With Opening Ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games only months away AHEPA will host the 36th Biennial National Banquet in “Honor of the Olympic Spirit” on Monday, February 16, 2004, in Washington. According to AHEPA President A. Jack Georgalas, AHEPA will honor World Champion Decathlete Tom Pappas, several past Olympians, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astrophysicist E.G. Stassinopoulos. Mr. Andrew S. Natsios, administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, will be the Master of Ceremonies.
“We are excited about the program we’ve assembled for the evening,” said Georgalas. “We are proud to honor Greek Americans who have demonstrated excellence in their respective fields and we are thrilled to recognize those individuals who have basked in the unique, emotional experience that is the Olympic movement.
“Moreover, we have a distinguished Master of Ceremonies whose work in leading the U.S. Agency for International Development has led to America extending a humanitarian hand to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.”
According to Georgalas, Pappas will receive the Harry Agganis Award for excellence in athletics and Stassinopoulos will receive the Aristotle Award for national recognition in his profession.
Prof. Alexander Kitroeff, historian and author of the critically acclaimed “Wrestling with the Ancients: Modern Greek Identity and the Olympics,” will offer the Keynote Address.
The 110 members of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Affairs are Honorary Chairs for the banquet. Washington Chapter 31 President Tassos Vassilas is the General Chairman.
Banquet tickets are $135 each prior to February 16 or $165 each at the door. A group table of ten tickets can be purchased for $1,200.
The Biennial National Banquet, which is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its inception, is the culmination of a weekend of events, starting Sat., Feb. 14, with a Valentine’s Dance featuring Zephyros (7 pm to 2 am). On Sun., Feb. 15, Comedian Basile will perform, 7 pm to 9 pm. Admission is free to both events with a 2003 AHEPA membership card.
Additionally, the Daughters of Penelope will host its “Salute to Women” reception on Sunday, 3 pm, in honor of Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas. Admission is free.