Washington, DC – April 29, 2015. The Order of AHEPA once again shown brilliantly in the Nations Capital. Over 350 members of the AHEPA family and friends joined for a celebration in true American pride. The evening which was hosted at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel and chaired by the Supreme Secretary Andrew C. Zachariades, it was a tremendous success. Hailed by many as the “best dinner in years” the evening began with a wonderful tribute tour military with the “President’s Own” United States Marine Corps Band playing patriotic music. Every single participant stood while the Marine Corps color guard presneted the colors and to pay tribute to these men in uniform and for their service to our country.
After the wonderful opening, the first award was presented to Congressman John Lewis. AHEPA member, Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland had the privilege to introduce Congressman Lewis and Supreme President Phillip T. Frangos along with our Chairman Andy Zacaharides presented the award.
(Congressman John Lewis accpets Award from Supreme President Phillp T. Frangos)
A special commemorative framed copy of the 1965 LIFE Magazine of Archbishop Iakovos and Dr. Martin Luther King was also presented by the current Archbishop Demetrios to Congressman Lewis. In his remarks Congressman Lewis thanked the AHEPA for the honor and also spoke about his relationship to the previous Archbishop Iakovos and his support of the civil rights movement in America. A truly unique and awe inspiring moment for all of us.
The evening was a bit stressed when the members of Congress at the event, were rushing to leave for votes which were called right in the middle of our dinner, but they honored their commitment and came to participate with constituents and guests alike. Congress members included (in no particular order)
Bilirakis, Van Hollen, Dold, Titus (who served as MC) Lewis, Sarbanes, Maloney, Davis, former Congressman Zach Space, and a few more who just visited for the cocktail hour. Many local and international guests were also in attendance.
(Ambassador Vasilis Kaskerlis accpets the AHEPA Humanitarian Award to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation)
Despite the early departure of the members of Congress, the audience was very impressed with the caliber of recipients and the noteworthy accomplishments. WE were please to honor the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and were happy to hear remarks from former Ambassador Vasilis Kaskerlis who accepted the award on their behalf.
(Chairman Zachariades, Col. Macauley Carl Hollister (Major USARMY ret) and SP Frangos AHEPA Medal of Honor)
Colonel Macaulay moved our audience to tears with his tribute to the soldiers that served our country and was a truly fitting awardee of the 2015 AHEPA Military Medal of Honor; what words can be said of a true AHEPA champion, Past Supreme President Gus J. James of Norfolk, who was the 2015 Lifetime Achievement award winner.
(PSP Gus James receives LIFETIME Achievement award)
All our honorees were very important community leaders and impressive to say the least. We were honored to hear remarks from the Greek and Cypriot Ambassadors His Excellency Christos Panagopoulos and His Excellency George Chacalli respectively, as well as an inspirational talk from His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and of course words from both the Supreme and Grand Presidents.
The Daughters honored Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis with their Civic Award and Ambassador Kounalakis gifted everyone a complimentary book of her life and times as US Ambassador to Hungry.
All in all the event was an amazing success but it would not have been without the support of our benefactors and our members who attended, so all of us at AHEPA Supreme President Frangos and Chairman Zachariades would like to thank them: