Vynessa Alexander

Akarama 2020 Fundraising Co-Chairman

AKArama Fundraiser 2019, A Jewel in the Oasis, Museum of Science and Industry

Michelle Paramore

AKArama 2020 Fundraising Co-Chairman

AKArama Foundation  Annual Fundraiser Supports our Communities 

The AKArama Foundation, Inc. seeks to make a difference in the Chicagoland Community by providing programs in the areas of college readiness and acceptance, health and wellness, economic empowerment and support of Black-owned businesses, exposure to the arts and support of the development of artistic talent, support of college-bound and current college students through scholarship awards and mentoring of middle school girls. Established in 1981, AKArama Foundation, Inc. is the non-profit 501(c3) entity of Theta  Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Since its establishment, the Foundation has awarded over two million dollars in college scholarships and programs to supported the needs of  Woodlawn and surrounding communities.

For thirty-eight years the AKArama Foundation, Inc. has conducted an annual fundraising drive that culminated with an AKArama Gala. This year we are in uncharted waters with the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the safety and health of supporters, friends, and members and in compliance with the State and City COVID-19 Guidelines, there will not be an AKArama Gala this year. However, the AKArama Foundation, Inc. will conduct a 2020 fundraising drive “Staying Apart – Yet Still Together.”

The Coronavirus Pandemic disproportionately affecting black communities has created an even greater role for the AKArama Foundation, Inc. to provide programs and needed resources to best serve our community. Please consider donating to the AKArama Foundation to support our programs and initiatives.

AKArama Fundraiser History

The AKArama Foundation has one major fundraiser each year. entitled “AKArama”.  The fundraiser was first named in 1956 when the suffice “rama’ was very popular.  That year the fundraiser was held at the old Regal Theatre located at 47th and South Parkway (known today as King Drive).  The event was a variety show and featured musical performances by Sonny Stitt and The Almad Jamal Trio, Johnny Griffin, The Johnny Pate Trio, Gene Ammons, and Sarah Lawler, Vernon Duncan, and the Walter Heni Dyett band which provided background music for the evening.

 

  • 1957 Midnight Variety Show at the Regal Theater
  • 1958 Lionel Hampton at Orchestra Hall
  • 1959 Dance-Arama at the Tivoli Theater
  • 1960 Dance-Arama at the Tivoli Theater
  • 1961 Dance-Arama Tivoli Theater
  • 1962 Ball International at the Sherman Hotel
  • 1963 Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball a the Palmer House Hotel
  • 1964 Card-A-Rama at the Southmoor Hotel
  • 1965 Card-A-Rama at the Flying Carpet
  • 1967 Mod Ball at the Aragon Ballroom (This was the first time the Aragon Ballroom opened its doors to an all-Black group)
  • 1968 A Night at the Races at Washington Park Race Track
  • 1969 Broadway Play “The Great White Hope” at McVickers Theater
  • 1970 Zodiac AKArama Dinner Dance at the Lexington House
  • 1971 A Night at the Races at Sportsman Park Race Track
  • 1972 Broadway Musica “Purlie” at McVickers Theatre with a cast after-party at the Playboy Towers
  • 1973 Casio Royale at McCormick Inn with Kick-off Event at Faces on Rush St.
  • 1974 Temptations Concert at Mill Runn Dinner Theater
  • 1975 Autumn Caprice featuring Thelma Houston at the Conrad Hilton
  • 1976 Broadway Musical “The Wiz” at the Shubert Theater
  • 1977 A Piece of the Action at the Chicago Theatre with an After Party attended by Sidney Portier held at the Park West
  • 1978 Melba Moore and the Spinners at the Pick Congress Hotel
  • 1979 Champagne Showcase featuring Jerry “Iceman” Butler at the Park West
  • 1980 Lena Horne in Concert at the Drury Lane – Water Tower with a Kick-off Event at the DuSable Museum
  • 1981 Natalie Cole and Lou Rawls in Concert at the Holiday Star Theater
  • 1982 Gladys Knight and the Pips at the Holiday Star Theater
  • 1983 Peabo Bryson and Nancy Wilson at the Arie Crown Theater
  • 1984 “Dream Girls” at the Shubert Theater and After-Party Gala at the Union League Club with a Kick-off Event at the DuSable Museum

