Greek Independence Day Commemorated at State Capitol in Pennsylvania

March 29, 2019

HARRISBURG, PA – A delegation from Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill, PA led by a group of AHEPA Power District #4 and Chapter #64 brothers of Pennsylvania attended the Commemoration of Greek Independence Day at the State Capitol in Harrisburg on March 20.

Unfortunately, Cathedral Dean Rev. Michael Varvarelis and Assistant Presbyter Rev. Aaron Gilbert could not attend this year due to the scheduling conflict with the Clergy-Laity Conference in Pittsburgh. However, Fr. Varvarelis prepared “Greetings & Prayer” which Dr. Michael Billys read to the audience at the foot of the steps at the Capitol Rotunda. The day began with a tour of the Capitol followed by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral choir soloist Diane Foutres who sang both the U.S. and Greek national anthems while accompanied by pianist Peter Ariano.

Holy Trinity’s dance group, the Olympic Flames, performed to the uplifting Greek music to the delight of the audience in the Capitol Rotunda. The dancers were co-directed by Ann Ariano and Mantha Demopoulos. These proud young adults dressed in traditional Greek costume danced magnificently.

The entire group was then honored with speeches from the highly esteemed Pennsylvania Representatives Ryan Mackenzie, Greg Rothman, and Sheryl Delozier followed by speeches from Senators Mike Regan and Maria Tzanakis-Collett who is a new member of the Senate and of Greek descent. All the legislators honored and praised for the members of the Greek community and their illustrious ancestors.  A commemorative photo was then taken of the entire group underneath the Capitol Rotunda.

The five honorees, Protopsalti Tom Paparoidamis; Lt. Colonel Vasilios Bobouzis of the Hellenic Army; distinguished professor at Hershey Medical Center/Penn State Dr. Zissis Chroneos; District Governor Charles Mackenzie from Allentown; and District Marshal Dr. Michael Billys, program coordinator, all Ahepans, were introduced to the entire body of the House of Representatives. Reps. Mackenzie, Rothman, and Delozier then issued a Proclamation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania honoring Greek Independence Day.

Dr. Billys said, “It is truly an inspirational moment that I am enthralled with every year since I’ve been going there. I recommend that you witness this event!”


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