GR US

AHEPA Chapter #64 Donates $2,000 to Local Charities for Thanksgiving

The National Herald

Members of AHEPA Chapter #64 Harrisburg, PA, including Chapter President Billy Kaldes, Nick C. Mallios, John Sempeles, Eric Solomon, Hao Truong, and Paul Zozos, helped distribute turkeys in 2018. (Photo: Hao Truong)

HARRISBURG, PA – AHEPA Chapter #64 donated $2,000 for those in need at this very important time of the year to be charitable. During this unprecedented time of severe need for the very basics of life for the underprivileged, it has become necessary for us to help those homeless and helpless people. Especially at this time of the upward trend of this pandemic, it has become apparent that our society has to step up to offer assistance to our fellow human beings. It is for that very reason that four separate donations of $500 each have been donated in the name of the AHEPA Chapter #64 Food for the Needy program on the occasion of this year’s Thanksgiving holiday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more tragic for families and individuals to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, so Chapter #64 decided to make these contributions to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the Bethesda Mission, the Boys Club of Greater Harrisburg, and the Philoptochos Ladies Auxiliary of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Camp Hill, PA. These four charities have expressed interest in feeding the needy, especially during this season of Thanksgiving and difficult times. Unemployment, homelessness, and families in extreme want during these horrific times of COVID-19 have made this opportunity of giving more of a definitive need for able groups to give. AHEPA Chapter #64 realizes this and is stepping-up. This weekend thousands of Americans are depending on Food Banks and the like to fulfill their need to put food on the table and it is time to contribute.

AHEPA District #4 recently honored the late Brother John Sempeles by purchasing ($15,000) a service dog to be named Uncle Buck in his honor. The funds were collected by the membership of the 19 Pennsylvania chapters and dedicated to the National AHEPA Service Dogs for Warriors Program this past year 2020. Chapter #64 led the charge by donating $6,000 for the cause. Dr. Michael Billys, Chairman of the Service-Dog program for 2020, said, “Brother Sempeles was responsible as the creator of the Chapter #64 OPA Cards program which generated over $15,000 over the past three years for the chapter to offer funds in a philanthropic way to various charities in the Harrisburg community.”

The OPA Cards program is the crown jewel of fundraising for the chapter and is considered a win-win idea for funding the membership. This charitable offering was made by AHEPA Chapter #64 in honor of Sempeles to mark one year since his passing on November 23, 2019.

The total contributions collected in the name of Brother John was $5,000 over this past year and were donated to various charities in his name from AHEPA Chapter #64.

Dr. Billys said, “Brother John will always be remembered not only by his immediate family but also by all the brothers of AHEPA Chapter #64 and the civic organizations of Greater Harrisburg where he was not only a major donor but a frequent visitor to neighborhood communities. Brother John will be sorely missed and his memory will be a blessing. RIP Brother John! We will always remember the love you gave us all!” 

A foundation has been initiated in his name by his family:

https://www.facebook.com/The-John-Sempeles-Foundation-106434304613353/.