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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Photo highlights from 2022 AHEPA Chapter 61 Scholarship Banquet


 Four of the 2022 Scholarship recipients. From left, Carly Futrick, Amanda Tilley, Nick Lountzis and Demetri Scantzos. The fifth recipient, Aleko Zeppos, could not attend.

Carly Futrick with her parents and grandparents.


Amanda Tilley with her family.

Demetri Scantzos with his parents.

Nick Lountzis with his Mom, Sharon.

Master of Ceremonies Christ Kraras.


Chapter Scholarship Chairman Athan Dialectos.


Chapter President George Giovanis.

Father Theodore Petrides and Deacon Jim Elliker were guests at the banquet.


'The Governors' from Governor Mifflin High School provided entertainment.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

AHEPAN Tony Phyrillas receives 2022 St. Photios Award

Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh presents Tony Phyrillas with the 2022 St. Photios Award for service to Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church during a recent banquet.

AHEPAN Tony Phyrillas was recognized for service to his church by Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh at the St. Photios Awards Banquet held April 30, 2022, at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Cranberry, Pa.

With more than 400 in attendance, Metropolitan Savas presented awards to 58 church volunteers from 31 different parishes in the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, which covers Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

“Our awardees have given a lifetime of service, skill and love to the Greek Orthodox Church,” Metropolitan Savas said during his remarks. “Their service has borne much fruit in the Lord’s vineyard, and we offer this recognition as an expression of our deep and abiding gratitude.”

Metropolitan Savas presented each honoree with a framed certificate and a pin depicting St. Photios the Great, Patriarch of Constantinople.

This was the seventh year the banquet was held to recognize “unsung church volunteers" and raise money for the Metropolitan’s Benevolence Fund.

Tony Phyrillas was nominated by Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, Pa., along with fellow nominee Marian Cheri, currently serving as President of the St. Xenia Philoptochos Society.

Tony Phyrillas has been attending Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church since his family arrived from Cyprus in 1969. He has served on the Parish Council for 27 consecutive years, including two terms as President and 18 terms as Secretary. He has served on and chaired numerous church committees over the past 30 years. Tony has taught Sunday School for 17 years, the last 13 as Head Teacher for Grades 10-12. He was a charter member and treasurer of the church's Greek School PTO. Tony has served as chairman of the popular Gyro Room at the church's annual Greek Food Festival for the past 30 years. He also oversees an ongoing fundraiser for the church that sells gift cards to parishioners.

Tony has been a member of the Gust C. Kraras AHEPA Chapter No. 61 for 35 years and has held all chapter offices, including 11 terms as president.

The son of Paraskevi Phyrillas and the late Anastasis Phyrillas, Tony is married to Chrysoula (Happas) Phyrillas and they have two sons, James and Patrick.

Members of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, Pa., attended the St. Photios Awards Banquet, where two parishioners - Tony Phyrillas and Marian Cheri - were recognized as their church's 2022 volunteers of the year.

Honorees Tony Phyrillas and Marian Cheri with Rev. Father Theodore Petrides, pastor of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, Pa.




Thursday, December 30, 2021

A flurry of activity to end another successful year for AHEPA Chapter No. 61

Six new members were initiated into the Gust C. Kraras Chapter No. 61 Order of AHEPA in 2021. Pennsylvania District Governor Harry Mackrides and members of the District Lodge were on hand for the initiation ceremony at the Deluxe Restaurant.

The Reading AHEPA Chapter concluded a very active year in 2021. The following is a summary and highlights of the action taken at the chapter's most recent business meeting held at the Deluxe Restaurant:

• 37 Ahepans were in attendance at the dinner meeting who enjoyed fellowship and great food hosted by the Frangakis family and Deluxe staff.

• In attendance were AHEPA Power District No. 4 District Lodge members: District Governor Harry Mackrides, Lt. Governor Chris Megoulas, and District Treasurer Tim Vlassopoulos.

• Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church Parish Council member Thomas Crassas made a presentation about a proposed AHEPA ministry/outreach program in which action was approved at the business meeting as follows:

AHEPA currently supports the church's monthly food pantry with a total of $1,440 covering the operational costs of this outreach program. The AHEPA donation covers the 2021 and 2022 calendar years. AHEPA Chapter No. 61 approved to enhance the food pantry program in providing Christmas gifts for the 124 children of the pantry participants in December totaling approximately $1,000.

