AHEPA Formulates Agenda, Assistance to Greece

Meetings with Congress, US State Dept, USAID, Amb. Mallias

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the leading association for the nation's 1.3 million American citizens of Greek ancestry, and Philhellenes, held multiple meetings in order to lay the foundation for the upcoming administrative year.

National President Ike Gulas returned to Washington, DC this week to meet with numerous government officials. "It was important to return to Washington to discuss our agenda for the administrative year and to explore additional avenues to aid the people of Greece," said Gulas.

President Gulas's week began in the office of U.S. Senator Richard Shelby's (R-AL) office. He also met with Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who co-chairs the Hellenic Caucus; Zach Space (D-OH), Committee on Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Subcommittee on Health Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Artur Davis (D-AL), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Subcommittee on Europe Chairman Robert Wexler (D-FL), Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Hellenic Caucus Co-Chair and Foreign Affairs Committee Member Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

Additional meetings in the senate were held with Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

"Each meeting had a distinct purpose with the one constant and clear message throughout being the need to focus on a long-term solution to the devastation causes by the fires in Greece," said Gulas.

AHEPA leads national efforts to assist Greece in the aftermath of the terrible fires. Read about Care Package Drive, volunteer firefighters, continuing aid, and other accounts.

A myriad of issues were also touched upon, including: religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Cyprus, Voice of America funding, Cooley's Anemia funding and research, education, the Visa Waiver Program, HUD Section 202 funding, and educating about the Hellenic Caucus.

Diplomatic Outreach

President Gulas and AHEPA Executive Director Basil Mossaidis met with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to discuss current initiatives to provide assistance to Greece. Later, Gulas visited His Excellency Alexandros P. Mallias, ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the U.S., and held a meeting at the U.S. Department of State with Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and USAID Administrator Henrietta H. Fore.

"AHEPA has been working hard to raise funds, materials, and awareness of the magnitude of what occurred in Greece," Gulas said. "We are hopeful that our meetings with Director Fore and every government official are successful in our efforts to yield more relief for the people of Greece."

AHEPA, through its Web site and with Olympic Airlines' assistance with the Care Packages, is going to continue collecting funds and needed supplies.

(Posting date 29 September 2007)

AHEPA is the largest Greek-American association in the world with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, and sister chapters in Australia and New Zealand. It was established in 1922 by visionary Greek Americans to protect Hellenes from prejudice originating from the KKK, and in its history, AHEPA joined with the NAACP and B'nai B'rith International to fight discrimination. The mission of the AHEPA family is to promote the ideals of Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence. The AHEPA family consists of four organizations: AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena. For more information about the AHEPA family, or how to join, please contact AHEPA Headquarters, 202.232.6300, or visit http://www.ahepa.org.

HCS maintains an extensive archives of AHEPA articles and press releases which readers are invited to browse under the AHEPA Family Releases section of the site archives at http://www.helleniccomserve.com/archiveahepa.html.

2000 © Hellenic Communication Service, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved.