AHEPA Hellenic History Tournament in Chicago

Winners of the tournament Team Herodotus (L-R) Ioanna Karra, Georgia Tsiranidi, and Nicholas Tomaras with Themistocles Frangos, President of sponsoring AHEPA Chapter 205. Photo courtesy of Phillip Frangos

CHICAGO – An educational program for our youth, AHEPA’s Hellenic History Tournament is expanding to include even more chapters and regions. The 3rd annual Chicago regional competition of the AHEPA Hellenic History Tournament was held at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, on Saturday, Mar. 11.

The competition featured 30 high-school aged students participating in a Jeopardy-style tournament that quizzes participants on Hellenic history. The tournament is a one-day event with high school students competing on teams of three sponsored by their local AHEPA chapters.

Teams compete in a head-to-head competition. Multiple choice questions are displayed on a projector screen and read by a moderator. The questions, drawn from materials provided to all students upon registration, covers Ancient, Middle, and Modern Greek history. Teams advance based on answering the most questions correctly with the team winning the final round receiving a $3,000 scholarship prize ($1,000 per student on the team) and the second place team receiving $1,500 ($500 per student). The participating students commit substantial time and energy to learn about Hellenic history and ancestors.

The teams participating in the Hellenic History Tournament in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Phillip Frangos

The tournament originated in 2009 with AHEPAN Nicholas Nikas of Greenwich, CT, formulating the concept and developing the necessary materials to host the tournament. The New England tournament is hosted by AHEPA Yankee District 7 (Connecticut and Rhode Island) and is held at St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church in Orange, CT. The Chicago tournament is hosted by AHEPA Chicago Lakeshore Chapter 205.

Chapter President Themistocles Frangos said, “Nick Nikas is a true visionary in developing such a wonderful program for our youth. Their study not only enables them to learn the history of Greece, it also helps them to better understand why the founders of this country relied on their knowledge of Hellenism in establishing the governing structure of the United States.”

This was an exciting year because AHEPA’s ultimate goal of expanding the tournament to other regions was realized. AHEPA District 5 (New Jersey and Delaware) hosted a competition for the first time. The creation of a third regional competition enables AHEPA to conduct a National Championship tournament at this year’s Supreme Convention in Orlando, FL. The top two teams in each region advance to compete for the national championship.

The winning team of this year’s Chicago tournament was Team Herodotus, sponsored by Chapter 205. The team members were Ioanna Karra, Nicholas Tomaras, and Georgia Tsiranidi. The second place team, Saints Peter & Paul GOYA 2, was sponsored by AHEPA North Shore Chapter 94 and included Elias Anderson, Mitry Anderson, and Julia Economy.

The tournament included the financial support of a number of sponsoring organizations and individuals. Principal benefactors included the AHEPA Educational Foundation, the AHEPA National Housing Corporation, the Robert Buhler Family, and Past Supreme President Phillip and Tula Frangos.

The tournament hosts presented the competition as a family affair with families and friends attending and watching their teams compete. A complementary luncheon was served to the competitors, their families, and all guests.