Washington, D.C..- Saturday, November 16, 1929 at 9:00 pm the historic organizational meeting of the Daughters of Penelope was held. Saturday, November 13, 2004 the historic 75th Anniversary celebration of the Daughters of Penelope was held. The first meeting was held in the San Francisco home of the founder, Mrs. Alexandra Apostolides; the 75th Anniversary luncheon was held in the San Francisco Historic Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Both events confirm how a dream can become an enduring reality.
Maria Mastrokyriakos, one of the youngest members of EOS #1, was the event chairman. The theme, “Let Us Honor the Past as We Embrace Our Future” was accurately exhibited. It coincided with Grand President Demetra “Demi” Kapolis’ yearly theme of “A Rich and Glorious Past with a Bright and Promising Future.” Efthimia “Effie” Choppelas, one of the Charter Members of EOS #1, was honored. This blending of past and future showed the remarkable paradigm of the Daughters of Penelope.
Mary Chicos, Past National Penelope of the Year, opened the gala afternoon event and thanked all those who had come from near and far to be at this special annual EOS #1 Founders Day Luncheon. Vivian Leos, EOS#1 Chapter President, welcomed everyone who enjoyed the wonderful camaraderie of the many in attendance: Grand Lodge Officers, District Governors and Committee Chairs.
Maria Mastrokyriakos, event chairman a dual member of the Daughters of Penelope and the Grand Vice President of the Maids of Athena, was pleased to greet the many Past Grand Presidents who attended. They included: Mary M. Georgiafandis, Becky Demeris, Angie R. Speliopoulos, Joanne V. Hologgitas, Connie A. Banis, and Joanne Booras.
“EOS means ‘The Dawn’, a poignant symbol of the journey that our foremothers began for future generations,” remarked Ms. Mastrokyriakos. She also thanked the Maids of Athena Antigone #95 who served on the event committee.
Mrs. Choppelas’ remarks included her memories of the first years of the Daughters of Penelope and how the Charter Members all worked together to meet the goals of perpetuating the study of American ideals and to encourage Hellenic study of the Greek ideals. “Alexandra wanted a women’s organization that would in some way repay this glorious country—America—for its many blessings,” stated Mrs. Choppelas. She served as secretary of the newly founded EOS chapter, and continues today to serve her chapter.
However, at the age of 96 years, Mrs. Choppelas was most excited about her recent accomplishment, “My driver’s license was renewed,” she proudly stated “I’m driving for another five years.”
Grand President Demi Kapolis expressed how proud she was to be able to address the group at this milestone event. “The good work we have done in the past; the good work we continue to do in the present, is a fine example of how we have evolved over these 75 years,” Grand President Kapolis remarked. She emphasized the importance of publicizing events and that, “The Daughters of Penelope, YOUR organization, is one of the finest premiere women’s organizations in the world and is the ONLY non-profit, philanthropic organization that is so diversified in its endeavors.”
Presentations included Chapter Penelope of the Year to Annette Vlahos and a Proclamation from the City of San Francisco, presented by Vicki Liviakis KRONTV News reporter, making November 16, 2004 Daughters of Penelope Day. Kathryn Coumanis, Penelope House Director, also spoke to the group and reminded them of the importance of supporting the Penelope House and to be ever vigilante in the fight against domestic violence.
As the luncheon came to an end, as the beautiful music from the San Francisco’s Lowell High School Choir concluded and as the raffle produced excited winners, the feeling permeating the room was this dream of 75 years ago—the Daughters of Penelope—will be celebrating many more anniversaries.