Home Church & Religion AHEPA of Cherry Hill, NJ, Celebrates 99th Year with a Gala kickoff...

AHEPA of Cherry Hill, NJ, Celebrates 99th Year with a Gala kickoff to its Centennial

DEPTFORD, NJ – [Story & Photos by Steve Lambrou]

AHEPA Camden Chapter 69 of Cherry Hill held its 99th year Anniversary Gala on January 24 at Adelphia’s in Deptford, NJ. The chapter took the opportunity to celebrate its older brothers with AHEPA’s years of service pins. In a chapter with over 220 members, there were plenty of deserving honorees.

The 25 -Year presentations were made to John Bryan, Paul Diamantis, Chris Diamantoukos, Nick Kostiou, and Nick S. Pasamihalis. The 50 -Year members receiving their deserved honors included Nick Anagnostos, Zane Katsikis, George Kousoulis, Angelo Lavdas, Theodore Miller, Bill Miller and Anthony Velahos. The build-up concluded with presentations to the beloved 60 Year members Tom Gotzis and George Giordas. 

Guest presenters included Cosmas Diamantis, the MC and chapter Vice President who gave a wonderful tribute to his father, 25 -year member Paul Diamantis. Aki Carabases provided heartfelt remarks on the impact of his father in- law, Angelo Lavdas, on his life and his family’s life. Stathis Karadonis gave a wonderful testimonial to Past Supreme Governor Chris Diamantoukos. George G. Horiates, Past Supreme President and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees presented past Sons of Pericles Governor Nick S. Pasamihalis his 25- year pin. Supreme Governor Demetrios Rozanitis, on behalf of the Supreme President, presented the diamond studded 60 -year pins to Tom Gotzis and George Giordas, each of whom spoke of the history of the chapter which predates the Cherry Hill community as the first 50 years of the chapter were in Camden prior to Saint Thomas Greek Orthodox Church opening its door at its current location in 1967. 

Members from Hercules-Spartan in Philadelphia and Thermopylae Chapter in Upper Darby also came to honor the chapter members. Georgia Chletcos, the Philadelphia Federation of Hellenic American Societies President gave a wonderful tribute to the chapter’s history. Tasso Efstratiades, St. Thomas Church Parish Council President and presiding priest Fr. Avgoustinos Psomas also spoke of the contributions of the chapter in its formative years and up to the present.

Three years after the birth of AHEPA, Camden Chapter 69 was organized on June 4, 1925. Thirty-six members were installed that evening. By year’s end, membership had increased by another 60. With over 220 members 99 years later, Camden Chapter 69 is one of the largest and greatest in all of the AHEPA domain. The chapter used the Gala as a kick- off and a countdown to the Delaware Valley Region, cordially inviting all to its year -long centennial events marking it as the oldest organization on record and the forerunner to Saint Thomas Greek Orthodox Church community in Cherry Hill, NJ.