WASHINGTON, DC -- The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the leading membership-based service association for the nation’s millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, and its affiliated organizations, celebrated the 197th Anniversary of Greek Independence with the American Hellenic community at a White House ceremony held March 22, 2018. President Donald J. Trump and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, provided remarks.
"We sincerely thank President Trump for hosting the event and for issuing a Proclamation that calls on the people of the United States to observe Greek Independence Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities," Supreme President Carl R. Hollister said. "We also commend the president for: expressing his appreciation for the 'countless positive contributions' of Greek Americans to the United States and the vital role Greek American have played in maintaining the United States' strong relationship with Greece; for recognizing Greece’s value as a NATO ally, especially as hosts at NSA Souda Bay; for citing 70 years of Fulbright Greece and the United States as Honored Country at the 2018 Thessaloniki International Fair; and for acknowledging the inspiration the Founding Fathers took from Hellenic principles and the ancient Greeks."
Several AHEPA family national officers attended the ceremony with Supreme President Hollister, wife, Cynthia, and daughter, Alexandra, including: Daughters of Penelope Grand President Eva Jean Fomalont, Sons of Pericles Supreme President Bill Poulos III, Maids of Athena Grand President Sophia Shakolas, Daughters of Penelope Grand Vice President Demi Thomas, Supreme Secretary George Horiates, Esq., Supreme Treasurer Jimmy Kokotas, Past Supreme President Andrew C. Zachariades, AHEPA National Housing Corporation President Angelo Kostarides, and Daughters of Penelope Executive Director Elena Saviolakis.
Hollister added, “AHEPA values the fact that representatives of the American Hellenic community have been welcome to the White House since AHEPA’s meeting with President Calvin Coolidge in 1924. This recognition demonstrates that the Office of the Presidency has valued the American Hellenic community, its concerns, and its many contributions to the tapestry that is America since the time American Hellenes became organized and mobilized in the United States.”
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Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots service association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada and Europe.
AHEPA's mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information, please visit www.ahepa.org.