American Hellenic Council Holds Annual Awards Gala in Los Angeles

By Katerina Cozias

The American Hellenic Council of California held it’s annual Awards at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, April 1st. This year’s honorees included Dean Spanos, Owner and Chairman of theL.A. Chargers, congresswoman Karen Bass and archaeologist Stephen Miller.

Dean Spanos was presented with the prestigious Aristeion Award for his role as a leading member of the American Hellenic community and for his many years of philanthropy. The Aristeion Award honors outstanding individuals who have had a major impact in their fields of expertise, national and internationally, and have been supporters of Hellenism.

“I’d like to thank the Council for this tremendous honor and for your warm welcome this evening. My family, and in fact our entire Chargers organization is truly enjoying this opportunity to make so many new friends here in Los Angeles” said Spanos.

Presented with the Pericles Award was US State Representative Karen Bass of the newly drawn 37th Congressional District of California. The Pericles award honors political leaders who advocate for peace and democracy for issues that concern the Hellenic-American community. Ms. Bass was acknowledged for her work as a member of the Hellenic Caucus in Congress.

Finally, 40-year veteran Archaeologist and Philhellene Professor Stephen Miller was presented with the prestigious Theodore Salutos Award for his many years of archeological work and community support in Nemea, Greece. Mr. Miller was acknowledged for his extraordinary devotion to Hellenism, it’s ideal, traditions and culture and for helping to found the revival of the modern day Nemea Games.

Gala Attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception, followed by welcome messages by the Masters of Ceremonies, Demetrios Boutris. Mr. Boutris has served in California as the Commissioner of the Department of Corporations as the Legal Affairs Secretary & Counsel of the Governor, and in Washington, DC as a US trade official in the White House. After the invocation, given by Rev. Father John Bakas, the Chairman’s Greeting given by Dr. Menas Kafatos, and the awards portion of the evening, guests enjoyed dinner and traditional Greek music and dancing.

The American Hellenic Council is a non-partisan political advocacy organization who’s goal is to promote democracy, human rights, peace and stability in Southern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, with an emphasis on Greece and Cyprus, by informiong the American public and public officials about on-going issues and conflicts in the area and about the threat arising from the economic crisis in Greece.