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Reactivation of the Perth Amboy AHEPA Raritan Chapter #288, St. Demetrios Church 3/1/15

*Photos by Joe Bayona & Submitted

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Press Release

By: George N. Petrakakis, AHEPA District 5 Secretary

PERTH AMBOY – On Sunday, March 1st, Sunday of Orthodoxy, a great milestone in AHEPA history took place as the Perth Amboy AHEPA Raritan Chapter #288 became reactivated after being dormant for nearly twenty years; and was warmly welcomed by Fr. Angelo J. Michaels and Parish Council President Hon. Judge Marina Corodemus (ret).

Many thanks to all who made this event possible which resulted in such a resounding success including the complimentary luncheon and the subsequent events of the day. The list of donors and volunteers who contributed is immense, and is indicative of the huge support for the return of the Raritan Chapter #288, once a strong and vibrant chapter of the AHEPA Fifth District which now encompasses 18 chapters in NJ and Delaware; and over 400 worldwide.

Congratulations to all for becoming members of the Order of the AHEPA, founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia. The AHEPA is the largest and oldest American-based, Greek heritage grassroots membership fraternal organization in the world whose mission is to promote Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.

We were very blessed to have so many dignitaries, members and guests present on March 1st. A true testament to the strength and unity of the AHEPA District 5 Family, which also includes the ladies Auxiliary known as the Daughters of Penelope; and the Junior Order of the Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena; almost all of whom attended the Divine Liturgy and many participated in the celebration of Sunday of Orthodoxy during the procession of the icons.

Dignitaries present March 1st included Pastor Gregory Pabon, member of the Perth Amboy Police Chaplain’s Corps; Mayor of Perth Amboy Honorable Wilda Diaz; and Assemblyman John Wisniewski representing the 19th Legislative District. Members of the AHEPA Supreme Lodge included Honored Guest and Keynote Speaker Supreme President Phillip T. Frangos, Supreme Secretary Andy Zachariades, and Supreme Governor Phil Vogis. AHEPA District 5 Lodge Members included District Governor Stanley Gerondelis, District Lt. Governor Asteris Fanikos, District Secretary George N. Petrakakis, District Marshall Zenon Christodoulou, District Warden Steve Marmarou, and District Sons of Pericles Advisor Ted Vittas. Additional AHEPA dignitaries included: Past Supreme Governor Ted Fanikos; Past District Governor (PDG) and AHEPA District 5 Cancer Foundation Chairman George G. Horiates; and PDG and Chairman of the AHEPA District 5 Projects Committee Lee J. Millas.

AHEPA Chapters represented that day included: Cherry Hill, Clifton, Holmdel, Jersey City, Piscataway, Roseland, Trenton, Westfield, and Wyckoff.

Daughters of Penelope District 5 Lodge members included District Governor Anna Zavros, and District Secretary Isa Velez. Sons of Pericles Supreme Vice-President Andreas Christou was also present.

We were privileged to have the Perth Amboy High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps under the direction of Captain Karen J. Hard, U.S. Navy Reserve (ret), and USMC Gunnery Sergeant Peter Ramirez, present the colors; the singing of the US National Anthem by Irving Daniel Lozada; and the singing of the Greek National Anthem by Stavroula Wagner and Nikolas Vosinas. Carolyn Maxwell, a long-time friend of the St. Demetrios Church Community provided photographer Joe Bayona to capture the day’s events.

The reactivation of the Perth Amboy AHEPA Chapter has been a long time coming, and I am honored each of the chapter’s new initiates made the commitment to become part of the local chapter.

Perth Amboy AHEPA Raritan Chapter #288 welcomes the following initiates, reinstatements, and transfers:

Fr. Angelo J. Michaels, Atef A. Azous, Christy Corodemus, Steven Corodemus, Spero Coutros, Joseph DaCunha, Bennie DiBlasi, Dimitrios Koudis, Chris N. Kusulas, Dino Kusulas, James A. Lukas, Constantinos Mariolis, George N. Petrakakis, Mark Rasimowicz, Stavros Tsapatsaris, Glenn Viega, Alexandros G. Vosinas, George A. Vosinas, Nikolas P. Vosinas; and posthumously reinstated Eureka #52 Newark, NJ Past President James S. Corodemus.

Upcoming AHEPA Chapter #288 Events: Saturday, March 21st – Raising of the Greek Flag commemorating 194 years of independence. The ceremony shall take place at The Circle across from City Hall, 260 High Street, Perth Amboy; AHEPA Sunday, May 24th – we shall commemorate our dearly departed Brothers with a memorial service and sponsor the fellowship coffee hour following church services; Memorial Day, May 25th – City of Perth Amboy Memorial Day Celebration, City War Memorial across from St. Demetrios Church on Sadowski Parkway.

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