Chester (PA) Alumnae Raises the Bar With Dinner En Noir
Submitted by Kamira Evans
The Chester (PA) Alumnae Chapter’s Signature Event, Diner en Noir, is designed to celebrate Black Love in all of its forms. This year’s Virtual Diner En Noir consisted of two hours of music, food, and fun.
Almost 120 households (nearly 170 people!) took part in the festivities. Everyone joined via Zoom from the comfort of their own homes to adhere to CDC guidelines. Participants were dressed in their classy, all-black attire as if they were going out for a night on the town. Per the event’s rules, dinner was to be presented on ornate, all-black tablescapes with a touch of red as a nod to one of the sorority’s colors.
The live performers included a Master of Ceremonies, a keyboardist, a saxophonist, a comedian, a spoken word artist, and a visual artist. The visual artist sketched a portrait throughout the program as a raffle item. Each performer had all either laughing, singing, snapping their fingers, or dancing to familiar love songs.
The primary theme of Diner En Noir is the table design contest. Participants entered by texting photos of their tables, which were judged on creativity and originality. The chapter’s top winner had a phenomenal setting beset with a sparkly tablecloth, black floral arrangements, an elaborate spread, and topped things off with a uniformed chef and server in their living room!
The winner received a gift card to a chapter member-owned business, Desserts Sweets Treats by Ollie. The runners-up received Amazon gift cards.
The chapter’s Arts & Letters committee members facilitated “Name That Tune,” where the participants had mere seconds to guess the song title and singer played by a chapter member who served as the digital DJ for the evening. Other prizes were given out from a “Wheel of Names” to engage participants and build excitement. Small prizes consisted of gift cards for this activity. The final name drawn was the winner of the artist’s framed portrait of Cicely Tyson, which was unveiled at the event’s close.
The feedback from attendees was extremely positive. Every second became better than the one that preceded it. Participants were encouraged to patronize black-owned businesses for their meals. Based on the chapter’s survey, 33 percent of participants supported black-owned companies for the event.
All proceeds from Diner en Noir benefit young people in Delaware County. The event raised $1,420 for the chapter’s scholarship programs for local high school students, and $1,000 was raised for Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY), which provides support, advocacy, and life-changing experiences to children who stutter. Their programs build confidence and allow young people to find their voices through spoken word and poetry. The chapter’s donation provides financial support for young people in Delaware County to participate.
Submitted by Kamira Evans The Chester (PA) Alumnae Chapter’s Signature Event, Diner en Noir, is designed to celebrate Black Love in all of its forms. This year’s Virtual Diner En Noir consisted of two hours of music, food, and fun. Almost 120 households (nearly 170 people!) took part in the festivities. Everyone joined via Zoom from the …