GRANTVILLE, PA – The 87th Annual Pennsylvania Keystone State District Convention was held June 7-9 at the Holiday Inn in Grantville. This site was chosen to accommodate all the Ahepans and Daughters of Penelope (DOP) from the Power District #4 who traveled from all over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
All 20 chapters located in Pennsylvania were invited and the convention was filled with excitement and fruitful meetings and discussions.
The 87th Annual Power District #4 Convention Committee was chaired by District Governor Charles Mackenzie and Co-Chaired by District Marshal Dr. Michael Billys and District Warden Christ Megoulas.
There were numerous committees that were convened and among the officials nominated and approved were: Anthony Drakos, Convention Chairman, and Dr. Billys, Convention Vice Chairman. Photios Skolikas was appointed as Convention Secretary.
The Convention began with early registration on June 7. The Golf Outing held that afternoon at the Deer Valley Golf Course included 18 golfers from various AHEPA Chapters, who all contributed to the Cooley’s Anemia Program established by the AHEPA Power District #4 to assist AHEPA Chapter #64 in their program to screen participants and educate the community. The total donation was a generous $1,010. The Cooley’s Anemia Program is established with the intention to generate sequential programs throughout District #4 in the coming years, and eventually throughout the entire AHEPA family. Much appreciation goes out to all the golfers who donated their time and money for this worthy cause. The golfers enjoyed fun and fellowship, the beautiful weather, and a wonderful golf course. Friday evening’s delegates and guests enjoyed the many venues in the Grantville/Hershey area.
The convention then promptly convened early on Saturday morning June 8 with a continental breakfast before the AHEPA and DOP meetings. A full lunch was served for both fraternal bodies joined together before a full afternoon of meetings.
During the luncheon, Chapter #64 presented a donation to District Governor Mackenzie for the 2nd Service Dog from District #4. This contributed to the $15,000 needed to fulfill the cost for the second dog whose name is yet to be given. These dogs go to AHEPA’s Service Dogs for Wounded Warriors program, now in its second year.
Brother David Vincent Bobb of Chapter #64 presented his movie, Right Before Your Eyes on June 8. This movie already has earned 17 nominations and won 6 awards including for Best Producer/Director at many nationwide film festivals. The movie was well received by the delegation as Brother Bobb was invited to present his movie at the Supreme Convention taking place this July 1-6 in Chicago by Brother Supreme Secretary George Horiates, who was in attendance and extremely moved by this faith-based presentation featuring a recovering addict who was intent on reuniting with his autistic son.
The AHEPA PA State Convention Host Team, left to right, Co-Chairmen Christ Megoulas, Dr. Michael Billys, Steve Wilsbach, and Harry Mackrides. Photo: Courtesy of AHEPA Chapter #64
The Supreme Governor George Papaspyrou, also attending, added his positive remarks about the movie and complimented Brother Horiates in suggesting that the movie be presented at the Supreme Convention.
Also making a presentation on the same day was Dr. Zissis Chroneos, who spoke on the progress of Chapter #64’s Cooley’s Anemia Committee, who are preparing to initiate a screening process involving the community of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. This committee is composed of Father Michael Varvarelis, Cathedral Dean; Brother Christ Megoulas, Blood Bank Coordinator and AHEPA District Warden; Brother Dr. Zissis Chroneos, Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology, and Immunology at the Penn State/Hershey Medical Center; and Brother Dr. Michael Billys, Committee Chair and AHEPA District Marshal of the Power District #4 of Pennsylvania.
Nominated and approved unanimously for a second term with the District #4 Lodge were:
District Governor Charles Mackenzie
District Lt. Governor Christopher Shaffer
District Secretary John Katras
District Treasurer Bill Gandjos
District Marshal Dr. Michael Billys
District Warden Christ Megoulas
District Athletic Director Harry Macrides
Scholarship Chairman Cleon Kordistos
Power Line Editor Dr. Michael Billys
Webmaster Wynn Storton
The banquet was hosted by District Lodge #4 Officers and PSG Cleon Kordistos was Master of Ceremonies. At the head table sat AHEPA Supreme Secretary George Horiates, who was representing the Supreme Lodge, Supreme Governor George Papaspyrou, and District Governor Charles Mackenzie. Representing the Daughters of Penelope were the Grand Secretary Kathy Bizoukas of the Supreme Lodge and District Governor Tamie Shaffer.
Presenting the final installment for the ‘Service Dog’ is from AHEPA Chapter #64 of Harrisburg: (L-R) Haralambos Arahovas, District Marshal Dr. Michael Billys, District Governor Charles Mackenzie, Steve Nicholas, District Warden Christ Megoulas, Dimitri Zozos, and Dr. Zissis Chroneos. Photo: Courtesy of AHEPA Chapter #64
Father Michael Varvarelis, Dean of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, gave the invocation and benediction. Chapter #64 of Harrisburg was awarded for being the Chapter with the most Membership and Retention; its membership increased 40% from 60 members to 94 members over the past 2 years.
Both initiations for the Power District #4 AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope lodges took place during the June 8 deliberations and preceded the 87th Annual District Convention Banquet, where an evening of fine dining, wonderful speeches, and fellowship was enjoyed by all in attendance. All the delegates and guests enjoyed the event which included wonderful music and dancing. The Beaver Valley Chapter #400 received the Chapter of the Year award and Alex Barlamas was awarded Ahepan of the Year for his leadership throughout this year.
On June 9, following the Divine Liturgy, representatives from the convention were recognized by Father Michael Varvarelis at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Camp Hill, PA. The 87th District Convention was adjourned and preparations immediately began for the 88th District Convention, to take place in Baltimore, Maryland next year and held jointly with District #3.