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Politics

Catsimatidis Honored by AHEPA Delphi Chapter #25 (Vid & Pics)

October 20, 2018

NEW YORK – AHEPA Delphi Chapter #25 Manhattan honored businessman and philanthropist John Catsimatidis at their annual gala dinner on October 17 at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. EMBCA’s President and Founder Lou Katsos, the new President of the Delphi Chapter gave the welcoming remarks at the event, giving a brief history of AHEPA, its founding and specifically the Manhattan chapter’s history, noting also its recent resurgence under the leadership of previous chapter president Argyris Argitakos and the dedicated members. From about 15-20 members just three years ago, the chapter now has 220 members and continues to grow. Catsimatidis is among the members of the chapter and was honored, as Katsos noted, for his philanthropic and educational work, a core mission of AHEPA.

The Order of AHEPA, was founded in Atlanta, Ga in 1922 to fight hatred, bigotry and discrimination and to help Hellenic immigrants assimilate into American society. Its mission has been to promote the ancient Hellenic ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.

Fr. Alexander Karloutsos gave the invocation and also spoke about his dear friend Catsimatidis recounting how the businessman came to the rescue during a strike that threatened to leave the late Archbishop Iakovos without lamb for dinner at an event. Someone told Fr. Karloutsos to call Catsimatidis and the meat was delivered at a discounted rate, he noted, adding that if he had known Catsimatidis better at that time he would have asked for him to donate it and he undoubtedly would have.

AHEPA Supreme President George E. Loucas spoke movingly about what AHEPA means to him and praised the Manhattan chapter for its “Phoenix-like rise.” He noted the lasting connections, friendships, and relationships formed in and through AHEPA, especially in his own life. A particular point of pride for Loucas, is that he and his namesake grandfather are the first grandfather-grandson Supreme Presidents in the nearly 100-year history of the organization. Highlighting AHEPA’s role in his own life, he spoke about his grandfather’s dear friend and fellow Ahepan, the late Judge John Manos, a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, who called him out of the blue one day and urged him to go to law school in Cleveland, changing the course of his career. The emphasis on filotimo and Hellenism should not be forgotten, Loucas noted in Greek.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, noted that Catsimatidis and his achievements have been added to the Congressional record and she presented him with a copy and a Congressional Flag Award which includes a flag that was flown over the Capitol building.

Catsimatidis brought his wife Margo and son John, Jr. up to join him as he received his awards. He thanked everyone for the honor and recounted his own immigrant story, coming to the United States with his parents at 6 months old, adding that his grandparents came in 1913 with Italian or Turkish passports and though it took about 100 years, he eventually did find that the streets were paved with gold. He then led everyone in singing, “God Bless America.”

Among those present were the Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras, Consul of Greece Lana Zochiou, Consul General of Cyprus in New York Alexis Phedonos Vadet, members of the Hellenic Fire Department, Ambassador Andrew Jacovides and his wife Pamela, Dean Poll, Joseph Keane, James Zafiros, George Zapantis, artist Masaaki Noda, and many Ahepans and community members. The National Anthems of the United States and Greece were sung by Sofia Antonakos.

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