2021 Global ZOOM Panigyryi

October 9, 2021

2021-10-9 ZOOM Panigyricrp


The second KSOCA Global Zoom Panigyri took place on October 9, 2021.  Over a span of almost 8 hours, 78 attendees from USA, Australia, and Greece joined in on the virtual event, which marked the fifth Global Zoom gathering of Kytherians from around the world.

The KSOCA business meeting included an opening prayer from Fr. Niko Bekris of Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church in Castro Valley, CA, and the Kytherian Hymn sung by Dr. Tikey Zes, Honorary Kytherian and husband of the late Theodora Chlentzos Zes.  A moment of silence was observed for the passing of five KSOCA members:  Andrew Stathis, Marie Cominos, Fawaz Khanachet, Theodora Zes, and Elaine Kasimatis.

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President Vikki Vrettos Fraioli introduced the KSOCA Board and noted the KSOCA has 37 paid members for this year. She shared a brief update of activities, noting that despite being the second year of not having an in-person luncheon, five Global Zoom gatherings have been held!

Scholarship Chair Melissa Neofes Mischak presented two $1500 scholarships to Hannah Moore, daughter of Cynthia Moore and granddaughter of Pan Coukoulis, and Grant Gallaway, son of Kate and Wally Gallaway and grandson of Mary (Alfieris) and Rich Lind. Both recipients spoke briefly on their studies and interests. Hannah was accompanied by her sister Julia Moore, a 2017 scholarship recipient, and Grant zoomed in during sports practice on the lacrosse field.  The KSOCA has awarded $22,000 in scholarships since 2008.

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Kytherian Brotherhood of Baltimore President Diane Homberg, Kytherian Association of Australia, Sydney President Emmanuel Alfieris, and Elias Marsellos, Director, Institute of Kytheraismos offered brief presentations on their respective organizations. 

President Homberg noted that an Artoklasia service was offered, and that the annual luncheon for the small membership did not take place because of COVID.  Baltimore Kytherian Titsa Capsanis Bronstein shared a beautiful photo of the Myrtidiotissa Icon at Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore, MD. 

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Myrtidiotissa Icon in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the  Annunciation  in Baltimore, MD

George Souris, treasurer of the Kytherian Brotherhood of St. Louis, reported on various donations by the Brotherhood, adding that the group’s luncheon was unable to be held because of COVID.  The St. Louis chapter consists of about 50 members. 

President Alfieris noted that the Sydney Kytherians, inspired by the KSOCA, are now awarding scholarships.  Other activities by the Sydney branch include the Kytherian Ball; chapels dedicated to Myrtidiotissa built within the church; the upcoming 100-year celebration featuring a book and a limited fundraiser of 100 commemorative coins, with Aphrodite on one side and Kythera on the other.  The coin’s winning design is by Zoe Sofios.  Finally, the Migration Statue project, slated to be unveiled in Agia Pelagia’s new vista area across from the wharf in September, continues with an upcoming competition for the statues design.  KSOCA will be part of the committee to choose the design. 

Manos Vassilakis, representative of Dynamo Kythera, gave a presentation on the wind turbine situation, emphasizing that legal and social fronts against the wind turbines are ongoing.  The Kytherian Society presented a check for $1000 to KIPA to aid in the fight against the large wind turbines, which are almost as tall as the Eiffel Tower and produce 90 times more energy than the island needs.

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Director Elias Marsellos announced the ninth Kytheraismos Symposium would take place on Kythera in 2022, likely in July.  The Centennial Celebration of the Kytherian Association of Australia takes place in Sydney in November 2022, Director Marsellos plans to participate, holding the tenth Kytheraismos Symposium during the Centennial Celebration, and creating the Kytheraismos Research Center in Sydney. 

Helen Tzortzopoulos, President, Friends of the Museum (FMK), noted that an architect and building design has been selected for the Migration Museum, which will be a focal point in Agia Pelagia.  A special meeting will be held for Australians and Americans to introduce the architect and design.  Helen noted the museum is for all families who left or arrived on Kythera, with an emphasis on Digital Form.  

The business portion of the KSOCA meeting concluded with a drawing and raffle by spinning a wheel of names.  All registered participants were entered in the drawing, for a chance to win movie codes, donated by James Prineas.   Winners of the movie prizes were Matina Mottee, Matina Zervos, Maria Capsanes, and Hannah Moore. 

KSOCA Vice President Elaine Moulos noted the organization’s main fundraiser is a yearly raffle, held at the annual Panigyri.  Members and attendees bring wrapped prizes, which go to the winning ticket holders. For 2021, the KSOCA voted to forego its usual raffle revenue by holding a 50/50 raffle, with half the profits to be donated to the fight against the Wind Turbines, and the other half to one lucky winner. Raffle sales, generous donations from other individuals, and a contribution by the KSOCA resulted in a $1,000 donation to KIPA. 

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The Wheel of Names was spun to choose the lucky winners!

In the end, Vice President Elaine Moulos won the $500 raffle prize, which she graciously donated back to the KSOCA. It was a win win situation!

After concluding business, participants shared conversation in breakout rooms.  Themes for the breakout rooms were Wind Farms; Migration Museum; Genealogy: Kytherian History; Travel on Kythera; Kytherian Cooking; Preserving our Family History; Travel in the time of COVID; and Open-Ended Conversation.

After almost eight hours of Kytherian Zooming, the remaining participants Zoe Skiathas, Helen Warner, Andrea Simmers, Tony Zaglas, and Vikki Vrettos Fraioli closed the books on another smashingly successful Zoom, uniting Kytherians around the Globe.  We can't wait until the next one!



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