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JOURNAL Spring 2016 s69 ECONOM$IC Dev$elop$ment 52nd National Convention Helps Financially Fortify Each one of my checks I have drafted a hundred dollars,” said Soror Kar-la McGary, member of Dallas Alumnae Chapter, as she advised several members of her chapter. “So, I don’t even miss that money. Soror McGary is not the only member of Delta Sigma The-ta who prepares year-long for the biennial Regional Confer-ence and National Convention. Each year members who decid-ed to attend convention have to pay for registration, followed by other convention related ex-penses including hotels, trans-portation, food, and of course there’s always the trade show. All of this spending means im-proved economy for the host city. Considering that Financial Fortitude falls under one point of the Five-Point Programmat-ic Thrust of the Sorority – eco-nomic development – improv-ing the economy of any city is an important task for the Grand Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. The 52nd National Convention drew over 12,000 women to the city of Houston in July 2015. These wom-en were not only convention attend-ees, but also, as expected, would be-come patrons to local businesses. The state of Texas is known for its booming economy and being fi-nancially solvent. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Tex-as was only second to North Dako-ta in growth. Even with consider-able growth, the state has also had its share of economic challenges. Ac-cording to a report released by the Bauer College of Business at the Uni-versity of Houston, Houston’s econo-my took a hard hit financially in 2015 due to falling oil prices. Feeling the effects of such crippling econom-ic downturns, the ladies in red and white were welcomed by the city be-cause they brought high hopes of needed income. To coax Deltas into spending, businesses made themselves avail-able to members’ needs no matter the place or hour. “I came from one party and there was somebody selling fish and grits on the street,” said Soror Constance Hardin, member of Epsilon Zeta. “I didn’t purchase any fish and grits, but there were some Deltas that did.” Each night of the convention there were street vendors selling pizza, Texas barbeque, and soul food, with hopes of appeal-ing to hungry Deltas willing to spend cash. One famous Hous-ton restaurant, The Break-fast Klub, offered a 15 percent coupon to convention attend-ees. After the step show, the restaurant offered shuttle ser-vice to Deltas that took them to the restaurant for chicken and waffles, catfish, grits, and other soulful breakfast menu items. Sorors took different ap-proaches in preparing to at-tend convention in order to avoid hefty dents in their bank accounts. Some relied on dis-posable income, while oth-ers took to financial planning to help take the worry of money off their minds come convention time. “It takes lot’s of budgeting and I used part of my raise and bonus that I sat aside for convention this year,” said Soror Katara Woods, member of the Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter. “So it wasn’t as much of a struggle because the bonus was set aside for convention.” s Houston BY PAIGE STEWART “


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