Daughters of Penelope National Conference
East Elmhurst, NY-The Daughters of Penelope held their first National Conference on Saturday, January 18 at the Wyndham Gardens Hotel, East Elmhurst, New York. It was a day that will forever be a part of the history of the Daughters of Penelope. "The success of the conference is due to the dedication, determination and love our membership has for the Daughters of Penelope," stated Grand President Evellyn Tsiadis.
It was both an honor and privilege to have His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios as the honored guest of the luncheon. Upon presenting His Eminence with a framed metal sculpture of Penelope. Grand President Tsiadis announced that His Eminence was the first recipient of the newly established Daughters of Penelope Wall of Honor Award. "I thank you very much for honoring us here this afternoon with your presence. Your kindness, humanness, intellect and wit are only a few of the special qualities you possess and share with us all as our spiritual leader, " said Grand President Tsiadis. "You have made this an historical day for us by attending your first Daughters of Penelope event and it is with great honor that I bestow upon you this award in recognition of your exemplary leadership and service and up holding the principles and ideals of the Daughters of Penelope." His Eminence, graciously accepted the award saying "I will treasure it for what Penelope and the Daughters of Penelope stand for: purity, honesty and integrity."
In keeping with the tradition of celebrating St. Basil Day, His Eminence presided over the slicing of the vasilopita bread. Grand Governor Karen Stamatiades received the slice with the gold lira coin.
In his address to the attendees, His Eminence stated, "We have a quest, a search, a thirst for substance. Obvious and visible the Daughters in their work represents that. It is beautiful, encouraging and heart warming to see this in the Daughters." His Eminence told the members "You have a connection with things that need the utmost care and the more I come across what the Daughters represent, I am impressed."
In closing his Eminence spoke of the women of the Old and New Testament, about their work and courage and that two important spiritual messages were revealed to women the resurrection of Christ and the story of the Good Samaritan. He stated, " You are Greek Orthodox Christian ladies who are following this noble line of women in continuity, increasing what we do for the people and the Church. Your generation creates in the United States a Greek Orthodox presence that is significant and tremendous."
Conference Chairman Anna-Helene Panagakos, Grand Governor planned an event filled conference consisting of mini workshops as well as special guest speaker Patricia Davey of the LAM Foundation, a special project of the Daughters. Davey spoke of her battle with lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a rare lung disease that affects almost exclusively women, in the prime of their life. She shared stories of the anguish and pain she endured and the triumphant lung transplant she received two years ago this past December.
Meeting courageous women like Davey is truly an inspiration to us all
reinforcing our commitment to helping find a cure for this disease.