Currently, 100% of all proceeds from the annual AHEPA Golf Classic provide scholarships for our youth continuing their education following high school graduation.  Since 2011, AHEPA has awarded monetary scholarships for 39 deserving youth.  In 11 years, most of the scholarships awarded have been $1,000 per student. The AHEPA Scholarship Fund investment currently has as of October 31, 2021, a balance of $83,008. AHEPA took action that the proceeds allocation from the annual golf outing be adjusted starting with the 2022 tournament as follows: 50% of the proceeds will be earmarked for the scholarship fund investment and 50% towards an AHEPA ministry/outreach program to be determined on an annual basis.

It was recommended that AHEPA endorse a very worthwhile cause; the digging and building of a water well for an Orthodox Seminary in Guatemala to provide clean water to our fellow Orthodox brothers and sisters. The goal for this ministry project is to raise $10,000 by the end of 2021. AHEPA approved donating $5,000 toward this ministry goal.

• AHEPA Chapter No. 61 hosted a lunch for the Sunday School Christmas pageant participants on Sunday, December 19.

• Sts. Constantine & Helen Church will host our Metropolis Goya basketball tournament on January 14, 15 & 16.  AHEPA will be preparing and serving dinner after Vesper Services on Saturday, January 15, for all participants. Additionally, AHEPA will host a fellowship breakfast on Sunday, January 16 in support of our youth.

• District Governor Harry Mackrides conducted the initiation ceremony of the following candidates for membership into AHEPA: Jason Arnold, Gino Caloiero, James Phyrillas, Chris Siozos, Jonathan Thompson and Dr. George Visnich.

• The next AHEPA dinner meeting in 2022 will be held at the Crossroads Restaurant on Tuesday, February 22, at 6:00 p.m.

-- Submitted by Chapter President George Giovanis

District Governor Harry Mackrides addresses the members of AHEPA Chapter 61 during the dinner meeting. Brother Mackrides gave a brief history of the AHEPA's 100 years of service.

Thomas Crassas, a member of the Parish Council at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, speaks about a water well project for an Orthodox Seminary in Guatemala. AHEPA Chapter No. 61 donated $5,000 toward the project.

Chapter President George Giovanis gave highlights of 2021 chapter activities and briefed chapter members about upcoming events for 2022.

Chapter President George Giovanis presents gifts to the three visiting members of the District Lodge.

Michael Macaronis presents a report on the successful 2021 Ernie Orphanos Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament hosted by the Reading AHEPA Chapter in August.

Rev. Father Theodore Petrides from Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading gave the opening and closing prayers and thanked the Reading AHEPA Chapter for its longtime support of the church and its ministries.

Reading AHEPA Chapter Treasurer Tony Phyrillas updates members on the chapter's finances.

The newest members of the Gust C. Kraras AHEPA Chapter No. 61 are from l-r: Jonathan Thompson, Dr. George Visnich, Jason Arnold, James Phyrillas, Gino Caloiero and Chris Siozos.

Friday, August 27, 2021

READING AHEPA 2021 SCHOLARSHIP GOLF CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS

The 12th Annual Ernie Orphanos Memorial Golf Classic was held on Saturday, August 21, concluding another successful year for the Reading AHEPA chapter.  Congratulations to the 2021 tournament foursome champions – Ryan Holloway, Mike Firovante, Jonas Conner and Luke Fagley.  The second-place tournament winners were Bernie Donahue, Bern Donahue, Jason Arnold and Nick Lambros. The weather forecast for the day of the golf outing called for thunderstorms. However, we were truly blessed with beautiful weather and all participants had a most enjoyable day of golf, fellowship and good food. In addition to the 80 golf participants, 45 individual and business sponsors helped bring in $15,314 in revenue, resulting in a net profit of approximately $10,000 for this year’s tournament. The proceeds from this annual event provide scholarships for our Berks County youth to continue their education following high school graduation. These young men and women have gone on to successful academic and professional careers that give back to our same community that supported them with these AHEPA scholarships.









