Thursday, November 15, 2012

AHEPA helps victims of Hurricane Sandy

Join the AHEPA in helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Learn more at the AHEPA website.

Monday, October 29, 2012

AHEPANS Volunteer at Greek Food Bazaar

Members of William Penn Chapter No. 61 Order of AHEPA volunteered at the 42nd Annual Greek Food Bazaar at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, PA, on Oct. 19-20-21, 2012.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Greek Food Festival Opens Today in Reading, Pa.

The largest ethnic food festival in Berks County returns for its 42nd year Friday through Sunday at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, Pa.

Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the Greek Food Bazaar to enjoy authentic Greek food and pastry and live music and dancing.

The food is prepared and cooked on the premises by church members using family recipes handed down through generations. All food items are available to eat-in in the church social hall or take-out.

The most popular dish is Athenian-style chicken, which comes in a platter with a side of Pastitsio or rice pilaf, Greek-style string beans, a Greek salad, roll and butter for $12. You can substitute Plaki (fresh fish fillet baked with vegetables, herbs and wine) or Souvlaki (chunks of marinated pork) on the platter meal.

There are also a la carte items such Gyro (marinated beef and lamb slices) and Souvlaki (pork shis-ke-bob) sandwiches; Calamari (squid) cooked in tomatoes and wine; Moussaka (eggplant casserole); Arni Psito (roast lamb); and Pastitsio (layered Greek pasta, seasoned with chopped beef topped with béechamel.

A variety of imported Greek wines and spirits, including Ouzo, an anise-flavored liqueur, will also be served. And be sure to try Mythos, a popular beer imported from Greece.

While enjoying a meal in the main dining hall, visitors will be treated to Greek and American music by Stavros & Maria, a brother-sister duo who are also church members.

Kefi, the church's youth dance group, will perform traditional Greek dances throughout the weekend wearing colorful costumes.

After a hearty meal, there's plenty to see and do on the church grounds.

An Agora (Greek market) offers packaged Greek foods and prepared dishes to go. The Kafenio (Greek coffee house) features fresh-brewed Greek-style coffee, rice pudding and pastries in a relaxed atmosphere.

Visitors can also shop for original artwork, gold jewelry and items imported from Greece in various gift rooms.

Festival-goers can also view one of the largest collections of Byzantine iconography in the United States. Guided tours of the church interior are provided every the hour.

A popular stop for all visitors is the pastry room, where you can pick between popular treats like Baklava (almonds, butter, and honey layered in flaky pastry), Teelikta (walnuts, butter and honey rolled in flaky pastry); Kourabiethes (butter cookies topped with powdered sugar), Koulourakia (Greek twisted butter cookie) and Galaktobouriko (a filo pastry filled with custard and moistened with honey syrup). If you can’t decide, take a sampler box home with you.

Another Greek delicacy is Loukoumathes (puffed honey balls), a warm dough pastry topped with honey, cinnamon and chopped nuts.

Bazaar hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are free. The event is held rain or shine.

Additional parking is available across the street at Berks Catholic High School.

The church is located at 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd., about one mile from Business Route 222 South (also known as Lancaster Avenue). Turn onto Hancock Boulevard between the two car dealerships and stay on the road until you see the church on the right.

For more information, call the church office at 610-374-7511 or visit the church's website,

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Installation of Chapter Officers 2012-13

AHEPA Supreme Treasurer Anthony Drakos and Power District No. 4 District Governor Frank Skolikas presided over the installation of the 2012-13 Chapter Officers for William Penn Chapter No. 61 on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. Drakos and Skolikas are pictured in the center above with the newly-installed officers and the Board of Governors.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Golf Tournament Is Almost Here

Greetings Brother AHEPANs:

Sunday, August 26th, promises to be a beautiful day to play golf and enjoy our pig roast under the pavilion at the golf course.  We will have a shot gun start at 1:00 p.m.  The pig roast time has been rescheduled for later in the afternoon around 6:00 p.m. catered by Moyer’s Catering.  I will forward to you soon a listing of the pairings and foursomes for golf, as well as those attending the pig roast.  If you haven’t done so already, please forward your golf fee ($75 per golfer) and/or pig roast fee ($25 per person…non-golfers) to Dean Kraras as soon as possible.  I would like to avoid as much as possible collecting money the day of the golf tournament.

The following are directions t the Green Acres Golf Course at 461a South Northkill Road, Bernville, PA 19506:

§  From the Reading area, take Route 222 North toward Allentown.

§  Take the Route 183 exit… the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto Bernville Road going on 183 North toward Pottsville.

§  From the exit, go 8.7 miles and turn right onto Shartlesville Road.

§  Go 2.8 miles and turn left onto Tulley Drive (small Green Acres G. C. sign at this turn).

§  Take the first right (approximately 100 yards) onto S. Northkill Road leading to the golf course.

George J. Giovanis, President
Order of AHEPA Chapter No. 61

Monday, July 30, 2012

In Cyprus, a New Generation Inherits a Conflict

Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, is split into an internationally recognized, Greek-speaking south and a Turkish-speaking north after a 1974 invasion by Turkey. Some 40,000 Turkish troops are stationed on the island.

In Cyprus, a New Generation Inherits a Conflict - ABC News

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In Memoriam: Ernest Orphanos

Ernest "Ernie" Nick Orphanos, 65, of Lower Heidelberg, passed away at home on Monday, July 23, 2012, with his family by his side.

Ernie was born on June 11, 1947, in Reading, a son of Nick A. Orphanos of Durham, NC, and the late Irene (Zaferes) Orphanos.

He attended Reading area schools and graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Ernie was last employed at Berkshire Mechanical, a division of UGIHVAC Enterprises. Before that he was the former owner of Allied Trades Inc.

Ernie was a member of Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church and was very active with the church. He was a co-founder and chairman of the Summer Golf Tournament with the church, served on the church board as the Secretary, the Athletic Director of AHEPA William Penn Ch. 61, the GOYA advisor and the basketball coach, and was very active with the Annual Greek Food Bazaar.

Ernie was known for cracking jokes and laughing. He enjoyed golfing and playing poker with his card club of which he was member for 35 years. He also enjoyed woodworking and making furniture for his family.

His greatest joy was spending time with his family, especially his grandsons. Family meant everything to him.

Ernie is survived by his wife, Patricia L. (Steffa), of Lower Heidelberg; a daughter, Anastasia M. (Orphanos) Noll, and her husband, John L. Jr. of Shillington; a son, Nicholas P. Orphanos, and his wife, Mary, of Medford, NJ; and three grandsons: John Christopher, Anthony John, and Patrick Anastasios.
Also surviving are two sisters, Frances Franks and Kathleen G. Elliot, and her husband, Gary; a brother, Nicholas J. Orphanos and his wife, Cynthia all of Durham, NC, and many cousins and nieces.

A funeral service will be held for Ernie at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 27, 2012, at Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 1001 East Wyomissing Blvd., Reading. Family and friends are invited to the viewings Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. with Trisagion prayers being said at 7 p.m. at Theo C. Auman, 247 Penn St., Reading, and Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow services in Charles Evans Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in Ernie's name to the AHEPA William Penn Chapter 61 Scholarship Fund, 26 Lancaster Ave., Reading, PA 19607. Arrangements are entrusted to the Theo C. Auman Funeral Home.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rep. Bilirakis Speaks Out on 38th Anniversary of Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

Gus Speaks Out on 38th Anniversary of Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

UN extends Cyprus peacekeeping force

UN extends Cyprus peacekeeping force - Nation Wires -

Turkish Occupation of Cyprus Enters 38th Year

AHEPA Remembers 38th 'Black Anniversary' of
Invasion, Occupation of Cyprus

Supreme President Calls for Removal of Turkish Troops from Cyprus

WASHINGTON - Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides issued the following statement on the 38th anniversary of the illegal invasion and subsequent occupation of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey that occurred July 20, 1974:

"Today marks a somber day as we observe the 38th anniversary of the illegal invasion and occupation of the Republic of Cyprus by the Republic of Turkey. This was, and remains to this very day, an intolerable act; one that is a gross violation of the rule of law, human rights, and democratic ideals. We pause to remember the innocent civilians who lost their lives and the thousands who went missing, including four American citizens whose investigations remain incomplete. The illegal invasion and occupation caused the displacement of 170,000 Greek Cypriot refugees who to this day are unable to return to their homes which is also a violation of human rights as determined by the European Commission on Human Rights.

"The direct talks between Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Dervis Eroglu, under the scope of the high-level UN Agreement of July 8, 2006, have provided minimal tangible progress toward a settlement to reunify Cyprus and are essentially at a stalemate. This is due to the latter's hardline positions that presented proposals outside UN parameters and European Union principles. Today, as the Republic of Cyprus assumes the EU presidency, Mr. Eroglu displays a continued intransigence stating the EU presidency will 'undermine negotiations.' This is an unfortunate position.

"However, the key to a successful settlement also rests in Ankara. We call on the U.S. government to convey a strong message to Turkey that it must provide the Turkish Cypriot community with the necessary freedom to negotiate a solution within the July 8 framework, and equally as important, it must facilitate the removal of 43,000 of its troops from the island.

"Therefore, we restate our call for a reunified Cyprus with a single sovereignty, single international personality and single citizenship; and with its independence and territorial integrity safeguarded as described in the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions. We contend that such a solution is in the best interest of all Cypriots, and must emanate from Cypriots themselves without arbitrary timetables.

"Furthermore, on this 'black anniversary' we call on Turkey to begin the removal of its 43,000 troops from Cyprus. These are troops that as American citizens we contend would serve a better purpose, especially to NATO, in another theatre such as Afghanistan as opposed to Cyprus where there have been more than 17 million incident-free crossings by Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

"We call for these actions in the best interests of the United States. A just and viable solution to the division of Cyprus will strengthen the eastern Mediterranean and bring peace and security to the region. This is especially important as the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves within the exclusive economic zones of the Republic of Cyprus and Israel by a U.S. energy firm has yielded further bellicose threats and actions from Turkey. Furthermore, a just and viable solution will aid Turkey's candidacy to become a member of the European Union, which is also in the best interest of the United States.

"Our hope is that we will no longer need to observe this 'black anniversary,' but instead, celebrate the anniversary of a settlement. AHEPA remains committed to doing all within its power to keep the Cyprus issue in the public eye until a just and viable solution is realized."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chapter of the Year


Monday, June 18, 2012

Congresswoman: Time for Turkey to leave Cyprus in peace

An excellent op-ed by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., about the long-running and illegal military occupation of Cyprus by Turkey.

Time for Turkey to leave Cyprus in peace - Washington Times

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Upcoming Chapter Events

 The following is a summary of our AHEPA events scheduled through August 2012:

§  Sunday, May 20th – AHEPA Sunday Memorial Service

§  Tuesday, May 29th (day after Memorial Day) – AHEPA Chapter No. 61 End-or-Year Dinner Celebration at the Riveredge Restaurant….Ladies Night 

§  Sunday, June 3rd – AHEPA will be hosting fellowship serving Avgolemono soup

§  Sunday, June 10th – AHEPA Election of Officers (brief meeting) following Church service in the High School Classroom

§  Sunday, August 26th – 3rd Annual AHEPA Golf Tournament and Family Pig Roast

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Archbishop Demetrios Declares May 20 'AHEPA Sunday'

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the  Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the  Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America:

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ἀνέστη!

As this Paschal season comes to a close and we anticipate the celebration of the Holy Ascension of our Lord, we reflect upon the power of His Resurrection and of the truth of the Gospel in the sacred work we are called to do. Before Christ ascended into the heavens He said to His disciples, You shall be my witnesses…to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). Together with our Lord’s commission to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19), we have been chosen and appointed by God to offer a witness of faith and service of love throughout the world.

On AHEPA Sunday we recognize and honor the members of our Greek Orthodox community in the United States who continue to offer this witness and service through their support for the work of the Church and through numerous philanthropic, educational and civic programs. For ninety years, the members of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association and the organizations of the AHEPA family have created a legacy of service in their local parishes, in the ministries and  organizations of our Holy Archdiocese, and on behalf of global issues that impact the witness and work of the Orthodox Church.

Ahepan leadership has also continued to pay attention to the challenging issues facing our Ecumenical Patriarchate. Its efforts combined with many other programs that serve the needs of people in the United States, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and around the world offer a witness of the power of faith and love as revealed in the Gospel and as championed in the highest ideals of our Hellenic heritage.

To the members of the AHEPA family, we extend our appreciation for their faithful service, and we offer our support and prayers. We also observe AHEPA Sunday by recognizing the history and contributions of this vital organization. May God bless and guide the members of AHEPA as they continued their noble legacy of Orthodoxy and Hellenism.

With paternal love in Him,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Viewing of Cyprus Documentary in Boston

A documentary about the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus will be screened in Boston on May 9.

