The Order of St. Andrew-the Apostle Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate bestowed the Athenagoras Humanitarian Award upon fellow Archon Alex G. Spanos at their annual banquet Oct. 9 at the New York Hilton as part of the Order�s annual meeting held Oct. 8-9 at the New York Hilton.
On Sunday, Oct. 10, the annual investiture of new Archons took place at Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral.
National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis said the annual gathering also included the first meeting held with regional commanders from throughout the country.
�It helped energize the local base and will aid our efforts to bring the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the local communities,� he said.
At the banquet, Dr. Limberakis outlined the Order of St. Andrew�s immediate future plans.They include:
- Sustaining economic assistance to the Phanar and increasing individual Archon participation and level of stewardship.
- Nurturing and fortifying the bond with the Mother Church.
- Continuing to educate the federal government and international community, including the European Union, regarding issues of religious freedom relating to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
- Mobilizing Archons throughout the country with regional meetings.
- Reorganizing the Order�s website.
- Continuing the development of education initiatives regarding the Patriarchate and,
- Establishing a strategic planning committee.
He also noted the Archons upcoming pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other parts of Turkey scheduled for Nov. 27-Dec. 4.
During the presentation of the Athenagoras Human Rights Award, Dr. Limberakis remarked, �The Order of St. Andrew/Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is thrilled to honor one of our own, an extraordinary humanitarian philanthropist, human rights advocate and defender of the faith. Archon Spanos represents the very finest of our Order, our Orthodox faith and our Hellenic Heritage in the world community.�
Mr. Spanos, an archon since 1972, is founder and CEO of A.G. Spanos Construction, one of the largest builders of apartments in the United States; and owner of the National Football League team the San Diego Chargers.
He is a benefactor of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of St. Basil Church in Stockton, Calif., where he is an active parishioner, St. Nicholas Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Fla., and Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology.
Other recipients of Mr. Spanos� philanthropic efforts include St. John�s School for Boys, under Greek Orthodox jurisdiction in Whitewater, Calif., the Children�s Hospital and Health Center in San Diego and many other organizations and causes.
Mr. Spanos is one of the founding members of Leadership 100 and was recently elected as chairman of Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism, a new organization dedicated to significantly increasing support of the critical ministries of the Archdiocese into the 21st century. He has also served as president of the Archdiocesan Council.
In a message from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew read at the banquet, His All Holiness said of Mr. Spanos that he has �achieved a level of success in your professional career attained by very few individuals. From very humble beginnings, you have become one of the most successful and admired businessmen in America.�
In his remarks, Archbishop Demetrios said of Mr. Spanos that �His generous heart, abundant faith and charitable works reveal what Clement Alexandrinus wrote in the 2nd century AD: �it is not he who has and keeps, but he who gives away, that is rich; and it is giving away � which renders a man happy, and the fruit of the Spirit is generosity. It is in the soul, then that riches are ���
Archbishop Demetrios also said of Mr. Spanos that he gives �in a full spirit of generosity � to a point that is really amazing� and that his approach to giving is �methodical and full of wisdom.�
Mr. Spanos, whose autobiography �Share the Wealth� was published earlier this year, cited his mother�s words she imparted to him as a youth, that �You should do good so that good will come back to you,� as being the driving philosophy he has lived by. �It�s in our best interest to treat others well,� he said following the presentation of the humanitarian award.
In honor of Archbishop Demetrios� fifth anniversary of his enthronement, the Order of St. Andrew presented him with a large mosaic portrait. During the presentation, Dr. Limberakis cited comments in praise of the Archbishop in a letter from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who wrote that His Eminence, �has accomplished a most significant spiritual work in the New World, giving us the opportunity to rejoice and to boast in the Lord, glorifying Him for your most successful archiepiscopal ministry.�
New Archons invested
Clifford Argue, Mercer Island, Wash.; Peter James Barris, McLean, Va.; Boys Bazylevskyi, Chicago; Thomas S. Cappas, Muster, Ind.
Dr. Nicholas L. Carayannopoulos, Dallas; John William Demetropoulos, Brookfield, Wis.; James Dimitriou, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
Victor J. Economy, Stone Mountain, Ga.; Isidoros Garifalakis, Vancouver, Wash.; Peter T. Kikis, New York City; Louis Angelo Kircos, Grosse Pointe, Mich.
George J. Kontogiannis, Columbus, Ohio; Notis Kotsolios, Westfield, N.J.; Dr. Cary John Limberakis DMD, Ambler, Pa.; James G. Logothetis, Riverwoods, Ill.
Dennis Mehiel, Armonk, N.Y.; Christopher J. Pappas, Hopkinton, Mass.; John Patronik, South Holland, Ill.
William Planes, Tarpon Springs, Fla.; James A. Poll, Manhasset, N.Y.; Jerry Nicholas Renesis, Norfolk, Va.; Peter James Skeadas, Greenwich, Conn.; Dean A. Spanos, LaJolla, Calif.; Michael A. Spanos, Stockton, Calif.
William Sutzko, St. Clair, Pa.; Patrick Nickolas Theros, Washington; Dr. Andreas Tzakis, Miami; Dr. Sotiros John Vahaviolos, Ph.D.; Princeton, N.J.; and John Zavitsanos, Houston.