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Join the Alphas of Atlanta in the Winner’s Circle

Derby Themed Benefit Weekend

Article by Erikka Searles Mitchell

Photography by Phrozen Memories

Originally published in SOFU Lifestyle

The Alphas of Atlanta, Inc, a Metro-Atlanta nonprofit comprised of members from the area graduate chapters, is hosting their seventh annual edition of the #AlphaDerbyWeekend on May 4-7, presented by Woodford Reserve. Robert Cunningham and Michael Jones, Jr. serve as the co-chairs. The Kentucky Derby themed event is a destination benefit weekend series designed to support the efforts of nine (9) metro-Atlanta nonprofits and their efforts for service and outreach to emerging communities for elementary, middle, and high schools (to date nearly $300,000 has been donated to support these causes). With an increasing attendance each year, not including a break for the pandemic, and with an increase from supporting seven nonprofits, they are primed for another engaging weekend. They are back at the 2022 host venues, the College Football Hall of Fame and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center. The weekend consists of the opening day golf tournament at Wolf Creek Golf Course in South Fulton County and the kickoff party and concert at the College Football Hall of Fame on May 5. The main event is on Saturday, May 6 and then the weekend concludes with Sunday Brunch at the Omni Hotel. Nearly one third of the patrons travel from outside the state of Georgia, including areas outside the United States. For details, including ticket purchases, sponsor opportunities, hotel accommodations, travel, and related information, visit or email them at

For me, the difference from a year after year is really the partnerships that we have we're bringing on new partners, like Volkswagen and Woodford Reserve again this year along with Fifth Third Bank. Larger partners are coming on that are kind of infusing more partnership and personality and ability to co-brand with us to kind of take things to a different level and also have us reaching other audiences as well. There’s new energy and new excitement. Rob

They are hoping to host another sold out event! “It’s a reflection of the leadership, says committee member Andrew Snorton.  “We have high quality people and high quality co-chairs that set a great tone and we've got a good committee that even though we work hard, we find the energy because we know the ultimate reason why we're doing this. The great purpose is to reinvest in the number of the community organizations.”

"People are more comfortable coming to a large event so I think people that didn't make it to last year because they just felt some type of hesitation during COVID are going to come this year. The feedback and responses online have been great. I think people are ready to actually get out and party this year," according to Michael Jones, Jr.. The committee takes the surveys and opinions of their guests seriously. The need for their out-of-town guests to find more events to participate in led them to expand the Derby event to a whole weekend.

A Party with a Purpose

“There are 10 Alpha Phi Alpha Alumni chapters in the metro area and all of them have educational foundations. Those foundations are the beneficiaries of the event. The Foundations are doing college tours, SAT and ACT Prep, mentoring programs, and purchasing equipment for students on their way to college,” Cunningham stated. This year in addition to supporting the educational foundations, there will be grants that are open to other community organizations.

The key thing the growth is organic and with the leadership here is passionate and purposeful the committee members are passionate and purposeful and we know the reason why we're doing it and when that comes out you're going to get these types of results, said Snorton.