Fundraising with Purpose
The “Jabberwock” is an activity peculiar to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The first “Jabberwock” was presented in 1926 in Boston, Massachusetts, by members of Iota Chapter. In an effort to find some new method of raising money for the Iota Chapter’s scholarship fund, Marion Hope Conover conceived the idea of a variety show of a kind that would interest groups and individuals in producing skits, dances, songs and pageant in competition for prizes for varying amounts. The new kind of show was called “Jabberwock”, a title taken from Lewis Carroll’s tale, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.
The first “Jabberwock” was an immediate success, and the idea caught on with many other chapters of Delta Sigma Theta. Today, the “Jabberwock’ is considered a Delta institution, and many local communities eagerly anticipate the event. “ Jabberwock” funds are earmarked for scholarships to be given by the sponsoring chapter to young women and men of promise and ability and for public service projects. “Jabberwock’ is a major undertaking and is usually presented triennially by local Deltas. The first Jabberwock was presented by the local members Beta Epsilon Sigma in February 1949.
As recorded in a news clipping 1949--
"Delta To Present Jabberwock"
Members of Beta Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, with the help of our many friends, are proud to be able to announce the FIRST Jabberwock, according to a statement of Mrs. Gussie Hyatte.
She stated further that the word Jabberwock has grown to mean a night of skits and is copyrighted by the Delta Sigma Theta. It is the national project used to raise funds for scholarships and welfare work. The idea originated with Sorors of the Boston, Massachusetts Chapter in 1926. The fantastic creature Jabberwock, found in Lewis Carol's Alice In Wonderland was made up of different parts of several animals. Just as the creature summoned the enchanted people of the story book to entertain Alice, so we call upon our participants to help us entertain our audience. We ask different organizations to prepare original skits centered around a common theme for the evening's entertainment. Judges will be seated in the audience and will select the prize winning skits. Participating organizations and their skits will be announced later.
The program will be presented Friday night, February 19, in the Community Hall of the Memorial Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.
CHATTANOOGA OBSERVER page 2 Friday February 12, 1954
"It's In The News" Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority are making final plans for their third Jabberwock which will be presented. In the Community Hall of the Memorial Auditorium Friday night, Feb.19 at 8 o clock according to the Observer.
Besides raising funds for scholarship, welfare and cultural work the program is designed to bring wholesome entertainment to the community. The chosen theme is "It's In The News". Several organizations are cooperating to make the program a success. The Dauns Social Club will present Jacqueline Williams on the Ivories "Fro m Bach to Boogie". Miss Lorena Hight and Mrs. Mabel Scruggs are directing the Zeta Phi Beta skit, "Predictions of Miss Twenty-first Century. The Y-Teen will present "Stars on Ice" directed by Miss Alma Zachery. Mr. Julian C. Brown is the director of the Alpha Phi Alpha skit, "The Negro Comes Into His Owen". Alpha Phi Alpha, under the direction of Mesdames I. H. Patton, A. M. Oglesby, F. Boone, Roberta Oglesby and R. Blackshear will show "Fashions In The News". Mr. Alex Carney, Mr. Donald Elligan and Mr. Julius Bonz will direct "A June Affair", for Kappa Alpha Psi.
Organizations presenting the winning skits as decided by the judges will receive cash prizes of $50 and $25. The Prologue and Epilogue are being produced by a committee of Delta Sorors with Soror Charlie M. Hutchings as chairman.
MISS JABBERWOCK (Evelyn Key) will be crowned. Her attendant (Patricia Cross) and other members of her court will be presented to the public.
SPECIAL FEATURES The special feature will be modern dance "Variations on The Three Blind Mice" by Misses Barbara English, Elnora Scoutchions and Genoa Walker from A&T State University. Soror Carrie Gentry of the Department of Physical Education at the University directs the trio. Mr. Gaines Camp will preside at the organ. The public was limited to attend. Admission was $1.20.