HEMPSTEAD, NY – The 82nd Annual AHEPA Empire State District 6 Convention and Scholarship Luncheon took place June 15-17 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead. Hosted by Order of AHEPA-Constantine Cassis Chapter #170, Daughters of Penelope Pasithea Chapter #141, Sons of Pericles Lord Byron Chapter #233 and Maids of Athena Victory Chapter #76, the three-day convention began with a Taverna Night featuring Greek food and music on Friday night. On Saturday, the Daughters of Penelope Chapter #141 hosted the Scholarship Luncheon which awarded the District 6 scholarships to seven deserving students.
The Daughters of Penelope (DOP) presented their scholarships to two deserving students, George G. Kalyvas and Konstantinos C. Geleris. The DOP Scholarship Committee’s Christine Constantine-Malagrinos- Past President President noted that she wished they had the funds to give scholarships to all the students who applied and thanked Chris Pappis- District 6 Secretary for all his efforts. She added that Kalyvas could not attend the event and his father, Nikos Kalyvas, accepted the award on his behalf, reading a message from his son to convey his gratitude for the honor. Kalyvas was in Orlando leading his team in the National Academic Championship. In his essay, the honoree who will be attending George Washington University in the fall majoring in International Relations, wrote, “My goal is to become a lawyer and eventually move into politics. It has always been my dream to become the President of the United States with the special recognition of being the first Greek-American president.”
Geleris will be attending Penn State University majoring in Accounting in the fall and noted that he was introduced to the AHEPA family through his grandparents Galiatsatos who encouraged philanthropy and promoted the rich Hellenic values. He thanked the Daughters of Penelope for the honor and said he hopes to follow his grandparents’ legacy.
President of the 2018 AHEPA District 6 Perpetual Scholarship Committee Demi Pamboukes noted that there were 25 candidates this year and wished they could award them all. He thanked Chapter #170 President Anastasios Stampolis, the members of the Scholarship Committee, and District 6 Governor Ted Stamas. He also thanked the benefactors and sponsors Gallis family in memory of Brothers George and Andy Gallis, the Kourounis family in memory of Brother Peter and Christina Kourounis, Lou Katsos- Director of Hellenism, Delphi Chapter 25, Basil Katsamakis- Journey to Greece Program, and Dr. Marinos Petratos.
Pamboukes said that the young people are excelling not only in the classroom but also in their parishes and communities, volunteering and giving back. “Never take them for granted,” he said of the youth, “They are not the future, as far I’m concerned, they are the present. I am very confident that they will succeed in life.”
The AHEPA District 6 Scholarship sponsored by Dr. Marinos Petratos was awarded to Arianna Kohilakis who will be attending Cornell University in the fall, joining her sister there who was also a previous scholarship recipient. She thanked the scholarship committee, her parents and grandparents, noting that she will continue to live by the values of education and family promoted by AHEPA.
Joanna Georgiou received the scholarship sponsored by the Kourounis family. She spoke about caring for her terminally ill grandmother in Greece, noting that although it was the saddest time of her life, she was happy she had the opportunity to spend the time with her grandmother. In memory of her late grandmother, Georgiou created a relay for life program, raising over $7,000 to fight cancer. She will be attending Princeton University in the fall.
Grace Victoria Yeostros received the scholarship sponsored by the Gallis family and will be attending Villanova University in the fall. She read from her essay about participating in the St. Paul’s community efforts to help the homeless.
Nicolas Zaferiou wrote about his school’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Gang, a program that helps the homeless of Long Island. His experience has taught him to be thankful for the blessings in life and to always help others. He will attend Fordham University in the fall.
Michael Ziamandanis attends the State Univeristy of New York (SUNY) Albany, majoring in psychology with a minor in biology, with a 4.0 grade point average, and plans to attend medical school upon completing his undergraduate degree. The President of the Sons of Pericles in Albany, he has helped raise funds for St. Basil’s Academy and for Cyprus. Ziamandanis could not attend the scholarship luncheon, and sent a message of thanks for the honor.
Lou Katsos won the raffle at the luncheon, $750, which he donated to the scholarship program. DOP Past District Governor Marie Kratsios was presented with the Past District Governor’s pin.
The convention concluded on Sunday with the Divine Liturgy at St. Paul’s Cathedral followed by a continental breakfast sponsored by the Sons of Pericles and the Maids of Athena and then a tour of the construction site of the new St. Michael’s Home led by His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane.