Grand President of DOP Attends Benefit
Fund-raiser for Penelope House

A “Grand Affair” to Remember!

A “Grand Affair” an evening of Southern Elegance, to benefit Penelope House Family Violence Center in Mobile Alabama was hosted at the Government Plaza, which was, transformed to antebellum splendor for the evening festivities. Honored guest, Grand President of the Daughters of Penelope, from Chicago, IL, Georgia Psichogios, and National Grand Lodge members, Eleni Inglis, Karen Stamatiades, Barbara Stavis Wolf, Elaine Sampanis, Sherry Dingas, Christine Constantine and Nicky Stamoulis, were joined by over 400 members of Mobile’s elite including judges, the District Attorney, City Council President, AHEPA National Housing President. Also present were Daughters, Francis Constantine, and Melva Zinaich. DOP Foundation, Inc., President. Local Mobile Thais Chapter weekend organizing committee members included, Jackie Adams, Melissa Coumanis, Tonie Ann Torres, Ethel Catranis, Titsa Stratas, and Sophie Palle.

In addition, to a fabulous dinner catered by Naman’s of Mobile, guests were tempted to bid on a wide array of over 300 generously donated Silent Auction items. Table after table of artwork, jewelry, rugs, furniture, gift certificates for restaurants and many different services and much more were on display. “It was a sight to behold!” Donors such as, Pilot Catastrophe, Malbis Foundation, AHEPA Housing, DOP, Cakes by Judi and Butter Cream Dreams, American Foods, Cray Foods, Namans Catering, Regions Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Mobile County Commission, made this 27-year tradition the most successful thus far. Donations from the event will be providing the required match for State and Federal grants awarded to Penelope House.

Grand Pres. and Lodge: Eleni Inglis, Karen Stamatiades,
Barbara Stavis Wolf, Elaine Sampanis, Sherry Dingas,
Christine Constantine,
Nicky Stamoulos, Kathryn Coumanis

The stage was set with Mobile’s beautiful “Southern Belles” who were dressed in Civil War period finery. The evening’s program opened with Grand President Georgia being presented with a plaque honoring the Daughters of Penelope as “2006 Supportive Organization of the Year”. Penelope House Director, Kathryn Coumanis acknowledged the entire Daughters of Penelope Organization, "The board and staff of Penelope House were honored to have the Grand Lodge visit our shelter and our community. Everyone in Mobile knows about the Daughters of Penelope and this was our opportunity to show off these women who represent the beauty and power of our organization. Never have I been so proud to be a member of the Daughters". Grand President Georgia was overcome with the attendance, and patronage of so many guests, “To see the support of the local members of Mobile’s elite, affirms that Penelope House is a very important part of the Mobile Community.”

After dinner the crowd was treated to Greek dancing by Birmingham’s “Kefi” dancers.

In conjunction with the “Grand Affair” weekend, the Grand President hosted Grand Lodge meetings at the Penelope House, which offered members an opportunity to see this valued facility first hand. “Penelope House not only provides housing for the women and children of Domestic Violence but they provide medical and legal advocacy, job placement and support when these ladies are ready to go out on their own. As a Daughter of Penelope, I am so proud of what Penelope House stands for and does for the community to help those in need. The staff really knows how to make guests feel safe and welcome; they put the ladies and children at ease and settle them in a safe place.” Sister Georgia extended her thanks to the staff, Penelope House board members and members of Thais Chapter #344, who worked untiringly to make the weekend so pleasant. All remained overwhelmed with the work that is being offered to families in need and were obviously proud to know that they too as contributors were a small part of its ongoing success. If this display of Southern Hospitality wasn’t enough, the Chapter presented each Grand Lodge member with their own personal copy of the chapter’s major fundraiser for Penelope House, “Penelope’s Pantry.”

Penelope House is a non-profit organization established in 1979 by the Daughters of Penelope to help victims of domestic violence regain social and economic independence. The Family Violence Center is the only shelter for battered women and children in Mobile, Alabama, although services currently span across Mobile and Washington counties in Alabama. Services offered by Penelope House include advocacy, community education, counseling, on-site medical care, schools prevention education, transitional living, and victims' support groups. For additional Information,

Grand President, Georgia Psichogios and Penelope
House Director, Kathryn Coumanis

An important highlight to the weekend’s schedule included a visit to the Nestor Chapter in New Orleans organized by Grand Secretary, Barbara Stavis-Wolf. The Grand President shares, “We were welcomed by the Sisters during their meeting. I was so pleased to meet these valiant women, and to let them know how inspired we were by their dedication to the Daughters of Penelope and that even through the most difficult of times they continue to grow and do the work of our Order. Hurricane Katrina may have destroyed their homes, but it didn't destroy their determination to survive and continue to live their lives. I will always remember the Sisters of Nestor Chapter.”

Grand President, Psichogios, and all those in attendance unanimously agreed that this truly was a “Grand Affair” to remember.

(Posting date 25 April 2007

HCS readers can view other articles and releases about the Daughters of Penelope or other auxiliary organizations of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) at our extensive permanent archives at the URL

Established in 1929, The Daughters of Penelope is the women’s organization of the AHEPA Family (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) with Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; and is a leader in philanthropic, educational and cultural activities with over 350 chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece and Cyprus, and Australia. Each chapter of the Daughters of Penelope makes a difference in its community by devoting countless hours to volunteer work in hospitals, retirement homes, women’s centers and daycare centers; and by organizing educational seminars, helping the less fortunate, supporting their local church and making monetary contributions to local charities and scholarship funds.

For more information about the Daughters of Penelope, contact headquarters in Washington, DC:

1909 Q Street, N.W. , Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009, USA
T.: 202.232.6300
F.: 202.232.2140


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