Goldsboro, North Carolina – On Saturday, May 31, 2016 family, friends, educators and community leaders joined members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Epsilon Phi Omega Chapter gathered at the Patrick M. Best Athletic Field adjacent to Dillard Middle School to have a rededication and unveiling of the landscaping that had been completed as part of AKA's 1908 Playground Project initiative. Flowers for this project were donated by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Theta Omicron Lambda Chapter of which Mr. Best was a chartered member and were planted by Coach Russell Stephens and members of the Goldsboro High School Boys’ Basketball Team.
Mr. Best, a renowned educator and principal, positively impacted the lives of thousands of students in Wayne County and across the state. His outstanding tenure as an educator is a source of pride for his hometown of Goldsboro, but also for his wife, Vernal, and his daughters Verna and Chryste’. His work in church, community, and his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha set him apart from others. He was a true advocate for education, social progress, and uplifting of overs. Epsilon Phi Omega chapter chose to perpetuate his legacy through this endeavor.
The late Patrick M. Best, principal of Goldsboro High School from 1972 - 1988 died unexpectedly in 1988. He was also president of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
Several community leaders attended the event and gave remarks. These individuals included, Mayor Chuck Allen; fraternity brother and former football coach of Goldsboro High School, Mr. Elvin James; former Goldsboro High School Principal and member of the Wayne County Board of Education, Patricia Burden; President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Theta Omicron Lambda Chapter, Mr. John Stokes; Ernestine Wooten, former neighbor and Chairman, Wayne County Democratic Party; and Dillard Middle School Coach, Mr. Robert Grant. Other remarks came from Mr. Johnson and Rev. Larry Johnson, members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Theta Omicron Lambda Chapter and Ms. Ernestine Best, neighbor.
As a testament of his dedication to student athletics, two awards have been given annually in his honor since his passing in 1988 by the NCHSAA. The Pat Best Memorial Trophy is presented to the top most outstanding male and female athletes in the state of North Carolina.
Mary Kay James, President of the local chapter shares, “"It is was so rewarding to be a part of this endeavor. Everybody was thrilled to participate in this project. Hearing the positive comments on the impact of Mr. Best's life in the areas of education, athletics, and community service was well worth it. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Phi Chapter hope this area will bring a sense of peace and pride to those who enjoy the Patrick M. Best Athletic Field."
In the above picture: Vernal H. Best, wife of the late Patrick M. Best thanks the community for their support while daughter, Verna P. Best looks on.
AKA’s 1908 Playground Project initiative is a four-year project to restore, refresh and renew 1,908 playgrounds that is being implemented by AKA chapters under the sorority’s environmental ownership programming.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of more than 265,000 members in 986 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, Liberia, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, and South Africa. Led by International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, Alpha Kappa Alpha is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African American women.” For more information on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and its programs, log onto www.aka1908.com. Mrs. Mary Kay James is the local President. For more information, log on to www.epsilonphiomega.com