To: All Urhobo Progress Union America (UPUA) Members and Guests.
From: The Convention Host, the Convention Planning Committees, and the
UPUA Executive Committee.
Date: April 8, 2019.
Re: Important Information Regarding the 2019 UPUA Convention.
At UPUA’s Annual Convention in Chicago in 2017, it was resolved that the 26th Annual
Convention of Urhobos in North America will be held during the U.S. Labor Day Weekend
(Thursday, August 29 – Monday, September 2, 2019) and be hosted by the Urhobo Progress
Union, Delaware Valley. The resolution was confirmed at the 2018 UPUA Convention hosted by
Urhobo Progress Union, Michigan.
Convention Theme: Accelerating the Socio-Economic Development of Urhoboland through
Investments in Education.
Venue: At the BOT Meeting of January 25, 2019, it was resolved that, the 26th UPUA Annual
Convention will be held at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia,
Important facts about the 2019 UPUA Convention Venue-Philadelphia. Philadelphia is the
city where the Declaration of American independence took place. The city of Philadelphia
(Philly) was founded by William Penn. He named the city Philadelphia. He coined the name
from two Greek words, philos and adelphos. The combination of the words means brotherly love
in Greek, that is why Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia is the
largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and the sixth most populous city in the U.S.
Philadelphia is a city steeped in American history. The statue of William Penn sits on the tower
of City Hall. The view of City Hall is epic. It is the largest municipal building in America,
founded by William Penn. City Hall has breathtaking and lavish public rooms, which includes
the Mayor’s Reception Room, the City Council Chamber and the Supreme Court Room. City
Hall is a great tourist attraction to see in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is also home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Besty Rose House,
Elfreth’s Alley, the President’s House, Museum of the American Revolution, and National
Constitution Center. These monuments are tributes to the city’s revolutionary reputation in
American political history. In the days of yore, the Liberty Bell which weighs 2000 pounds, is
used to gather Pennsylvania Assembly members to conference. The Liberty Bell was later
adopted as a symbol of freedom by American abolitionists. The Liberty Bell is a very popular
attraction, because it is viewed by many as a symbol of American independence. It is housed in
the Liberty Bell Center and can be visited any time of the day. The Independence Hall is the
actual place where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted. The
Independence Hall is considered by many as the birthplace of the U.S.
In Philadelphia, there is also the Philadelphia zoo. This zoo is famous for its Zoo360 system
which enables animals to have more space to travel long distance. This enables visitors to
experience a unique dimension of the animals and their surroundings within the zoo system. This
zoo has over 1300 animals, many of which are rare and endangered species. The zoo is also
family friendly, because it has a part that is specifically designed for children.
There are other tourist attractions in Philadelphia. Apart from the attractions pertaining to the
American revolution and political history such as the Liberty Bell, City and Independence Halls,
Philadelphia is also known for its widely acclaimed, famous, and iconic Philly cheesesteak. The
Philly cheesesteak is unique and yummy. A visit to Philadelphia is incomplete without a taste of
this long and crusty sandwich. The sandwich is filled with tiny sliced beef, different kinds of
melted cheese, fried onions, ketchup or mushrooms, with assorted toppings that you may chose
according to your preference for a balanced flavor. Numerous restaurants, shops, food trucks,
sandwich shops and steakhouses offer this Philly dish that is a pride of Philadelphia. People from
Philly will tell you that, the secret behind this sandwich is its preparation.
Be part of history by planning to visit these massive and historical American monuments.
Guest Room Rate & Reservation: The hotel is offering $135.00 as a group rate per room per
night (plus applicable state and local taxes). The room rate does not include complimentary
breakfast. Standard overnight rate for parking is $49.00 inclusive of tax less 20% discount for
conferees. Reservations for the event must be made by individual attendees directly with the
Loews Philadelphia Hotel by telephone at 1-877-868-9134. Please mention Urhobo Progress
Union America, or UPUA to get the group rate when calling to make your reservation.
Reservations may also be made online through the hotel link on UPUA website:
www.upuamerica.org. It is required by the hotel to guarantee booked rooms to a credit card.
