New York, NY –- National Philoptochos President Eve Condakes and members of the National Board of Philoptochos, today, presented His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios with a donation in the amount of $45,000.00 to benefit victims of the earthquake that rocked Athens, Greece, last September, killing many and injuring and displacing thousands. These funds were collected from more than 500 Philoptochos sisterhood chapters nationwide for distribution to the Athens Earthquake Relief Fund.

Members of the Philoptochos Board also presented Dr. Anne Hurlet, Director of Hermatology/Oncology and Pediatrics Administrator Kristin Thistleton from the University Institute for Children’s Health in Newark, New Jersey, with a gift of 25,000.00 for the The National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund, to aid Greek and Greek-American children seeking medical attention. Since its inception in 1988, The National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund has offered assistance to more than 4,000 children.

Mrs. Eve Condakes, and UNICEF Representative and Philoptochos board member, Mrs. Sophia Altin, also presented UNICEF Representative Meg Gardinier with a check in the amount of $9,500.00 to benefit the children of Kosovo, to rebuild and insulate war damaged schools there, and to raise awareness about land mines. The board also gave an additional gift of $20.000.00 to be distributed into a general UNICEF fund.

Following these presentations, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios said, 'I'd like to express my deepest thanks for this wonderful occasion of being with people who work so diligently, so methodically, and so full of self-sacrifice for sacred causes.'

Earlier today, Archbishop Demetrios received the Honorable Peter F. Vallone (D), Speaker and Majority Leader of the New York City Council to the Archdiocese. During their meeting, Archbishop Demetrios and Mr. Vallone exchanged thoughts of mutual interest and underscored the importance of serving the Church and the community at large.

Mr. Vallone represents the 22nd district in Astoria, Queens.

Archbishop Demetrios also welcomed the newly instated Consul General of Greece, the Honorable Dimitris Platis to the Archdiocese in his first official visit.

Following their meeting, the Archbishop said he is greatly looking forward to coordinating with Mr. Platis in a spirit of mutual cooperation 'to promote the work of Greek Orthodoxy in America.'