Philoptochos of BostonMetropolis Shine,
Pay Tribute to Women at Annual CharityLuncheon

(HCS)--On Sunday, November 5, 2006 the Metropolis of Boston Phiiloptochos and guests filled the NewtonMarriot Hotel ballroom for their Annual Charities Benefit Luncheon.The theme for this event was "TheAge of Philoptochos, A Tribute toWomen." Five honorees received awards for their "contributions and service within the Metropolis of Boston": the Rev. Dr. Diane C. Kessler, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches; Dr. Mary D. Lekas, renowned surgeon, author, and educator; Dr. Zorica Pantic, President of Wentworth Institute of Technology; Mary Papoutsy, classicist, author, and educator; Catherine Pappas, philanthropic leader and noted humanitarian.

Event chairwomen Yiota Simoglou, Janice Panagako, and Diane Miminos, led by Honorary Chairperson Eve Condakes, applied their boundless energy and talents to the great success of the afternoon, offering welcoming remarks and greetings before the luncheon. New England Cable News Anchor KarenSwenson, a Greek-American, graciously served as Mistress of Ceremonies, introducing award recipients and distinguished guests, among whom were Georgia Skeadas,NationalPresident of theLadies Philoptochos Society, and the Honorable Constantinos Orphanides, Consul General of Greece inBoston.

Philoptochos of Boston Metropolis speakers and dignitaries
(left to right): His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, Georgia Skeadas, Diane Miminos, Eve Condakes, Karen Swenson

Luncheon guests viewed "Celebrating 50 Years of Philanthropy," a video prepared by Christine Karavites and Chris Pappas about the scope of Philoptochos charitable activities. Eve Condakes, a Past National President of the Ladies Philoptochos Society, was given special recognition for her contribution to the Philoptochos within the Metropolis and at the Archdiocesan level. Among the Metropolis ministries supported by the Philoptochos are the Philoxenia House, St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center, Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards, Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Metropolis Oratorical Festival, Project Bread/Walk for Hunger, Hellenic Nursing Home, Pine Street Inn, and Rosie's Place. But the breadth of Philoptochos giving reaches nationally, with contributions to The Ecumenical Patriarchate, St. Basil's Academy, Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology, National Children's Medical Fund, Children's Cardiac Fund, St. Michael's Home for the Aged, Archdiocesan Missions, Cancer Fund, Social Services, Support a Mission Priest, St. Photios Shrine, International Orthodox Christian Charities and UNICEF.

Sophia Nibi, Administrative Assistant toHis Eminence
Metropolitan Methodios (right), speaks with honoree
MaryPapoutsy (left).

The Philoptochos of New England was officially organized on July 15, 1955 when His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Elaia convened the First Diocese Conference at the Annunciation Cathedral in Boston, MA. Over the ensuing fifty years, the organization has grown to include over 2500 members under the spiritual leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston. Current members of the Metropolis Board include Tina Caramanis, Philippa Condakes, Presbytera Evangelia Daskalakis, Janie Economou, Kiki Feldmar, Bess Jack, Merope Kapetanakis, Christine Karavites, Elaine Kevgas, Rubina Kyriakidis, Georgia Lagadinos, Frances Levas, Elpiniki Mavredakis, Elaine Melahouris, Esther Mitchell, Helen Sampsonis, Charlotte Shenas, Maria Toffoloni, and the three chairpersons of the luncheon mentioned above.

In the words of Diane Miminos, President of the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos, the "fifty-year journey of the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos has been led by a multitude of talented and spirited women who have dedicated themselves with love and compassion to the philanthropic mission of our society." She expressed the hope that the women "move forward in our journey together. . . [and that] the outstretched hand of Philoptochos continue to reach out to those in need through programs and ideas that are limited only by our own imagination."

Rev.Dr.Diane Kessler offered an inspirational keynote address at the conclusion of the luncheon, following which honorees were presented with certificates, icons of Sts. Kosma and Damianos, and gold crosses by His Eminence MetropolitanMethodios and executives of theMetropolis of BostonPhiloptochos.

Rev.Dr.Diane Kessler (left), keynote speaker
and honoree, presented with icon.

Recipients of awards at luncheon pose with His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios (left to right): Catherine Pappas, His Eminence,MaryPapoutsy,Dr.Zorica Pantic, Rev.Dr.Diane Kessler, Dr.Mary Lekas
Event organizers stunned guests and dignitaries with the news that Mrs. Catherine Pappas had donated one hundred thousand dollars to the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos, delaying the announcement until her award was conferred. Board members tearfully expressed their appreciation for her magnanimous gift and her tremendous support over many years for the activities of Philoptochos, as well as for the generous support of the many luncheon sponsors.

His Eminence Metroplitan Methodios commended the work of the ladies' society, indicating that "their dedication and hard work" was "an inspiration to all." He delivered archpastoral reflections and a benediction at the close of the program, praying that "God continue to inspire . . .[Philoptochos members] to carry on the philanthropic ministry of our Church in New England."

Guests at the luncheon included (left to right)
Dr.JohnC.Rouman, Dr.Richard C.Clairmont,
Mrs. Linda Liolios Wieden,Mrs.Lesa Liolios Brochu

Luncheon guests converse before the start of the
program (left to right): Rhoda Conley, Angela Varipatis, 
Arthur Lekousi, Freda Lekousi, and unidentified.

(Posting date 14 November 2006

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Fore more information about the GreekOrthodox Metropolis of BostonPhiloptochos, see the society's webpages hosted by the GreekOrthodox Metropolis of Boston at the URL or contact the organization at the Metropolis: 162 Goddard Ave., Brookline, MA 02445; tel. 617-277-4742; fax 617-739-9229; email

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