Category: News

SEPTEMBER 2022

SEPTEMBER

by Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) best known as the author of the children’s classic Anne of Green Gables.

Lo! a ripe sheaf of many golden days
Gleaned by the year in autumn’s harvest ways,
With here and there, blood-tinted as an ember,
Some crimson poppy of a late delight
Atoning in its splendor for the flight
Of summer blooms and joys­
This is September.

The summer just gone by, as we ventured out of Covid isolation, was different with:
 

more freedom
larger gatherings of families and friends
louder voices
more outdoor festivals and events
more hope
greater enjoyment of things once taken for granted

It was an “almost normal” Greek summer.  And indeed, for those of us who continue to be blessed with good health and surrounded by love, special!

Let us overlook the rainy season, the rivers and lakes, the floods and the clouds and let us look forward to the year ahead, AWOG’s 75th year—our Diamond Jubilee—with renewed energy, creativity and stamina for there is much awaiting us:  social gatherings, lunches and teas.

Our first major project is the 2022 AWOG Christmas Bazaar, LIVE, on December 11 at the Divani Caravel Hotel.

Preparations are already underway:  the hotel has been booked, vendors have reserved tables, crafters are crafting.

We aspire, with our first live bazaar in three years, to be able to support our AWOG charities in the manner we have for the past 74 years.

Thanopoulos

Thanopoulos

The company D. THANOPOULOS is the sole supermarket in the Greek market with a history and experience of 145 years. The company’s primary and daily objective is to provide the highest possible quality of products and services to its customers. This is achieved through the strict selection of suppliers and producers, the absolute adherence to health and safety regulations, frequent internal quality inspections and the continuous training of its personnel.

Since 1877 the company supports and continues to evolve with much vigor in the largest and most exceptional assortment of products in the Greek market, something which has made the company stand out for so many years.

Customers can find thousands of domestic and local items, renowned imported goods of the highest quality as well as a diverse assortment of specialized dietary products within its network of walk-in stores as well as online through its e-shop.

The company remains a 100% Greek family-owned company which, faithfully abiding to four generations of accumulated values, delivers the best customer service on a daily basis with much joy and respect.  The company harmonically combines tradition with modern trends for a unique buying experience. 

SUMMER 2022

  • The light of Greece opened my eyes, penetrated my pores, expanded my whole being.
  • It takes a lifetime for someone to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her.– Henry Miller, American writer and artist
  • Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts and eloquence, native to famous wits. – John Milton, English poet and intellectual
  • My God, how much blue you spend so we cannot see you!– Odysseus Elytis, Greek poet, Nobel Prize winner
  • Unless you have seen the houses of Mykonos, you can’t pretend to be an architect. Whatever architecture has to say, it is said here.– Le Corbusier, Swiss-French pioneer of modern architecture
  • You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.– Epicurus, ancient Greek philosopher
  • Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.– Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher
  • Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean Sea.– Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer
Nafpliotis Glass and OK Markets

Nafpliotis Glass and OK Markets

Nafpliotis Glass has been active in the field of glass architectural constructions since 1962, a tradition of three generations that continues in the 21st century. The secret of our success is simple: we love glass! A material that is difficult to process, rigid and mysterious, but at the same time impressive, transparent, that can take countless forms and shapes. Glass challenges you to discover its secrets one by one – and ultimately rewards you when you find another charming form, another original application.

For more than 55 years, Nafpliotis Glass has been involved with glass combining technical research and creative imagination. The thousands of impressive and innovative applications that we implement are always at the crossroads of science and art. Knowledge, method and experience combined with passion and imagination is our recipe for the successful completion of even the most demanding project. The design and construction department of Nafpliotis Glass provides our customers with the possibility of a detailed approach to the construction, from the initial stage to the completion of the work, by specialized and technically trained personnel. We always invent original and unique ways and solutions to answer our customers’ requests. We cooperate with the largest companies in Greece and abroad for the supply of certified glass and accessories. The production process is done in our facilities with the most specialized machines and tools and is thoroughly controlled and monitored so that the final result fully meets the requirements.  To ensure the quality of our processes, we have ISO 9001: 2008 certification

The areas of activity of our company that include the study – design – construction and installation are:

  • Special constructions made of glass and stainless steel and mirrors
  • Various type of showers (Sliding, opening etc), made especially for your bathroom
  • Interior glass partitions (mobile-fixed)
  • Glass floors in combination with the metal infrastructure
  • Glass balustrade and glass stairs with special metal supports
  • Automatic – Sliding doors
  • Antivandal crystals, energy crystals special crystals inside swimming pools, aquariums
  • Facades of buildings (planar with special stainless steel supports)
  • Lining with painted crystals on kitchen backs, bathrooms
  • Business gifts and executive awards and furniture (combination of materials glass-metal-wood-design-application)

This link will take you to our special handcrafted objects:  Find more…www.glassious.com

OK! Anytime Markets SA

“The company OK! Anytime Markets SA officially started its activity in the field of retail in Greece in 2004.

In total, the company, together with its partners, employs over 600 people and develops its network of stores using the Franchising method.

               The company’s headquarters is located at 106 Aphrodite Street in Elliniko, in privately-owned offices. The service of the company’s network is carried out in a state-of-the-art building, in Markopoulo, Attica. The distribution center operates in an area of ​​14.5 acres which houses a covered area of ​​5,000 sqm divided into sections for dry cargo and grocery stores, a cold room of 400 sqm, with a capacity to accommodate more than 5,000 product pallets.

               The company implements an Integrated Food Management and Safety System, certified based on the specifications of the international quality management standards EN ISO 22000: 2005 & EN ISO 9001: 2001.

Today the company has 109 classes with the brand OK MARKETS and 18 classes with the brand OK GROCERY SUPER MARKET & DELI.

               The stores OK! MARKETS are a form of MINI SUPER MARKET, with an area of 80 to 120 sqm. The mixture of products at their disposal consists of dairy, dry cargo food, refrigerator-freezer, fruit and vegetables, and basic necessities as well as tobacco products, all belonging to the sector of packaged consumer goods. The product mix is ​​structured in this way and includes even more premium products to meet the needs of even the most demanding consumer! There is also the basic range of private label products.

               Today the OK! Stores are the only ambassador in Greece of an organized network of convenience stores which operate daily from 8.00 am to 23.00 pm.

               OK Grocery, Supermarket & Deli is a proposal that harmoniously combines the characteristics of a traditional grocery store such as the familiar environment, the immediate service, the variety and the freshness of the products at the best prices. Specifically, through an expanded variety of basic necessities, dry cargo food, refrigerator-freezer, fruit and vegetables, wine cellar and tobacco products, the goal is to enjoy daily shopping, in a place with a special character. “Consumers have the opportunity to enjoy quality purchases at the best prices, covering their every need through a wide range of deli products.”

JUNE 2022

JUNE 2022 NEWS

Let’s begin this news bulletin with photos of our Mother’s Day Event at the Byzantine Museum’s Ilisia Café on May 12 with approximately 25 AWOG members and friends in attendance.

It was a warm, sunny day, that was a long time coming! Friends were finally able to meet, chat, and enjoy a cup of coffee and a snack together in a beautiful Athenian setting.
Judging from all the smiles, everyone had a wonderful time.

CONGRATULATIONS BESSIE!

AWOG is very happy to announce that Bessie Sioutas-Vasilopoulou was awarded, along with Elizabeth Shine of Naples, the FAWCO Appreciation Award at the 2022 mid-term FAWCO Conference in Luxembourg.  This validates Bessie’s service to AWOG and our support of all FAWCO endeavors.

 

Below is FAWCO’s announcement:

“Congratulations to Elizabeth Shine of Naples and Bessie Sioutas of Athens for their FAWCO APPRECIATION Awards. Well done and deserved ladies.”

The AWOG Literary Club will meet once more, on June 20, and then break for the summer.  Information will be forthcoming.

The Heart Pillow Project has been continuing all along with deliveries to Alexandra Hospital, Nikaia Hospital (Ag. Panteleimon) and to Aghioi Anargyroi Hospital in March, April and May.

And AWOG’s BIG, BIG news is that the annual Christmas Bazaar will take place LIVE on December 11, 2022, at the Caravel Hotel!  We are looking for vendors, sponsors and crafters.  So, talk to everyone you know and contact any member of the Board with helpful information.  After two Christmases of lockdown, we really want to make our presence known!

                                            *                                                  *                                                          *

In closing, this excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Seashore could have been written for the Greek seas, though most probably not!

              

Behold the Sea,
The opaline, the plentiful and strong,
Yet beautiful as is the rose in June,
Fresh as the trickling rainbow of July;                                
Sea full of food, the nourisher of kinds,
Purger of earth, and medicine of men;
Creating a sweet climate by my breath,

Washing out harms and griefs from memory,
And, in my mathematic ebb and flow,
Giving a hint of that which changes not.
Rich are the sea-gods: —who gives gifts but they?
They grope the sea for pearls, but more than pearls:
They pluck Force thence, and give it to the wise.
For every wave is wealth to Daedalus,
Wealth to the cunning artist who can work
This matchless strength. Where shall he find, O waves!
A load your Atlas shoulders cannot lift?

I with my hammer pounding evermore
The rocky coast, smite Andes into dust,
Strewing my bed, and, in another age,
Rebuild a continent of better men.
Then I unbar the doors: my paths lead out
The exodus of nations: I disperse

Men to all shores that front the hoary main.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, and died on April 27, 1882. His writings dealt with philosophy, poetry and non-fiction. He was an American essayist and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early 19th century. In his own words, he believed in people’s “original relation to the universe,” and believed in solitude with nature.                                                                       

So, have a relaxing summer with family and friends and come back rested and ready for more AWOG activities and events in September! Remember that 2023 marks our 75th Diamond Anniversary!

Spotlighting on The American College of Greece and Celebrity International Movers sponsors

Spotlighting on The American College of Greece and Celebrity International Movers sponsors

THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GREECE

Our world continues to face new challenges and the core principles at the heart of democracy are under fire. At The American College of Greece, we are keenly aware that our commitment to educating forward-thinking students grounded in American best practices and enlightened global historical and cultural perspectives only grows more important.

