West Chester, PA – “It was a groundbreaking event,” announced John Avaizoglou, master of ceremonies, at the 1st ever golf fundraiser to benefit St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Upper Darby.
The day-long affair at Penn Oaks Golf Club was organized and sponsored by Colonial Marble and Granite, and funded by many of its corporate and regional business affiliates. Church members, local Greek-American businesses, and many families also took part, in what turned out to be a great day for historical Greek Orthodox community. Some 120 golfers were treated to an all day souvlaki barbecue stand that also featured fresh homemade spanakopita from St. Demetrios. Silent auctions, hole in one’s, and a golf ball dropping from a helicopter highlighted the outdoor and indoor festivities. Colonial Marble and Granite presented a giant check for $135,000 to the church board members of St. Demetrios during dinner. The generous amount symbolized the love and value the church has played a role in the lives of those in attendance.
The fundraiser brought together members of the historic Greek-American community from around the Delaware Valley as well. Many of these families first settled in the neighborhood around St. Demetrios from Greece as immigrants, including the Papadopoulos family-owners of Colonial Marble and Granite.
“Everyone in this room is special to us. I learned how to dance, read, write and speak Greek at St. Demetrios,” said 1st generation Greek-American Nikos Papadopoulos of Colonial Marble and Granite. Papadopoulos who addressed the attendees with his mother Pamela standing by during dinner added, “It’s a remarkable feeling, and I’m overwhelmed, to be able to play and raise money for St. Demetrios is very special to us”. “ I’m a St. D’s girl all the way. I was raised in this community from the age of 12, and I can’t do enough”, added Pamela Papadopoulos.
The St. Demetrios community was established in 1942 at 59th and Larchwood in West Philadelphia, where they took over a small Christian church. As the community grew, they moved to their new and current location across Cobbs Creek Parkway into Upper Darby, where they built their new church in 1965. In 1985 St. Demetrios Greek school building and gym were added. The Greek language school has some 100 students. St. Demetrios also has a vibrant Philoptochos, Greek Orthodox Youth Association, Dance group and does homeless feedings once a month.