HARRISBURG, PA – AHEPA District #4 embarked on the mission of securing the third consecutive service dog this year and Dr. Michael Billys from Chapter #64 suggested that they honor the memory of recently departed John Sempeles who contributed recently to the highly successful fundraising efforts of Chapter #64.
Brother Sempeles also was instrumental in the philanthropic and charitable efforts to disburse funds to the less fortunate in the surrounding communities of the greater Harrisburg area in Pennsylvania. Chapter #64 raised $6,000 of the $15,000 required and is very proud of their significant contribution.
The film Uncle Buck starring John Candy inspired Sempeles’ nickname since he resembled the fun-loving, yet compassionate title character and as a champion of the poor. Sempeles even dressed up one Halloween as Uncle Buck and from that time one was affectionately called Uncle Buck by his close friends. Sempeles loved the nickname and will forever be remembered for his good-hearted nature by his fellow Ahepans and all those who knew him.
Creator of our very successful fundraiser called the OPA CARDS which is a discount cards fundraiser, now in its third year. This fundraiser has generated over $10,000 over the past two years, and is expected to be highly successful again this year with $1,300 already collected, in spite of the abbreviated schedule due to the pandemic. There are 20 participating Greek-owned restaurants who agree to give a $15 discount for a receipt which totals over $30 on a one-time basis over a particular year. It’s a discount of $350 for a consumer and generates business for the participating merchant. This idea is posted now on the District #4 website as well as the Chapter #64 webpage being hosted by webmaster Brother Wynn Storton.
Sempeles also co-chaired a Turkeys for the Needy fundraiser in which AHEPA Chapter #64 distributed 300 turkeys throughout the Harrisburg, PA and Carlisle, PA area on December 14. At that point, $7,924 had been collected for the AHEPA Turkey Drive which included the $4,950 collected in the memory of the beloved brother Sempeles who passed away just prior to the targeted distribution date. From that fund $3,000 was spent purchasing the turkeys. The remaining $5,000 is being systematically disseminated throughout the Harrisburg-Carlisle area in Central Pennsylvania for the ‘Food for the Needy’ programs in the honor of Sempeles who was a prime believer of befriending the poor.