ACG is the oldest and largest American-accredited school in Europe. With an endowment invested in the U.S and a healthy financial profile, we take a leadership role in Greece and globally. ACG’s comprehensive approach — educating students Pre-K through graduate school to be well-prepared and ready to lead and leverage their knowledge for positive social and economic impact — is wholly unique in Greece.

This spring, ACG’s student body is comprised of 6,000 students, high school through graduate school, served by 600 faculty on two different campuses. This fall, ACG expands to its new 20-acre East Campus in Spata dedicated to Pierce Pre-K through high school students. We will welcome 800 new students to the campus next semester. Within the next three years, we anticipate expanding to become a state-of-the-art facility in Spata with a projected enrollment of 2,400 students and extensive local and regional community service and outreach.

While ten years ago, fewer than 10% of ACG students received need and merit-based financial assistance, today more than 50% receive financial aid which is made possible, in large part, through the generosity of our foundation partners.

Through an endowed fund, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Scholarship Program has significantly impacted the lives of more than 600 Greek public university students enrolled in ACG’s Parallel Studies Program, including 140 current scholars. Parallel Studies is a unique dual enrollment program serving 1,000 of the best and brightest Greek public university students each year. With SNF support, ACG has become Greece’s premier consolidator of private and public university student talent.

Similarly, ACG recently joined forces with the Latsis Foundation to offer deserving undergraduate students (full-time and Parallel Studies) study abroad opportunities at recognized educational institutions around the world.

Through the Camp to Campus program that began in partnership with the U.S. Embassy, ACG has funded education for 125 refugee students in undergraduate and advanced degree programs to date.

Through the Alba Graduate Business School Executive Education Program ACG has supported the Greek economic recovery by training more than 15,000 Greek business professionals, including entrepreneurs who have launched 27 Greek start-ups. With leadership from our superb faculty, we continue to innovate new ways to work alongside Greece’s burgeoning entrepreneurial sector.

ACG’s global alumni base is 62,000 strong. Alumni work in 75% of the world’s strongest brands.

With generous funding from The George and Judy Marcus Foundation, the Institute for Hellenic Culture and the Liberal Arts (IHCLA) will host its first Hellenic Studies Summer School this May/June, with courses ranging from Greek language to archaeology to drama. Among others, a group of students from Clemson University will participate. The IHCLA is also working with internal and external partners to host 2022’s international student representatives for the Athens Democracy Forum and collaborating on a major effort to reunite Greek orphans from the period after World War II with their native country.

The ACG Institute of Public Health Youth Anti-Smoking Initiative, funded by the George Behrakis Family Foundation, has contributed to Greece leading the European Union in smoking reduction and lowered Greece’s projected 10-year healthcare costs by $1.3B.

Finally, ACG is the only college in Greece that promotes the concept of the scholar-athlete and provides athletic facilities and training programs to the broader community, forming a hub of service and inclusion. In 2022, our athletic clubs and summer camps are serving more than 4,000 children. Our community footprint will grow with the opening of the new Spata campus this fall. Athletics at ACG are based on the ancient value of “A healthy mind in a healthy body.” Through the balanced development of students’ mental and physical traits, grounded in the timeless values of athleticism such as meritocracy, respect for one’s opponent, fair play, humility, and personal discipline, we foster multi-faceted, healthy young people.

CELEBRITY INTERNATIONAL MOVERS SA understands that every move is unique and that’s why for more than 36 years they’ve continuously offered innovative services, customized solutions and unparalleled top-quality personalized service at competitive rates. Today they are one of the top moving and relocation companies in Greece.

They offer local, European and International Door to Door removals of household effects as well as office goods with every means of transportation including professional packing and unpacking, long and short-term storage of household effects, personal goods and cars, and they handle special removals of antiques and fine art with care.

Their relocation department is professionally trained in providing world-class removal and relocation services such as school and home search to various settling-in services for people moving in and out of Greece. They are also a proud member of EuRA, which is the world’s first accreditation program for relocation providers.

Since top quality is important to Celebrity, they maintain the strict financial and quality standards of the most significant global moving industry associations (FIDI, IAM, ONE GROUP, BAR and OFFAG&L) and have successfully attained their quality assurance certification ISO 9001:2015 through Lloyd’s Register.

Furthermore, they proudly acquired the FAIMPLUS quality certification and are the first in the world to attain the new Relocation Services (DSP) certification, both being their industry’s highest certifications, from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young SA in Belgium.

At CELEBRITY INTERNATIONAL MOVERS SA  each client is treated just like a celebrity!

We Care!

For more information please contact Christina Chrisovergis (christina@celebrity.gr) or Xenia Kostara (xenia@celebrity.gr).

MAY 2022

MAY 2022 NEWS

Spring showers bring May flowers! Indeed, they do!

Easter 2022, as celebrated by Western churches and the Greek Orthodox church, has come and gone but in a more “normal” and traditional manner.  Despite the increase in gas prices and edibles, many people fled Athens to enjoy pastoral life in their villages with loved ones:  eggs dyed and cracked, tsoureki baked and devoured, lamb prepared and spit-roasted.  And like any Greek feast, there was a whole lot more on the Easter table!

Saint George’s Day was celebrated with possibly millions of domestic and international phone calls since George/Giorgos is the most common male name in Greece, followed by John/Giannis and Constantine/Kostas.

