More than 400 people attended the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Beautillion Militaire Beta Class Scholarship Gala Sunday, April 29 at the historic Coliseum. Pictured L-R, Ruby Griffin, Dylan Davis and Dr. Shameka Jones
BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – “Excitement fills the Coliseum as we anxiously await the royal celebration,” exclaimed Nevida Adams.
Her observations captured the excitement in the room when she welcomed the community to the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Beautillion Militaire Beta Class Scholarship Gala.
Sunday, April 29 was the culminating event of a six-month experience filled with lifelong lessons, character building exercises, community service projects and other life-building challenges. This experience helped equip these 15 young men with new ways of thinking and strived to navigate them through certain challenges.
“Challenges that will help them to be brilliant black men in America; challenges that will help them to personify black excellence; challenges that show they haven’t walked this journey to manhood alone,” said Orlando Pizana, as he put this rite of passage ceremony into a historical context steaming back to Africa.
The beaux were exposed to competent and professional men during various workshops and activities that were both rewarding and memorable. The Beautillion Militaire Experience was to enhance the character, educational and social experiences of these young men while providing a life-enriching program.
Two of the most beautiful people in the room played Mistress and Master of Ceremonies, Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap and R&B recording artist Alex Harris.
“This evening is the culmination of their personal journey in preparation for manhood and celebration of their leadership achievements to the program’s completion,” said Harris.
The mission of the Beautillion Militaire Experience is to recognize and encourage young men to obtain higher levels of personal achievement, self-confidence, pride and cultural awareness. It is designed to celebrate and honor African-American young men. The high school juniors and seniors were given tools to transition successfully from high school to post-secondary education and to young adulthood.
Rev. Ken Irby read a proclamation from Mayor Rick Kriseman declaring April 29, 2018, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Beautillion Militaire Day, while Rev. Louis Murphy, Sr. gave the blessing for the food catered by none other than Heavy’s catering.
The beaux performed at military drill, danced the waltz with their belles, and of course, danced with their mothers. By the end the evening, everyone was sitting at the edge of their seats awaiting the scholarship award announcements. Each beau and belle went home with major swag, and this year’s winners were:
2018 Mr. Beautillion Militaire: Dylan Davis
- 1st Place: Clayton Brody
- 2nd Place: Leonte’ Tukes
- Highest GPA: Demetrius Williams
- Community Service Award: Carlos Lovett, Jr.
- Mr. Reserved Award: Justin Gamble
- Go Getter Award: Leonte’ Tukes
- Mr. Debonnaire Award: AnTre’z Smith
- Best All Around Award: Jalen Dixon