Robinwood festival emphasizes fun for childrenNovember 8, 2014
Mother knows best," so the saying goes. Well, sometimes mothers deserve the best,
which is what the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity believes.
The fraternity is making sure the women of Timothy House, a home for seniors and people
with disabilities, are celebrated this Mother's Day, whether their children can make it to show
appreciation or not.
"It makes the women of the Timothy House happy just to know that someone thought of them and
took time out of their busy schedule to come see them," said Allan Griffin, 52, of Glen Burnie,
the chairman of community service initiative for Kappa Alpha Psi.
"It really makes their day, and we include the mothers even if they are confined to their room and can't
come to play games with us, or eat the dinner we make with everyone else," Griffin said. "We bring their
flowers and food to their room so they can enjoy it, too."
The fraternity focuses on the individual attention these mothers deserve and ensures that the day is dedicated
to them. Barbara McGowans, 69, said all the women at the Timothy House look forward to the KAP fraternity's
Mother's Day plans.
"They hand out our flowers, then we all dance and mingle together while some play games and others talk to
each other. Then we have the dinner they cooked for us," McGowans said. "We are served very well by the fraternity."
She said, "It's nice to know that you're remembered and that they care about all of us and want to celebrate us."
The 50-year-old alumni chapter of the national fraternity, which is 50 members strong, has been working with the
Timothy House for more than 10 years. Every Mother's Day, a group of KAP members create a celebration for the
mothers who live in the housing facility. This year, it means carnations and a home-cooked meal for all the women,
which requires planning for 60.
A founding member of the Annapolis chapter, George Gaither, 77, of Pasadena, got involved with the fraternity in college,
then decided with a few other Kappa Alpha Psi that Annapolis was in need of an alumni chapter of its own to offer the type of
community service projects the fraternity consistently engages in, like the Mother's Day celebration.
Betsy Knight, 90, appreciates all the hard work the KAP members put into planning the event and, after more than 20 years of
receiving their Mother's Day flowers, has grown to look forward to it.
"Some people don't have a families, but the Kappa boys come in and they make us feel good," Knight said. "They make us feel
These women who have lived long and busy lives, like Knight who has four children and eight grandchildren, deserve to be
appreciated, said Gaither.
"Every one of them probably has been a mother at some point and while some may have children who live too far away to visit,
or for whatever reason can't see them, now they get flowers and a day to show they're important," Gaither said. "We fill a gap."
Community appreciation and service is what the KAP fraternity is all about. Members help teachers tutor their students, have
Halloween parties for neighborhoods including Robinwood and raise money for a scholarship through the fraternity for young
African-American boys in Anne Arundel County to get a college education.
"Each year we try to start a new project to help the part of the community that needs the most attention, but every year we go
back to the Timothy House because seniors are a lost population and they deserve to be appreciated," Griffin said. "Sometimes
I can make them smile or make their day and that brings me the greatest happiness which is why this is important."
Even though Griffin has plans with his own mother for Mother's Day, he still makes time for the mothers of the Timothy House.
"(To) supply them with a meal and prizes ... it's my way of paying it forward and whatever the case may be I would still do this," he
The personal satisfaction members of KAP receive from community outreach events like the Mother's Day celebration is what
fuels the fraternity brothers, along with the noticeable change in demeanor from those they help. Griffin said the women of
Timothy House couldn't be more appreciative or deserving of KAP's time.
"Some people say it takes a village to raise a child, but I say it takes a village to maintain our elderly, and for Mother's Day we
want to make sure these mothers know they are appreciated," he said.