Cherry Hill, NJ – The St. Irene Ladies Philoptochos Society hosted its 2017 Lunch and fashion show on Sunday that benefits the Children’s Medical Fund. Before the afternoon program commenced, three founders of the organization, Anna Marfis, Mary Rhodes and Sophia Theodorides (who has since passed)¬†were recognized for the years of service and dedication to the Philoptochos. Fr. Christoforos Oikonimidis acknowledged and presented Anna Marfis, Mary Rhodes and Alexandra Benas (granddaughter of Sophia Theodoridis) icons for their years of service and dedication to the Philoptochos.

In 1967 Anna Marfis was the presiding President of the Hellenic Ladies Society caring for all the needs of the parish during its formation. The members of the Hellenic Ladies Society voted on January 19, 1970, to become a Philoptochos Society.

On March 13, 1970, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos made his first arch-pastoral visit to St. Thomas, conducted services and administered the oath of office, installing President of the Hellenic Ladies Society Sophia Theodoris as the first appointed President of the St. Irene Philoptochos Society.

Mary Rhodes became the first elected President the following year. The Archbishop named the new society in honor of Saint Irene, the Great Martyr. Since that historic day, the St. Irene Philoptochos Society has performed many philanthropic endeavors for the benefit of those in need, the parishioners of St. Thomas church and for the community at large.