Now we turn our thoughts to May and June:

The AWOG Literary Club will meet on May 9 for another discussion of a short story.  Informative email will be forthcoming.

AWOG Mother’s Day Event—on May 12–for all AWOG members at the Café of the Byzantine and Christian Museum (Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 22—right next door to the War Museum). A la carte orders will be taken on the spot.

Below is a link to a video entitled Paradise Found (made for the Athens City Times and Alexia Amvrazi) which describes the main building of the museum, the café and gardens, and the archaeological area right below the café.

In June we look forward to savoring wine or cocktails together before we part for summer destinations.  Date, time and venue will be announced by the end of May.

 

This month AWOG is spotlighting two more of its website sponsors:  THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GREECE and CELEBRITY INTERNATIONAL MOVERS SA.  Click on this slide on our homepage for information and photos.

Spotlighting two of AWOG’s sponsors

Spotlighting two of AWOG’s sponsors

Orsalia Partheni, President of Hellenic Designers Association

The Greek fashion world, with the newly-created Hellenic Designers Association, is hoping to bring together professionals in the field to allow them to better promote Greek fashion domestically as well as internationally, using all available means such as exhibitions, fashion shows and showrooms. Their first “live” meeting took place at Yes Hotel on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, for the cutting of the traditional New Year’s pitta, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Our very own 2022 Heart Pillow sponsor, Orsalia Parthenis, is the president of the association.  Other board members include Vasilis Zoulias, vice-president, Ioanna Kourbela, secretary, and Konstantinos Tsigaros, treasurer.  Good luck, Orsalia!

We wish them the best of luck in their newest venture and are certain that Greek fashion will be recognized world-wide for its excellent quality as well as the creativity and flair of its designers!


TOLIS HAS A NEW “FAMILY” MEMBER!

Sixty-five years ago the first generation of the Tolis family from Ioannina initiated the family tradition in the food industry.  In 1977 Christos Tolis, of the second generation, opened his first Zaharoplasteio Tolis, in Nikaia, Piraeus.  By 2009 the third generation, Taso and Yiannis Tolis, took it a step forward by opening their first pastry factory, Ergastirio Tolis. Both had degrees as pastry chefs and wanted to expand so they opened their second Arto Zaharoplasteio Tolis, in Keratsini, Piraeus, with a full bread bakery on the premises, and along with the coffee, a variety of sandwiches to go, as well as a huge selection of sweets and ice cream.

However, they believed something was still missing. As of March 17, 2022, there came a new addition to the Tolis family:  Tolis SWEETS & EATS in Nikaia, Piraeus. This includes a full zaharoplasteio with bread baked on the premises daily, coffee, homemade ice cream, a vast variety of sweets and a menu of breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, with wine and cocktails.

Our family firmly believes that if you continue to follow your dreams and love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life!

APRIL 2022

April showers, puddles, spring flowers, daffodils and crocuses, tulips and narcissus the Resurrection service, Greek Orthodox Easter, red eggs, lamb on the spit sunshine, outdoor activities, thinking ahead to summer…..

All this and so much more during the month of April.  After a lengthy period of cold, wet and snowy weather, we look towards the light.  Longer and warmer days are ahead, and we look forward to meeting in person once again.

April is a busy month for AWOG.  Our first LIVE General Assembly is scheduled for April 14 at the Caravel Hotel at 11:00.  Once the business part is over, members and guests will be able to sit down together to a delicious buffet luncheon.  Reservations/payment must be made in advance.  See your area rep for more information.

Then, on April 24, Greek Orthodox Easter is the culmination of Holy Week.  May this Easter be a time for getting together with family and friends whom we haven’t seen for many months.

SNEAK PREVIEW FOR MAY:  A Mother’s Day event is being planned—on May 12–for all AWOG members at the Café of the Byzantine and Christian Museum (Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 22—right next door to the War Museum). A la carte orders will be taken on the spot. In order for you to be fully informed about the venue, attached is a link to a video (made for the Athens City Times and Alexia Amvrazi) which describes the main building of the museum, the café and gardens, and the archaeological area right below the café.

PARADISE FOUND:  a video with Alexia Amvrazi of the Athens City Times through the gardens and archaeological area of the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens.

MARCH 2022

The days are getting longer, there is more light out there, it’s a tad bit warmer, nature is beginning to bloom and we are all so hopeful that spring is on its way!  March brings with it two holidays this year:  Shrove Monday (Καθαρά Δευτέρα) on March 7, and, as always, the Annunciation (του Ευαγγελισμού) on March 25.

AWOG, too, is hopeful that very soon our organization can leave ZOOM behind and move on to face-to-face meetings for business, chit chat and coffee or even more!

                

In the meantime, during March we will continue to be vigilant, carefully following government guidelines. This year, on March 8, Women’s Day, we are pleased to have AWOG member Dr. Eleftheria Bernidaki-Aldous address us on ZOOM.  Her lecture deals with women with disabilities and their struggle for social inclusion and equal opportunities.

