Delegation Meets with PM Samaras, President Papoulias, U.S. Ambassador Smith

WASHINGTON – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading membership-based association for the nation’s three million American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, and its affiliated organization, the Daughters of Penelope, commenced its 85th annual overseas excursion with a three-day visit to Athens, April 9-11, 2013.

During the Athens leg the delegation, led by Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides, Daughters of Penelope Grand President Joanne Saltas, and AHEPA Canadian President George Vassilas, met with President of Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, Speaker of Hellenic Parliament Vangelis Meimarakis, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos, April 9; Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni, and Minister of Education Constantine Arvanitopoulos, and Deputy Minister for Sports Yiannis Ioannidis, April 10; and Minister of Health Andreas Lykourentzos and Minister of National Defense Panos Panagiotopoulos, April 11. Meetings were also held with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiades Varvitsiotis and Member of Parliament Adonis Georgiades, and the delegation had the opportunity to meet three-time Olympic Champion Pyrros Dimas. Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens also hosted the delegation for a dinner on April 10.

In addition, the delegation received a briefing on U.S.-Greece relations from American Ambassador to Greece Daniel B. Smith at the ambassador’s residence on April 10.

“We have been extremely well-received in Athens,” said Supreme President Dr. Grossomanides. “We are grateful to all parties that helped to make this leg of our excursion a fruitful and productive one. We look forward to continuing our work together to further enhance and strengthen relations between the United States, Canada, and Greece.”

He added, “We also discussed the multitude of programs we have either launched or helped to support in cooperation with other charitable organizations, such as the IOCC, to help address Greece’s humanitarian crisis. We provided the government officials with updates on where we stand with them, and we look forward to continuing to our work to help the people of Greece.”

The delegation also attended a reception hosted by the University of Indianapolis, Athens Campus, April 10. The university is AHEPA’s partner for its successful “Journey to Greece” Program for college students.

The delegation departs for Thessaloniki on Friday, April 12 for a day visit to the AHEPA Hospital in Thessaloniki. With a $15,000 donation, AHEPA helped to secure a $650,000 shipment of medical supplies and equipment assembled by the International Orthodox Christian Charities that arrived to the hospital on April 4. Media Coverage