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Associations

Hellenic Happenings from Coast to Coast

BAKERSFIELD, CA

Here on the East Coast, Greek Festival season usually doesn’t kick in until around mid-May, but in Sunny California the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bakersfield got things underway this past weekend with its feast of food, drink, and dance, apropos of the timing as the Feast Day of St. George was on April 23.
The enthusiastic parishioners told the local ABC News affiliate that their community is quite diverse, as it includes not only Greek Orthodox, but worshippers of that denomination whose roots are in Russia and the Middle East.

Chris Schoell remarked that the Greek dancing – of which there was plenty – is not just for fun. She explained how in Ancient times, Hellenic soldiers would dance in order to prepare themselves for war.

GROSSE POINTE, MI

Anna Clark, has written Michigan Literary Luminaries, a book about the state’s great writers, and she begins by mentioning Grosse Pointe native Jeffrey Eugenides the author of Middlesex, a 2002 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. As Clark describes in the Preface, Eugenides “follows Cal, an intersex narrator of Greek descent who grows up in Detroit in the 1960s and ’70s. Middlesex is a sprawling and exuberant multigenerational saga that explores gender identity alongside explosive race and ethnic dynamics. A busy novel that draws from Greek mythology, Middlesex also finds Cal’s grandmother working for the Nation of Islam, which was founded in Detroit, and Cal in a relationship with someone called Obscure Object, which references the film That Obscure Object of Desire. Like Cal, this is a novel that refuses to be pigeonholed. It is neither this nor that.”

Eugenides is in esteemed company, as two distinguished authors included in Clark’s compendium are Ernest Hemingway and Joyce Carol Oates.

CANTON, OH

On “a breathtaking Saturday evening at St. Haralambos Cultural Center” in Canton, OH, as the Akron Beacon Jounral reported, nine Greek-American “lovely young ladies dressed in sparkling white gowns” graced the 47th Annual Daughters of Penelope Debutante Ball.

The Journal further reported: “Mary Griveas and Maria Bourlas co-chaired the event, where the young women debuted in front of 250 attendees.

“Flora Anderson and her son, John, of Anderson Florists designed the beautiful flower-filled stage for the presentation, while Anita Rossi and Anastasta Grammendis added lighted tall vases of flowers as centerpieces at each table.

“Linda Natale, president of the Daughters of Penelope, welcomed everyone and noted their chapter is the only one in the country presenting a debutante ball.”

The nine debutantes, the journal reported, are:

  • Anastasia Mariana Bourlas, daughter of George Bourlas and Effrosene Bourlas, Lake High School
  • Stephanie Marina Bourlas, daughter of George Bourlas and Effrosene Bourlas, Hoover High School
  • Elizabeth Anne Fladung, daughter of Patrick and Christine Fladung, Hoover High School
  • Anna Milica Grunder, daughter of Michael and Dina Grunder, GlenOak High School
  • Kaitlin Angelina Kaye, daughter of Frank and Olga Kaye, Hoover High School
  • Elaina Michele Koutras, daughter of John and Gina Koutras, Perry High School
  • Alexandra O’Connor, daughter of Michael and Barbara O’Connor, Hoover High School
  • Emily Rae Quinn, daughter of Louis and Jennifer Giavasis, GlenOak High School
  • Nicole Irene Tank, daughter of Brad and Alexandra Tank, Jackson High School.

May 4, 2015

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