Past AKArama Events

  • 1985 Cab Calloway’s Cotton Club Revisited at the Pick-Congress Hotel with a Kick-off Event at the DuSable Museum
  • 1986 Le Bal Masque at the Chicago Marriott Hotel
  • 1987 Le Bal Masque II – Share the Fantasy at the Chicago Marriott Hotel
  • 1988 Le Bal Masque III – In he Time Zone featuring Gentlemen of Leisure at the Chicago Marriott Hotel
  • 1989 AKArama Royale at the Chicago Marriott Hotel
  • 1990 Passport to Fun and Fantasy Casino at the Chicago Marriott Hotel with a Kick-off Event at the DuSable Museum
  • 1991 Speakeasy at the Chicago Marriott Hotel
  • 1992 Diamonds and Pearls Jazz and Blues at Jazz Oasis
  • 1993 Stepping Out in Style at the Chicago Marriott Hotel with Kick-off Event at Walter Payton’s America’s Bar
  • 1994 Le Bal Carnivale at the Chicago Marriott Hotel with Kick-off Event at Walter Payton’s America’s Bar
  • 1995 Carnaval Bal at the Chicago Marriott Hotel with Kick-off Event at Excalibur
  • 1996 Stroll Back Time featuring Gentlemen of Leisure and Herb Kent at the Chicago Marriott Hotel with Kick-off Event at Magnum
  • 1997 Brazilian MasqAKArade at the Chicago Marriott Hotel with Kick-off Event at the DuSable Museum
  • 1998 Rhythm & Blues in Pink & Green at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel with Kick-off Party at Club 151
  • 1999 Rocking the Century Away with AKA at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel with Kick-off at Excalibur
  • 2000 USS AKArama – Casino and Comedy featuring Damon Williams at the Chicago Marriott Hotel
  • 2000 USS AKArama – Casino and Comedy featuring Damon Williams at the Chicago Marriott Hotel
  • 2002 AKAmericana at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers with Kick-off Event at Issac Hayes Music-Food Passion
  • 2003 Carnival Around the World at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel
  • 2004 Chicago Nights at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at Harambee House

 

  • 2005 Chicago Nights 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-ff Event at Excalibur
  • 2006 A Legacy of Love at the Hyatt Regency Chicago featuring Teresa Griffin and comedian Seth Morgan
  • 2007 A Legacy of Love 100 Years of Soul and Service at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at AKArama Community Service Center
  • 2008 An Evening at Moulin Rouge at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at AKArama Community Service Center
  • 2009 Toasting Chicago’s Very Own A Family Affair at the Hyatt Regency Chicago featuring Jerry “Iceman Butler”, Reginald McCants Trio, KC Ensemble and Ray Silkman
  • 2010 An Evening of Autumn Elegance at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at AKArama Community Service Center
  • 2011 Mardi Gras Glitz in Pink & Green at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at AKArama Community Service Center
  • 2012 AKArama Goes Motown at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at the AKArama Community Service Center
  • 2013 Motown Revisited featuring Teresa Griffin at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at the AKArama Community Service Center
  • 2014 Festival of Masks featuring Teresa Griffin at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at AKArama Community Service Center
  • 2015 Harlem Renaissance – Rhapsody in Pink and Green featuring Opal Staples at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at the AKArama Community Service Center
  • 2016 Reel to Real in Black and White featuring Opal Staples at the Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • 2017 Lift Off to Planet AKArama Casio and Art Gallery 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • 2018 AKArama Wonderland” The Mad Matter’s Ball at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with Kick-off Event at the AKArama Community Service Center
  • 2019 A Jewel in the Oasis at the Museum of Science and Industry with Kick-off Event at the AKArama Community Service Center

* Excerpted in part from “95 Years of Servant Leadership” by Loann Julia Honesty King