The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the largest and oldest association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, today expressed shock and dismay at the announcement by St. Basil Academy that it has been denied a state license to operate a residential childcare facility in Garrison, N.Y. by the State's Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and has been ordered to close by the end of the month.
"We have stood side-by-side with St. Basil Academy since its establishment sixty years ago because we believe strongly in its mission," said AHEPA President A. Jack Georgalas. "The Academy will have the full, mandatory support of our members in its time of need. The future of the children must be preserved."
Georgalas called the decision by the State of New York "unfortunate" and the efforts through legal counsel by the Garrison School Board and its superintendent Ellen Bergman to prevent OCFS from issuing a license as "disappointing."
The AHEPA family's history of charitable giving to St. Basil Academy is well documented. Over $1.8 million was donated to St. Basil Academy during the
20th century for the construction of dormitories and a school building.
In 1922, AHEPA was founded in Atlanta in response to the evils of bigotry and racism of early 20th century American society that targeted immigrants of many ethnicities. It also helped Greek immigrants assimilate into American society.
Today, the mission of the AHEPA family is to promote the ideals of Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence.
For more information about the AHEPA family, or any of its programs, please contact AHEPA Headquarters, 202.232.6300. For instant information, please visit www.ahepa.org.