Deptford, NJ – Over 400 Greek Orthodox faithful from the Delaware Valley region of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey came out to celebrate the 12th Annual Ambassador Awards Program with his Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. The Awards program was hosted by Bill and Evelyn Balis at the Adelphia Restaurant and Event Center in Deptford, NJ.

The evening’s program began with the singing of the American and Greek national anthems by Ms. Elena Iliades, followed by the invocation by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, and a welcome by the Very Rev. Christoforos Oikonomidis, the Chancellor of the Metropolis of New Jersey.

The first award was posthumous to a Parish Honoree from the St. Thomas-Cherry Hill parish to Constantine Horiates, received by his wife, Georganne. The gathering held a moment of silence in his honor.

Another highlight was the awarding to Parish Honoree, Miss New Jersey, Ms. Agostina Mallous, from St. Demetrios-Wildwood. Other honorees included dedicated Philoptochos members, Essential Medical Workers, and Youth Workers from all the parishes of the Delaware Valley.

The Master of Ceremonies was Archon Didaskalos tou Genous, Dr. Tom Papademetriou, Professor at Stockton University. In addition, to keeping the program moving and announcing all the recipients, he led the entire room in singing American Christmas carols and the traditional Greek Kalanda, helping to usher in the Christmas spirit.

Offering Remarks was Mr. Dimitrios Papageorgiou, Consul of Greece in New York, who described how the awards represent fundamental Greek values. His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia addressed the gathering, emphasizing how important parents and grandparents are to raising good Orthodox Christians. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros offered his Archpastoral Address speaking about the many and diverse gifts that each person has, each represented by one of the awards.

Ending the evening were the youth awards, offered to young people from throughout the Delaware Valley region for their dedication and devotion, representing the following categories: Ambassador of Faith, Ambassador of Hope, Ambassador of Love, and Ambassador of Peace.