Philoptochos National Board Meeting

March 16, 2012

Atlanta, GA


On Friday, March 16, 2012, the Greek Orthodox Women's Philoptochos Society held their National Philoptochos Board meeting in Atlanta, GA at the Annunciation Cathedral Center.  The Metropolis was represented by Metropolis Philoptochos President, Philippa Condakes, National Board Members Christine Karavites, Barbara Orlando, Yiota Simoglou, Demetra Safiol, and Daphne Zarilidis.  At this meeting the new Spiritual Advisor to the National Philoptochos was inroduced.  His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela was appointed by His Emminence Archbisiop Demetrios last week.  His Grace greeted the National Board with a lenten reflection and expressed his looking forward to taking on this new role as Spiritual Advisor.

National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas presented her report and announced that over the calendar year 2011, the National Philoptochos distributed $1,479,825 to the various ministries and programs. (Click here for report)  She also reported that through March 15, 2012, over $48,000 has been collected by our local Philoptochos Chapters for the appeal for the welfare of the Greek people.  An additional $25,000 was distributed to the Greek people through IOCC.  This donation to IOCC was taken from the Emergency Fund that has been established to aid in any type of emergency with out needing a special appeal.  This fund allows the National Philoptochos to be one of the first responders to any crisis.  The Emergency Funds have been used for aid to the tsunami releif, floods in the Southern United States, and tornado victims. 

President Skeadas also acknowledged the passing of Terry Cokkas, former director of the National Philoptochos Office.  The National Philoptochos Office has added a new staff member Vivian Siempos as Communications Manager.  Vivian has been working with the Public Relations committee and the website.  She has been instrumental in making registration for the upcoming National Biennial Convention go online and expanding the website to include new pages from the Metropolises.

Treasurer Joanne Kakoyiannis presented the Treasurer;s report.  She was happy to announce the top seven chapters that donnated over $5000 for the Vasilopita Fund.  We were proud to find out that our own Cranston, Rhode Island Annunciation Church was included in this with over $5,200 raised. 

Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos President Maria Skiadas reported on the Children's Medical Fund Luncheon which was held in Grenwich, CT on December 3, 2012.  At this point, over $281,000 has been raised.  Of this amount, $204,576 was awarded at the Luncheon and the remainder will now be available to disburse at the National Convention.  She thanked everyone for their support and contributions to making the event a success.

The Chairs of the 2012 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention Kathy Gabriel and Diane Tseckares reminded everyone of the dates of Convention - July 1-4, 2012 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona.  National Board meeeting will be held on Saturday, June 30.  The Convention promises to be an excellent educational experience for all Philoptochos members and encourages every chapter to have delegates at the Convention.  This is the Chapter's opportunity to have a voice in the future of the Society.  The Agape Awards will again be given to one outstanding Philoptochos woman from each Metropolis.  Chapters are encouraged to nominate their members.  Also, a presentation of "the Faces of Philoptochos," is being compiled.  Photographs of past, present and future members of Philoptochos will be featured in this montage.  Photos will be collected by Kathy Gabriel, Co-chair.  Information was sent to chapter presidents and included in the Convention Registration packets.  Also being prepared for the convention is the 2012 edition of the Philioptochos Voice Convention news letter.  Each Metropolis will be featured with news events and photos.

The Committee for the Hellenic College/Holy Cross reported on the ongoing events to celebrate the School's 75th Anniversary.  On May 12, there will be a special event with the Boston Pops:  Celebrate 75 Years with a concert conducted by Keith Lockhart,  featuring the music of George Gershwin.  The School will also be compiling and printing a 75th Anniversary  Commemorative Album.  Each Philoptochos Chapter is asked to partner with their Parish Council to promote this Commemorative Album.  Each chapter will receive materials from the School to distribute sponsorship information.  Letters have been sent to each Chapter President explaining this effort.

Additional reports were presented by the standing committees: Environmental Responsibility, IOCC, History/Archives, Membership, New Philanthropic Initiatives, OCMC/SAMP, Public Relations, Saint Photios Shrine, and Social Services.

The meeting was adjouned and a closing prayer was offered by His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela.

Submitted by Philippa Condakes, Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Board President