Cherry Hill, NJ – During this year of the pandemic, AHEPA chapters have provided assistance to communities worldwide. Wellness checks, assistance to front liners, care packages, blood and plasma donations, healthcare research are amongst a never-ending series of contributions under the AHEPA Cares program implemented by Supreme President George Horiates. On Christmas Eve, the AHEPA Camden chapter of Cherry Hill, from which the Supreme President hails, honored these programs with a Christmas Eve dinner for Saint Thomas Greek Orthodox Church’s senior housing facility residents.
Christmas music blared out from the AHEPA Hall, which overlooks the senior center. With the assistance of chapter members, meals, special Christmas cards, and greetings were brought to the residents door to door. The residents shouted from their windows on multiple floors their heartfelt appreciation and Christmas greetings to the AHEPA members.
Chapter President Cosmas Diamantis stated, “this is a wonderful opportunity to again show the community the importance of AHEPA during this season. We thank the White House Restaurant for preparing the meals and for all of the donations to the cause. We love spreading Christmas cheer.” Dennis Papadeas brought his son Robert to assist. “it’s important to show the next generation of the great work AHEPA does each and every day,” Stated Robert, “ I’m proud of all of these men and look forward to doing more community-based events. As a Son of Pericles, it makes me want to be involved, even more, I see first hand AHEPA makes a difference.”
Joe Lombardo, the most recent past chapter President, stated, “also, this was the chapter’s way of honoring our Supreme President for his incredible leadership during this year. I could see he had a smile on his face from witnessing this wonderful event. That makes us most proud.”
The Supreme President was proud. His cousin, chapter member Gus Horiates, was in attendance and had his father Elias Horiates, a resident of the center, waiting under the foyer Christmas tree for his supreme nephew’s arrival, masks on. Gus stated, “because of covid, we have really been protective of my parents and all of the residents. When dad found out George was going to be here, I couldn’t keep him in his room.” Stated the chapter’s famed Captain of the Guard to his nephew, we thank you for all you do and for all AHEPA has done throughout the year.”
Supreme President Horiates, with a tear or twinkle in his eye, told us, “I haven’t seen my uncle in some time. His presence is the best present for me. As for what this chapter and others have done this year, on behalf of the largest Hellenic American organization in the diaspora, I say AHEPA has been doing great things for 98 years.”