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AHEPA Honors Past Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas

March 17, 2024

BROOKLYN – Past AHEPA Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas was honored by AHEPA Charter 200 of Coney Island at an official dinner that was held at the El Caribe Country Club in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, March 16. Also at that auspicious event, the establishment of a new scholarship fund for students and children of AHEPA members was announced. Seven donors, Dr. Marinos Petratos, Ted Klingos, Chris Gallis, Dean Poll, Lou Katsos, Michael Psaros, Jimmy Kokotas himself, and two AHEPA Chapters, Delphi 25 of Manhattan and Coney Island, each contributed $25,000 to the scholarship fund.

Kokotas warmly thanked AHEPA via The National Herald for the award, which, as he had told the organizers, he would accept only if the evening was accompanied by something significant and commendable. “When I was offered the proposal, of course, I considered it a great honor, but I felt the need for the gathering of so many important guests who fight daily for Greece, Cyprus, and Orthodoxy should not consist only of speeches and awards. I proposed that the event be accompanied by the establishment of a scholarship fund with a significant amount, safely invested, and each year the profits to be distributed to students. I got the idea when on a recent visit to Michigan I learned about the $1.1 million donation to the AHEPA scholarship fund there, which already had $1.5 million from previous donations. I asked that we do something similar here in New York that does not exist. With great joy, seven donors, including myself and two AHEPA Chapters have already raised $225,000 for this purpose. Every year the selection of candidates will begin with the requirement that one of the two parents or grandparents, were members of AHEPA for at least two years,” he said. AHEPA Supreme President Savas Tsivicos congratulated through TNH the honoree and the Coney Island Chapter for their work and contributions. “At the same time, we must think of the sacrifices and struggles of all those who created this great organization. Our responsibility today is even greater, we must continue the vision and goals and deliver the organization to future generations better than we found it,” he added.

The El Caribe Country Club in Brooklyn, NY was the scene of the dinner held by AHEPA Chapter 200 of Coney Island. Photo: TNH/Michael Kakias

The President and CEO of the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Nicholas Larigakis, emphasized that he came from Washington specifically for this evening and warmly congratulated Kokotas. “He is an exceptional friend and person. We have worked together, traveled to Greece, Israel, Cyprus, and elsewhere for various projects and programs, always with impeccable cooperation and mutual respect. The two years of his presidency were absolutely successful,” he said. The Executive Director of the Leadership 100 Paulette Poulos described Kokotas as a great supporter of the Archdiocese and AHEPA. “We have worked together and organized many events to promote Hellenism and Orthodoxy. May he be well and worthy.”

The Vice President of AHEPA Chapter 200, Kostas Papadakis, welcomed the guests and referred to the work of the honoree, who, as he said, is a guide and example to be followed for a brighter future for the younger generations. Former NBA star, now a human rights activist and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, Enes Kanter, spoke about the friendship he shares with Kokotas and his plans to establish a basketball academy in Greece.

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