The oldest and largest organization of diaspora Greeks in the world, the American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) has concluded its 99th Supreme Convention in Athens, Greece.
Thousands of Americans, Canadians and citizens of European and other nations where Ahepa has chapters descended upon the Greek capital for a series of events that concluded with the election of a new slate of officers by the organization’s delegates.
The organization was greeted by the Greek nation’s leadership, including receptions hosted at the Presidential Palace with President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who reflected on AHEPA’s century-long history.
“During all this time, it has grown astoundingly, becoming a role model, both within American society and beyond, with remarkable community service through inspirational projects, while never forgetting the motherland,” she told the gathering.
Similar praise came from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who was honored by Ahepa at the grand banquet. While accepting his award, he honored Ahepans for their public service during the pandemic and dedicated the award that was presented to him by the organization to Greek health workers whom he called the heroes of the pandemic in Greece.
In remarks upon receiving the organization’s George Marshall Award, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt also praised Ahepa for being a close partner in strengthening Greek-U.S. ties.
“AHEPA has upheld these shared values for nearly a century, nurturing the bonds between our peoples, standing up for civil rights, and helping the United States and Greece advance our shared goals for peace, stability, and prosperity in this region and beyond,” Pyatt said in his remarks.
Ahepa also continued its longstanding philanthropy towards causes in Greece, presenting a check for $159,000 to complete a burn unit at Evangelismos Hospital in Athens that was created after the tragic fires in Mati in suburban Athens during which more than a hundred people lost their lives. At the time, Ahepa made a substantial gift to create the burn unit.
Delegates elected a new slate of officers who will lead AHEPA and its three auxiliary organizations into the post-pandemic era. Jimmy Kokotas was elected Supreme President of Ahepa. The new Daughters of Penelope Grand President is Kathy Bizoukas.
The Sons of Pericles re-elected Timothy Noitsis as their Supreme President and Maria Ana Pantelous was elected Maids of Athena Grand President.
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