WHITESTONE – Parishes across the country held special prayers and memorial services on AHEPA Sunday, May 19 this year, honoring the contributions of the organization’s current members and those who have passed away. At Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Whitestone, members of the Order of AHEPA Andreas T. Stamboulidis Parthenon Chapter #495 attended the Divine Liturgy, Artoklasia (the Blessing of the Five Loaves), and memorial service, and then presented a scholarship to Nikolaos Zournatzoglou, a student at the Holy Cross school.
In his acceptance speech, Zournatzoglou thanked AHEPA for honoring him with the scholarship. His proud father, George Zournatzoglou, took photos to commemorate the event.
Presiding priest of the community Fr. Dionysios Anagnostopoulos spoke about the longstanding contributions of the chapter to not only the church, but also the wider community, including the many scholarships given to deserving students over the years. Among the many contributions, Fr. Anagnostopoulos noted the finely carved despotic throne in the church as well as the donations to the annual Greek Festival which takes place June 6-9 this year. He added that AHEPA’s contributions are so many, they cannot all be named, but the dedication to Hellenism is at the heart of all they do.
AHEPA District 6 Governor Ted Stamas, Chapter #495 President Dimitrios Skartsiaris, Antonios Samartzis, and District Warden Petros Ragoussis were among the Ahepans present.
AHEPA’s mission is to promote the ancient Hellenic ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, integrity, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism. Founded on July 26, 1922 in response to the evils of bigotry and racism that emerged in early 20th century American society, AHEPA also helped Greek immigrants assimilate into society. Today, AHEPA shares the ideals of ancient Greece, including philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence to the community. Although a majority of the membership is composed of Americans of Greek descent, application for membership is open to anyone who believes in the mission of the organization.