Thursday, August 5, 2021

AHEPA Honors Marathon Champ Kyriakides, Hall of Famers, Ali's Daughter

AHEPA Honors Marathon Champ Kyriakides, Hall of Famers, Ali's Daughter: ATHENS – The family of the late 1946 Boston Marathon winner Stylianos Kyriakides, a Cypriot who triumphed against all odds, was celebrated at the AHEPA convention's Athletic Hall of Fame

Friday, July 23, 2021

In Memoriam: Peter M. Xavios

Peter M. Xavios, 84, of Wyomissing, passed away Monday, July 19, 2021, at 10:17 am in his residence.  He was the husband of the late Leah L. (Lamp) Xavios who passed away on February 4, 2005.  

Born in Reading, Mr. Xavios was the son of the late Nicholas P. and Sophie (Stevens) Xavios.  He was a member of Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church and was a self-employed barber.  

Mr. Xavios served in the United States Army during the Korean War.  

He is survived by his son Michael P. Xavios Sr. of Reading and his daughter Lisa H. Jones, wife of Robert E. Jones of Sinking Spring.   Mr. Xavios is also survived by his grandchildren Michael, Jr.; Travis; Victoria and his great-grandchildren Casey and Ethan.  He is also survived by his loving companion of 13 years Gloria Seifrit and was preceded in death by his son Jeffrey N. Xavios, October 31, 1995.

He was a great son, brother, husband, father, great-grandfather, friend and companion.  Family was very important to him and he loved us all.

He was a barber for over 60 years.  He loved what he did.  He had several generations of family members that he had the pleasure of providing service to.  He always thought of his clients as friends.

He previously served on the Parish Council at Sts. Constantine and Helen Church Greek Orthodox Church and was a member of the Order of AHEPA.  Brother Peter was initiated into the Reading AHEPA chapter on May 9, 1967. He was honored as a Life Member of the chapter.

Funeral Service will be held at Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 1001 East Wyomissing Blvd. Reading, Monday, July 26, 2021, at 12:30 pm.  Reverend Theodore Petrides will officiate.  Interment with Military Honors rendered by the United States Army Honor Guard will follow at Berks County Memorial Gardens.  The family will receive relatives and friends at Bean Funeral Home 129 East Lancaster Ave. Shillington, Sunday, July 25, 2021, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and at Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church Monday from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.  Service to begin at 12:30. Online condolences may be made at www.beanfuneralhomes.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

AHEPAN Jason Hornberger recognized by Reading Chapter for Humanitarian Efforts

AHEPA Chapter President George Giovanis, right, presents the Humanitarian Award to AHEPAN Jason Hornberger, who donated life-saving organs twice to a fellow Berks County resident.

Guest C. Kraras AHEPA Chapter No. 61 member Jason Hornberger was honored on Sunday, May 16, 2021, at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, Pa., for his generous organ donation to save the life of another Berks County resident. Below is the text of the presentation made by AHEPA Chapter President George Giovanis: 

·        I would like to share a heart-warming story that involves a caring spirit of one of our Brothers of our Reading chapter.  Brother Jason Hornberger has been active in our AHEPA Chapter for 8 years now and always supports everything about our fraternal group and attended our meetings and functions.  Jason’s mother is a Greek Orthodox lady who we know from South Jersey.  In fact, Jason’s Papou was an Ahepan in the Wildwood Chapter which was organized and chartered by our departed Brother Gust Kraras.

·        The story I want to tell you about involves Jason’s incredible heart.  Four years ago, there is a good friend of many of ours in the community by the name of Dick Henry, who unfortunately, because of much of the medicines and drugs that were prescribed for Dick, had a tremendous effect on his liver, and he needed a transplant.  Literally thousands of people were tested to see if there was a match for Dick and he was coming up empty as far as any possible donor.  Along came Brother Jason who got tested, and even though he only knew Dick slightly, it turned out Jason was a perfect match and he offered to be the donor.  Jason spent weeks preparing to be the liver donor for Dick Henry, which he completed over three years ago.  That was an incredible sacrifice and one by a young man in his early thirties who is married and has two young children.

