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June 2008

Andy Athens presents hellenicare to Greek officials

During meetings with Hellenic Government Officials in April, Andrew A. Athens, President of hellenicare, the humanitarian organization for Hellenes and their neighbors in the Greek Diaspora, met with Dimitris Sioufas, President of the Hellenic Parliament. Since its inception in 1997, the Hellenic Republic has contributed in part to hellenicare’s mission of alleviating poverty and oppression along with the U.S. Government and world wide private donors.

Mr. Athens made a presentation recently to the members of the Hellenic Parliament describing the many programs hellenicare is operating in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and more recently in the Republic of Albania. Athens reported that hellenicare has helped nearly 2 million people and distributed over $135 million worth of medical care, medicines, food, clothing and equipment as well as having conducted 19 renovation projects since 2004.

Joining Mr. Athens at his meeting with Mr. Sioufas were Nicholas Tsartsiones, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Committee and Grigoris Niotis, Vice President. Mr. Niotis was also the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Greeks Abroad at the time hellenicare was initially launched as the Primary Health Care Initiative in 1997. Dimitris Papadopoulos hellenicare’s legal counsel in Greece also attended the meeting. One of the main topics discussed was long-term funding in order of the organization to expand its efforts and reach out to more vulnerable Hellenes in other regions of the world. hellenicare is exploring the possibilities of establishing a long-term agreement with the Hellenic Republic in support of its medical and humanitarian assistance programs.

In addition to meeting with the President of Parliament, Mr. Athens met with former Prime Minister of Greece, Constantine Misotakis, His Excellency Christos Folias, Minister of Development and The Honorable Theodore Kassimis, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Greeks Abroad. With his wife, Louise, Mr. Athens also traveled to the Prefectures of Ileia and Arcadia to witness International Orthodox Christians Charities’ (IOCC) rebuilding efforts in the villages and towns devastated by the fires last summer.

hellenicare began its medical and humanitarian assistance programs by supporting the operation of 15 nurses’ stations in villages outside of Mariupol in 1998. By 2001, the number of nurses’ stations grew to 34 and an interim medical clinic started operating, while, in 2003, the building of a state-of-the-art diagnostic health care center dedicated to women was initiated. More than 7,000 women have been screened for breast cancer since 2004.

For more information about hellenicare’s programs and how you can help, please call our Chicago office at 312-337-7243 or visit our website at www.hellenicare.org.

Chicago Mayor visits Athens Mayor

Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis (right) received Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley at City Hall. The meeting was held within the framework of cooperation which has existed between the cities of Athens and Chicago since 1997, when a Friendship and Cooperation Agreement was signed. The two Mayors previously met in Athens in October 2006. Mayor Daley’s wife Maggie Daley and former World Council of Hellenes Abroad president Andrew A. Athens also attended the meeting. Mayor Kaklamanis expressed his satisfaction with the level of relations between the two cities. He also conveyed his best wishes regarding Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games. He also accepted Mayor Daley’s invitation to visit Chicago, which is host to a powerful Greek-American community, as part of a visit to the United States.

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