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June 2008

AHEPA Honored at 24th Annual Cyprus, Hellenic and Orthodox Issues Conference

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading association for the nation’s 1.4 million American citizens of Greek ancestry, and Philhellenes, was honored by The International Coordinating Committee-Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC), and the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) at the organizations’ 24th Annual Cyprus, Hellenic, and Orthodox Issues Conference held May 22, 2008, in Washington. AHEPA was honored for its contributions to American society and its work on issues of concern to the Hellenic American community.

“We are honored to receive this special recognition from this collective group of Hellenic organizations that have fought ceaselessly for justice in Cyprus and Hellenic causes,” said Supreme President Ike Gulas. “We applaud the unwavering efforts of Philip Christopher, Andrew Athens, and Andrew Manatos, and we’re proud that they are all lifelong members of AHEPA.” He went on to add, “this award is a testament to the hard work of AHEPA’s leadership and grassroots over the decades.” Prior to the presentation, Manatos credited AHEPA’s important role in Congress’ enactment of the 1975 embargo on Turkey.

Supreme Vice President, and Cypriot-American, Nicholas Karacostas received the award on behalf of AHEPA. He evoked poignant memories of his childhood recalling the invasion and subsequent illegal occupation that took place almost 34 years ago and what it meant to him as a boy living in the United States at the time.

Karacostas’ family is from the occupied port city of Kyrenia. “The values and principles on which AHEPA was founded 86 years ago transcend to the issues we confront today with respect to Cyprus, Greece, and our Ecumenical Patriarchate,” he said, further elaborating on AHEPA’s contemporary outreach to become more proactive in Washington.

Also in attendance were Supreme Treasurer Anthony Kouzounis and Supreme Governor Peter Kalidis, both of Houston; Executive Director Basil Mossaidis, and countless local Ahepans from the Metro Washington DC area, including former U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes and 97-year-old former Executive Director Arthur Lalos.

The mission of the AHEPA family is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.

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