Philoptochos Chapter 1036: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Westfield NJ

Spring 2014 News:

The Ladies Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity GOC, Westfield, held their 7th Annual Art Show on March 15th & 16th, 2014. Sales from this year’s Art Show exceeded $9,000 with $3,250 presented to the Cyprus Children’s Fund, this year’s recipient charity. Previous charities included the Hellenic Relief Fund and HomeFirst (Homeless Assistance –Union County).


The artists: (L to R) Tom Xenakis, Connie Parlitsis, Dr. Nick Demos, Avi Kiriakatis, Helen (Nitsa) Bruno, Maria Halkias, Costas Kiriakatis (not shown in the photo Kostas Lymperopoulos)



Check Presentation to Cyprus Children’s Fund Board of Directors: (L to R) Helen Hadjitheodorou (Philoptochos Treasurer), Avi Kiriakatis (co-chair), Helen (Nitsa) Bruno (co-chair), Maria Tsivicos, Savas Tsivicos (CCF National Chairman & President), Father Peter Delvizis, Charles Anastasiou (CCF Board of Directors), Penny Pefanis (Philoptochos President), Agapios Kyritsis (Parish Council President)​



Spring 2013 News:

Membership Recruitment Activities:
Every year we begin our membership drive in January during our Vasilopitta celebration. At this time our membership chairperson makes a speech to all attendees regarding all the good work Philoptochos does and how much money we have donated in the past year telling them about Philoptochos stewardship/membership drive and ask every lady 18 years or older to sign up and become a Philoptochos member.We follow-up by mailing a Philoptochos Stewardship/Membership Drive letter to each of the ladies in our parish. We also announce it every week in our weekly Church bulletin as follows:
Philoptochos 2013 Stewardship Drive
2013 Philoptochos Stewardship membership drive is in full swing. Have you become a steward? Please respond by becoming a steward today. You will see your stewardship donation at work helping to support many charities – local, state and national and you will be a member of the nation’s second largest women’s organizations.

Avi Kiriakatis, President

Christos Anesti!

The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos of Westfield, NJ, greet our Philoptochos sisters with love and good wishes during this beautiful and inspirational Paschal season. We would like to share with you our Spring events and look forward to reading about yours, as well!

On March 16 & 17, 2013, The Ladies Philoptochos Society of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Westfield, NJ sponsored our Sixth Annual Fine Art and Photography Sale showcasing American artists of Greek descent. Helen Bruno of Millburn and Avi Kiriakatis of Kenilworth chaired the event, and other featured artists included Dr. Nicholas Demos, Maria Halkias, and Constantine Kiriakatis.

The Friday evening artists’ wine & cheese reception also included classical music. A portion of the funds will help The Hellenic Relief Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, governed by a Board of Directors with a variety of backgrounds encompassing education, business, law, and medicine. Its exclusive mission is to actively aid those in need in Greece and address nutrition and medical needs during this period of crisis. Since its inception, the Foundation’s representatives have visited Greece six times to distribute staple foods where people are in need of the basic necessities for life. Philip Vogis, as well as some of the other Board members of the Hellenic Relief Foundation, attended the exhibit. For further information on the mission of HRF please visit their website .

“This art show is a blend of dimension, beauty and realism,” explains Avi Kiriakatis, President of the Ladies Philoptochos Society. “The Ladies Philoptochos Society reaches out to our communities to inspire that special connection of art and culture. We are touching the hands of youngsters, enriching the lives of challenged citizens, and helping organizations with our fundraising efforts for humanitarian causes. We strive to develop a valuable forum for Greek-American artists and all students and collectors interested in the visual arts. In viewing prominent paintings and photographs of past and present, and by meeting the artists face-to-face at our Annual Fine Art & Photography Show, we provided a place of learning, meeting, and a great source of inspiration.”

On Saturday, March 30, 2013, the Ladies Philoptochos hosted their 20th annual Babies Quilt-a-thon at their church hall. This is truly a “community event” with entire families participating in all aspects of making the quilts, and is very fulfilling as it demonstrates philanthropic outreach. The quilts are put together (no sewing experience needed), the quilts are blessed by the priest, and then the parish community cleans and distributes the quilts to at-risk babies at local hospitals. Through the years, the church has made thousands of quilts and received scores of thank you letters from hospitals, care centers, and special homes.
The project is focused on making the precious lives of babies and children touched by AIDS a little better by demonstrating that people care. Not only the Holy Trinity community, but people and organizations outside the parish, including high schoolers and scout troops who will receive community credit, participated in the annual event. When you give to Charity, you make a difference in the lives of others.

