ST. AUGUSTINE, FL- St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine on January 29 announced the results of its annual essay contest. The 2023 Kathie D’Anna Memorial Essay Contest theme asked teens to share the importance of maintaining one’s ethnic, cultural, and religious heritage in multicultural America.
Submissions were received in the Senior Division from Athanasios and Klearchos Angouras of St. Katherine, Redondo Beach, CA; Nicholas Ferrari of St. George, Manchester, NH; Kassiani Efthymiou Harris of St. Nicholas, Wilmington, NC; Maria Katsadas of Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Aliquippa, PA; Lydia Kentis of the Annunciation, Miami, FL; Photini Qarmout of Sts. Constantine & Helen, Lancaster, CA; Stavroula Tomadakis and Michelle Voicu of St. Mark, Boca Raton, FL.
Judges found merit in all the essays with the highest points ranking Athanasios Angouras of Redondo, CA in first place.
Submissions were received in the Junior Division from Sophia Karampelas of Holy Transfiguration, Marietta, GA; Gabriella Mallias of St. Demetrios, Rocky River, OH; Vasiliki Pasvantis of St. Mark, Boca Raton, FL; Noelia Spentzos of St. Nicholas, Corpus Christi, TX.
Judges found merit in all the essays with the highest points ranking Noelia Spentzos of Corpus Christi, TX in first place.
The St. Photios Foundation expressed gratitude to the committee members and judges of this Shrine legacy program as well as to the parents and all adults who encouraged the young people to share how they live their religion and culture.
Committee chair Dianna Christakos commented: “Festivals and dancing have their place in the lives of these young people. It was enjoyable to see mention of the classics which, of course, predate our religion but give our ‘culture’ deeper meaning.”
Dr. Carmela L. Tardo wrote: “Religion and church are seen as vital for many young people may it always be so for all.”
The annual essay contest is launched in July with essays due in December. This opportunity is open to all teenagers 13-19 with two divisions. The winner of each division is awarded $1,000.00 through the Kathie D’Anna Charitable Foundation.