Supreme President Savas C. Tsivicos made an official visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople on January 14, 2024. An AHEPA family delegation that included Daughters of Penelope Grand President Marianthi Treppiedi. Canadian President Emmanuel Constas, Board of Trustees Chairman Nicholas Karacostas, PSP; Executive Director Basil N. Mossaidis, and DOP Executive Director Elena Skardis Saviolakis accompanied him.
The delegation presented a $26,000 donation to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in honor of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
AHEPA James Whitcomb Riley Chapter #232 held their Christmas party at the Columbia Club on Monument Circle on Saturday, December 9, 2023. We thank many of our AHEPAN brothers and their families for attending such as beautiful and cheerful event. The chapter looks forward to hosting another party at the Columbia Club next year.
The James Whitcomb Riley Chapter No. 232 was honored to welcome AHEPA Supreme Vice President Chris Kaitson during his visit to Indiana.
Brother Chris, who was originally initiated into AHEPA as a member of Chapter 232 and grew up in Crawfordsville, IN, brought greetings from the AHEPA Supreme Lodge and updated the members on the activities and goals of the lodge for this AHEPA year as well as advice on how to engage the community about AHEPA's work and recruiting new members to the chapter.
The chapter was also honored to welcome AHEPA Hoosier District No. 12 Lodge Governor Harry Mihailidis and Past Supreme Governor Sam Benjamin. Brother Harry gave the chapter members an update on district activities.
At this meeting the chapter was honored to reinstate George Stergiopoulos into the chapter and initiate new members James Vitsas and Jon Vitsas.
It was very busy Greek Independence Day weekend in the Chicago and Indiana area. It all started on Friday March 24th with AHEPA family leadership meeting with the Governor of Indiana to receive a Greek Independence proclamation. On Saturday March 25th, AHEPA had multiple tables of brothers attending the ENOSIS pre-parade GALA. And finally on Sunday March 26th, ENOSIS coordinated the annual Greek Independence Day parade in Greek Town on Halsted Street in downtown Chicago. Once again the AHEPA family was well represented in numbers and spirit. Below is some more short recap and pictures of the weekend festivities.
The AHEPA District 12 Family met with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on Friday March 24th at the Indiana Governors Residence to receive a proclamation for Greek Independence Day. The governor spent nearly an hour meeting with the AHEPA Family talking about a wide range of topics from AHEPA Family role in our Indiana communities to our broken NCAA brackets. The Governor once again was exceptionally kind with his time meeting with AHEPA and once again expressed his gratitude for the Greek-American community role in making Indiana a better place to live.
This is the first time we were able to involve our junior orders to participate in the meeting with the Governor. This helps expose them to the importance of Civic Responsibility which is an essential part of the AHEPA mission.
Attendees at meeting:
1. Sam Benjamin – AHEPA Supreme Governor Region VI
2. Nick Kavadas – AHEPA Sons of Pericles National Advisor
3. Harry Mihailidis – AHEPA District 12 Governor
4. Georgia Karnezis – DOP District 12 Governor
5. Vasili Koultourides – SOP Chapter #53 Secretary
6. Georgios Koultourides – SOP Chapter #53 member
7. Georgia Pyrros – MOA Chapter #141 Secretary
8. Kathy Bizoukas – DOP Past Grand President
Thanks to Matthew Kochevar (PDG) and Nick Kavadas (PDG) for working and coordinating with the Governor’s office to make today happen. This is the 3rd year in a row that the Governor of Indiana has met with AHEPA and the AHEPA Family.
The daughters gave a gift (Founders book, history of DOP, etc) to the Governor and the AHEPA also gave a gift of Greek goodies (Greek…olive oil, honey, chocolate, cookies..etc)
Happy Greek Independence!!
The Governor also tweeted his appreciation of the Greek-American community in Indiana.
The delegates of the Centennial Supreme Convention reelected Jimmy Kokotas as Supreme President for the 2022-23 administrative year.
A majority of the Supreme Lodge executive officers also will be returning to serve with him: Supreme Vice President Lou Atsaves, Canadian President Emmanuel Constas, Supreme Secretary Savas Tsivicos, and Supreme Treasurer Emmanuel Kaitson. Themistocles Frangos has been elected Supreme Counselor.
The AHEPA family of organizations also held elections. Georgette Boulegeris was elected Daughters of Penelope Grand President, Ryan Marinos was elected Sons of Pericles Supreme President, and Maria Ana Pantelous was reelected Maids of Athena Grand President.
Congratulations to all newly elected and reelected officers!
AHEPA's Centennial Grand Banquet, complete with a Disney-inspired 100-year anniversary cake, did not disappoint.
The recipient of the 2022 AHEPA Socrates Award, Panos Panay (pictured above, middle), who is the chief product officer for Microsoft, delivered an inspirational acceptance speech that visibly moved the audience. He remarked, "But in the words of Shakespeare, 'what's in a name?' It turns out, not much. What matters is what is in the heart. The mind. The soul."
