- The Daughters of Penelope & Our Mission
- D.O.P Emblem
- District 23 Lodge 2020-2021
- Grand Lodge 2020-2021
- Instagram Snapshots
- District 23 - OCTOBER 2020 Virtual Mid-Year Conference
- "Lessons from Greece" Prof. Ioannis Mazis
- "Lessons from Greece" Melissa, Mrs. Vasilia Mavrou
- "Lessons from Greece" Historian Ioannis Chatzis
The Daughters of Penelope is an International Women’s Organization and affiliate organization of the AHEPA Family (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association). The Order of Daughters of Penelope was founded by a remarkable woman, Alexandra Apostolides Sonenfeld on November 16th, 1929 in San Francisco, California. With her perseverance and encouragement of her husband Dr. Emanuel Apostolides, a devoted Ahepan, she created a Greek Women’s Organization and established the first Chapter of the Daughters of Penelope, Eos Chapter #1 with 25 charter members, whose husbands were AHEPA members. She was elected the first Grand President of the organization in 1931. Today, the Daughters of Penelope is proud to claim more than 400 Chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, the Bahamas, Germany, Cyprus, Belgium, England and sister Chapters in Australia.
The Mission of the Daughters of Penelope is to promote the ancient Hellenic ideals and traditions of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, integrity, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.
The Daughters of Penelope promote the social, ethical and intellectual interests of the members; cultivate good citizenship and patriotism for the countries in which they live; promote the spirit of cooperation and work closely and in harmony with the whole AHEPA Family. The betterment of humanity is a unifying theme of the Daughters, and members are encouraged to participate in worthwhile projects both nationally and in their respective countries.
Over its history, the Daughters of Penelope has achieved remarkable accomplishments. It has strengthen the status of women in society, sheltered the elderly and abused, educated the youth, promoted Hellenic heritage, raised funds for medical research and many others.
The Order is identified by a symbol portraying the HEAD OF PENELOPE in ancient headdress, which symbolizes FRIENDSHIP and WOMANHOOD, and is significant as the very foundation of LIFE, HOME and COUNTRY. Encircling the head of Penelope is the OLIVE WREATH, the only prize awarded to victors in the ancient Olympic Games. The CROSS is a symbol of our Christian Faith and a NATIONAL SYMBOL in the GREEK FLAG, and the CROSSED SABERS are from the SHIELD of GREECE. The EAGLE symbolizes the UNITED STATES. The letters ΘΠ (THETA PI) stand for ‘ΘΥΓΑΤΕΡΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΠΗΝΕΛΟΠΗΣ’, which translated in English means ‘The Daughters of Penelope’.
DISTRICT LODGE (2020-2021)
Dr. Xanthe Vafopoulou
Liaison Chapter: Meandros, Montreal
66 Houseman Crescent, Richmond Hill, ON, L4C-7R8
Tel: (647) 382-1388
DISTRICT LT. GOVERNOR & MARSHAL
Liaison Chapter: Mycenae, Toronto & Orpheus, London
48 Darlington Dr., Hamilton, ON, L9C-2L7
Tel: (905) 520-9470
Roula Maginas Koumoutsidis
Liaison Chapter: Philomela, Hamilton
19 Toohey Ln., London, ON, N6G-4Y2
Tel: (519) 433-1285
Zambetoula (Betty) Drakontaidis
2550 Berthon Street, Lonqueuil, QC, J4M-1M7
Tel: (514) 996-2317
DISTRICT ADVISOR to the MOA
Liaison: Maids of Athena District Lodge
126 Trinnell Blvd, Scarborough, ON, M1L-1S7
Tel: (416) 451-9478
DISTRICT ADVISOR to the DOP
Liaison: DOP District Lodge
602-730 Wonderland Rd N, London, ON, N6H-4Y9
Tel: (519) 200-9769
VP of SCHOLARSHIPS and PUBLIC RELATIONS
Liaison Chapter: Euphrosyne, Ottawa
1575 Barre Street, St-Laurent, QC, H4L-4M5
Tel: (514) 778-8966
