81st Annual AHEPA Supreme Convention - Phoenix, July 27 to August 1, 2003
Veras Master of Ceremonies at 2003 AHEPA Convention
A BIG FUN GREEK CONVENTION IS COMING TO THE DESERT;
GREEK-AMERICAN PHILANTHROPIST HEADS LIST OF HONOREES
WASHINGTON—A big, fun international conclave of Hellenes and Philhellenes,
gathering to share in their common heritage and to promote the mission of
the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), is taking
place this month in Phoenix.
AHEPA, the largest and oldest association of American citizens of Greek
heritage and Philhellenes, will hold its 81st Annual Supreme Convention for
the first time in Phoenix, July 27 to August 1 at the JW Marriott Desert
Ridge Resort & Spa®.
According to Supreme President Dr. James F. Dimitriou, the convention is a
five-day event designed to offer attendees the opportunity to embrace their
heritage through educational symposia and social events, featuring live
Greek music and dancing.
“We wish to contribute a sampling of our Greek heritage to a city already
rich with culture and ethnic diversity,” Dr. Dimitriou said. “I am
confident our attendees will appreciate what Phoenix has to offer culturally
Phoenix Philanthropist, Order of St. Andrew Among Honorees
Phoenix resident George P. Kokalis, 96, will be honored with the
AHEPA-Archbishop Iakovos Humanitarian Award for his decades of philanthropic
service to the community. Kokalis will receive his award at the convention’
s Grand Banquet, to be held Thursday, July 31, 7 pm.
“George is a pillar of strength in the community,” Dr. Dimitriou said. “We
are proud of his long-standing membership in AHEPA.”
Additional honorees include: The Order of St. Andrew of the Ecumenical
Patriarchate, a body of laymen that promote the mission of the Mother Church
and the Holy Patriarchate of Constantinople, represented by its National
Commander, Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis (AHEPA Medal of Freedom); Her
Excellency Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to
the U.S. (Aristotle Award); Dr. Maria Pantelia, Professor of Classics and
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae Project Director, University of California, Irvine
(Academy of Achievement Award); and Dr. Monthe N. Kofos, AHEPA National
Athletic Director (AHEPA Lifetime Achievement Award).
“We have a distinguished list of honorees,” Dr. Dimitriou said. “In each of
their own unique ways, our honorees contribute to the strengthening of our
communities through their philanthropic deeds, professional excellence, and
Other distinguished guests and speakers to date include:
- Archbishop Demetrios of America, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in
- Her Excellency Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, Ambassador of the Republic of
Cyprus to the U.S.
- His Excellency Dimitrios S. Zevelakis, Consul General of Greece
- Elaine Rogers, USO Metropolitan Washington President, who will receive a
$10,000 donation for the “Operation USO Care Package” program
Executive Producer George Veras, president, Veras Communications, Inc., will
be the Master of Ceremonies for the Grand Banquet. His many professional
accomplishments include producing PBS documentaries and entertainment
specials The Greek Americans I and II, and more recently, Yanni Live at
Royal Albert Hall.
In other events, four new members will be inducted into the AHEPA Athletic
Hellenic Hall of Fame on July 29, Archbishop Demetrios will offer a Bible
study on July 30, and Dr. Pantelia will lecture on the “Thesaurus Linguae
Graecae” Project on July 31.
AHEPA was founded in 1922 in response to the evils of bigotry and racism of
early 20th century American society that targeted immigrants of many
ethnicities, especially in the South. It also helped Greek immigrants
assimilate into American society.
Today, the mission of the AHEPA family is to promote the ideals of
Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and family and
For more information about the AHEPA Supreme Convention, visit
www.ahepa.org/convention or contact Basil Mossaidis at 202.232.6300; Ext.
206. For instant information about AHEPA visit www.ahepa.org.
For information about the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, please