Guest speakers included U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, who co-chairs the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, Greece's Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos, and His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, who remarked, "You should take such great pride in the founding principles of this sacred brotherhood; for you uphold the traditions of what is best in Hellas, and what is best in America."
Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Alexandra Papadopoulos, Ambassador of Cyprus to the U.S. Marios Lysiotis, and Leadership 100 Executive Director Paulette Poulos delivered congratulatory remarks.
Special thanks to Mike Emanuel, Fox News Chief Washington correspondent, who served as the banquet program's master of ceremonies.
Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas delivered a passionate response. Then-Daughters of Penelope Grand President Kathy Bizoukas, then-Sons of Pericles Supreme President Timothy Noitsis, Maids of Athena Grand President Maria Ana Pantelous, Board of Trustees Vice Chair George Horiates, PSP; and newly elected AHEPA National Housing Corporation President Ike Gulas, PSP, also addressed the audience of the July 21 gala.
Special presentations included a commemorative 100-year pinning ceremony to Supreme Presidents in the audience by Executive Director Basil Mossaidis, the AHEPA Lifetime Achievement Award to Past Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis and former Board of Trustees Officer Lee Millas, and Ahepan of the Year to Brother Dimitrios Matthaiou.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus; and U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, submitted video presentations.
Special audience guests included former NBA Player and Human Rights Activist Enes Kanter Freedom and NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center Dr. Janet E. Petro, the recipient of the 2022 Daughters of Penelope "Salute to Women" Award.
Job well done to brother Matthew Kochevar who was the Vice-Chairman of the convention and also the Chairman of the legislative committee.
Congratulation to brother Sam Benjamin for being reelected as Supreme Governor to Region 6. Region 6 covers Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Eastern Nebraska and Western Missouri.
Congratulations to brother Nick Kavadas who was appointed by the AHEPA Supreme President to be the National Sons of Pericles Advisor. This is Nick fourth consecutive year in this position.
In addition, the AHEPA District 12 family would like to congratulate DOP Grand President Kathy Bizoukas on a job well done this past year. She made everyone in Indiana proud and led the daughters to see their membership increase by 1,000 members.
Overall, the Supreme convention was wildly successful. AHEPA alone had a little over 200 delegates but many more were in attendance to enjoy the fellowship and all the fun at Walt Disney World. We had a record number of youth in attendance which resulted in lots of dancing and good times.
The James Whitcomb Riley Chapter 232 held a cookout for chapter members and their families, and a meeting before the chapter's summer break. At this meeting we were honored by a visit of our new Hoosier District No. 12 Governor Harry Mihailidis and Supreme Governor Sam Benjamin.
At our meeting we accepted the transfer of two AHEPANs who now live in the Indianapolis area, Art Bartges and Panayiotis Pasyanos, as well as accepted the membership application for Andrew Spirrison, son of Andrew Spirrison, the chapter's President of the Board of Governors.
As our last item of business we re-elected our current officers to another term. Our officers for the 2022-2023 AHEPA year will be:
President - Matthew R. Kochevar, Esq., PDG
Vice President - Angelo Kostarides, PDG
Secretary - Nick Dervenis
Treasurer - Ted Dervenis
President of the Board of Governors - Andrew Spirrison
Members of the Board of Governors - Carl Cafouros, Ron Johnson, John Kofodimos, and Angelo Zarvas
The chapter thanks all members and our local Daughters of Penelope chapter who participated in chapter activities this year. In 2022-2023 we will continue to focus on the youth of our community through the sponsoring and sharing of many AHEPA scholarships and educational opportunities, sponsoring sporting events, and engage in other philanthropic endeavors identified by our members.
If you would like to join AHEPA please go here to learn how to join our local Indianapolis chapter: https://ahepa232.org/become-a-member
Photos courtesy of John Kofodimos
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Carmel, Indiana and the James Whitcomb Riley Chapter No. 232 of the Order of AHEPA in Indianapolis celebrated AHEPA Sunday and the centennial of the organization by hosting the fellowship hour after Divine Liturgy for the parishioners.
During the coffee hour Chapter President Matthew Kochevar spoke to the crowd of parishioners about the AHEPA, its history, and invited members to the join the AHEPA.
AHEPA District 12 is thankful to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb for hosting an AHEPA delegation at the Governors residence for Greek Independence Day.
The Governor issued a Proclamation proclaiming March 25th, 2022 as Greek Independence Day and inviting all citizens of the State of Indiana to duly note the occasion.
This is the second consecutive year that the Governor has welcomed an AHEPA delegation to meet with him and his staff to recognize Greek Independence Day and the contribution of Greek-Americans to our Indiana communities.
The Governor has been kind with his time and willingness to work with AHEPA to make Indiana a better place to live for all its citizens.
The AHEPA District 12 Family and it’s chapters have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to charities, scholarships, and low income seniors through affordable housing to help make our communities across the state better each day.
Happy 201st Greek Independence Day!
It is our sad duty to report that our Brother and Past Supreme President, Nick Smyrnis, have fallen asleep in the Lord on January 15, 2022. Brother Nick was a 73 year member of James Whitcomb Riley Chapter No. 232 and Father of AHEPA Housing. Brother Nick's numerous good works not only built AHEPA into what it is today but also serves as a beacon of the Greek American community.