On February 21, AWOG delivered 70 Heart Pillows to Metaxa Hospital. Dr Kopanakis, the head of the Surgery Department, Dr Sideris, and the head of the nurses were very grateful for our donation. They underlined not only the therapeutic effect of the pillows but also the psychological one.

The AWOG Literary Club will meet during the third week of March, to avoid conflicts with holidays and any possible long weekend get-aways.

For any of you who have not paid your annual dues, now is the time!  In April there will be a live General Assembly, followed by a buffet lunch, at the Divani Caravel Hotel and those eligible to vote are only up-to-date members.

Looking forward to meeting up with friends in April.  Until then, eat and drink responsibly because two holidays in one month (in Greece) is not to be taken lightly!  Beach weather is right around the corner!!

FEBRUARY 2022

The first month of the new year—2022—has come and gone, leaving behind days many of us would rather forget:  households without power in certain areas of Athens for many hours, streets impassable without the use of snow chains, roads blocked by snow which turned icy at night with the falling temperature, thousands of trees whose branches buckled from the weight of the snow. 

The ones who rejoiced in all this whiteness were the children who took advantage of closed schools to play in the snow, building snowmen, having snowball fights and sledding down slopes of all shapes and sizes.  With them were the not-so-young in years, but still young at heart!

At the January Board meeting, once again held online via ZOOM, the “official” pitta was cut for Board members and the “flouri” went to the AWOG Clubhouse.  This was interpreted as a good omen, promising a productive and successful year for us!

Later in January, AWOG continued its activities with a Literary Club discussion about a piece by the late Joan Didion, and the annual pitta-cutting—online– on January 27.  This year the AWOG New Year pitta was cut into 6 pieces:  one for each of the areas (Glyfada, Halandri, Kolonaki/Plaka, Psyhico, Papagou/Holargos, and one piece for AWOG.  The lucky winner was Kolonaki/Plaka and so the area representative will be notified.  A drawing was held for the “flouri” (coin) among those present and the name drawn was that of former AWOG president, Bessie Sioutas-Vassilopoulou.  Congratulations to the winners.

Lighthouse for the Blind sent us their invitation for their own pitta-cutting ceremony which coincidentally was also on January 27.

As we look forward to the annual Halcyon Days, more hours of sunlight and spring-like weather, plans are in the making for a Valentine’s Day get-together online.  More details will be forthcoming.

 

February would not be complete without a poem to honor love.  Enjoy this one by Christina Rossetti.

I Wish I Could Remember That First Day

I wish I could remember that first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or Winter for aught I can say;
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it, such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much; If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand – Did one but know!

Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)

JANUARY 2022

Happy New Year - 2022!

Another new year has arrived and this means something different to every person. Some remember the achievements and disappointments of the past year and look forward to a more successful one. Some don’t bother looking back but simply look ahead to 365 new days which hold unknown journeys.


In the poem that follows, Alfred, Lord Tennyson talks about “the darkness of the land” which he hopes will have cleared by New Year’s Day. He wants to “ring out” all the negatives and “ring in” everything positive.

       In Memoriam,

[Ring Out, Wild Bells]


Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

[This poem is in the public domain.]

As this new year begins—AWOG’s 74th— let’s all stay healthy and, surrounded by family and friends, continue to live full lives while staying true and living up to the mission of AWOG–helping those in need.

May 2022 be a remarkable year for us all!

DECEMBER 2021

AWOG NEWS / DECEMBER 2021

As 2021 winds down, we wind up. The big news this month is, of course, the AWOG Christmas Bazaar which will take place on-line between the third and fifth of the month (Friday-Sunday). There you will find many items for Christmas gifts, but also items that can be gifted year-round. Tell all your friends and neighbors to visit the AWOG site starting at midnight on the 3rd of December.

We are continuing to supply hospitals with heart pillows made by our members. More news about that and our other activities in Year in Review in January. In the meantime, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire. It is the time for home.” Edith Sitwell

NOVEMBER 2021

NOVEMBER 2021

November connotes the beginning of the Christmas season including the frenzy of baking, cooking and shopping as well as Thanksgiving, the most popular U.S. holiday for family get-togethers.

For AWOG it connotes the frenetic last touches on a variety of handmade items for our annual Christmas Bazaar which, with the help of our loyal sponsors, will allow us once more to do what we do best:  help those in need.

This year, for the second consecutive year, our bazaar will be online

December 3-5 at

www.awog.gr

Do ask your friends to support our charity work as all profits from our annual Christmas Bazaar will go to Greek charities.

      In other news, the Literary Club continues its discussion of short stories and the Heart Pillow Project had two deliveries in October to Areteio Hospital and Iatriko Kentro Athinon plus one more coming up in early November to the General Hospital of Kalamata.

      Hope to “see” you at our Christmas Bazaar, even without the shared camaraderie over a cup of coffee and chit-chat.  Remember, without your support, we cannot continue to help our charities!

Wishing all of you a very happy Thanksgiving with loved ones.  Remember to count your blessings and be thankful for everything you have.

OCTOBER 2021

Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

            Though hard to believe, October is upon us!  We are still dreaming of summer months, beaches, and carefree moments, but it’s time to turn our thoughts to the future:  our biggest fundraiser of the year always has been and still is the annual Christmas Bazaar!

