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South Florida Archons and Invited Guests Meet in Boca Raton

Regional Commanders John C. Scurtis and Ted Vlahos presented Archbishop Demetrios with a monogrammed leather portfolio, on behalf of the Archons of South Florida and Naples, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his enthronement as Archbishop of America.

The first annual dinner gathering of the Archons of South Florida and Naples took place in Boca Raton, Florida, on Friday, November 13, 2009. Regional Commander John C. Scurtis planned the event at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. The resort was also the site of the National Philoptochos' 2009 Children's Medical Fund (CMF) Luncheon, which capped off the weekend's festivities and was chaired by John's wife, Evangeline Mekras Scurtis, president of the Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos.

The 41 dinner guests enjoyed a three-course seafood dinner and lively program. They were blessed to have the presence and support of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, His Grace Bishop Andonios the Chancellor, of the Archdiocese, and various clergy from New York and Boca Raton. Fourteen Archons from South Florida were joined by their wives; members of the National Council; regional commanders Dr. Ted Vlahos from Central-North Florida, Dr. Manuel Tissura from Atlanta, Peter Skeadas from New York and Harold Peponis from Chicago; and other visitors from South Florida and throughout the U.S., including CMF Keynote Speaker and recent Archon inductee, Fox News White House Correspondent Michael Emanuel.

The evening's program began with an invocation from Bishop Andonios, followed by a quick round of introductions by all present. Recently retired National Council historian and fellow South Florida Archon, Christo Daphnides, had the audience enthralled with a short history on modern Archons and the meaning of the various offikia.

National Council Secretary John Halecky and Treasurer James Fountas screened a DVD on His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, highlighting his accomplishments, environmental activism, advocacy for religious freedom, and efforts at ecumenical dialogue and reconciliation among the churches of Christendom. They then led a lively discussion on the importance of supporting and participating in the annual Exarch's Appeal.

Central and North Florida Regional Commander Ted Vlahos followed with a presentation on bills going before the Florida State House and Senate in the 2010 session (HM 191, SM 314), which urge Congress to encourage the government of Turkey to grant the Ecumenical Patriarch "appropriate international recognition, ecclesiastical succession, and [the] right to train clergy of all nationalities and to respect property rights and human rights of [the] Ecumenical Patriarchate."

Finally, commanders Scurtis and Vlahos presented Archbishop Demetrios with a monogrammed leather portfolio, on behalf of the Archons of South Florida and Naples, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his enthronement as Archbishop of America. The culmination of a truly inspirational evening came when His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios spoke and imparted his wisdom and blessings upon all those present. There seemed to be a consensus among the Archons there that everyone parted with a feeling of camaraderie and renewed awareness of their common purpose to defend the Ecumenical Patriarch and Christ's Holy Church.

[Written by Eleni A. Monas]


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