Greetings, and may the beauty of this joyous Season be with you always. Philoptochos ladies have received many blessings in their lives, but our biggest blessing is the ability to assist those who are less fortunate.
We thank God for all things that are good. Philoptochos ladies wanted to meet in person to enjoy the camaraderie and exchange ideas with our Philoptochos sisters at the 2020 National Philoptochos Convention in Cleveland, OH, but God had other plans for us. On August 21 and 22, over 600 delegates and observers participated in the first Virtual National Philoptochos Convention. All business was conducted with innovation technology and social distancing. Our beloved Metropolitan Nicholas participated in both days of the convention, and thanked the Philoptochos for their kindness that is extended to all especially to those who are in need.
One of the highlights of the Convention was the Agape Awards Presentation. Philoptochos has many dedicated women who have devoted decades in serving their church, the Philoptochos Society and the less fortunate. Congratulations to Margaret Manos who is the Agape Award winner from the Metropolis of Detroit. Margaret attends Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Buffalo, NY. Even at age 84, Margaret is a source of inspiration for all the chapter members with her tireless energy, outgoing personality and broad knowledge of all things Philoptochos. We recognize the seven other nominees from the Metropolis of Detroit who also serve as role models for all generations. They are as follows: Harriet Ellis, Annunciation, Dayton, OH, Theodora Bageris, Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Plymouth, MI, Christine Encelewski, Annunciation, Muskegon, MI, Catalina Gianakouros, Annunciation, Vestal, NY, Georgene Ochadleus, Saints Constantine and Helen, Westland, MI, Liberty Pasyanos, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Carmel, IN, Asimina Sideris, Holy Trinity St. Nicholas, Cincinnati, OH. We thank all these special ladies for their dedicated service.
In October of 2020 Archbishop Elpidophoros appointed the new Philoptochos Executive Board and National Board Members. Congratulations to our own Harriet Stoukas becoming Assistant Treasurer. Congratulations also go to the following ladies who were appointed to the National Board: Cindy Crosson, Theone Dickos, Andrea Feles-Katsimbaris, Debbie George, Katherine Kotsis, Maria Stavropoulos, Evanthia Valassisades, Margaret Yates, and honorary National Board Member Anne Feles.
The Detroit Metropolis Philoptochos Chapters continue to find ways to extend a helping hand during this most unusual time. The chapters continue to embrace the National Philoptochos Operation Classroom Initiative. Ann Arbor, MI , Dayton, OH, Fort Wayne, IN, Muskegon, MI, and Vestal, NY chapters just to mention a few have provided school supplies, coats, toiletries, and shoes to impoverished students. The chapters also continuously support the Feeding the Hungry Initiative providing assistance and help at Soup Kitchens. Meals are packaged for the safety of the patrons.
The Metropolis of Detroit is honored and excited to be the Host Metropolis for the 18th Biennial National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon on November 6, 2021 in the city of Indianapolis. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros will be in attendance, so be sure to keep this day open on your calendars. The Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon was established in 1989, and has impacted the lives of children throughout the United States and throughout the world by donating 4.2 million to medical programs and facilities that offer care, treatment, innovative research and cures.
Wishing you a blessed holiday season.
Benevolence through Partners in Philanthropy - $1,853
Food Gift cards from National Philoptochos - $2,000
Detroit Rescue Mission - $1,000
Friends of the Metropolis - $2,000
Philoptochos Ladies have received many blessings in their lives, but our biggest blessing is the ability to assist those who are less fortunate.
Every chapter in the Metropolis continues to embrace the mission of Philoptochos. The hearts of our members are big and warm. Despite the pandemic, the chapters continue to serve with fervor to help those who are less fortunate. The outreach during this time has been phenomenal. Many chapters have organized groups to call parishioners, volunteers shop, cook, and run errands for those who are comprised, thank you notes to the First Responders and to the Clergy, fellowship groups use Zoom or Teleconferencing to keep in touch in the comfort of their own homes, making masks which are in high demand, and funding and providing lunch for grocery store employees and other first responders, and the list goes on and on.
The Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos Chapters reach out in the community is so many different ways by providing meals to the homeless in the Feeding the Hungry Initiative. Food is the number one need, and the chapters continuously provide assistance and help at soup kitchens, and during this time, provide packaged meals for the safety of their patrons. The chapters have also embraced the National Philoptochos Operation Classroom Initiative. The chapters have provided school supplies, coats and toiletries to impoverished students throughout the Metropolis.
In the spring of 2020, the Metropolis Board was busy planning a Facebook “No Show” fundraiser to provide support to Metropolis charities including the Alzheimer’s Association, benevolence to Metropolis Members, Summer Camps, Detroit Rescue Mission and many more. Through Social Media, the Philoptochos Board sent invitations to “Celebrate Women” who inspired us in our mission and in life. From March 17- May 17, donations were received honoring and memorializing women who are near and dear to us. Through chapter and individual donations, the fundraiser netted over $10,000. Each honored and memorialized woman was beautifully displayed in an individual post on the Metropolis Philoptochos Face book Page and Instagram.
The Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos awarded the second Florence G. Stefanou Scholarship to Nina Katherine Heister. Nina is the daughter of Catherine Stavros, and is a member of Holy Trinity/St Nicholas Church in Cincinnati, OH. Nina will be attending the University of Louisville in the honors program majoring in Bio Engineering. Congratulations Nina!
The Metropolis of Detroit is honored and excited to be selected as the next site for the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon on November 6, 2021 in the city of Indianapolis. Many wonderful events are already being planned for this phenomenal National Philoptochos event.
By time you receive this newsletter, the National Philoptochos Virtual Convention will have taken place on August 21 and 22. Nearly 400 participants have registered, and Philoptochos ladies continue their work and serve others with innovative technology and social distancing!
Looking forward to the time when we all can gather together safely.
Benevolence through Partners in Philanthropy - $2,545
Covid Relief Fund - $1000
Philoptochos Ladies have received many blessings in their lives, but the ability to assist those who are less fortunate is the greatest blessing of all. May God continue to bless the hearts and hands of each Philoptochos member in our Metropolis.
2020 began with the cutting of the Vasilopita, the first of the nineteen National Commitments. All proceeds benefit St. Basil Academy. Luncheons, auctions, trays passed after Divine Liturgy and a variety of other activities were held. Many chapters reported proceeds exceeded amounts from previous years. St. Basil Academy brings the light of Christ to many young lives.
Many charities benefitted over the Christmas holiday and winter months. Our chapters have embraced the National Philoptochos initiative, The Feeding the Hungry Program. The Nativity of the Virgin Mary Chapter of Plymouth, Michigan sponsored a program at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Detroit, and cooked a meal for over 175 people. The Assumption Philoptochos of St. Clair Shores, Michigan did outstanding work at the Capuchin Kitchen. In the month of February, they served 180 meals as the chapter continues to fulfill our mission to feed the hungry campaign. During the cold winter months, the chapter of St George, Southgate, Michigan accepted donations of hats, scarves, gloves and socks for the needy in their local area. The chapter also made visitations to parishioners in hospitals, assisted living centers and nursing homes.
The Metropolis Philoptochos Board is planning a “No Show” fundraiser to provide support to our very important Metropolis charities. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros announced that May 17, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, as Philoptochos Sunday. Through Social Media and the Detroit Metropolis website, the Metropolis Philoptochos Board invites you to celebrate women who have inspired us in our mission and in life. We will be honoring and memorializing these women who are near and dear to us. The names will be listed on the Philoptochos Face book page and on the Phioptochos page of the Metropolis website. Through chapter and individual donations, it is the hope of the board to fulfill the commitment in helping those in need.
The Metropolis Philoptochos Board along with the Stefanou Family will once again offer the Florence G. Stefanou Memorial Scholarship. Last year there were nine exceptional applicants. It is our hope that many more young people will take advantage of this opportunity. Scholarship applications are due on April 30, 2020, and can be found on the Philoptochos page of the Metropolis website. You may also contact your chapter president for applications.