            Circumstances are such that our second on-line Christmas Bazaar is being planned for early December 2021.  Many AWOG members are working, creating, sewing, crafting, and planning all the details.  Please stay tuned for more details as they become available.

            Our AWOG Literary Club had its latest online discussion in September with a small group of ladies ready to share experiences from their own lives as related to the short stories we read. 

            The Heart Pillow Project is still going strong and it is projected that by the end of 2021 AWOG will have donated—to hospitals throughout Greece– 600 Heart Pillows for mastectomy patients.

This photograph was taken at the Andreas Papandreou General Hospital of Rhodes when AWOG Community Services Chair Anna V. delivered 30 Heart Pillows during the month of July

And the Heart Pillow Project continues!  Here Karen S. and Barbara P., devoted AWOG members, have prepared (stuffed, bagged and tagged) an October shipment of Heart Pillows for the Hospital at Aghious Anargirous with fabric generously donated by Orsalia Parthenis.

The pillows for Ag. Anargyri were delivered this past week.  Rena S. and Linda M. did the sewing using the material donated and cut by our Heart Pillow Sponsor, Orsalia Parthenis.  Bags, stuffing and tags were paid for by our Heart Pillow Sponsor D. Nafpliotis.  Thanks to our enthusiastic ladies and supportive sponsors, AWOG is able to keep on producing these miraculous pillows.  There will be updates on future deliveries currently being prepared by both Glyfada and Halandri/Ag. Paraskevi areas. 

SEPTEMBER 2021

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

Another Greek summer, with much potential at our doorstep; however, it was a Greek summer of Covid and fires.

Just as we began to meet up with family and friends, swimming together, clinking glasses in celebration, watching movies at outdoor cinemas, eating out at old, familiar haunts, long-abandoned, but not forgotten, the fires ravaged large areas of our country.

Forests destroyed; homes and businesses charred. The loss of lives—this time, the numbers were low, though even one life lost is one too many.

So much gone during a summer that looked hopeful after lost opportunities during months of lockdown.

It was difficult to watch the news and difficult not to.

AWOG, once again, found a way to help those in need:  more than 100 handmade masks, crafted by talented members and friends of AWOG, along with headbands and scrunchies were donated to the Halkida branch of Σώμα Ελληνικού Οδηγισμού (Greek Guiding Association) and distributed to people in Evia who are very much in need of masks.  We hope these beautiful, colorful masks, made with love, will help them and perhaps bring them some needed cheer.  We also sent three pallets of household paper and cleaning products with the help of our loyal sponsor Mr. Telis Thanopoulos.  These products were transported, free of charge, by Endless Paper.

The AWOG Heart Pillow Project was sustained during the summer of 2021 with the donations of 30 heart pillows to the General Hospital of Didymotichos, known as the General University Hospital of Evros since 2012.  (Γενικό Πανεπιστημιακό Νοσοκομείο Έβρου) as well as 30 heart pillows to the General Hospital of Corfu –Aghia Irini. (Γενικό Νοσοκομείο ΚέρκυραςΑγία Ειρήνη). 

Γενικό Νοσοκομείο Κέρκυρας - Αγία Ειρήνη
Χειρουργική Κλινική Διδυμότειχου

As September rolls in, our thoughts turn to the work of AWOG and all that lies ahead.  Our first big event is the annual Christmas Bazaar, currently being planned for early December.  Our charities await our help and AWOG awaits the help of its members and sponsors.  Together we hope to help those who need us most.

SUMMER 2021 NEWS

As spring moves into summer 2021, everyone—Greeks and non-Greeks alike, are dreaming of spending some time on a Greek beach.  Crystalline seas in shades of green and turquoise, the ecru tones and whiteness of pristine sandy beaches, and the starkness of sun-bleached rocks all await.

With vaccinations, and newer Covid-19 protocols in place, we are all dreaming of time shared with family members and friends, somewhere special, enjoying delicious Greek food and sipping our drinks of choice.

The lazy, summer months ahead will give AWOG members lots of time for R&R but also time to think about the challenges that await our organization and the new activities we can initiate as well as innovative projects and ventures we can undertake in the second half of 2021.

May you all have a happy summer with sunshiny days, warm nights, bare feet, watermelon, ouzaki with friends, fresh fish and grilled meat.

Stay safe, take care of yourselves and your families so we can all meet again in September with many happy memories that we can share and  cherish for many years to come!

MAY 2021

HAPPY MAY DAY!
HAPPY EASTER!
HAPPY ST. GEORGE’S DAY!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

We begin with warmer weather, renewed energy and the hope that our lives will begin to resemble those of past Mays.  Following the success of our fundraiser in early April, we were able to keep our promise to Lighthouse for the Blind and they can now progress with the production of the Odyssey and the Iliad in Braille.

The first AWOG General Assembly for 2021 took place on Zoom and the Literary Club began its reading and discussion of memoirs with Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.

After celebrating Easter with our loved ones, we will continue our online activities during the month of May with the Literary Club, a lecture on nutrition and a possible surprise event on Zoom.

However you decide to spend Easter, stay safe and enjoy.  This year on May 3rd you will have the opportunity to offer wishes to all the Georges and Georgias in your lives; and there are certainly many of them!  Remember Mother’s Day on May 9th by thanking your mother for every hug, word of encouragement or act of love she has given you throughout the years.  Or take some moments to reflect on the woman who was so important in your life.

