National Epicureans Incorporated - Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!

Norfolk Chapter

History of Norfolk Chapter

Three special friends who were members of the Portsmouth Chapter of National Epicureans, Inc. (Fannie Overton, Betty Brown and Evelyn Wall) approached Elizabeth "Doll" Sharpe and suggested that she gather a group of elegant ladies to start a Norfolk Chapter. Doll readily embraced this idea and recruited 13 young ladies. Consequently, Norfolk Chapter of National Epicureans, Inc. was organized with Elizabeth Sharpe as the local founder. On March 6, 1954, Norfolk Chapter held its first meeting at the Plaza Hotel were the charter members were installed: Eunice S. Banks, Alethia Briley, Millie Bryant, Sara Crawford, Katheryn Douglass, Elizabeth Sharpe, Edna Rose, Ann Mitter, Juanita B. McKay, Audrey Tate, Dorcas Nelson, Naomi White and Marian Wooding, chapter's first president. National President Ruby Mitchell, Evelyn Walls (president of Portsmouth Chapter), Alberta Howell (president of Richmond Chapter), and Mary Riley (president of Newport News Chapter) conducted the installation. Future meetings were to be conducted in Epicurean style and scheduled on the third Friday evening of each theme. Eppos were invited on special occasions to bond with others while the Eppies conducted the business part of the meeting.

In May 1957, Norfolk chapter of National Epicureans, Inc. hosted its first conclave which was held at the Golden Triangle Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia. Many years later, Norfolk Epicureans decided to celebrate friendship by annually hosting a tea on the second Sunday afternoon in February. It was during the first tea that it began to snow, and the affair was later named Sno-T. This celebration has continued for 25 years, and it is often described as the most elegant dinner/dance held in the Tidewater area.

Norfolk Chapter of Epicureans has had three national officers: Juanita McKay was the national president from 1982-1984; Helen Shropshire served as journalist and corresponding secretary; Eleanor Brown is the current journalist.

On March 26, 1983, Norfolk Epicureans sponsored the Los Angeles Chapter, National President Juanita McKay and Vice-President Carolyn Moseley installed the charter members of the Los Angeles Chapter.

In June 2001, Norfolk Epicureans hosted the 50th Annual Conclave at the Marriott Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia. "Golden Treasures" was the theme of this golden anniversary celebration, and attendance was a record high.

Community service activities include the following: participated in the United Negro College fund telethon, distributed literature on sickle cell anemia in communities, conducted health awareness workshops, provided toiletries for residents in assisted living facilities, provided Thanksgiving baskets for needy families, and assisted students in a Certified Nursing Assistants (CAN) program. Norfolk Chapter has also provided financial support for the American Cancer Society. Lupus Foundation, Sickle Cell Anemia, Boys' and Girls' Club, and United Negro College Fund provide scholarships to sickle cell students.

Founders' Day is observed annually in February with special acknowledgement of our national founders and recognition of our local founder, Elizabeth Sharpe. On this occasion, Eppies and Eppos worship at local churches and dine at special restaurants or in the homes of members. The local founder is given special awards and other tokens of love and appreciation at this gathering.

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