Atlantic City, NJ – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), the leading membership-based service association for the nation’s millions American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, hosted its 96th Grand Banquet, the pinnacle event of the annual Supreme Convention, July 26, Harrah’s Resort & Casino, Atlantic City, NJ. The Grand Banquet serves to honor excellence in the community and to salute dedication and service to the Order.

Two AHEPANs, who are leaders in the community and within their respective professions, were honored with the 2018 AHEPA Hellenism Award. They were Dr. Spiro Spireas, founder, Sigmapharm Laboratories, and Demosthenes Vasiliou, CEO/president, Astra Foods. Both honorees spoke with inspiration about the ideals and meaning of Hellenism and the importance of passing it on to future generations. They also conveyed appreciation for AHEPA, its mission, and its work within the community.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, provided a Keynote Address. U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis, co-chair, Congressional Hellenic Caucus, also addressed the audience. Basile, the Comedian, colorfully served as Master of Ceremonies.

During the program, Supreme President Carl R. Hollister presented Archbishop Demetrios and Saint Basil Academy Board President Evelyn Tsiadis with a $33,000 donation for a new furnace generator at the Academy. He also presented George Righos, who was instrumental in the founding of Odyssey Charter School, with the AHEPA Lifetime Achievement Award, and announced Dimitrios Dandolos, of Wilmington, DE, as the 2018 AHEPAN of the Year.

The Pontian Society of Philadelphia entertained the audience with traditional dances with many individuals from the crowd joining in.