Washington, DC – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading membership-based association for the nation’s three million American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, and its affiliated organization, the Daughters of Penelope, are in the midst of its 86th annual overseas excursion with a visit to Athens, Greece. Prior to arriving in Athens, the delegation met with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Ecumenical Patriarchate on April 2, 2014.

In Athens, the delegation, led by Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis and Daughters of Penelope Grand President Joanne Saltas, met with President of Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, President of the Hellenic Parliament Evangelos Vasileios Meimarakis, U.S. Ambassador to Greece David Pearce, and Minister of Administrative Reform and e-Governance of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The delegation will meet with several ministers beginning Monday, April 7.

Additional $20K to Feed the Needy Donated

AHEPA presented Apostoli Mission with an additional $20,000 donation to help feed the needy people of Greece, bringing the total amount donated for this campaign to $400,000. The delegation also met with officials from Deree-The American College of Greece about the new collaboration with the college for a study abroad program to launch this summer.

“We have been extremely well-received in Athens,” Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis. “Our meetings have been productive and informative. We look forward to continuing our work together to further enhance and strengthen relations between the United States and Greece.”

He added, “We discussed the multitude of programs we have either launched, or helped to support in cooperation with other charitable organizations, to address Greece’s humanitarian crisis. We also provided officials with updates on where we stand with our study abroad educational programs, and we look forward to continuing to help the people of Greece and to strengthen the bridge of cooperation between the United States and Greece.”

In addition, Grand President Joanne Saltas visited the Penelopean Day Care Center in Athens, a Voluntary National Project of the Daughters of Penelope.

Visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, $18K Donated

AHEPA donated $18,000 for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and for Halki during an audience with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, April 2, 2014. Some proceeds will go toward the purchase of electric cart to be used to navigate on Halki.

AHEPA Family visits His All Holiness at the Ecumenical Patriarchate

“We are deeply grateful to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the generous amount of time he afforded our delegation,” Supreme President Kouzounis said. “AHEPA remains steadfast in its support for religious freedom and human rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and all religious minorities in Turkey. We will not cease our efforts until these fundamental rights are in place and the Ecumenical Patriarchate is allowed to flourish.”

AHEPA held a dinner meeting with His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros, who is the dean of the Holy Theological of Halki.