Will we miss Brother Nick dearly.
On Saturday December 4th, the AHEPA Indiana leadership met with Indiana US Representative Frank Mrvan in his Merrillville office.
We were able to inform him of our AHEPA programs and local community service. Some of those topics were AHEPA Housing, philanthropic work, educational scholarships, geo-political topics, and issues relating to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
We also explained to him the AHEPA structure and overall contribution of the entire AHEPA Family.
We are also very happy to announce Congressman Mrvan not only joined the Congressional Hellenic Caucus today but also has joined the Order of AHEPA. We can now call him Brother.
Congressman Mrvan was appreciative of all the work AHEPA has done for the local community. He was impressed with everything we have accomplished in our 100 years as an Order.
We also conveyed to the Congressman that the local AHEPA chapters and District stand ready to assist him with any critical needs of our community.
Meeting with Congressman Mrvan were the following Indiana AHEPAN's
Sam Benjamin - AHEPA Region 6 Supreme Governor (D12 PDG)
Nick Kavadas - National Sons of Pericles Advisor (D12 PDG)
Harry Mihailidis - District 12 Lt. Governor and Calumet Chapter #157 President
George Domoras - District 12 Athletic Director and Merrillville Chapter #78 President
Nick Loxas - Hammond Chapter #123 President
Panos Niarchos - AHEPA South Bend Chapter #100 Housing President (D12 PDG)
The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) Hoosier District No. 12 including the James Whitcomb Riley Chapter No. 232 were honored to host the Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas from Brooklyn, NY. During the Supreme President's visit he visited the Indianapolis area including many of its monuments to those that served in the conflicts Indiana has been apart of. He also was the guest of honor at the annual AHEPA membership dinner held by the Hammond Chapter No. 123. Additionally, on Veterans Day, the Supreme President honored our Veterans by laying a wreath at the Greek American Veterans Monument located at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Hammond, IN.
We thank the Supreme President for visiting our great State and for his leadership in our Order.
The 200th Anniversary of Greek Independence was celebrated this year on March 25th and it is always a day where Greeks around the world have large celebrations and public events to honor all those who fought for our freedoms and to remind everyone of this significant moment in world history. The AHEPA Family of Hoosier District 12 would normally participate in the Greek Flag raising in Chicago and the Greek Independence Parade in Chicago. Unfortunately, the pandemic dampened those normal traditions and celebrations as we must be more cautious until the pandemic passes. However, the pandemic did not stop the Order of AHEPA of Hoosier District 12 for making sure the Bicentennial of Greece Independence and its’ freedom from Ottoman oppression be honored in a significant way.
Back in November 2020, under the leadership of District Governor Panos Niarchos, a plan was put in place to make sure AHEPA Hoosier District determine the best and safest way to honor the Bicentennial with the expectation that large gatherings and public events would not be allowed due to the COVID pandemic.
Past District Governors Matthew Kochevar and Nick Kavadas worked alongside Panos and decided that they would pursue a proclamation from every town and city in Indiana where there is an AHEPA Family Chapter, a Greek Orthodox Church, or large Greek American community. They divided the state into 3 parts and each one took responsibility and ownership to work with local officials in their assigned areas and begin the process to secure proclamations.
The result of their hard work led to history being made. Never in the history of the State of Indiana and its communities that this many proclamations were issued for Greek Independence Day.
The following 17 communities in Indiana issued a 200th Bicentennial Greek Independence Proclamation.
In addition to all those communities issuing proclamations, the Governor of Indiana Eric Holcomb on behalf of the State of Indiana issued a proclamation. Also, a delegation of Hoosier District 12
AHEPANS were invited to meet personally with the Governor in his office at the State Capitol. Due to the COVID restrictions, we were limited to how many people could attend. Four AHEPANS attended the meeting with the Governor. AHEPA District #12 Governor Panos Niarchos, Past District #12 Governor Matthew Kochevar, Past District #12 Governor and Past AHEPA National Housing President Angelo Kostarides, and Past District #12 Governor and current National Sons of Pericles Advisor Nick Kavadas attended the meeting with Governor Holcomb.
The Governor signed the Proclamation and gave it to the AHEPA delegation. In return for our appreciation, the AHEPA gave the Governor a glass encased Greek Flag that was flown at the Parliament in Athens, Greece. The Governor met with the AHEPA delegation for over 30 minutes in his office and the Governor was impressed with what AHEPA does in the State of Indiana and impressed with the overall Greek community in Indiana. The Governor also mentioned that his brother converted to Greek Orthodox and his brother lives in Chicago and attends a Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago. The Governor expressed his love of everything Ancient and Modern Greece has provided to the world and that he is also a Philhellene. The Governor wished the AHEPA delegation well and looked forward to celebrating Greek Independence again next year.
Other AHEPA family members and friends also assisted the Proclamation committee in securing the proclamations in the various communities. District 12 would like to thank the following for their assistance and critical contribution: