000 attendees descend on the College Football Hall of Fame "suited and booted", as the Derby-inspired attire is undoubtedly second to none. The grace, presence, style, and sophistication synonymous with the event features 3-levels for patrons to take in the larger experience, including the hat contest, viewing of the actual race, and scrolling displays of archival events within the larger series. Gracing the main stage, special guests Zee (from the current season of Ready for Love, the top-rated show on the Oprah Winfrey Network), Corey Branch (from the city council of Raleigh, NC), Byron Amos (of the Atlanta City Council, who presents a proclamation), Rockdale County Commissioner (Post 1) Sherri Washington (who presents a proclamation), and State Representative (House District 93) Doreen Carter (who presents a proclamation) add to the larger experience for all (click HERE to view the official photo album).
Given all taking place, one would think that in and of itself provides a good series of events; however, there's Sunday and the sold-out Sunday brunch, drawing nearly 600 attendees to "bring it back" to the "why" behind the event.
It's one thing to have a fun time, but the fun is augmented given the larger purpose behind the event. The words and acknowledgment of the nonprofit's efforts via representatives from the General Office of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, along with an additional proclamation from Jasper Watkins III (Gwinnett County District III Commissioner) help close the weekend out on a positive note.
In the coming weeks, the nonprofit is putting its focus on continued support of community-focused entities whose programs include (but are not limited to) mentoring, college scholarship opportunities, and related programming for youth and the larger community. Just as there's the adage of being able to "walk and chew gum at the same time", people can truly come together for a good time made greater by its purpose.
This is the mission and essence of the Winner's Circle.
Make sure to be present and accounted for May 2-5, 2024 for the next edition of the #AlphaDerbyWeekend.
Notes: the photos and video are recorded by Andrew Snorton. To view the official photos via Phrozen Enterprises, click HERE. To view our YouTube playlist (including video via Jocelyn Ivy), click HERE.