Viewing of Cyprus Documentary in Boston

Monday, April 23, 2012

AHEPA Helps Hellenic Caucus Continue to Grow

WASHINGTON - The leading membership-based association for the nation's three million American citizens of Greek heritage, and countless Philhellenes, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), welcomed news that U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) has joined the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, announced Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides.
"We thank Congressman Courtney for joining the Hellenic Caucus," said Dr. Grossomanides, who met with the congressman's staff during AHEPA's annual Capitol Hill Day held March 28, 2012. "We look forward to working with him and his staff on issues of importance to the community, including the strengthening of U.S.-Greece relations."
Congressmen Courtney, Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Richard Neal (D-MA) are the latest U.S. representatives to join the Hellenic Caucus as a result of AHEPA's grassroots outreach.
"Our grassroots network is becoming more active and the legislators are responding," Dr. Grossomanides said. "We must build upon this effort and keep the momentum going."
He continued, "We applaud the proactive outreach of AHEPA family members from all parts of the country either in their home districts or those who came to Washington in March. All of these efforts have helped the caucus to grow."
Dr. Grossomanides proudly noted that the entire congressional delegations of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are members of the Hellenic Caucus. The caucus now has 146 members.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Save the date

The Annual AHEPA Sunday Memorial Service is scheduled for Sunday, May 20, 2012. All members are asked to attend the service at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in memory of our departed brothers and sisters in the AHEPA family.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

AHEPA Family Donation to Feed Hundreds of Families

Dr. John Grossomanides, supreme president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading membership-based association for the nation's three million American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, presented a $7,500 donation toward Apostoli Mission, a food bank charity under the direction of the Church of Greece on April 6, 2012, the delegation's last day in Athens. The $7,500 donation to the mission will provide 400 food kits to families in need. Each food kit feeds a family of four for about 15 days.

"The AHEPA family has been working diligently to raise funds to aid the people of Greece during this unprecedented humanitarian crisis, and our chapters in Greece have been doing their best to address the needs of their local communities," said Supreme President Dr. Grossomanides, who presented the donation during a meeting with His Beatitude Ieronymos II, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece. "Our biggest concern is to ensure that we make maximize the aid provided by each and every dollar we donate. We are confident today's donation will have a significant impact, feeding four hundred families of four people for at least fifteen days."
Supreme President Dr. Grossomanides and Daughters of Penelope Grand President Nicky Stamoulis were invited to visit and inspect the Apostoli Mission where the food kits are prepared and boxed for shipping, which they also did on April 6. They also toured a nearby army base that serves as a facility that processes all of the food needs.
Dr. Grossomanides added, "We understand today's donation will only go so far and we will continue to raise funds and identify charities or vehicles through which we can provide valuable assistance. The need is tremendous and there is not one 'silver bullet' solution to fulfill the need. That is why we are urging a united effort to address this humanitarian crisis and encourage all and any efforts that can go toward helping the people of Greece."
To contribute to the AHEPA family's humanitarian aid effort, please click here. To date, the humanitarian relief effort has raised more than $50,000.

For Orthodox Christians, Easter rituals just beginning

Some 300 million Orthodox Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 15.

Unlike mainstream Christian churches which celebrate Easter in accordance with the Western or "Gregorian" calendar, most Orthodox churches observe the Julian calendar.

The Julian calendar was established in 46 B.C. and was used by the First Council of Nicaea in 325 to set the first Easter.

Read more here:

For Orthodox Christians, Easter rituals just beginning - Religion -

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New members initiated into AHEPA Chapter 61

New members sworn in by Chapter President George Giovanis.

AHEPA chapter officers with the 18 new members.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Greek Easter Bread & Pastry Sale this Sat.

Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church is hosting its annual Greek Bread & Pastry Sale on Saturday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The church is located at 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd. in Reading, Pa., right across the street from Berks Catholic High School.

In addition to a variety of Greek pastry, the church is also selling Honey Ball (Loukoumades) and various Easter plants.

A truck from The Salvation Army will also be parked in the church lot to accept clothing donations.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Congressional Salute to Greek Independence Day

Greek Independence Day is March 25. This year commemorates the 191st anniversary (March 25, 1821) of Greece’s independence after 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Turks.

Congressional Salute to Greek Independence Day

AHEPA Recognition Night Rescheduled

Our May AHEPA Recognition Night at the Riveredge Restaurant & Convention Center has been rescheduled from May 20 to the day after Memorial Day - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m.

This recognition night dinner will be a Ladies Night featuring entertainment presented by the Wyomissing High School Camerata Select Choral Ensemble! As part of our recognition program, we plan to recognize our 2012 scholarship recipients.

