American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association
The Order of AHEPA was founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, as a fraternal, national, and patriotic society for men of Greek extraction. Currently, the order operates in the United States (540 Chapters), Canada (41 Chapters), Cyprus (5 Chapters), Greece (31 Chapters), and internationally (9 Chapters).
Shortly after the Order was founded, men of non-Greek descent were also declared eligible for admission. Among the more famous of those were President Franklin D. Roosevelt (was initiated when governor of New York), President Harry S. Truman, dozens of senators and US Representatives, and tens of Governors. In 1989, about 5 percent of the AHEPA membership was of non-Greek descent.
AHEPA members know that the contributions of the ancient Greeks to culture and civilization matter. As Americans, they share many of the values put forth by them: civic responsibility, philanthropy, education, family and individual excellence, and the ideals of democracy. This is the essence of their heritage. This is the core of the AHEPA mission.
Moreover, AHEPA has served as a vital vehicle for the progressive development and emergence of American citizens of Greek heritage into every facet of society: government, business, education, and the arts. This fulfillment is rooted in the hard work ethic of immigrant forbears who labored to achieve the dream of independence and security in accord with the principles of Hellenism inbred in them.
The AHEPA National Headquarters are located near Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. For information on infrastructure, activities and current projects of AHEPA on the national stage, visit www.ahepa.org
The mission of AHEPA is to promote Hellenism, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, Family and Individual Excellence.
The 1989 AHEPA memorandum of purposes lists the following “Objectives and Principles” of the Order:
- To promote and encourage loyalty in its members to the ideals of the country of which they are citizens;
- To instruct its members in the tenets and fundamental principles of government;
- To encourage interest and active participation in the political, civic, social, and commercial fields of human endeavour;
- To pledge its members to oppose political corruption and tyranny;
- To promote a better and more comprehensive understanding of the attributes and ideals of Hellenism and Hellenic culture;
- To promote good fellowship, and endow its members with a spirit of altruism, common understanding, mutual benevolence and helpfulness to their fellow man;
- To endow its members with the perfection of the moral sense;
- To promote education and maintain new channels for disseminating knowledge in the fields of culture and learning.
The New Haven, Connecticut Chapter 98 of the Order of AHEPA
Chapter 98 of the Order of AHEPA was established on May 3, 1926, and draws its membership primarily from the parish of the Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church of Greater New Haven, 480 Racebrook Road, Orange, CT. This is the home base of Chapter #98.
Chapter #98 aims to live up daily to the “Educational” and “Progressive” objectives which are part of the AHEPA name. Furthermore, Hellenism matters for all humanity, but especially, for those of Greek origin and Greek affiliated citizens in America. Hence the inclusion of American and Hellenic into the AHEPA name. These features, along with their Orthodox faith, constitute the framework within which AHEPANs conduct their lives.
Officers of Chapter 98.
The 2015-2016 officers are:
PRESIDENT: E. VAGOS HADJIMICHAEL, PhD
VICE PRESIDENT: GEORGE SCARVELES
SECRETARY: JAMES BENAS
TREASURER: EUGENE ESARES
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY: GREGORY STAMOS
Board of Governors
The 2015-2016 Board of Governors of the Chapter is chaired by the immediate past president Eugene Esares, and includes: Mark Hojnowski, Paul Redding, George Scarveles, Greg Stamos. These individuals monitor progress in Chapter concerns, and plans and proposes strategies to the Chapter aiming to pursue successfully and achieve its goals.
Assisting in carrying out the important functions of the Chapter are seven Committees, each lead by a Chairman, and with its functions prescribed by a charter. The Committees are:
- Public Events and Outreach
- Visiting and Member Social Contacts
- Endowment and Investment
- Liaison with the Order Constituent Units
Chapter members are urged to serve on one or more of these Committees, thus contributing their ideas, organizational skills, and labor in the pursuit of AHEPA pride and fraternal enjoyment.
Record of Leadership
- Chapter #98 is proud in that two of its members, Constantine P. Verinis and George J. Margolis, have served the National Order of AHEPA as Supreme Governors.
- George Scarveles and James Giatrelis have served as District Governors
- Gregory Stamos is currently serving his second term as Supreme Counselor, Greg was elected, unopposed, two years ago, for a first one year term, and then re-elected, once again unopposed, in 2014, for his second one year term. As a member of the Supreme Lodge, he can effect policy decisions.
Over the years, the Chapter has participated in projects aligned to the AHEPA principles; selectively:
- In 1966, the Chapter supplied materials to the Save the Children Foundation for the construction of a school kitchen on the Island of Leros.
- In 1972, the chapter joined hands with the Connecticut Campaign Against Cooley’s Anemia, and with Ahepan Congressman Robert Giaimo in introducing the Cooley’s Anemia Research Bill Act before the U.S. Congress, resulting in the National Funding for Cooley’s Anemia Research.
- In 2010, Chapter #98 was the first to host the AHEPA Northeast Regional Banquet, on November 20th of that year.
- On an annual basis, Chapter #98 hosts the Hellenic History Tournament, an educational project of the Order of AHEPA.
On the local level, in the framework of the Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church of Greater New Haven, Chapter #98 has:
- contributed over $100,000 toward the construction of the new church edifice and social/educational facilities at 480 Racebrook Road, Orange, CT,
- continued the long-term tradition of the Easter Egg Hunt for the children of Saint Barbara, first held in 1949,
- provided annual funding for 2-3 scholarship awards, in the name of AHEPA, to entering or continuing college students from the Saint Barbara and other near-by parishes.
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