The Biennial Clergy-Laity and Philoptochos Convention will be June 28-July 2, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown and Huntington Convention Center. We hope for and encourage 100% chapter participation.
St Basil Academy is the recipient of the following Vasilopita Celebrations
A successful and spiritual Clergy Laity Assembly/Philoptochos Conference was held in Troy, Michigan from September 26-28, 2019. We thank Father Stratton Dorozenski, the Parish Council and the community of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Troy for hosting the first day of the gathering.
The highlight of the convention was the 20th Enthronement Anniversary Banquet celebrating His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas on Friday, September 27. Congratulations to His Eminence. Panta Axios! May God grant him many years.
The Philoptochos Agenda was educational and interactive. Alexandra Crosson, CEO and founder of MyBody in Birmingham, MI spoke on Depression and Anxiety and Christy Buck, Executive Director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan spoke on Suicide and Bullying. Both speakers led interactive question and answer periods. There was also a presentation on Chapter Procedures and Discussion Groups on the National Philoptochos, Metropolis Philoptochos, Membership and Chapter Projects including: Outreach, InReach and Fundraising. A Philoptochos Breakfast on Friday morning featured the Chapter Awards which showcase the dedicated efforts of our Philoptochos ladies. Delegates also had the opportunity to help underserved schools by bringing items and gift cards for schools in the Detroit Metropolitan area. This outreach helped promote the National Philoptochos initiative, Operation Classroom. Many chapters throughout the Detroit Metropolis have embraced this outreach and have helped many underprivileged schools.
The Metropolis Board elections for 2019-2021 term were conducted in Troy. I am honored to be elected for a second term as Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos President. It is encouraging and touching to have the support of the elected officers, board and all of our Philoptochos sisters. The outpouring of love for our mission of helping those in need is heartwarming. The officers and board for the new term are:
President – Theone Dickos, Carmel, IN
1st Vice President- Cindy Crosson, Troy, MI
2nd Vice President- Stephanie Storgion- Poplos, Memphis, TN
Recording Secretary – Evanthia Valassiades, Dayton, OH
Corresponding Secretary – Paula Kalevas- Beauchamp, Troy, MI
Treasurer – Debbie George, Farmington Hills, MI
Advisor – Margaret Yates, Ann Arbor, MI
Board Members: Presvytera Thea Ballas, Pauline Biernacki, Nikki Burns, Anne Feles, Andrea Feles-Katsimbaris, Tasoula Gaddis, Katherine Kotsis, Patricia Ladas, Kim LaForest, Kay Nicholas, Maria Stavropoulos, Harriet Stoukas, Christina Vlahopoulos, Eleni Zaferes
The 17th National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon was held on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at the Marriot Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago. The Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos congratulates the Metropolis of Chicago Medical Luncheon Committee and the entire Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos for hosting the successful Luncheon. At the event, 17 Medical Fund Grants were distributed totaling nearly $300K to area medical programs and facilities that offer care, treatment, innovative research and cures for children with medical illnesses. “Nothing you do is small or insignificant, everything you do and each member has great value,” as stated by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America at the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon. Let us rejoice and embrace the children.
St Spyridon Vespers Service will be held on Wednesday, December 11 and Divine Liturgy on Thursday, December 12. The Metropolis Philoptochos Board will be hosting receptions on both days. We invite everyone to take part in these celebrations at the Metropolis Offices in Troy, MI.
Mark your calendar for the National Philoptochos 45th Biennial Convention in Cleveland, Ohio from June 28 – July 3, 2020. I hope that there will be 100% participation of our Philoptochos Chapters.
On behalf of the Metropolis Board, I wish you a joyous Christmas Season and a Blessed 2020. May the world experience peace in the New Year.
Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon, Nov.16, 2019 in the Metropolis of Chicago
Total Raised- $500,000
$300,000 donated to Children’s Hospitals and programs in the Chicago Metropolis
$200,000 for Social Services
Detroit Metropolis Philoptochos
Saint Nicholas Shrine - $10,000 check for the continuation and completion of the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine.
Total donated to this effort - $134,957