Greek Soprano Eleni Calenos in the Daughters of Penelope online caroling event. Photo: Elena Saviolakis
WASHINGTON, DC – The Daughters of Penelope (DOP), a leading international service organization comprised of women of Hellenic heritage and Philhellenes, had a successful virtual Christmas and New Year’s caroling session over Zoom on December 27.
The virtual Kalanda was created and hosted by DOP Europe Liaison Athanasia Vassiliadou. Greek Soprano Eleni Calenos (http://elenicalenos.com) kicked off the musical session with the warmth and beauty of her voice. Members from around the world including the National DOP Grand Lodge, National AHEPA Supreme Lodge, as well as Past National DOP/AHEPA Presidents joined via Zoom with DOP Grand President Celia Kachmarski.
“We ended 2020 with an idea that became reality, said Grand President Celia Kachmarski. “Europe Liaison Athanasia Vassiliadou had an idea for Sisters and Brothers to be together to sing carols, to laugh, to talk and to be connected during this time of disconnect due to COVID-19. For two hours we visited and were entertained. It was a very special time of love between members of the Daughters of Penelope. This New Year is different, but we still believe it is an exciting time for all of us, the beginning of a New Year filled with promise, excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead for the Daughters of Penelope. We think back to the annual events we missed in 2020 but in the same breath we celebrate what we managed in spite of all the obstacles. Our Chapters heeded the call to help sisters, school children, communities and those most vulnerable. We took care of ourselves, our families and the Daughters of Penelope. Our national officers were true leaders encouraging their chapters throughout the year. No resolutions this month, except to continue moving forward with our Chapter, District and National goals.”
Among the participants were Daughters of Penelope Grand President Celia Kachmarski (center square), Europe Liaison and host of the Virtual Kalanda event Athanasia Vassiliadou (upper left square), and current/past AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope National Officers. Photo: Elena Saviolakis
“Our commitment to connect with our membership and assist where we can has been a positive one, one we will continue for the rest of the year,” Grand President Kachmarski concluded.
Europe Liaison Vassiliadou added that “it is imperative to remain positive during this COVID era and what better way to connect with each other at the end of the year than to sing traditional carols in English and Greek, reflect upon the year and our accomplishments as an organization, and exchange New Year’s messages of hope, health, and happiness.”
The DOP announced they will have a virtual Vasilopita cutting with the chapters in Greece to ring in the New Year on January 8 in addition to launching a new series of webinars about their national projects throughout January and February.
Founded in San Francisco in 1929, the Daughters of Penelope is the first women’s organization of its kind established in the United States. It is an affiliate organization of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). The mission of the DOP is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence. More information is available online: www.daughtersofpenelope.org.
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Ambassador Dimitrios Tsikouris (JD, MA) has a 36-year-long career in the Greek Diplomatic Service with assignments in Germany, the United Nations, New Orleans, Washington, DC, NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy, Iran, Belgium, Indonesia, Malaysia, and ASEAN.
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