Home Community AHEPA’s 46th Biennial Congressional Banquet

AHEPA’s 46th Biennial Congressional Banquet

WASHINGTON, DC – [Photos by Bill Petros]

The Order of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) hosted the 46th Biennial AHEPA Congressional Banquet on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. Since its establishment in 1922, AHEPA has actively promoted good citizenship and community service initiatives, both within the United States and later on, internationally. Since its inception in 1927, the banquet has honored those who dedicate themselves to the promotion of good citizenship, a basic tenant of the Ancient Hellenic ideals.

The Supreme President of the Order of AHEPA, Savas C. Tsivicos, expressed his elation in addressing the assembled crowd, stating, “AHEPA is here not only to honor our award recipients but also to pay tribute to the legacy of our forefathers. Their vision and dedication built AHEPA and established this extraordinary event, which we have proudly hosted for nearly 100 years since its inception in 1927. We thank our honorees for their dedication and service to America and the world.”

The Order of AHEPA presented their highest and most coveted award, the 2024 AHEPA Socrates Award to Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD), an award which his late father U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes received in 1997. This marked the first time a father and son (both members of AHEPA) received the same award.

The organization also honored Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), as well as U.S. Representatives Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) with the 2024 AHEPA Pericles Award. The Pericles award is presented to individuals in the government for their undying commitment to serving the public and to our nation and communities. Members of AHEPA from the United States, Canada, and Europe as well as the families of the evening’s honorees filled the ballroom to capacity. Additionally, AHEPA was honored to have over 28 distinguished members of Congress who serve on the 94-member strong Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Affairs visit the VIP reception prior to the banquet. 

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was FOX News Chief Washington Correspondent and AHEPA member Mike Emanuel.  Presenters included AHEPA life member, philanthropist George M. Marcus, Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who is also an active member of the organization, and Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) a member of the AHEPA family. The event commenced with a moving presentation of the national colors by the U.S. Marine Honor guard and the National Anthems of the U.S. and Greece by the U.S. Army ensemble band.

In a surprise moment, AHEPA bestowed the first ever Presidential Volunteer Service Award to George M. Marcus for a lifetime of service to the Greek and American Communities across the United States. This award is a distinguished national honor recognizing exceptional volunteer service. This prestigious certification aligns the AHEPA with the impactful efforts of AmeriCorps and the Points of Light Foundation, reinforcing AHEPA’s dedication to meaningful community service. 

Distinguished guests and speakers throughout the evening included: Philip Christopher, President of PSEKA and General Chairman of the Biennial Congressional Banquet; H.E. Ekaterini Nassika, Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the U.S.; H.E. Evangelo Savva, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the U.S.;  His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America; Nicholas A. Karacostas, PSP, Chairman, AHEPA Board of Trustees;  Marianthi Treppiedi, Daughters of Penelope Grand President; Alec Economakis, Sons of Pericles Supreme President; and Stephanie Owens, Maids of Athena Grand Vice President. 

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