Daughters of Penelope Narcissus Chapter 289 with the District 2 Lodge. Photo: Courtesy of DOP
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Daughters of Penelope (DOP) Narcissus Chapter 289 celebrated Women’s History Month by honoring their founding President, Elizabeth Athanasakos, Past Grand President (PGP), on March 9. The Narcissus Chapter was founded on December 8, 1957 by a group of strong and intelligent woman who believed in the mission and values of the DOP. They also recognized the efforts of their sisters Mary Carratt, Alice Aspras, and Toni Hyland for their hard work under Past President Elizabeth’s leadership to develop and grow the chapter. Today, there are 86 women who continue to foster the mission which is to promote the ancient Hellenic ideals and traditions of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, integrity, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.
In 1965, during the first Supreme Convention which was held in Athens, Greece, Athanasakos was elected Grand President. She believed in empowering women and recognizing them for their own merits. The Salute to Women was founded by PGP Athanasakos and PGP Joanna Panagopoulos. The idea was to demonstrate that the DOP was emerging as a major national and international women’s philanthropic organization. District 2 Governor Effie Kirkiles referenced a recent comment by Patty Didik, Maids of Athena Grand Advisor, when asked who was her Wonder Woman, Sister Patty answered: “My Wonder Woman just happens to be a Daughter of Penelope. Sister Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Athanasakos of Narcissus Chapter in District 2. Wisdom, witty sense of humor, dedicated to her cause or organization, Pioneer in Women’s rights.”
The chapter’s celebration was heartfelt as the members listened to sister Elizabeth’s stories of how many challenges they faced during that time to lay the groundwork for the organization. Chapter President Stella Stringer read an excerpt from an article titled “The Greeks Had a Night for It” which compared PGP Athanasakos to Odysseus because of her many travels during her term. She was also maintaining her career as a judge while fulfilling her duties as Grand President. Sister Elizabeth stated: “No matter how hard it may seem, remember to just have fun!”
She said that there will always be obstacles but as a strong organization we can overcome them.
Sister Elizabeth has also been very involved in several civic and philanthropic organizations in Fort Lauderdale. One that is very dear to her heart is PACE Center for Girls of Broward. Since the chapter was established, they have donated an annual scholarship for a senior entering Nursing School. The Narcissus Chapter has had a long-standing relationship with PACE Broward and continues to support their programs. Sister Aggie Pappas, Vice President of Program Innovation & Strategic Implementation of PACE Center for Girls Broward, is a driving force in maintaining a strong bond between the DOP and PACE Center.
In addition to celebrating their veteran sisters, the chapter also initiated three new members: Anna Minadakis, Katie Monioudis, and Vickie Vittoratos. PGP Josie Chase said: “The membership of the Daughters of Penelope is her strength that determines the degree of our achievement of purpose and goals.” The chapter’s goal is to continue to expand and grow across south Florida.
“We welcome our new sisters with their many talents and fresh ideas! We will continue to celebrate Woman’s History Month because we have many incredible women in our sisterhood,” the chapter said.
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