Omega Claus Descends On Orlando To Spread Christmas Cheer

L to R: at the podium Michael Arrington (Omega Claus Chairman), Omega Claus bike recipient, Roderick Taylor (Vice President/Friendship Foundation), State Representative Johanna Lopez, Dr. Carl Gilmore (Chi Tau Chapter Basileus). Center: Omega Claus (LaRoy Harris)
L to R: at the podium Michael Arrington (Omega Claus Chairman), Omega Claus bike recipient, Nakisha Branton (Lakeville Teacher), State Rep Johanna Lopez, Dr. Carl Gilmore (Chi Tau Basileus). Center: Omega Claus (LaRoy Harris)
L to R: Michael Arrington (Omega Claus Chairmen), Omega Claus (La Roy Harris), Brian Hunter
2023 Omega Claus Event: Chi Tau Chapter members, Guests, bicycle recipients and Omega Claus!


ORLANDO – In the frigid cold of the North Pole is where Omega Claus resides. He makes but one trip a year, spreading joy and bringing Christmas cheer. Like years of old, he wears purple and gold, and all the children love him, so I am told! He brings toys and bikes, all the things’ kids like. His message is cool, study hard and do well in school. For education can set you apart and provide all the wishes of your heart. Never underestimate, scholarship is great!

This year, Omega Claus descended upon Orlando on December 16th, at the L. Claudia Allen Senior Center located at 1840 Mable Butler Ave. marking the 21st year he has brought Christmas cheer to Central Florida. Omega Claus has its roots steep in the tradition of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and its community outreach. Introduced by the Chi Tau Chapter of Greater Orlando, Omega Claus Initially sought to incentivize underserved students in the community to do well in school. Over the years it expanded in scope and rewards deserving elementary school children in Central Florida who are nominated by their teachers or school administrators for displaying an aptitude for scholarship and citizenship with a free bicycle during the holiday season. Delivering the program’s invocation, Theodore (“Jo-Jo”) Clark, a longstanding member of the fraternity and retired educator enlightened the audience saying, “Omega Psi Phi Fraternity was founded on November 17, 1911, and our Four Cardinal Principles are Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift. I want to thank the parents of these students for helping with their academic goals and instilling in them the aspects of good citizenship with the acceptance of these bicycles today.”

On this day, Omega Claus gave away twenty-five bicycles to deserving students from five area elementary schools. Representing Washington Shores, the recipients were: Cortrail Williams, Kamea Watlington, Louis Noel, Jr, Serenity Miles, and Sevin Quinn. Receiving bikes from Eccleston Elementary were Allyson Mejas, Christian White, Jay’ceon Badger, Marley Roberson-Norman, and Nefertari Muhammad. From Ivey Lane the recipients were: Adrian Robles-Moraga, Cortrail Laurent, Tamar Exate, and Tiuana Roberts. Representing Ridgewood were, Amahia Torres, John Santos, Joniel Santos, Shamaya Cajuste, and Trayvonn Nestor. And rounding out the list, Lakeville posted the following recipients: Avri Gant, Kristian Harris, Nathan Hagins, Nayla Hagins, and Orlon Harden. These gifts were compliments of the Friendship Foundation of Central Florida, the Chi Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and Cigars & Cars. Speaking on behalf of Chi Tau Chapter, Omega Claus Chairperson Michael Arrington stated, “Today we celebrate our 21st year of bringing Omega Claus to Orlando and we honor the students for their hard work.” He went on to thank his committee members and sponsors for their support ending with; “We know that educating our youth can be a daunting task and we want to thank the parents, teachers and school administrators for all you do because we know this is not done alone.”

Closing out the program Roderick Taylor, Vice President of the Friendship Foundation added, “the Friendship Foundation’s goal is to provide uplift to the community, and everything we do is to achieve that end. We’re glad the parents and schools continue to support this endeavor because it is important that the kids know we care about them and want to help them succeed.

……..And as Omega Claus completed his appointed rounds, the children gathered to hear him say loudly and bold…Merry Christmas to all and all hail the Purple and Gold!