Washington, DC – Ahepans and Daughters from around the country descended on our nation’s capital for Capitol Hill day 2018. Ahepa delegations representing various districts met with their elected representatives to educate them about issues important to all Ahepans and Hellenes.
In the morning a briefing was held by Andrew Kaffes, Ahepa’s policy coordinator. After morning greetings from Congressman Gus Bilirakis and others, Ahepans from throughout the domain took over the Hill.
A long and productive day it was as meetings with key Senators and Representatives were used to drive home all issues advocating Greece Cyprus and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Fresh off of a two-week fact-finding in Greece and Cyprus, the newest and latest insight was brought to Washington’s doorstep in true Ahepa fashion.
At the reception, several speakers from AHEPA addressed the members, including Supreme President Carl Hollister. Hollister covered a full spectrum of Greek issues and asked members to continue to bring issues to the attention of their local congress representatives.
A series of awards and acknowledgments then followed. They were led by Savas Tsivicos, Chairman of the AHEPA Cyprus Hellenic Affairs Committee. He presented Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida’s 27th congressional district) with a traditional Greek “komboloi” (worry beads). Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen has had a long relationship with the Greek community and shares a deeply rooted affection for her own ethnic background as a Cuban. Which she feels parallels much of the diaspora Greek experience. She was the first to be honored yesterday, with the AHEPA Pericles Award for the second time. “It may be the second time for me, but its because I spend twice as much time on Hellenic Issues and the Greek communities concerns, said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen.
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts was also recognized at the reception where she received the AHEPA Pericles Award, for bringing attention to the Hellenic Issues. Her husband, Paul Tsongas, an American politician who also represented Massachusetts was also known for championing Greek issues.
Several other speakers then addressed the crowd of AHEPAN’s, including Daughters of Penelope President Eva Jean Fomalot, AHEPA Supreme Treasurer, George Horiatis and Andrew Kaffas, AHEPA Director of Public Affairs. The message that resonated, continue to stand for Hellenic causes.