Spring was in the air on Wednesday May 15, 2013, as The Ladies Philoptochos Society held their annual Dinner and Fashion Show, “Radiance”…Celebrating the Inner Beauty of Women, at Brooklake Country Club, Florham Park. The show’s co-chairs, Debra Vlahakis and Kathy Maglaras presented us with a beautiful evening showcasing elegant fashions from Lord & Taylor of Westfield, The Red Carpet from Millburn, and other exciting vendors. There were fabulous gift baskets, specialty raffles, silent auction, and even a chance to win an amazing personalized gourmet dinner party for 10 in your home! We were honored to have Anne Michals, Metropolis President, in attendance, who delivered a most moving speech. This year’s show, as promised, was a spectacular evening filled with love, fellowship and, of course, Radiance! Proceeds of the fashion show will benefit the many charities that Philoptochos supports, and the Grand Raffle proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Greek Children’s Fund.


Respectfully submitted,

Marina LoAlbo
Vice President


Fall 2012 News:

A warm and sincere greeting to our sister Philoptochos chapters.  In our journey to continue in the tradition of doing charitable work, we would like to pass along news of our chapter activities for Fall, 2012.

In September, our Philoptochos chapter hosted a two day rummage sale at our church.  The proceeds of the sale will assist us in supporting the various charities to which we donate.

In observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, our chapter chose to honor the ladies of Holy Trinity by presenting them with a pink rubber Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet.  The breast cancer bracelets are imprinted with “Survivor”, “Hope”, “Faith”, and Strength” in honor of and in memory of those individuals with breast cancer, and we encouraged the ladies to wear the bracelet as a reminder that awareness and early detection is our best protection against this disease.  Our Philoptochos also tied pink ribbons on the trees surrounding the church in honor and in memory of deceased individuals from our parish.

On October 10, we held our first general meeting. We had a collection of new and slightly used shoes for Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that collects new and slightly used shoes to give relief to victims of suffering and to people in poverty stricken areas, both domestically and internationally.  To date, Soles4Souls has delivered over 19 million pairs of shoes in over 125 countries.  They have helped in disasters such as the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina, the wildfires in Southern California floods in the Mid-West, and tornadoes in the Southeast, as well as the Appalachia Mountain region, Indian reservations, Women’s Domestic Abuse, as well as homeless shelters.  Soles4Souls mission is to “Help us change the world…one pair at a time.”  To end our meeting, we had a ZUMBA instructor give us lessons on this Latin/American dance/exercise program, which was very entertaining.

On October 24th, we will hold our annual Lord & Taylor Shopping Bash at the Westfield location.  The sale of these tickets affords shoppers a discount on everything in the store, and the sales assist our Philoptochos for the various charities that we support.

On October 28th, we are hosting our annual 50/50 raffle drawing, offering three prizes.  The proceeds will assist us in supporting our various commitments.

Our 6th Annual Fine Art Show featuring Greek/American artists will be held on Friday, November 2nd, 7:00 -9:00 pm with a wine and cheese artists’ reception and music by Woodland String Quartet and on Sunday, November 4th, from 12 Noon to 4:00 pm. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Hellenic Relief Fund in its mission to provide support for the Greek population suffering during the present economic crisis by addressing needs in health and nutrition.

On December 1st, we will host our annual Bloomingdale’s Fashion Show/Brunch at the store in Short Hills, NJ.  We are treated to beautiful fashions, lovely raffles, a delicious brunch, and a day of shopping.  A percentage of sales on that day will assist our Philoptochos.  In December, we will also host a Christmas party/general meeting which includes a delicious dinner, the singing of Christmas carols, and we will bring gifts to be donated to the YWCA Women’s Battered Shelter.

May God bless all our Philoptochos chapters, and we at Holy Trinity send you all our love and warm wishes as we all continue to do the work of our Lord.


Respectfully submitted,

Marina LoAlbo
Vice President


Winter 2012 News:

Executive Board

President, Avi Kiriakatis
V.P., Marina LoAlbo
Recording Secretary, Maria Stevens
Corresponding Secretary, Barbara Manos
Treasurer, Helen Hadzitheodorou
Assistant Treasurer, Ellen Manos Athenson
Advisor, Mary Demiris

To aid the poor, the aged, the hungry, the needy, and the sick through charitable works performed with discretion, courtesy, and kindness.

The Ladies Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity looks forward to a great New Year in 2012. We seek to treat ill children, aid the fragile elderly, assist students, offer friendship to the lonely and forgotten, support our men and women in uniform overseas and provide kindness to many more. The faithful stewards of Philoptochos express their love and dedication by practicing the beautiful lessons of our Lord. The women of our great Society wholeheartedly resolve with deeper promise and renewed spirit to aid and embrace those in need utilizing their collective resources.

Let us embrace the gift of life and multiply our efforts to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. May you and your families receive the blessings of the Lord, as He guides us to live our lives appropriately and to assume responsibility on behalf of those in need.