Dinner, tax and gratuity is only $20 per person.

We are going to be asking all Ahepans, for planning purposes, to RSVP closer to the date of this end-of-year AHEPA event. Please mark your calendar and reserve this date.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

16 new members to be initiated into chapter

Our next AHEPA business meeting is scheduled for this Sunday, March 18, starting promptly at 7:00 p.m. In anticipation of a large turnout for our meeting, the meeting will be held in the Kraras Social Hall.

As a result of our Membership Roundup dinner at the Hitching Post Restaurant, I am delighted to report that we plan to approve and initiate a total of 16 new member in our local Chapter this Sunday!

Since this is a special affair involving a formal and ritualistic initiation, I am asking all members to dress appropriately for the evening. Immediately following our business meeting, we will have fellowship including food and your favorite beverage.

Gentlemen, let’s have a nice turnout of our members as we welcome our member prospects into our Chapter of the Order of AHEPA!!!

- George Giovanis, Chapter President

Monday, February 20, 2012

Historic monastery in Cyprus near collapse

Another tragic consequence of the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus. One of the oldest Christian structures in the world - dating back to the time of Jesus - is in danger of collapse in Turkish-occupied Cyprus.

Historic monastery in Cyprus near collapse |

Thursday, February 16, 2012

AHEPA Mobilizes to Help Humanitarian Relief Efforts for People of Greece

AHEPA Mobilizes to Help
Humanitarian Relief Efforts for People of Greece

Charlotte Chapter Answers the Call with $5,000 Donation
Will Partner with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)

WASHINGTON - The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading membership-based association for the nation's three million American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, will mobilize its chapters, and work in cooperation with the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), to help with humanitarian relief efforts for the people of Greece, announced Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides.

"The humanitarian crisis in Greece is dire,” Dr. Grossomanides said. “This is an opportunity to answer a clarion call to help the people of Greece. We appeal to Greek American organizations and the community at large to answer the call."

How AHEPA Will Help

  • Identifying private sector/corporate partners to donate medical supplies.
  • Making available its 501(c)(3) AHEPA Foundation, Inc. to receive contributions that will directly pay for the shipment and acquisition of medical supplies and food.
  • Mobilizing AHEPA Greece chapters to liaison with the Greek Ministry of Education to execute a food voucher program for schools.
  • Partner with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to assist with acquisition of medical supplies and food.
  • Mobilizing AHEPA family chapters.
  • Outreaching to all Greek American organizations asking them to contribute financially to AHEPA’s program.
    • Funds will go directly to pay for the shipment of medical supplies and food.

"AHEPA's inquiry into how the organization could assist for a national level began October 2011," said Dr. Grossomanides, who is also leveraging his professional relationships in the pharmaceutical industry to seek assistance. "AHEPA examined the logistical challenges to providing aid efficiently and cost-effectively to those in need with meetings with the IOCC and the Embassy of Greece in Washington and came to the conclusion that this was the best course of action. In the interim, our fourteen chapters in Greece have been providing critical services to their respective communities whether it has been purchasing medical supplies or equipment for hospitals or feeding the needy."

He added, "We look forward to working in partnership with the IOCC, an extremely effective relief organization, to assist with the acquisition of medical supplies and food."

Charlotte Chapter Donates $5,000 to AHEPA Foundation, Inc.

AHEPA Marathon Chapter 2, Charlotte, N.C., has answered the call to help by making a $5,000 donation to AHEPA Foundation, Inc. that will directly pay for the shipment and acquisition of medical supplies and food. The chapter made the presentation to Supreme President Dr. Grossomanides at an event held in Charlotte, Saturday, February 11, 2011.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Club Membership Is Growing!

William Penn Chapter No. 61 Order of AHEPA boasts 65 active members.

We are now one of the biggest AHEPA chapters in Pennsylvania!

For membership information, contact Chapter Secretary Dean Kraras at

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 Chapter Meetings and Events

February – Dinner meeting with program speaker -Thursday, February 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hitching Post Restaurant, Bernville.

March – Business meeting at the Church - Sunday, March 18, at 7:00 p.m.

April – Special event to be announced

May – Annual AHEPA Recognition Night - Sunday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Riveredge Restaurant; featuring Ladies Night with entertainment.

June – Dinner meeting with program speaker - Thursday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Deluxe Restaurant, Shillington.

Looking Ahead – 3rd Annual AHEPA Golf Outing & Pig Roast - Sunday, August 26, 2012.