Cinnaminson, NJ – The Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley hosted its annual Eleftheria Banquet on Saturday at The Merion. The evening was highlighted with the presentation of the Eleftheria Medal to this year’s Grand Marshal, the Honorary Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece in New York and the Kyriakos Mossaidis of the Pontian Society “Akritai” the Honorary Grand Marshal.
The evening kicked off with the singing of the national anthems of Greece and the United States. That was followed by the invocation by His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and welcoming by Federation President Georgia Halakos.
Master of Ceremonies John Vasiliou and Dimitris Rzanitis, took turns addressing the attendees in Greek and English. Speeches by both honored guests about Greek Independence and their personal journey’s brought on cheers as they were decorated with sashes for the parade they will be wearing. Effie Pavlidou-Economou, President of the Pontian “Akritai” also addressed the guests. In her speech, she reminded the attendees that the 100th anniversary of the Pontian Genocide would be marked at the parade this week along with a short film later this week.
Four young Greek American students from the Sights and Sounds 2019 event, were recognized for their Eleftheria Essays and Poems. The evening closed with a keynote address by His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and dancing by the Pontian “Akritai” of Philadelphia.