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St. Demetrios Community of Jamaica Hosted Its 95th Anniversary Dinner Dance

November 13, 2022

BAYSIDE, NY – The St. Demetrios community of Jamaica hosted its 95th Anniversary Dinner Dance in a congenial atmosphere at Laterna in Bayside on November 11 with a great turnout. Attendees enjoyed delicious food, live music, and dancing as well a performance by the community’s youth dance group.

Presiding priest of the community Fr. Konstantinos Kalogridis gave the opening prayer and noted what a joy it was to see the community celebrating as a family once again after the pandemic.

Fr. Kalogridis told The National Herald at the start of the evening: “It is a special joy after the coronavirus pandemic had closed down everything, glory to God, that things are returning back to normal, and the community asked for this family atmosphere, where we gather and spend time together like a family, we eat, enjoy ourselves, talk to each other, and now we have the opportunity once again as a big family from St. Demetrios, members and non-members alike, joining us to celebrate our community’s 95th anniversary… and it’s wonderful… we see many young people, couples… people of all ages celebrating together and with the performance of the dance group, too, tonight will be a good and blessed celebration.”

In his welcoming remarks during the event, Fr. Kalogridis thanked Dinner Dance Committee Chairwoman Mary Kekatos especially for her efforts “making this event a success and it is a success, seeing all of you and celebrating with you is a success.”

He added that the community’s dance group would be performing, noting that the youth performing is the jewel of the community and also its future.

Community members, family and friends attended the St. Demetrios Church of Jamaica 95th Anniversary Dinner Dance on November 11. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Parish Council President Constantine Doukas told TNH: “We are very happy to bring back this event, it stopped for a while with COVID… we used to do a much bigger event in Flushing-Meadows, but times have changed. We’re on a smaller scale and we are looking forward to more future events like this, just a way for the community to get back together and reconnect and hopefully this is just the beginning of bigger and better things.”

Mary Kekatos, Dinner Dance Committee Chairwoman, told TNH: “We started planning the event in June of this year, about five months of planning. We had not done a dinner dance in about five years and especially after two years of the pandemic, when nobody was able to see anybody, we weren’t able to see our friends and our family, it’s nice that we can finally all gather together for the first time after so long. It’s like a big reunion.”

A native of Chania, Crete, Fr. Konstantinos Kalogridis led the pentozali at the St. Demetrios Church of Jamaica’s 95th Anniversary Dinner Dance on Nov. 11. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
Community members, family and friends attended the St. Demetrios Church of Jamaica 95th Anniversary Dinner Dance on November 11. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

“People were so excited to just see each other after not being able to do so for a long time and it’s kind of like, we’re welcoming back the community,” Kekatos added.

“Once people knew we were having a dance, they started making reservations… that’s all because of Mary, Fr. Kalogridis, and our [Parish Council] President Dean [Doukas],” said Vice President Mike Papagianopoulos.

St. Demetrios community of Jamaica’s presiding priest. Fr. Konstantinos Kalogridis and members of the Parish Council. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
St. Demetrios community of Jamaica presiding priest Fr. Konstantinos Kalogridis and Parish Council President Constantine Doukas at the 95th Anniversary Dinner Dance held at Laterna in Bayside. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

In her remarks during the event, Kekatos thanked everyone for attending and also thanked Fr. Kalogridis, Parish Council President Doukas, and the members of the Dinner Dance Committee including – Margo Pangalos, Mike Papagianopoulos, Deppie Kekatos, Angelica Tzikas, Konstantina Pandermarakis, and Stella Vrouletis – “who worked so hard behind the scenes to make this [dinner] dance a success.”

The cake at the St. Demetrios community of Jamaica’s 95th Anniversary Dinner Dance. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
Fr. Konstantinos Kalogridis and Mary Kekatos, Dinner Dance Committee Chairwoman. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

All those present enjoyed the evening, which was highlighted by the entertaining musicians at Laterna who brought the crowd onto the dance floor with their performance of many well-known, popular Greek songs – as they do on the venue’s weekend Greek Nights.

A cake was also cut in honor of the community’s 95th anniversary as everyone danced well into the night and all looked forward to future events.


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