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Events

Pan-Rhodian Society of New York Hosts Spring Mixer

DOUGLASTON, NY – The Pan-Rhodian Society of New York Spring Mixer was held on May 14 at the Parkway Diner in Douglaston bringing together the members, family and friends in a congenial atmosphere for their first in-person event since the pandemic began.

Attendees enjoyed food and beverages as well as music by Nikos Kavounidis of DJ NMK Sounds. The book The Status of the Aegean Sea According to the International Law by Angelos M. Syrigos, sponsored by the University of Connecticut’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia, was also available for purchase with proceeds going towards the Kolymbia Camp Project.

Pan-Rhodian Society of New York Apollon President Nikos Kartalis gave the welcoming remarks and began with a moment of silence held for the victims of the pandemic. Kartalis continued by thanking all those present for their support of the Society’s efforts.

Ilias Tomazos and Nikos Kartalis at the Pan-Rhodian Society of New York event on May 14. Photo: Courtesy of the Pan-Rhodian Society of New York Apollon

Among those present were Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollo President and Director of the University of Connecticut’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia Ilias Tomazos, Federation of Dodecanese Societies of America President and Kalymnos Society Vice President Maria Marangos, Dodecanese Federation General Secretary Adamantia Mari, Dodecanese Federation Assistant Secretary Zoe Pilios, Tilos Society President Andreas Goustas, Patmos Society of New York President Dimitroula Konstantas Goustas, Symi Society of New York Vice President Alex Constantopes, Dodecanese Youth of America President Sotiria Zouroudi, Manolis Papazoglou- Advisor of the Association of Leros and the Dodecanese Federation of America, and Nisyros Haravgi Woman’s Society consultant Eftychia Ziangos.

Also in attendance were the Pan-Rhodian Society of New York Apollon’s Vice President Kalliopi Ziangos, Treasurer Thalia Tzorzis-Vlepakis, and Secretary Eleni Sakellis.

In his remarks, Kartalis also thanked Nick Kontos and the Parkway Diner for their support, their delicious foods, and the use of their space for the event, as well as the ladies who contributed homemade sweets- Paraskevi Saviou, Thareni Tzorzis, Eftychia Ziangos, and Eleni Sakellis. He also thanked the supermarket chain North Shore Farms for contributing sweets for the event.

Kartalis then gave a summary of some of the efforts of the Society since the last in-person meeting, including the statement issued in July 2020 following Turkey’s decision to turn Aghia Sophia from a museum into a mosque, “a decision that brutally offends a symbol of World Culture, its historical memory, Christians around the world, and the entire civilized world,” he said. Joining with the Greek Government, the Society called on the international community to assume its historic responsibilities. The statement was also sent to the offices of President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Members of the Pan-Rhodian Society of New York, family and friends dancing during the Spring Mixer held at the Parkway Diner in Douglaston, NY. Photo: Courtesy of the Pan-Rhodian Society of New York Apollon

After the catastrophic fires that hit the island of Rhodes in 2021, the Pan-Rhodian Society of New York also issued a statement and announced its intention for practical and substantial support to the island and the people affected.

In October 2021, the issue was raised at the annual conference of the Pan-Rhodian Society of America held in Connecticut, and it was decided to officially and completely take care of 380 acres of burned forest for the next 10 years between the areas of Lardos-Laermos and Apollonia, with the Pan-Rhodian Society of America “Apollon” in collaboration with UConn’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia and the practical contribution of the newly established social enterprise for collective benefit Gia ti Fisi (Common Nature), looking forward to an effort to upgrade the project, the Society contributed to the reforestation efforts in collaboration with the expatriates of Rhodes from around the world.

“On January 5 of this year, just five months after the catastrophic fire, our vision and efforts took shape with the first tree planting to be carried out in a coordinated and successful manner,” Kartalis noted. The Pan-Rhodian Society of America was represented in Rhodes by Mr. Tomazos and the Society’s New York chapter by Kalliopi Ziangos, who symbolically planted the first sapling.

This month, the Society also announced a collaboration with the kennel of Rhodes volunteer program to care for animals on the island, along with the Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia and the Pan-Rhodian Society, led by Professor of Veterinary Medicine Dikaia-Loukia Tomazos-Agapis, to offer free clinical examinations, sterilization of strays, and any necessary treatment the animals need.

Kartalis also mentioned the work on the camp project in Kolymbia, Rhodes, one of the most important efforts of the Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon in collaboration with the Municipality of Rhodes. The camp is to be a meeting point for Rhodians, Dodecanesians, and not only, but especially for children, in a special effort to build bridges and unite in a unique way the Greeks throughout the world, based on the island of Rhodes.

The Society, every year for Mother’s Day, with the exception of the last two years, selects an honorary mother of the year. This year, the Society honored Mrs. Diamanto Sakellis for her contributions, her character, kindness, and humor.

Mr. Tomazos congratulated the Society for its efforts and noted the need to continue supporting the efforts that promote our culture and language and foster the connection with the homeland, especially for the younger generations.

Dodecanese Federation President Maria Marangos also highlighted the importance of maintaining our language, faith, and culture for future generations. She also mentioned the Kalymnos Society’s picnic at Orient Beach State Park on Sunday, June 12, and invited everyone to attend. The Leros Society of New York holds its picnic Sunday, June 19, in Mattituck.

The evening concluded with Greek dancing and everyone looking forward to the next events with best wishes for a great summer.

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