As always, we would like to encourage all women in our Holy Trinity community to become members of Philoptochos at our Vasilopitta Luncheon/Membership Drive on Sunday, January 15, 2012 – Please sign up. The work we do in Christ’s Name goes to support many charitable organizations, needy families, and various research foundations in addition to the many requests we receive throughout the year. Last year through our various fund raisers we were able to distribute approximately $45,000.

In November Homefirst, homeless of Union County, was the recipient of a $1,000 donation from Philoptochos Annual Art Show which was comprised of 9 Greek/American Artists from the surrounding area. We are very proud of this accomplishment and look forward to next year’s show when we can raise more funds for the homeless.

Thank you to all who participated in the Christmas Card program. Special thanks to Cynthia Ladas and Mary Skiadas, Co-chairs. To the Bloomingdale Fashion Show Co-chairs Nina Anastasiou, Ellen Manos Athenson, Christina Colonias, Barbara Manos, and Marianne Savorgiannakis, we express our deepest thanks and gratitude for an outstanding job. We thank Marina LoAlbo, Chairperson, and the Philoptochos board members for presenting a joyous evening of merriment at the Christmas Party. The representatives of YWCA of Eastern Union County for Battered Women were present and we donated $500.00 as well as many gifts for the battered women and their families. We thank Joanne Kallerges, Chairperson, and her committee for the delicious baked goods for our home-bound parishioners letting them know they are always remembered and loved. This is a very loving and rewarding outreach program.

With the spiritual blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos, The Metropolis of NJ Philoptochos is honored to be hosting a benefit for the National Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy, on Saturday, February 4, 2012, the Agape Luncheon at the Pines Manor. At that time, Philoptochos members who have served more than 50 years will be honored. It is with great pleasure that I announce to you the honorees of Holy Trinity; Helen Athenson, Barbara Manos, Kelly Manos, Avi Kiriakatis, Mary Papadeas and Angela Thomas. Congratulations to all. To show your support, kindly make your reservation at the Philoptochos table during Fellowship Hour.

May there be peace within today.
May you use your gifts and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

On behalf of the Philoptochos Board and all the Philoptochos Members, we thank Father Peter for his spiritual guidance,  all the parishioners for their support and wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Calendar of Events

  • January 10, 2012, Tuesday – Board Meeting – 7:00 pm – Room 101
  • January 15, 2012, Sunday – Vasilopitta Luncheon to benefit St. Basil’s Academy – $15.00/Adults, $5/Children under 18.
  • February 5, 2012, Saturday – Metropolis Agape Luncheon to benefit future National Philoptochos Home and to honor Philoptochos members with over 50 years’ service.
  • March 31, Saturday – Babies Quiltathon – Bouras Center – Themis Ganifas, Chairperson
  • May 9, 2012, Wednesday – Annual Fashion Show at Shackamaxon Country Club – Janet O’Sullivan & Debbie Efthemion Co-Chairs
  • February 6, 2012, Monday – Board Meeting – 7:00 pm – Room 101
  • Feb. 12, Sunday – Tray collection – “Go Red for Women” – American Heart Association – Mary Demiris & Marina LoAlbo
  • Feb. 25, Saturday – St. Michael’s Home Visitation – 9:00 am Yonkers, NY
  • March 15, Thursday – “Philoptochos Tea Party” with special guest speaker – Cynthia Ladas Chairperson



Fall 2011 News:

Warm greetings from the Philoptochos chapter of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield, NJ! As we enter the new ecclesiastical year, our chapter sends a sincere greeting to our sister Philoptochos chapters, as we all continue to do the work of the Lord and to serve those in need.

Our President, Avi Kiriakatis, leads our chapter, and we are blessed to have outstanding Board members with love in their hearts who give of their time and talent and who uphold our Philoptochos mission. We are blessed to have Father Peter Delvizis as our Spiritual Advisor as we work together to address the needs of our community.

Whether it is financial assistance, a phone call, a visit, or a warm meal, our goal and mission is to help others. Some of the programs that we participate in are “Shoes for Orphan Souls”, Christmas gifts to Battered Women’s Shelter, baking for “Home Bound” parishioners at Easter and Christmas, Vasilopitta Luncheon to support St. Basil’s Academy, and “Babies Quiltathon”, a Lenten project, where parishioners assemble and sew babies’ quilts, have them blessed, and deliver to hospitals for babies inflicted with the AIDS virus. We also award scholarships to qualified senior students, and the proceeds of our annual fashion show is donated to local and national charities.

We honor our National commitments and listen to requests for donations each month. When a new appeal is made, we assess the situation and assist those in need based on criteria from our Metropolis and our own Philoptochos.

May God bless all our Philoptochos chapters, and we at Holy Trinity send you all our love and warm wishes as we all continue to do the work of our Lord.

With Love in Christ,

Marina LoAlbo
Vice President

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