AHEPA e-News! – Vol. 10 Issue 5 – Wednesday, February 3, 2016 

Speaker Paul Ryan greets Lt. Col. James Megellas and his wife_ Carole as Meredith Walker and Supreme Vice President Andrew Zachariades look on.

Speaker Paul Ryan greets Lt. Col. James Megellas and his wife, Carole, as Meredith Walker and Supreme Vice President Andrew Zachariades look on.


AHEPA, Hellenic Caucus Co-host Congressional Reception for WWII Veteran Lt. Col. Megellas; Speaker Ryan Attends
AHEPA, in cooperation with U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), co-chairs, the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues; and U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), hosted a congressional reception for World War II Veteran Lt. Col. James “Maggie” Megellas (U.S. Army, ret.), the most-decorated officer in the history of the 82nd Airborne Division, last night on Capitol Hill.  
Nearly 20 members of Congress attended the reception in appreciation  

Ambassador Christos Panagopoulos, Lt. Col. Megellas, and Supreme President James Galanis. An American flag that flew above the U.S. Capitol in honor of Megellas is displayed on the table.

for Megellas, who originally hails from Fond du Lac, Wisc., including Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI). The reception featured remarks from: U.S. Reps. Bilirakis and Maloney as well as Supreme President John Galanis and Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Christos Panagopoulos. More than 75 persons attended.

Megellas, an AHEPA Life Member, is the recipient of the: Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, Belgian Fourragere, and Dutch Orange Lanyard; and in 2008, the German government honored him for his role in liberating the Wobbelin Concentration Camp, May 2, 1945.  
“We sincerely appreciate the hard work of Representatives Bilirakis, Maloney, and Sessions, and their staffs, who helped to make tonight’s event a wonderful experience for everyone,” Galanis said. “We also thank all the members of Congress who took time out of their busy schedules to meet Maggie. We pledge to continue our efforts, working with our allies on Capitol Hill, to ensure Maggie’s case for the Medal of Honor is granted review and reconsideration because he most deserves the honor.”
Since 2011, AHEPA has backed the effort, including legislation, to authorize the president to award the Medal of Honor to Megellas for acts of valor during the Battle of the Bulge. Currently, Reps. Sessions, Bilirakis and Maloney are circulating a letter that calls for Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy to grant his urgent consideration and personal review of Lt. Col. Megellas’ Medal of Honor case. Urge your member of Congress to back the effort too by signing on to the Sessions-Bilirakis-Maloney letter to Acting Secretary Patrick Murphy.


Trilateral Summit Issues Declaration to Strengthen Cooperation
A trilateral summit concluded Jan. 28 in Cyprus between the leaders of Cyprus, Greece, and Israel to discuss strengthening ties in the security, energy, economic and political arenas between the three countries.
Ahead of this summit, AHEPA had the honor of joining a Leadership Mission of American Hellenic and American Jewish organizational leaders from American Hellenic Institute, B’nai B’rith International and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
to visit these three countries. During the Mission, the delegation spoke with the prime ministers, presidents and top officials from Israel, Greece and Cyprus, exploring the major policy issues and concerns as well as ways to foster ties between the people of the three countries.
AHEPA Applauds Nomination of Greek Islanders for
Nobel Peace Prize   
Last week, AHEPA saluted the effort of an international group of academicians who planned to nominate the people of Lesbos, Kos, Chíos, Samos, Rhodes and Leros, for the Nobel Peace Prize.  That effort, fueled by an online petition from Brother Steven Katradis, Chapter 31, Washington, D.C., has gained momentum thanks to grassroots support.  According to The Pappas Post, three names have been submitted to the Nobel committee by the academicians that represent everyone’s efforts — a grandmother, a fisherman, and an actress. AHEPA vigorously applauds the nomination and commends the academicians who submitted the nomination and Brother Katradis’ online petition initiative, announced Supreme President John Galanis.
AHEPA Announces Honorees for Midwest Gala

AHEPA is proud to announce its honorees for the Midwest Gala, Feb. 20, 2016,  Hyatt Regency Chicago. They are: Rev. Dn. Chris Avramopoulos, director, Youth and YAL Ministries, Metropolis of Chicago; Philanthropist Eleni BousisJohn P. Calamos, CEO/chairman and global co-chief investment officer, Calamos Asset Management; Hon. Charles P. Kocoras, judge, Northern District of Illinois; and U.S. Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN), member, Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues and House Committee on Appropriations.

“We salute and congratulate our honorees,” Supreme President John W. Galanis said. “They exemplify excellence in the community. We’re excited about our program, and we’re looking forward to a fun evening.”
In October, AHEPA held its first of its regional galas in Boston, honoring excellence in the community.

Hellenic Caucus Membership at 132. Help It Grow.

ACTION ITEM: Help Us Grow the Hellenic Caucus!
Congress has returned to Washington to commence the Second Session of the 114th Congress.  AHEPA asks that you help us to grow the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues to newer heights.  The Hellenic Caucus has been an active, bipartisan group in Congress since its founding in 1995.  It is co-chaired by U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).
Membership in the Hellenic Caucus stands at 132.



Ahepans tour the Saint Nicholas construction site.


