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AHEPA District 6 Family Holds Its Inaugural Hellenic History Tournament

February 22, 2024

FLUSHING, NY – History was made on February 17, as the Inaugural Hellenic History Tournament (HHT) was held at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Flushing, NY. Co-chairs Dean Moskos, Past District 6 AHEPA Governor, and Lainie Damaskos-Christou, District 6 Daughters of Penelope Governor, were successful in their collaborative effort to bring this regional tournament within the AHEPA Family for the first time to the Empire State. Many chapters and individual donors throughout the district helped sponsor the teams and raised the funds required to award $4,500 in Scholarship award prizes and cover the expenses for this full day’s event which included breakfast and lunch.

The focus of this event is to inspire our youth to invest of themselves to learn Hellenic history. Seven teams from Schenectady to the Bronx, from Astoria to Port Jefferson competed for the top two scholarship prizes. The first-place winners were from Niskayuna High School in Niskayuna, NY, sponsored by the AHEPA Schenectady Chapter #125. The Hellenic Heroes team included captain Mihir Kulkarni, Alexander DiCarlo, and Vincent Shi. The second-place team winners were from Saint Demetrios High School in Astoria, NY, sponsored by Crescent Apothecary Nick Papaioannou and family. The Scythians included captain Victor Sabirianov, Victor Stojanovski, and Amina Ibodulaeva. All seven teams participated with enthusiasm and determination in a ‘Jeopardy’-style tournament that had contestants using their razor-sharp skills to decipher between the multiple-choice questions in categories from Ancient, Middle, and Modern eras of Greek history from the Hellenika textbook by Peter Limber.

Left to right: Dean Moskos, the Hellenic Heroes team, and Lainie Damaskos-Christou. Photo: Courtesy of AHEPA

To support the HHT event, many AHEPA Family dignitaries participated towards its success including AHEPA Supreme Counselor Themistocles Frangos, AHEPA District 6 Governor Peter Ragoussis, AHEPA District 6 Lt. Governor Michael Labatos, AHEPA District 6 Treasurer Harry Yanakis, Maids of Athena District 6 Governor Christina Fileas, Canadian AHEPA District 23 Governor James Hutchison, AHEPA Board of Auditors member Christopher Gallis, and AHEPA District 6 Director of Education Basil Katsamakis, among many other volunteers from AHEPA Gus Cherevas Estia-Pindus Chapter #326, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the William Spyropoulos Greek-American Day School community. Finally, special thanks to the AHEPA District 7 (Connecticut and Rhode Island) Nicholas Nikas, Past District 7 Governor & Past Supreme Governor, Region 4 and Founder of the HHT, and Gregory Simones, PD7G and District 7 Secretary, who served as the advisors for the past two years.

Standing, left to right: The Scythians and the Hellenic Heroes teams, James Hutchison, Vassilios Chrissochos, and Michael Labatos. Seated, (l-r): Constantine Bournias, Themistocles Frangos, Dean Moskos, Lainie Damaskos-Christou, Peter Ragoussis, and Basil Katsamakis. Photo: Courtesy of AHEPA

Next year is promised to be even larger and better as the tournament grows in popularity. The first and second place winning teams are invited to compete in the International Championships tentatively to take place in Nashville, Tennessee, in July 2024. All students from 8th-12th grades are encouraged to consider participating in next year’s tournament. It is inclusive to students of all cultural diversities and religions who reside in the State of New York.

More information is available online: https://www.ahepad6.com/hht.

The AHEPA District 6 Family will be hosting its 88th Annual Convention at the Rivers Casino at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady, NY, June 14-15.

Left to right: Lainie Damaskos-Christou, the Scythians team, and Dean Moskos. Photo: Courtesy of AHEPA

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