Scholarship Recipients

AHEPA Minute – June 2022

AHEPA and the DOP co-sponsored this year’s Community Awards Banquet on Sunday May 22, to honor and wish well our students as they begin and continue their higher education journey of learning. With Covid-19 restrictions lifted we were able to have a face-to-face celebration in the Dombalis Hall. A record number of 120 attended, including High School graduates, College  graduates, Scholarship recipients and their families with parents and pappoudes and yiayiades.

Our celebration started with welcoming remarks by John Bletsos and the invocation prayer, offered by Fr. Bill Bartz. We enjoyed a baked chicken meal with oven potatoes, broccoli and salad prepared by chef Tom Kirk assisted by AHEPAN brothers who also served us all. Then we followed with the grand entrance of the famous baked Alaska dessert prepared by brother John Halages and carried in by AHEPAN brothers  under the sounds of celebration music and sprinklers. Our featured speaker was Maria Bartz, an educator in a leadership position at Trinity Episcopal School, a member of the Parish Council, and a Sunday School Director. Maria gave an  inspiring speech that included her experiences as an educator, and anecdotal stories from her life as a student, camp counselor and educator. Thank you, Maria!

We followed up with the presentation of scholarships by John Bletsos, President of AHEPA, Linda Tsironis Caruthers, President of DOP, Barbara Bambacus President of Philoptochos, Maria Bartz, who presented the scholarships for the rest of the Cathedral organizations on behalf of the Parish Council, and Drew Baker who presented the Cathedral scholarship in honor of his grandparents. Fr. Nick was also present, and he honored the graduating altar boys.

The E in AHEPA stands for Education. We are proud of our long, local chapter history of supporting education that started in the late 80’s and has grown since then to more than $139,000 in scholarship awards. The AHEPA scholarship fund started with seed money and donations, and it has grown through wise investments and fundraising events that we sponsor and you the community support. We thank you for that support! The AHEPA scholarship recipients for 2022 are:

  • Daniel Bazianos - AHEPA scholarship in memory of Paul Dracos.
  • Christopher Chavez - AHEPA scholarship
  • Helena Loucas - AHEPA scholarship
  • Melina Ringas - AHEPA scholarship in memory of John T. Sotos
  • Evi Spears - AHEPA scholarship

Bravo and congratulations to all of you graduates, scholarship recipients and your families! Good luck in your studies! We applaud you and wish you the best in your future! Remember Homer's phrase in Iliad "Αιέν αριστεύειν..." which means "always strive for excellence..." Do try to practice it, not only in your studies but in your lives too!

John Bletsos also announced that the Hellenic Society Paideia of VA, AHEPA and Philoptochos will make donations to defray some of the cost to the three applicants from our Cathedral community for the Ionian Village. The Ionian Village Camp is organized by the Archdiocese and it provides an excellent opportunity for our youth to visit Greece, feel the cultural and religious experience, enjoy fellowship with young people from many places in the US, and make everlasting friendships.

We continued with the recognition awards of Sister of the Year by the DOP and the AHEPAN of the Year.

The AHEPAN of the Year for 2022 is Mike Hall who personifies what a true volunteer is: a thinker, an organizer and a doer who unselfishly devotes his time and talents to the community! Congratulations brother Mike! We thank you for your service!

This event was made possible by many who worked and helped to make it a success.

  • Fr. Nick, Athina Plaka. Thank you!
  • Our sisters of the DOP for their support and for setting up! We thank you!
  • Our brothers in AHEPA who helped to set up and prepare the food and served us! We thank you brothers! You set a new standard in community service!

Our next AHEPA meeting will be on June 9. We will pause in July and August and resume in September.

Visit our own AHEPA website: http://www.district3ahepa.com/mydistrict/83 to see our history, photos, and presentations.

John Bletsos

President, Richmond Chapter #83

October 28th, AHEPA Wine Tasting - Open to the entire community.

AHEPA is a nationally affiliated organization whose purpose is to promote and retain the values of Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence. The organization is comprised of men in our congregation who meet monthly and provide support to our community through fellowship scholarships and other social activities.