Please be advised that all “no show” reservation will be billed to individual’s credit card. Any
cancellation of guaranteed reservations must be received twenty-four hours prior to arrival to
avoid a charge of one night’s room and tax. Hotel check in is 3:00 p.m. and checkout is 12:00
Cut-Off Date for Hotel Reservations at the Group Rate: The cut-off date for hotel
reservations at the group rate is Thursday, August 15, 2019. So, please call the hotel as soon
as possible to reserve your room(s).
Air Travel Arrangements: We recommend that you book your flight to Philadelphia
International Airport (PHL). It is also recommended that you book your flight as early as possible to ensure the best airfare deals. Airfares are likely to go up across the U.S. as we approach the busy Labor Day weekend. The distance from the Philadelphia International Airport to the hotel is about 15 Miles or 20 Minutes’ drive. The hotel does not provide a shuttle service from the airport.
Transportation Options Philadelphia International Airport: Transportation to the hotel is
available by taxi service from the airport. Attendees with the Uber and Lyft taxi apps on their
phones, may also utilize these services for their transportation arrangements on arrival in
Philadelphia. There are also several rental car services located within the airport that attendees
may take advantage of. There is also the RR1 train service from the airport to downtown
Philadelphia, the stop for the Loews Philadelphia Hotel is Market East.
Convention Registration Fees: The Convention registration fee will be $80.00 per person (13
years and above). The ticket price for children 3-12 years is $45.00 per child. Children less
than 3 years are free.
Raffle Draw: Raffle tickets are $2.00 each. Several fabulous prizes will be won.
All Convention attendees/delegates may register online at www.upuamerica.org and pay the
Convention registration fee. Payments can also be made online for raffle tickets and Convention
brochure advertisements, as well as for the city tour planned for Sunday, September 2, 2018.
Online registration, purchases, and payments have begun and ongoing.
International Convention attendees/delegates who register and pay online will be issued an
invitation letter, if requested, for U.S. visa purposes. However, UPUA makes no guarantees
directly or indirectly on the issuance of U.S. visas to attend the Convention from overseas.
Convention tickets will be issued at the venue of the Convention. The Convention tickets ensures
access to all Convention activities beginning on Friday night, such as symposia, Saturday night
Convention reception and entertainment, cultural events, Sunday night dinner/gala, as well as a
copy of the Convention brochure (for adults only).
Payment for Convention registrations, raffle tickets and Convention brochure adverts can also be
made to UPUA and through UPUA Chapters by checks, made payable to UPUA. Checks should
be mailed to UPUA Treasurer, Mrs. Fanti Riebelle-Okotie, P.O. Box 2485, Fontana, CA
Deadlines for Receipt of Mailed Payments for the Convention Registration, Raffle Tickets,
and Brochure Ads: Online registration and payments by members or Chapters are highly
encouraged. Chapters that choose not to register their members online, but prefer to do so
locally, should pay for the registration fees, raffle tickets and adverts by issuing checks or money
orders made payable to UPUA and mailed to the Treasurer, Mrs. Fanti Riebelle-Okotie, P.O.
Box 2485, Fontana, CA 92334.
The first installment from the Chapters for ticket sales must be received before Friday, June 21,
2019 second installment must be received before Friday, July 19, 2019 Please do not mail any
payments after Friday, August 16, 2019.
Convention registration fee/Convention ticket prices will increase by $10 after Friday,
August 16, 2019 for online, in-chapter and Convention site registrations/purchases. Please note that limited tickets may be available during the Convention or at the gate on Sunday, September 1, 2019 and sales will stop when the banquet hall capacity is reached.
Remember, tickets are required for admission, and tickets are not refundable or
ALL MEMBERS SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO REGISTER AND PAY FOR THE
CONVENTION. THOSE WHO PAY FOR CONVENTION BUT DO NOT ATTEND THE
CONVENTION SHOULD CONSIDER THEIR PAYMENTS AS CHARITABLE
DONATIONS INTENDED TO HELP THE UNION AND THE URHOBO PEOPLE.
REGISTRATION FEES ARE NOT REFUNDABLE.
ALL UPUA MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SELL/PAY FOR THE RAFFLE
TICKETS DISTRIBUTED TO THEM. RAFFLE TICKETS ASSIGNED AND SENT TO
THE VARIOUS CHAPTERS ARE NON-RETURNABLE AND NON-REFUNDABLE.
Donations: The Convention is a fundraising event and donations are encouraged. UPUA
Chapters are expected to make their donations before the Convention. Donations, including those
from UPUA Chapters can be made online at www.upuamerica.org or by check mailed to the
Treasurer, Mrs. Fanti Riebelle-Okotie, P.O. Box 2485, Fontana, CA 92334. Additional
fundraising will take place at the Convention.
Program of Activities
- Fun for the Family
In keeping with Article 9.2(i) of the 2004 UPUA Constitution (as amended in 2006), which
provides that the annual Convention shall include a program for children and the host (Urhobo
Progress Union, Delaware Valley), has put together a family program. Please bring the entire
family to enjoy Philadelphia at this year’s Convention.
- Broad Outline of Convention Business Activities
Thursday, August 29, 2019: Arrival of Executive Committee (EC) and Board of Trustees
(BOT) members; EC and BOT meetings concurrently at 4:00 P.M. There is a Joint EC and BOT
meeting at 7:00 P.M. If you are part of these important meetings, please plan your flight to
arrive early to ensure punctuality.
Friday, August 30, 2019: Arrival of Convention delegates from 4:00 P.M. If necessary, there
will be a continuation of the EC and BOT meeting from 10:00 A.M to 3:00 P.M. In addition,
there is Friday night young adults’ party from 6:00 P.M to 1:00 A.M. Welcoming of Convention
guests and delegates by the host Chapter (UPU Delaware Valley) will be at 7:30 P.M.
Saturday, August 31, 2019 (8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.): There will be a General Membership
meeting followed by a Symposium. Speeches will be delivered by the keynote speaker(s) and
other dignitaries from Nigeria, Europe and North America. Each UPUA Chapter President will
make a brief presentation during the General Membership meeting. Furthermore, provision has
been made for UPUA young adults and other young adults to meet and brainstorm. For more
information on the young adults’ programs, please join the facebook group called’ “weheart
Urhobo” and sign on to http://www.facebook.com/groups/weheart Urhobo/
Saturday, August 31, 2019 (6:00 P.M. onwards): Reception and entertainment for Convention
delegates and guests by the host Chapter.
Sunday, September 1, 2019 (9:00 A.M. – 10: 30 A.M.): Inter-denominational church service.
Sunday, September 1, 2019 (11:00 A.M – 12: 00 noon): The Election of President of UPUA
for the January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021 tenure.
Sunday, September 1, 2019 (12:00 noon – 4: 00 P.M.): A tour of Philadelphia will be
organized by the host Chapter for children, family members, Convention delegates, and guests at
a cost of $50 per person.
Sunday, September 1, 2019 (6:00 P.M. – 1:00 A.M.): Gala Night, Cultural Extravaganza and
Music/Dinner/Dance, raffle draws and fund raising for UPUA’s charitable and community
development projects in the U.S. and Nigeria including scholarship awards.
Monday, September 2, 2019: Departure of invited guests and Convention delegates.
Note: The above program of activities is subject to change. More detailed information may be communicated as preparation for the Convention progresses.
Convention Brochure: The brochure will be standard 8.5” x 11” size, glossy color (cover &
inside) for the most part. However, black & white advertisements will be accepted. This is an
excellent opportunity to advertise your business, and for individuals and Chapters to send
goodwill messages. Your friends and business associates can also utilize this great opportunity to
reach out to a unique audience. Deadline for submission of advertisements is Friday, August 9,
2019. All advertisements must be paid for in advance before they will be published in the
Convention Brochure Advertisement Price List (Please submit your advertisement with the
form which will be sent by separate e-mail.)
- Inside Front Cover $500.00
- Outside Back Cover $1000.00
- Inside Back Cover $500.00
- Center Spread $600.00 ($300/per page)
- Full Page $200.00
- ½ Page $150.00
- ¼ Page $100.00
Yours in Service to Urhobo,
- Olorogun Dr. (Mrs.) Onome B. Dema, President, Urhobo Progress Union America (UPUA).
- Dr. Felix O. Okpe, Esq. Secretary-General, UPUA.
- Mr. Paul Awusa, Vice President of UPUA and Chairman, National Convention Organizing
- Mr. Ufuoma Pela, UPUA.
- Mr. Ozie Pela, Chairman, Local Organizing Committee (LOC).