On Thursday, May 24, 2012 over 100 members of the AHEPA family of Atlanta gathered for an evening to “Celebrate Service.” Individual chapter brothers and members of the AHEPA Mother Lodge #1 Educational Fund were honored. This special evening began with a “fagopoti” (dinner). Invited guests included members of the Daughters of Penelope, spouses of the honorees, and individuals interested in joining the local AHEPA chapter.
Photos from the Event
Chapter president, William Simitses opened the evening by welcoming everyone. He presented membership pins to the AHEPA brothers, beginning with 5 year pins and concluding with 40, 45, and 50 year pins. The Forty year service class members were George Demos, James Kanellos, Spyros Kontoes, Spiros Siaggas, Minas Sarris, and George Simitses. Forty-five year service class members were Mike Galifianakis, Roy Ioannides, Kleomenis Kliossis, Tim Maniatis, Pike Sarris, and Spiros Soteres. Fifty year service class members were Jimmy Roney, George Betros, George T. Alexander, and Pete Giannakopoulos. Brother George Betros, 50 year member, spoke on behalf of all the honorees, reminding the AHEPANS of the honor they felt that evening and the satisfaction that has come from their service to the organization.
Brother William Simitses, who served as chapter president for two years, was recognized and thanked for his service. This year he was also the recipient of the chapter AHEPAN of the YEAR award. Brother Ted Kipreos was recognized and thanked for his two years of service as AHEPA District #1 Governor.
The second half of the evening, “Celebrating Service” honored the history and service of the AHEPA Mother Lodge #1 Educational Fund. Scholarship board member, Dr. Victor G. Polizos spoke about the dedication and long term focus the original members had in establishing the Educational Fund. The AHEPANS who served on the original board included Platon Constantinides, Dr. Pandeli Durbetaki, Pete G. George, Jr., George T. Gerakitis, Sr., Thomas S. Kantsios, Dr. George P. Patterson, John Pryles, Dr. George Simitses, George Skoufis, and William B. Marianes.
The Fund, established in 1987 with a donation by the Mother Lodge Chapter of $5,000 has grown to a Fund that includes 38 Endowments of families of Atlanta AHEPANS, and now has close to $1,000,000. Since 1987, 510 total scholarships have been awarded totaling $471,950. Five present members of the board were on the original board and were honored for serving for 25 years. They are Thomas S. Kantsios, who served as chairman for 25 years, Dr. Pandeli Durbetaki, who served as treasurer for 25 years, William B. Marianes, who served (and continues to serve) as legal counsel for 25 years, Dr. George P. Patterson, and George Skoufis. All continue to serve on the board today.
The members were each honored with a biographical review of their lives and especially their service to the local, district and national level of AHEPA. They were each presented with a plaque of gratitude from the local chapter. In addition to their service, these members have also established endowments in their families’ names as well. Congratulations again Tom, Pandeli, Bill, George, and George. Continued wishes for many more years of service, and to all members who were honored on this evening.
Anyone needing information about the AHEPA Mother Lodge #1 Educational Fund can contact chairman of the fund, Dr. Pandeli Durbetaki.