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NHS Heritage Weekend Brings Together Best And Brightest Greek Americans

Greek American actor and honoree Michael Chiklis is presented with a painting of himself by John Calamos Sr., Peter Parthenis Sr., and other NHM leaders during the National Hellenic Society’s Heritage Weekend in Dana Point, CA. Credit: George Orfanakos

The National Hellenic Society held their annual Heritage Weekend honoring Emmy & Golden Globe Winning Best Actor Michael Chiklis this past weekend, Oct 7-10, at the Waldorf Astoria Resort in Dana Point, CA.

Archaeologists John Camp and Beth Fisher were also honored by the Greek American organization. A painting of both will be placed in the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago.

The event held at the luxurious, beachside Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort lasted three days and attracted the best and brightest of the Greek American community in the U.S. The mission was to collect funds to send young Greek Americans to Greece.

Activities over the weekend included the Telly Savalas & Dr. George Korkos Golf Classic, the Dana Point Hike with terrific views of the Pacific Ocean and downtown Laguna Beach, the Dana Point Kayaking, Standup Paddleboarding, the Beach Bike Ride, and surf lessons.

National Hellenic Society golf outing
George Orfanakos, John Calamos and friends during the NHS golf outing in Dana Point, CA. Credit: George Orfanakos

Michael Chiklis is one of Hollywood’s most accomplished actors and celebrities with lead roles in feature films and several long-running television series including The Commish, The Shield, and Gotham among others.

Chiklis is proud of his Greek heritage. “The NHS is proud to honor Michael for exemplifying excellence in all aspects of his professional and personal life,” said the organization in a statement.

Top recording artist Giorgos Tsalikis, who flew in from Greece, performed live at the event on Saturday.

NHS and the NHM also honored renowned archeologists, Professor John Camp and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Fisher.

Professor Camp has lectured all over the world and is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Professor of Classics at Randolph-Macon College. Dr. Camp recently turned over the reins as the Director of Excavations at the ancient Agora, the birthplace of democracy after over fifty-five years of dedicated service.

Dr. Elizabeth Fisher is a Professor of Classics and Archeology at Randolph-Macon College. She has worked on several ancient Hellenistic sites in Italy, Greece, and Africa. Dr. Fisher is currently researching the connections between Greece and Ethiopia from the Bronze Age to Byzantium.

National Hellenic Society sends Greek American students to Greece

The organization reached a milestone this year with the addition of the American College of Thessaloniki and the American College of Greece as host schools for over one hundred Heritage Greece students, including nine Greek-Canadian students, thanks to our partners at the Hellenic Heritage Foundation of Toronto.

Greek-American and Greek-Canadian students visited Greece this summer. Credit: Facebook/NHS

NHS has sponsored over six hundred students on this life-changing journey of self-discovery and connections to heritage, culture, and roots. The students make life-long friends, and we look forward to welcoming Heritage Greece Alumni for a reunion in tandem with Heritage Weekend.

“Maintaining Greek culture for the next generation”

NHS Chairman Drake G. Behrakis, a second-generation Greek, told Greek Reporter recently that “our focus is to maintain Greek culture for the next generation.”

“Many of the students have never been to Greece. We offer them the experience of going to Greece and connecting with Greek students at the campus of Deree.” Deree, also known as the American College of Greece, is located at Agia Paraskevi, a leafy suburb in north Athens.

The goal is to reconnect the participants with their heritage, roots, language, history, and traditions. They have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore their culture, as well as to identity and learn about the ancient past within the prism and context of modern Greece.

The National Hellenic Society is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the preservation of Greek heritage in America. It is a proud association of leaders, visionaries, and philanthropists who perpetuate and celebrate Greek heritage.

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