AHEPA is determined to meet its Saint Nicholas Capital Campaign fund raising goal. The administrative year is well underway and donations–large and small–are pouring in for AHEPA’s #RebuildStNicholas capital campaign.
  • We sincerely thank our latest donors: AHEPA Chapter 314, Las Vegas, Nev., Woodrow Wilson Chapter 241, Newport News, Va., Aristoteles Chapter 34, Pittsburgh, Pa., AHEPA Chapter 407, Augusta, Ga., Juan De Fuca Chapter 177, Seattle, Wash. and AHEPA Chapter 140, Albany, N.Y. for their recent donations!

Our #RebuildStNicholas campaign webpage has been updated to reflect the many generous donations we received over the summer.

Has your district or chapter organized a fundraiser for the campaign to #RebuildStNicholas?  Take action and support AHEPA’s campaign today! Please tweet about your fundraising activity by using #RebuildStNicholas to share your work with the broader community!



AHEPA Mourns Passing of Father Romas
AHEPA mourns the passing of Rev. John Romas, who presided over Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed on September 11, 2001. He passed away January 24, 2016 at the age of 86.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Father Romas,” Supreme President John Galanis said. “He worked ceaselessly toward the reconstruction of Saint Nicholas following September 11, including with AHEPA as together we successfully helped to cut the red tape of bureaucracy so that Saint Nicholas may one day rise again.  May his memory be eternal.”
* * *
Thanks to a live webcam, you can watch progress being made with a first-hand look at the site where Saint Nicholas National Shrine will be build.

The Ahepan

The winter issue of The Ahepan is out! Share it with family and friends by forwarding this electronic version.  
Read about how AHEPA honored excellence in the Boston community and maintained its commitment to education through its National Educational Foundation.  Also, check out the latest on how AHEPA chapters give back to the community.

Click on the magazine icon to read it today!

Upcoming Events
19-20 – Supreme Lodge, Board of Trustees Meetings, Chicago
Greek American News Digest
Visual Journey | The Waypoint  The Washington Post  Take a visual journey through the island of Lesbos and follow refugees on their way to Europe…read more


Two Greek islanders and actress Susan Sarandon to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize  ANA-MPA (Jan. 31) Emilia Kamvysi, a 85-year old woman from Lesvos island, a 40-year old fisherman Stratis Valiamos and the actress Susan Sarandon have been nominated for the Nobel Prize, according to sources. A petition on the website in favour of the nomination of Greek islanders has amassed more than 500,000 signatures...read more

Greece-Cyprus-Israel pact seen creating many benefitsEkathimerini (Jan. 29) Greek diplomatic sources said on Friday that a cooperation agreement signed in Nicosia between the leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel could lead to significant political and economic developments.  The Nicosia Declaration followed Thursday’s trilateral summit between Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While it covered a number of areas of potential cooperation between the three countries, which made it clear that Turkey and Egypt could join the group, Greek sources focused on the potential economic gains from the three signatories working together in the energy sector…read more
Israel and Greece send message to Turkey: Our friendship is not aimed against you  Jerusalem Post  (Jan. 27) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, sent a message to Ankara on Wednesday, saying the growing alliance between the two states, together with Cyprus, is not aimed against Turkey, with whom all three have tense ties.  “Our cooperation with Greece and Cyprus stands on its own,” Netanyahu said at a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Tsipras. “We believe it is long overdue, and are very happy about the progress. It is independent of efforts to normalize relations with Turkey.”…read more

Biden, Cypriot President Anastasiades discuss Cyprus settlement: White House  Reuters  (Jan. 29) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden phoned Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades to discuss work toward a settlement deal on the divided Mediterranean island, the White House said on Friday.The leaders also discussed talks held on Thursday by Greece, Israel and Cyprus exploring the possibility of building a natural gas pipeline to Europe, the White House said in a statement. Biden also spoke with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the issue on Friday, the White House said...read more

Quinnipiac hockey standout Sam Anas tries to blaze a trail from Maryland to the NHL  Washington Post (Jan. 28) If Sam Anas ran or dribbled or threw, his path to collegiate and professional sports would have been much clearer. Hundreds of teenagers from his home state earn athletic scholarships every year, and a number have gone on to the NFL and the NBA.  But Sam Anas doesn’t run. He skates. He doesn’t dribble or throw. He dekes.  As the offensive catalyst for Quinnipiac ice hockey – the top-ranked NCAA Division I team in the country – Anas is an anomaly but not because he was a slight, 5-foot-7, 130-pound high school senior when he committed to the Hamden, Conn. university. No, what makes Anas an anomaly is the place he and those hockey skills call home…read more

Thanasis Antetokounmpo finally gets shot with Knicks 

NY Daily News (Jan. 30) Thanasis Antetokounmpo could use a nickname like his younger brother Giannis, aka the Greek Freak, because Thanasis Antetokounmpo may be a good name for Scrabble but it’s a mouthful for NBA broadcasters.  Antetokounmpo’s long journey – Athens to the Westchester Knicks of the D-League – finally reached Madison Square Garden on Friday when the Knicks signed their former second-round pick to a 10-day contract. The goal is to score a second 10-day contract and eventually land a deal for the remainder of the season. So that gives Antetokounmpo 20 days to make an impression and it gives his teammates plenty of time to find a suitable nickname. Zinger, of course, is already taken…read more