NEW YORK.- The Greek Orthodox Parish of Holy Trinity, Hicksville L.I. will held its annual Greek Festival, from Friday 10, to Sunday 12, 2004. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, is located at 20 Field Avenue in Hicksville.
Enthusiasm, hospitality, and positive thinking are the main elements that the organizing committee has been using for the twenty-eight years of the festival to celebrate family values and friendships.
This year the Chairman of the organizing committee for the Greek Festival is Mr. John Milios and the co-chairman is Mr. Zacharias Spanos. Mr. John Dounelis, President of the Parish Council of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, is responsible for the overall organization of the festivities. John’s father, the late Harry Dounelis, was a life-long trustee of Saint Paul’s Church at Hempstead. Mr. Harry Dounelis was the owner of the Hub Diner on East Marie Street, across the Hicksville Movie Theater, where the old-timers used to go for entertainment. He also worked at the Empire Diner and at Hicksville Sweet Shop, where his job was to help people enjoy their food, feel good about themselves, and have a good time.
The President of the Parish Council Mr. John Dounelis has been encouraging everyone to participate with his warm message:
“Summer vacation and travel plans will shortly take many of you away from our community during the months of July and August. Enjoy your holiday, attend church services wherever you go, but remember that your church here at home needs your support. Join in the fun by volunteering your time and talent to the annual festival.”
The festivities will begin Friday, September 10, 2004, at 5:00 in the afternoon.
The entrance to the festival is free to everyone, and you can walk around or sit down to relax as long as you want. You are not obligate to buy anything and you are welcomed to dance as much as you can. The festival will take place on the grounds of the Church located at 20 Field Avenue, (between South Oyster Bay Road and New South Road, in the vicinity of Old Country Road), in Hicksville. For directions, you can call the office of the Church at (516) 433-4522.
Free parking for the Festival is available at the grounds of (LIPA) Long Island Power Authority, formally known as (LILCO) Long Island Lighting Company; access to the parking is on New South Road.
Father George Stavropoulos will greet all the visitors, pray to God for everyone to have good health, and wish everyone to enjoy the evening.
Formal guests at the opening ceremony are the Nassau County Executive, the Town of Oyster Bay Mayor, New York State Officials, local Civic Leaders, and others.
For those who like history, we should include a few lines adapted from “The Life of Our Community Magazine” written by Mrs. Anna Dounelis. The article is titled: “An Even Greater Gift” and goes like this:
“At a General Assembly meeting on May 24, 1977, parishioners met to discus the plans for our 1st Grecian Festival & Bazaar. It was a new, exciting and bold undertaking for our young community, as we were still having church services in the basement of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. That first three-day festival was held on the parking lot next to the Chroma Paint building on Broadway. We had to rent and bring everything that was needed. What we did have in abundance was our youthful energy and enthusiasm, and we directed all of our efforts and talents to that commitment! Although exhausted afterwards, we were amazed at what we had accomplished together, and we thanked God. However, we received an even greater gift for which we thank God, because that experience helped us become a stronger and more closely-knit community. Working side-by-side with family and friends for the good of our parish is still one of the best reasons to volunteer …”
In the History of Hicksville, by long time friends of Holy Trinity Church Richard and Anne Evers, one can learn that:
“… At Holy Trinity, there are over 700 families enrolled, 350 children attend a seven-year Greek parochial school after they have finished their public school education. Trinity also has about 350 children attending classes in a Sunday school. To enter Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is to find oneself in the word of Byzantine iconography. On all sides are paintings of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, angels and saints in vivid colors, while above, filling a great dome ceiling painting, is an awe-inspiring icon of Christ. All of the remarkable glories of Holy Trinity were painted by the renowned iconographer, Gorge Filippakis, a member of the church …”
The Parish Council of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church consists of the following Officers and Members: President: John Dounelis, Vice President: Zacharias Spanos, Recording Secretary: Marc Zirogiannis, Treasurer: Pavlos Karaisarides, Financial Secretary: Athanasios Mingos, Corresponding Secretary: Andreas Argyrou, Members: John Rigas, Peter Nikolados, John Aprilakis, Gorge Athanasopoulos, Gregory Kalpakis, Cathy Chrestatos, Michael Drakos, Vasilios Englesos, Gorge Filippakis, Markos Fokas, Demetrios Fonias, Nick Kalyvas, Ioannis Milios, Theodore Papageorgiou, Kostas Patras, Odysseas Svolos, Heracles Tsirikonis.
CHURCH’S ORGANIZATIONS AND PROGRAMS
We should mention that the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church has several programs to offer to the community such as:
- “Sunday Catechetical School” directed by Helene Richardson
- “Greek Language School” directed by Athanasios Mingos
- “Mommy and Me Program” directed by Stacey Milios
- “Nursery/Pre-Kindergarten” directed by Anna Bilianis
- “JOY Program” directed by Alexandra Anagnostakos
- “YAL Program’ directed by Nick Kalyvas
- “GOYA Program” directed by Despina Artemou
- “PTA” directed by Theodora Kougianos
- “The Life of our Community” magazine directed by Anna Dounelis
- “Church Choir” directed by Leah Pappas
- “Byzantine Hymns” directed by John Saragias
- “Hellenic Dancers” directed by Sophia Brogna
- “Friends of Traditional Hellenic Music” directed by Nicholas Sofos
- “Philoptochos Society” directed by Chris Prussalis
- “Bowling League” directed by George Katsoulakis
- “Senior Citizens Fellowship” directed by Elly Katsoulaki
We also should list some other key persons, who serve the church with their skills and energy:
Maria Charalambous – Executive Secretary;
Joanna Bartolomeo – Newsletter Creative Director; Stelios Neamonitis – Historian; Arthur Cosonas – Photographer; Vasilis Katsaros – Neokoros.
COMMUNITY LEADER REMEMBERED
For many years a regular visitor to the Greek Festival was the late William Bennett, who among other positions was President of Hicksville Public Library and Director of the Hicksville Gregory Museum. Bill Bennett found himself at home visiting Holy Trinity Church. He loved to watch the Greek dances and then to have a gyro and a glass of beer.
HE MAKES EVERY EVENT ELEGANT
Another regular visitor to the Greek Festival is the President of Hicksville Historical Society Mr. Richard Evers. Mr. Evers is a person who makes every event more elegant, he is a gifted person with positive attitude and who radiates trust, and who shares his integrity, success, and happy thoughts.
Mr. Richard Evers and his wife Mrs. Anne Evers are the writers of several historical books preserving the History of Hicksville. These books are available for sale through the Hicksville Historical Society. In the days when fashion forbids you to keep your cloths more than few months, you have a choice; you can give a Hicksville History Book as Christmas present, birthday gift, or as a souvenir to your friends and relatives. They will be thrilled to see the photographs of their family preserved for ever and they will be proud to read the achievements of their parents and grandparents. If you want to buy Hicksville history books you can visit Mr. Richard Evers at the Hicksville Public Library.