AHEPA’s philanthropy, Pontian heritage on display at gala affair

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Banquet Dancing

Last night we had a wonderful evening at our Grand Banquet where we honored excellence in the community and saluted dedication and service to the Order.

Two Ahepans, who are leaders in the community and within their respective professions, were honored with the 2018 AHEPA Hellenism Award.  They were: Dr. Spiro Spireas, founder, Sigmapharm Laboratories; and Demosthenes Vasiliou, CEO/president, Astra Foods. Both honorees spoke with inspiration about the ideals and meaning of Hellenism and the importance of passing it on to future generations.  They also conveyed appreciation for AHEPA, its mission, and its work within the community.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, provided a Keynote Address.  U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis, co-chair, Congressional Hellenic Caucus, also addressed the audience.  Basile the Comedian served as Master of Ceremonies in colorful fashion.

During the program, Supreme President Carl R. Hollister presented Archbishop Demetrios and Saint Basil Academy Board President Evellyn Tsiadis with a $33,000 donation for a new furnace generator at the Academy.  He also presented George Righos, who was instrumental in the founding of Odyssey Charter School, with the AHEPA Lifetime Achievement Award, and announced Dimitrios Dandolos, of Wilmington, Del., as the 2018 Ahepan of the Year.

Being of Pontian heritage, I was especially proud and moved by the traditional dances performed by the Pontian Society of Philadelphia. The crowd even joined in!

For more snapshots of the banquet last night check out our facebook page.

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