GRAND LODGE (2020-2021) GRAND PRESIDENT Celia Kachmarski 829 Canfield Way SW Calgary, AB, T2W-1K2 Canada Cell: (403) 880-6029 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Liaison to Australia, Greece, and Europe GRAND VICE PRESIDENT Kathy Bizoukas 1932 Somerset Drive Munster, IN 46321-5158 Phone: (219) 313-7005 Email: email@example.com Liaison to all Districts- Membership/Growth & Expansion GRAND SECRETARY Georgette Boulegeris Heatherwood Lane Bedminster, NJ 07921 Cell: (908) 342-4433 Email: GiGiBoulegeris@gmail.com Liaison to Districts 2, 13, 21 GRAND TREASURER Marianthi Treppiedi 5008 W Navaho Spokane, WA 99208 Cell: (509) 879-7415 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Liaison to Districts 1, 4, 17 GRAND GOVERNOR ZONE V Margaret Dritsas 303-429 Somerset Street West Ottawa, ON, K2P-2P5, Canada Cell: (613) 297-2401 Email: email@example.com Liaison to Districts 5, 23, 24, 26 GRAND ADVISOR TO THE MAIDS OF ATHENA Kathy Leles 1223 Pyrenees Ct Tracy, CA 95304 Cell: (209) 835-7414 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Liaison to all Maids of Athena Chapters
Daughters of Penelope District 23 Webinar Series: Lessons from Greece
Webinar #2: Sunday, January 24, 2021
Vasilia Mavrou, Executive Director, Melissa Girls Orphanage, Thessaloniki, Greece
Melissa was created in 1921 and celebrates 100 years of service this year. After this moving, educational presentation I thought some notes that could be shared with your membership and friends, may be helpful.
- Melissa’s name comes from the Greek word “bee” as bees work continuously, nonstop, ongoing
- Melissa offers a home and protection for girl’s who need it the most
- Melissa orphanage is an important piece of Thessaloniki’s history
- It was started by some Thessalonian ladies with means, who saw a need
- It’s first location was a large stately home in Thessaloniki; in 1980 this changed to their current location which is a building and land donated by the government
- Melissa saved 80 children from the burning Smyrna and the children were brought to Thessaloniki through the kindness of the US Navy, something that the ladies never forgot
- Girls range between the ages of 4 – 18 years old and are placed here by government services once they are removed from homes of sexual, physical and mental abuse
- The home is organized as a family – meeting the social and educational needs of the child and offering clothing, food, shelter, safety and love
- Melissa acts as a guardian for girls and has an Independent Living Center, which houses 6 girls over the age of 18
- Before 1940, boys were also housed in Melissa but now there is a boys orphanage called Papafio, that is overseen by the Metropolis
- Due to the recession and now pandemic there is a financial crisis, with donations having dropped from 2017 by 80%
- Vasilia stated that many girls who come don’t feel worthy (δεν νοιώθουν άξιες); Melissa offers them a second chance to live, to dream, to make their dreams reality
- 2018, D23 AHEPA and DOP (district and chapters together) sponsored Dioni, an 18 year old Melissa girl, who now is completing her education as an Educational Assistant and is also engaged to be married, a testament to Melissa encouraging girls to dream and making their dreams reality
- FYI: Greece now has an online platform for fostering and adopting children, called www.anynet.gr
- The prime minister stressed, “H Ελλάδα διαθέτει πλέον ένα σύγχρονο και διαφανές σύστημα αναδοχής και υιοθεσίας, που μπορεί να συνδέσει γρήγορα παιδιά με γονείς που θέλουν να τους προσφέρουν τη θαλπωρή του οικογενειακού περιβάλλοντος.” He further stated that this will “set aside the bureaucratic hurdles of the past,” and be able to “quickly connect children with parents who want to offer them the warmth of a family environment,” via the online adoption and fostering database at anynet.gr, a system active since July 6.
- Mavrou stated that she is hesitant about this program but time will tell whether this system will work
- WAYS we can all help:
- Spread the word – share this information
- Melissa offers a good solution to removing and saving abused girls
- encourage friends/family to sponsor a child or send a yearly donation
Many of us were moved by Vasilia Mavrou’s presentation, let’s keep the momentum going and spread the word, even if we touch a few others, we will help in making a difference and hopefully saving one more life.
District 23, Daughters of Penelope.
DISTRICT LODGE AND DELEGATES AT THE 84TH ANNUAL BEAVER DISTRICT 23 CONVENTION, MAY 2019
D23 DISTRICT LODGES of DOP & AHEPA, JOINT ZOOM MEETING, FEBRUARY 18, 2021
CHRISTMAS WISHES 2020