God could not be everywhere,
And therefore, he made mothers.
RUDYARD KIPLING

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best,
but his mother the longest.
IRISH PROVERB

APRIL 2021

If we were to say that March was an extremely busy month for AWOG, you may think it’s an April Fool’s Day joke!  We’ll tell you what we did and you can judge for yourselves.

It was necessary to have two Board meetings in order to finalize all the upcoming events.

The first extraordinary event which took place on March 23 was a lecture celebrating Philhellenism with a variety of speakers.  The moderator, Liana Mitrakos, first introduced Cindy Harvey, Public Affairs Officer of the American Embassy, Athens, who spoke about the friendship between the United States and Greece and the various events that have been planned during 2021, ending on December 31.  The main speaker, Mr. Constantinos Velentzas, spoke about well-known Philhellenes like Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, but also others less well-known such as George Jarvis, J.P. Miller, David Farragut, and Dr. Howe’s wife, Julia Ward, author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  It was fascinating to learn about the support given to the Greeks through their fundraising and personal involvement in the Greek Revolution.  Finally, the event came to an end with comments by two of Howe’s descendants, Ms. Gillian Kellog and Mr. Nathan Ticknor.  Once Covid restrictions are lifted, we can all visit the Museum of Philhellenism at Zissimopoulou 12 in Psychico which Mr. Venentzas spent ten years trying to create!  If you missed the presentation on Zoom, here is the link:

https://zoom.us/rec/share/oGVT-rmhkA7ik20fra-N6qVuQRDw0wQMzbvMgxPpI5147Mk89S4bSmDRiG8HRVAV.S1LuwGFgn5Y998y8
Passcode: 0C!v&tXR

The second event that needed further planning was the Bazaar/Fundraiser April 1-4.  During these four days, on the AWOG site, you can shop to your heart’s delight to support AWOG and AWOG’s sponsors for the worthy cause of the Lighthouse for the Blind in Kallithea.  We hope to raise enough money so they can produce Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey in Braille for their library.

 

The third event that is in the planning is a General Assembly set for April 15.

We must note here that all the above-mentioned events have taken/will take place via Zoom.

Finally, in celebration of Women’s Day, the AWOG Literary Club met on March 8 to discuss American women who stood up for women’s rights as early as the late 1790s.

Now, do you believe us about having had a busy March?

After what we hope will be a successful fundraiser, a successful General Assembly, and another Literary Club discussion, we will all take a step back to prepare for the holy days of Easter with our families and loved ones.

MARCH 2021

March is Women’s Month so let’s begin with a few inspiring comments:

“If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.”

Michelle Obama

“If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.”

Margaret Thatcher

Behind every successful woman is HERSELF!

Anonymous

As we pay tribute to women as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, mentors, professionals (this and so much more), let us remember the countless hours of work, the endless hours of enjoyment and satisfaction–a woman’s day, a woman’s life.

Our monthly events—Fine Arts, Nutrition and the Literary Club continue but in February we had our first (lots of firsts lately!) virtual pitta-cutting as a way of “getting together” and welcoming the new year as well as our new members. We hope 2021 will be full of health, joy and happy moments for each one of us, our families, and for AWOG too.

VIRTUALLY SPRING, our first (another first!) fundraiser of 2021 will be held April 1-4, on our site www.awog.gr. This will be our opportunity to shop to our hearts’ content from our sponsors’ eshops and to choose among the handmade items created by AWOG members who never seem to run out of ideas!

By the middle of March there will be more information on the Home Page of the AWOG website where you will be able to see our sponsors, but no sneak previews this time. Shopping will begin at 00:01 on April 1 and end at 23:59 on April 4. You will have 96 hours during which you can spend, spend, spend in order to support the individuals and companies that support us. Remember all profits will go to Lighthouse for the Blind for the production of the Odyssey and the Iliad in Braille.

FEBRUARY 2021

Everyone is asking, “Where did the holidays go?  It’s already the second month of the new year!”  In fact, the holidays are behind us and another 11 months lie ahead.

January was a strange month (nothing but strange lately; strange Easter, strange summer, strange holidays, strange, strange, strange) with unusually high temperatures for Attiki, snow in the mountains surrounding Athens followed by unusually low temperatures!  We think we’ve seen everything, but maybe not.

Our monthly events are continuing:  Fine Arts, the Literary Club, and lectures on nutrition and wellness; plans are under way for a virtual pitta-cutting for the new year.

Please remember to pay the 2021 dues to continue your support of AWOG and to participate in the General Election in March.

Following the successful virtual Christmas bazaar last December, AWOG is already planning its first fund raiser of the year, Virtually Spring, currently set for early April.  There will be hand-made items crafted by the Ladies of AWOG as well as a variety of vendors with links to their websites.  All the proceeds will be donated to Lighthouse for the Blind (ΦΑΡΟΣ ΤΥΦΛΩΝ) in Kallithea for the production of Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad in Greek Braille.

We leave you with the words of Agatha Christie:

“An archeologist is the best husband any women can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.”

