Washington – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) and its affiliated organization, the Daughters of Penelope, commenced its 85th annual overseas excursion with a three-day visit to Athens, April 9-11, 2013.
During the Athens leg the delegation, led by Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides, Daughters of Penelope Grand President Joanne Saltas, and AHEPA Canadian President George Vassilas, met with President of Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, Speaker of Hellenic Parliament Vangelis Meimarakis, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos, April 9; Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni, and Minister of Education Constantine Arvanitopoulos, and Deputy Minister for Sports Yiannis Ioannidis, April 10; and Minister of Health Andreas Lykourentzos and Minister of National Defense Panos Panagiotopoulos, April 11. Meetings were also held with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiades Varvitsiotis and Member of Parliament Adonis Georgiades, and the delegation had the opportunity to meet three-time Olympic Champion Pyrros Dimas. Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens also hosted the delegation for a dinner on April 10.
In addition, the delegation received a briefing on U.S.-Greece relations from American Ambassador to Greece Daniel B. Smith at the ambassador’s residence on April 10.
On Friday the delegation visited the AHEPA Hospital in Thessaloniki. With a $15,000 donation, AHEPA helped to secure a $650,000 shipment of medical supplies and equipment assembled by the International Orthodox Christian Charities that arrived to the hospital on April 4.
“We have been extremely well-received in Athens,” said Supreme President Dr. Grossomanides. “We are grateful to all parties that helped to make this leg of our excursion a fruitful and productive one. We look forward to continuing our work together to further enhance and strengthen relations between the United States, Canada, and Greece.”
He added, “We also discussed the multitude of programs we have either launched or helped to support in cooperation with other charitable organizations, such as the IOCC, to help address Greece’s humanitarian crisis. We provided the government officials with updates on where we stand with them, and we look forward to continuing to our work to help the people of Greece.”
The delegation also attended a reception hosted by the University of Indianapolis, Athens Campus, April 10. The university is AHEPA’s partner for its successful “Journey to Greece” Program for college students.
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday met with visiting Hellenic American Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) representatives and called on them to urge US businessmen to invest in Greece and boost the tourism sector.
Welcoming the delegation at the Presidential Mansion, Papoulias noted that “big progress” has been made by Greece, underlining that “a lot more can be done by the end of the year”.
President Papoulias said early signs indicate that “this year will be a good year for Greek tourism” and referring to American tourists he added that “our American friends will find no other country to be more beautiful”. He also referred to the important intervention made by US President Barack Obama, who called on Berlin to help Greece in these crucial times.
President Papoulias also thanked AHEPA for the assistance offered to fellow Greeks in need in a very tough period for Greece.
Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos on Tuesday met with a visiting Hellenic American Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) delegation, headed by its president John Grossomanides. The delegation included AHEPA members from the United States and Canada.
Avramopoulos congratulated the AHEPA president on the initiatives undertaken by the organization soon after the economic crisis erupted in Greece.
The talks focused on AHEPA’s contribution in the efforts to promote the comparative advantages of the Greek economy, attract foreign investors from the United States and Canada and boost the tourist flow from those countries.