The Order of AHEPA James Whitcomb Riley Chapter No. 232 based in Indianapolis through its foundation, AHEPA 232 Foundation, Inc. is proud to announce the in proud to announce the inauguration of the Nick Smyrnis Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship grants to the recipient $2,500 in financial aid toward their undergraduate studies.
Nick Smyrnis (1923-2022) was a 73-year member of the AHEPA James Whitcomb Riley Chapter No. 232 and graduate from Butler University. Brother Smyrnis served two terms as Supreme President (1979 to 1981). During his first term, President Jimmy Carter spoke at the 1980 AHEPA Congressional Banquet in Washington, DC. He also represented the United States at the Olympic Torch Ceremony in Athens, Greece, January 27-31, 1980, as part of a delegation appointed by President Carter to bring the Olympic torch to the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Nick Smyrnis was one of the founders of AHEPA National Housing Corporation, which he helped establish in 1983 to provide affordable apartment communities for low-income seniors. He was also an original founder of the ANHC’s subsidiary, the AHEPA Affordable Housing Management Company (AMC), which was created in 1991 to provide property management services for affordable senior apartment communities.
He also served as the first President of the ANHC Board and as AMC President until 2008. Today, ANHC, through its subsidiaries, is a nationwide provider of 87 affordable apartment communities and four affordable assisted living communities in 19 states, serving 5,500 seniors.
The scholarship is opened to any qualified students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science during the 2023-2024 academic year shall be considered for a scholarship. Interested students can find a copy of the scholarship application and rules at www.ahepa232.org/scholarships.
Qualified students shall be considered for a scholarship in the following categories:
High School Graduating Senior intending to enroll in a college, university, technical, trade, or vocational school.
1. A scholarship applicant need not be of Greek descent.
2. A previous AHEPA-Daughters of Penelope District 12 Foundation winner is privileged to receive only one further AHEPA-Daughters of Penelope District 12 Foundation scholarship award.
3. All applicants must either be enrolled in a full-time program as designated by their college or university or a high school senior preparing to enroll in a full-time program as designated by their college, university, technical, trade, or vocational school that they have chosen to attend.
4. The applicant must submit the following documents by April 1, 2023: (a) A completed and signed 2023 scholarship application form. (b) A current official transcript (i.e. stamped and signed by the school the applicant attends) and placed in a sealed envelope. No photocopies and/or duplicates will be accepted. (c) A 350-word essay on the following topic: Describe how can your higher education enable you to help others, while giving back to the community. (d) Current letters of recommendation from two (2) faculty members and one (1) from a member of the community.
5. All applications for scholarship, official transcript and other supporting documents shall be submitted to:
AHEPA-Daughters of Penelope District 12 Foundation, Inc.
C/O Scholarship Committee
PO Box 1003
Schererville, IN 46375
ALL APPLICATIONS AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS MUST BE POSTMARKED BY APRIL 1, 2023. APPLICANTS MUST INFORM THE SECRETARY OF THE FOUNDATION, ANTONIA PRINTZOS (firstname.lastname@example.org) THAT THEY HAVE SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION AND THE DATE IT WAS PLACED IN THE MAIL. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE APPLICANT TO CONFIRM THAT THEY HAVE SENT THIS APPLICATION BY CERTIFIED MAIL WITH A RETURN RECEIPT.
6. Having met all the requisites above, all applications will be submitted to an independent professional educator to determine the winners.
7. The scholarship check may be made payable to the applicant or institution.
8. If a recipient does not appear at the Scholarship Presentation Program in person, or by a parent, or by a grandparent or family member to accept the scholarship, it may be awarded to an alternate recipient.
The members of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) deeply mourn the passing of Board of Trustees Director and Past Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis, announced Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas. Brother Kouzounis passed away November 8, 2022. He was 86.
“We mourn the significant loss of Past Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis,” Supreme President Kokotas said. “Brother Anthony loved the Order immensely, serving numerous offices with dedication, including as a valued member of the Board of Trustees. He will be remembered fondly by the AHEPA family as mentor to many Ahepans, for his generosity to the Order, and as a kind and gentle human being. We are grateful for his service to the community, and he will be missed greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Millie. May his memory be eternal.”
Brother Kouzounis, a Life Member of Alexander the Great Chapter 29, Houston, served as Supreme President in 2013 to 2014. During his term, AHEPA amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively for humanitarian assistance as AHEPA’s public health campaign for Greece hit its stride with the delivery of medical supplies shipments. He also oversaw the donation of food assistance for the children of Greece and Cyprus and AHEPA provided relief aid to tornado victims of the Midwest. Brother Anthony led a vital AHEPA delegation as part of an inaugural landmark Leadership Mission comprised of American Hellenic and American Jewish organizations to Israel, Cyprus, and Greece in January 2014. Additionally, during his term, AHEPA secured funds to donate a cart for His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to use on the island of Halki.
In 2019, Brother Anthony, and his wife, Millie, donated $50,000 to AHEPA’s “Century Capital Campaign.”
Brother Kouzounis also served as chair of the AHEPA International Committee during his AHEPA career.
For all his contributions to AHEPA and the Greek American community, Brother Kouzounis received the AHEPA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022 at the Centennial Grand Banquet in Orlando, Florida.
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 American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) hosted its 45th Biennial Congressional banquet in honor of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and to mark the commencement of his historic third Apostolic Visit to the United States, at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2021.
His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon represented His All-Holiness, who felt unwell Sunday morning and was hospitalized overnight for observation. His All-Holiness was released from the hospital Monday morning.
“AHEPA promotes all the values and principles that are the rich legacy of Hellenism – Ancient, Byzantine, and Modern,” His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel said during his toast. “And the Holy Archdiocese, as the daughter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, embodies these values and principles as they have been baptized into Christ through the preaching of the Gospel. For the Omogeneia, the Archdiocese and AHEPA are two hands of one body, and we are grateful for their cooperative spirit.”
In his tribute to His All-Holiness, Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas spoke about the effectiveness and meaning of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s message of unity, love, and compassion, and Kokotas pledged AHEPA can do more to amplify his message.
“We also must make sure His All-Holiness’s ministry, his message and his spiritual home—the Ecumenical Patriarchate—are safeguarded from the plight they face daily," Kokotas added. "They must be sustained…they must flourish.”
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America received AHEPA’s presentation of $100,000 to become a Founding Member of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation: For the Sacred See of Saint Andrew. Supreme President Kokotas and Chairman of the Board Nicholas A. Karacostas, PSP, made the presentation, along with a gift to His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel.
Ahepan, Archon and Prominent Businessman Michael Psaros delivered the Keynote Address.
Several members of Congress addressed the audience: U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), U.S. Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues and co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Caucus; U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues; U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), and U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), who serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Daughters of Penelope Grand President Kathy Bizoukas presented a gift to His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel.
Mike Emanuel, Fox News Chief Washington correspondent, served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Chairman of the Board Karacostas, PSP, delivered welcome remarks.
AHEPA District 12, including the James Whitcomb Riley Chapter 232, was able to send a delegation to the banquet. Two tables were purchased and donated by AHEPA District 12 and its chapters.
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:
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