New Service Group Crowned Pearls Aims To Help Community

Crowned Pearls member Marcia Hayden (right) takes part in the SWAG graduation.

A new community service entity, the Crowned Pearls of Wellington, has organized in Wellington as an interest group affiliated with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the nation’s oldest sorority for African American women.

“We are seeking to become the next chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha in South Florida,” explained Public Relations Chair Dr. Monique Barbour, who added that the organization began life as a social club some two years ago and currently has a membership of about 50 professional women in the area.

“There are five important arms of focus in the group,” explained Barbour, who said there is community service, sisterhood and forming relationships among the members themselves, support for historically Black colleges and universities, women’s healthcare and wellness issues, promoting economic well-being, enriching the arts and global impact.

Recent projects include support for Wellington’s SWAG program that provides summer internships and the Feeding South Florida project in Wellington, working in conjunction with the Village of Wellington and the Wellington Rotary Club.

“We are working with Wellington High School and Palm Beach Central High School to encourage students to pick a career and go on to college, and we held a drive-by graduation celebration that was very well received,” Barbour said.

Barbour said that the Crowned Pearls of Wellington Interest Group’s members have been eager to support Wellington with the Feeding South Florida program. Food is being distributed to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic every Tuesday at the Mall at Wellington Green.

Barbour noted that Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig expressed her gratitude for the Crowned Pearls of Wellington’s continued support.

In its short history, and despite the pandemic, the group has been active.

Another popular project is the Grab-N-Go Pantry for hospital workers.

“We are donating food items to a pantry for employees at Wellington Regional Medical Center because the workers may not make it home to shop and eat, due to the long hours they are working during the COVID-19 crisis,” Barbour said.

WRMC CEO Pam Tahan and the hospital’s employees have expressed their gratitude for the program.

Barbour said that in the future, the organization hopes to support the fine arts locally.

“We also seek to promote the arts, by enriching the lives of students with knowledge about African American artists from the music industry to the performing arts,” she said.

Once the COVID-19 crisis has passed, one such program is already in the works.

“Later in the year, we are planning an art exhibit of African American artists,” Barbour said. “This will be a major cultural event in Wellington with the performing arts and visual arts. We are also planning to have a poetry slam and a talent show.”

The global impact of the national organization is also felt by reaching out to others to donate clothing to children worldwide.

“Another recent program targeted to the African American community was a lively discussion program with the Alzheimer’s Community Care Center to make people aware of Alzheimer’s disease resources, and we were very active in the World Refugee Day commemoration,” Barbour said. “We even have a program from the national headquarters encouraging people to live a healthy lifestyle by taking 10,000 steps a day. We are very excited about being part of the community in Wellington.”

The Crowned Pearls of Wellington maintains a Facebook group, and anyone seeking more information can contact the organization through the group page.