l-r; Carol Cobb and Bonita Fields. Photos submitted

There are parties with a purpose and then there is Red Alert: A Charity Affair. Sponsored by the Minerva Foundation, Inc., in conjunction with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Nashville Alumnae Chapter this premiere day party jump starts the summer season with a great reason to celebrate. Held on the first Saturday in June, the Red Alert: A Charity Affair raises funds to provide scholarships to graduating seniors in Cheatham, Davidson, Robertson, Sumner, Wilson and Williamson counties.

On June 1, 2019, the upper concourse of Nissan Stadium was transformed into an oasis of crimson and cream for the annual fundraising event. Partygoers wore daytime cocktail attire with a flair of red and were treated to an indulgent selection of heavy hors d’oeuvres, great music, and red gloved multi-leveled VIP experiences. The day party also features a silent auction that boasts a variety of items for every budget—from original art pieces to jewelry to fine wines.

Heralded as the best day party in town, Red Alert welcomed guests at 2:00 p.m. and provided nonstop entertainment and revelry until 7:00 p.m. This year’s music was provided by the nationally renowned DJ Victor Chatman and neosoul musical artist Will Davenport.

The upscale scholarship event is the brain child of Delta Sigma Theta members Cathy Bender and Rhonda Cantrell Dunn, Red Alert co-chairs. “What an exciting opportunity it has been to serve with Cathy Bender as co-chair of Red Alert! This event has grown tremendously over the past seven years and truly distinguishes itself as the ‘Cocktail Day Party with a Purpose,’” stated Cantrell Dunn. 

“I truly benefit from this wonderful opportunity because I am able to partner with my sorority sisters in the philanthropic giving of our time, energy, and resources to make a positive difference in the lives of young women just starting their journey,” said Bender.

The public faces of the scholarship event are the ladies of the Nashville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Red Alert, however, is sponsored by the Minerva Foundation of Tennessee, a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes and supports community public service programs. The Minerva Foundation’s sponsorship incentivizes participation in the event by allowing attendees and donors to claim a tax-deduction in whole or in part. 

The Minerva Foundation’s goals are to engage in public service programs that promote and encourage high intellectual, cultural, and moral standards among residents in the Metro Nashville community. Reverend Olivia M. Cloud, board president, of the Minerva Foundation, remarked, “It is such a pleasure to partner with Nashville Alumnae Chapter on this signature event that yields such rewarding benefits. Because of the dynamic duo of Bender and Cantrell Dunn and their fabulous and hardworking committee members, Red Alert has evolved into Nashville’s best party with a purpose! The energy that goes into planning and implementing this event is always high and the results are always first class.” 

In 2019, seven graduating seniors were awarded $1,500 scholarships—based on financial need, grades, ACT scores, recommendations from school counselors, and volunteerism in the community. The 2019 scholarship recipients are: Kiara Baker (Nashville School of the Arts), Ayana Boyd (Beech High School), Gabrielle Cash (Cane Ridge High School), Tzipora Hunter-Davis (MLK Magnet High School), Taylor McDonald (Brentwood High School), Katelyn Starks (University School of Nashville) and Regan Shelton (MLK Magnet High School). Past recipients have attended local universities such as Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, and Middle Tennessee State University. Numerous other recipients have ventured out of state to prestigious institutions such as Brown University, Northwestern University, Florida A & M University and Alabama A & M University.

The Red Alert committee has begun planning for the 2020 day party/scholarship event on the upper concourse of Nissan Stadium. The ladies of the NAC of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated will be expanding the consistently sold-out VIP levels and incorporating new perks and surprises at next year’s event. 

For more details on sponsorship opportunities or the unique VIP levels offered, please email redalert@nashvillealumnae.com or vip.redalert@gmail.com .  Parents, teachers and guidance counselors can inquire about the scholarships awarded as a result of the Red Alert fundraiser by contacting the NAC Scholarship Committee at scholarships@nashvillealumnae.com .

The committee and the sponsoring organizations extend a special thank you to all who attended and supported the 2019 Red Alert:  A Charity Affair.  If you missed this year’s sold out event, mark your calendars for June 6, 2020, and plan to attend the best tax-deductible day party with a scholarship purpose!