WHITESTONE – The Kastorian Society Omonoia of New York made a historic donation to St. Michael’s Home on May 13 with a gift of $250,000, the largest such gift ever made by the society. St. Michael’s Home in Yonkers is a New York State – Department of Health certified residential adult care facility under the aegis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The donation will go towards the much-needed renovation and construction of the expanded facility. The reading of the agreement and the handing over of the check took place at the Kastorian Society’s headquarters in Whitestone. In attendance were Kastorian Society President Peter Symeonides, St. Michael’s Director for 21 years His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, St. Michael’s Board of Trustees President Haeda Mihaltses, Board of Trustees member Dean Mihaltses, the Kastorian Society Board of Directors- Vice President James Lolis, General Secretary Leo Bevolas, Treasurer Zacharias Papanagnostou, Assistant Treasurer George Andreopoulos, Vasilis Zisis, Thomas Philippides, Cosmas Boutis, and John Psaltos.
A moment of silence was held in honor of the late Metropolitan Philotheos of Meloa who passed away last week and was a fixture at all the Kastorian Society events for many years. Those present remembered his years of dedicated service to the community. May his memory be eternal.
President Symeonides thanked everyone for attending the event and bringing attention to the important issue of the much needed renovation and construction of St. Michael’s Home. He noted that the new St. Michael’s looks like paradise, and he hopes he can spend his later years there. He noted Bishop Andonios years of work and dedication to the facility that has been a home away from home for so many seniors and wished him the best and to see him as an Archbishop of America in the future.
The agreement was then read by General Secretary Bevolas whose wife Jasmine was also in attendance. The agreement detailed the way the $250,000 would be apportioned as five gifts of $50,000, the first check handed over at the ceremony, and the second to be given when the project is half completed, the third when it is three-quarters completed and so forth with semi-annual reports to be given by St. Michael’s on the progress and inspections to be carried out no more than twice a year.
The donation will help transform St. Michael’s into an adult care facility with more levels of care for seniors throughout their lives. Bishop Andonios thanked the Kastorian Society for their historic donation, noting that it “is an honor to receive this gift that will help make St. Michael’s bigger and better.” He said that it is also an honor to be director of St. Michael’s for 21 years, and credited the Board of Trustees and the staff for their great work and the continuing support of the generous community, especially now that they are embarking on this historic endeavor fro 60 to 160 occupants that should have been done decades ago, but is now possible with generous and magnanimous donors like the Kastorian Society.
Bishop Andonios said that St. Michael’s opened on Sunday, May 25, 1958 and hopes that the new St. Michael’s will open on May 25, 2019 which will be a Saturday. with the continue to care for seniors even when their health declines so that no resident has to be moved from their home. He pointed out that 140 residents had to be transferred to nursing homes, “so we need this continuing care facility.” Residents will be able to stay at St. Michael’s and continue to receive the appropriate care. His Grace said the Kastorians should be very proud of their endeavor and referring to the naming rights and legal terms read in the agreement, he said their names will be there unto the ages of ages at St. Michael’s.
St. Michael’s Board of Trustees President Haeda Mihaltses also thanked the Kastorian Society noting that she has a little Kastorian blood, too. She observed the historic nature of the gift and the partnership between the society and St. Michael’s. Dean Mihaltses, cousin of Haeda, noted his pride in his Kastorian heritage and how honored and pleased he is to be a part of this gift, “so that no resident has to move to a nursing home because the care is not available there.”
The signing of the documents followed and Symeonides thanked all those in attendance. In conclusion, he hoped that the Kastorian Society’s donation will be an example to the Greek-American community to support St. Michael’s Home and this important endeavor.