·        But, the story gets even more amazing and intriguing.  Over the past few months, Dick Henry, because of the effects of so many anti-rejection drugs that he has been taking, actually ended up with kidneys failing dramatically and to a point where it was life threatening once again.  Absolutely incredibly, Jason was once again a match and even more incredibly, he decided to donate his kidney to Dick Henry, which he did in early March. 

·        Both of these transplants were done at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital where they said they had never had, in all their history, another person who ever donated two organs to anybody.

A plaque was presented to Jason in Church on AHEPA Day, May 16, 2021, that reads:

AHEPA MERITORIOUS AWARD Presented to Brother Jason Hornberger for your Humanitarian Efforts in providing the Gift of Life to help another in need.  Your Proud Brothers of AHEPA Chapter #61 – Reading, PA

Monday, May 17, 2021

Stevie Mitchell Awarded Reading AHEPA Chapter Scholarship

Scholarship recipient Stevie Mitchell with Chapter Scholarship Chairman Athan Dialectos.

The Gust C. Kraras AHEPA Chapter No. 61 awarded a 2021 Chapter Scholarship to Stevie Mitchell, a graduating senior at Wilson High School. Mitchell, a celebrated high school basketball star, is the son of Kyran and Stephanie Mitchell. While his athletic accomplishments are legendary in Berks County and Pennsylvania, Stevie is one of the top academic students in his graduation class, earning an overall GPA of 3.98. He will be attending Marquette College, where he has received a full athletic scholarship as an NCAA Division I basketball player. Among Stevie's high school achievements: National Honor Society, Varsity Basketball Grades 9-12; BCIAA Player of the Year for 2 consecutive years; First Team All-State Basketball for 2 years; Three-time All-County selection. Stevie also served as an Acolyte and attended Sunday School at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church.

Monday, March 1, 2021

In Memoriam: James Georgeadis

James Georgeadis, 95, passed away February 28, 2021, at Berks Heim. He was the loving husband of Christine (Fournaris) Georgeadis and had celebrated 70 years of marriage. 

Born in Reading, he was a son of the late Socrates and Androniki (Lambros) Georgeadis. 

He was predeceased by six siblings, Lyvia, Nicholas, Fred and Steve Georgeadis, Sadie Patton and Bess Fotis.

Jimmy, as he was affectionately known by all, was a graduate of Reading High School in 1944 and served honorably in the US Army in the Pacific Theater during World War II. 

His professional life was spent at Reading Merchants Company, serving many years as its sales manager from 1953, until his retirement in 1998. 

He was an active lifelong member of Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church and a member of Gust C. Kraras Chapter No. 61 Order of AHEPA. 

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two children, Lyvia, married to Anthony D. Petris, Sinking Spring, and Socrates J. Georgeadis married to Kerry Georgeadis, of Wyomissing; four grandchildren: Kristina married to Antoni Antonellos; Kathy married to Gerasimo Phelivanidis; James S. Georgeadis, married to Patty Preston Georgeadis of Dallas, TX; and Anne Katherine Georgeadis of Phoenixville, PA; and four great-grandchildren: Teddy Antonellos, Dimitri Antonellos, Penny Georgeadis, and Bonnie Georgeadis. 

A visitation will be held Wednesday, March 3, 2021, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church. Because of concerns due to Covid-19, the family regrettably asks for a private service thereafter. Contributions may be made to Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church 1001 East Wyomissing Blvd., Reading, PA 19611. 

Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc, West Reading is honored to serve James and his family. Condolences may be expressed at www.kuhnfuneralhomes.com.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

AHEPA chapter purchases 2 ovens for Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church kitchen

Tony Phyrillas, treasurer of the Gust C. Kraras Chapter No. 61 Order of AHEPA, presents a check to Christos Dikos, president of the church council at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, to cover the purchase and delivery of two convection ovens for the church kitchen. The ovens will be used to cook at the church's annual food festival and for baking by the church's ladies auxiliary. "Due to the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the church’s financial situation has been a challenge for the parish council," AHEPA Chapter President George Giovanis said. "The members of our service organization continue to stand ready in support of the church." The Gust C. Kraras Chapter 61 of AHEPA has been active in Berks County for the past 95 years and has supported the church financially.