And on that note, we wish you all a wonderful February and a great Valentine’s Day!

JANUARY 2021

The AWOG Board of Directors would like to wish all of its members and their families a safe, healthy and prosperous 2021. As we leave 2020 behind, we remember the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also our successful virtual bazaar, in December, whose proceeds will go a long way to helping AWOG charities.

Looking ahead to January 2021 we have Zoom meetings set up for the Literary Club, and Fine Arts as well as a lecture on nutrition.

This year marks AWOG’s 73rd year and as we forge ahead with plans to stay true to our mission, we ask for your contribution through the payment of annual dues. In this way, you will help our organization and be eligible to attend and vote at our General Assembly in March. The Board is looking at a virtual spring bazaar in April so that we can support more of AWOG’s charities.

December News

December 2020

The end of a year, a very unconventional year for everyone on the planet, is drawing nigh.  AWOG ended 2020 with our first-ever virtual Christmas Bazaar. We want to thank everyone involved for making it happen because it was truly a lot of work.

Without the cadre of our ever-loyal members who spent so generously to keep our AWOG acronym, A Way of Giving alive, it would not have been successful.  To each and every one of you, our heartfelt thanks.

December activities involve a meeting of the AWOG Literary Club, a Fine Arts event and a Christmas “gathering” of members online and then a short break for the holidays.

Our warmest wishes for a healthy, happy holiday season to all of you and your families and friends. Let us take heed of the  words of Charles Dickens who, in A Christmas Carol wrote, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”  They are truly relevant to an organization such as ours.

 

NOVEMBER 2020

NOVEMBER 2020 NEWS

“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto its nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”

Emily Dickinson

This is the final month for our Christmas Bazaar preparations with members working at a frenetic pace to have everything ready for AWOG’s first-ever virtual bazaar to be held December 1-5.
Details will appear on our website’s Home Page (www.awog.gr) later this month as well as on AWOG’s Facebook page. Stay tuned for beautiful handmade items whose sales will benefit Greek charities.

November’s activities for AWOG members—on Zoom– begin on the 9th with a Fine Arts Virtual Tour presentation/discussion, followed by a lecture on nutrition on the 14th. On November 17th, the Literary Club will discuss another short story, and on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26) we will all “meet” online to share a cup of coffee or tea and some Thanksgiving wishes and thoughts. The theme for that day is Memories of Past Thanksgivings.

Remember that to participate in the online ZOOM events, you must be an AWOG member. If you are not, but would like to join, please follow the procedure outlined under “How to Join AWOG” on the AWOG website.

OCTOBER 2020

OCTOBER 2020

September was a difficult month for most of us because after the long, lazy days of summer, it wasn’t easy going back to more rigid schedules and routines.  However, with online discussions, lectures and Christmas Bazaar preparations, we are already in the tenth month of the year.

October promises to be another busy month for AWOG members, full of varied activities, all via ZOOM.  Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be observed with a lecture on breast cancer.  Following our September lecture on nutrition, there will be another one; a chair yoga session will help us feel invigorated; a lecture by a woman who began a second career after she “retired” at the age of 65 will offer a new perspective; a museum tour of Impressionist works of art will certainly bring beauty into our lives, and another discussion of a short story will allow us to exchange ideas.

AWOG members are working hard to create lots of original items for this year’s Christmas Bazaar which will also be an online event this year.  Keep abreast of what’s in store for the Bazaar by following the AWOG Face Book page.

Remember that to participate in the online ZOOM events, you must be an AWOG member.  If you are not, but would like to join, please follow the procedure outlined under “How to Join AWOG” on the AWOG website.

SEPTEMBER 2020

SEPTEMBER AWOG NEWS

The summer of 2020 has come and gone and most of us managed to survive, unscathed by Covid-19.  As we all take precautions, stringently following the protective measures that the Greek government has announced, we look forward to the winter ahead, staying true to AWOG’s mission of being “committed to helping the community through financial and volunteer support of many non-profit, non-political Greek institutions as well as American community projects.”

September has begun with AWOG’s Community Services coordinating the process of cutting, sewing, stuffing, packaging and delivering Heart Pillows to hospitals in the greater Athens area.  There is a constant need, unfortunately, and recipients are always grateful.

The AWOG Literary Club will be meeting around the middle of the month to discuss another short story, this one by David Sedaris.

The culminating AWOG event of each calendar year has been the annual Christmas Bazaar which, this year, for the first time ever, will be an online event!  For this reason, all AWOG areas have been busy brainstorming, creating, photographing and generally preparing items that will be displayed online—on the AWOG website.  Do visit our website often to be informed of the beautiful items you can buy to gift to loved ones during the holidays while helping AWOG to support organizations in need.

During the last week of this month there will be a lecture on nutrition during COVID-19 given by a dietician.  This will evolve into a monthly lecture.

October promises lots of interesting events.  Here is a brief preview:  a lecture on breast cancer, chair yoga, a lecture on new careers after 65 as well as a museum tour.

Remember that to participate in these events (currently online via ZOOM), you must be an AWOG member.  If you are not, but would like to join, please follow the procedure outlined under “How to Join AWOG” on the AWOG website.  Looking forward to an enthusiastic beginning after the summer hiatus.