Hilton Head Island – Bluffton Alumnae Chapter was chartered on February 26, 2012. Twenty-nine Sorors signed our charter in a ceremony led by the South Atlantic Regional Director Andria Jeffries and South Atlantic Regional Representative ShaVon Johnson This day was a culmination of events that began over 10 years ago when Sorors acknowledged a need for greater community service for residents of the southern end of Beaufort County. At the time of our chartering a major goal and focus of our newly elected president, Marion Payne was the reclamation of Sorors who reside in our community but not currently affiliated with a chapter. Since then our membership has grown almost tenfold as a result of reclaiming and embracing new members who moved into our service area. Our goal is to increase the number of reclaimed Sorors as we move beyond the centennial celebration year.
In an effort to build the infrastructure of Hilton Head Island – Bluffton Alumnae Chapter Soror Payne, presided over a Board Retreat and encouraged Sorors to think about what we would say if we were in an elevator at the 2013 Centennial Celebration and a Soror asked us to share some of our chapter’s accomplishments since chartering. After Sorors shared their visions and thoughts, we were divided into five groups. Each group was charged to identify projects that would address one of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Five Point Program Thrust of Educational Development; Economic Development; International Awareness & Involvement; Physical & Mental Health; and Political Awareness & Involvement.
One of the first projects developed and implemented by Sorors of HHI-BAC was the establishment of a scholarship fund. Recognizing the importance of supporting the collegiate aspirations of the youth in our service area the Scholarship Committee, chaired by Soror Donna Williams, set up a selection process and criteria for 2012 graduating seniors. Three deserving graduating seniors, from Hilton Head Island; Bluffton; and Hardeeville were each awarded a $500 scholarship.
In the area of political awareness, a number of Sorors participated in Delta Days at the State Capital in May 2012. Our objective was to meet with Beaufort County House Representative Andy Patrick, and other House Representatives to influence the passage of a resolution on the Mitchelville Project. The resolution was presented on the SHouse floor during the open session by Representative Patrick and the HHI-BAC members were introduced on the floor of the SC House of Representatives. In preparation for the 2012 Presidential Election, Soror Pamela Maddox, Social Action Chair, coordinated the chapter’s voter registration efforts with The League of Women Voters and Mr. White, Community Voter Registration Director for our service area. Many Sorors volunteered to register citizens and are still actively working in the "Get Out To Vote" effort in our service area.
Since our infrastructure has taken hold, our attention turned to fundraising so that we have the means to support other programs that we want to implement. Our inaugural event, an afternoon at The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island, was successful in letting the community know who we are and in establishing the beginning of a worthy fundraising initiative.