The Ionian Village, an outreach of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, experienced a catastrophic event in October when their main building, located at the summer camp’s site in the northwestern Peloponnese, was destroyed in a tornado.
The freak storm happened at 1 AM on October 13, 2020. Fortunately, no one was at the camp when the tornado struck. The phenomenon caused catastrophic damage to the cafeteria, or “trapeza,” and the swimming pool. Several trees behind the cabins were uprooted and launched hundreds of feet while others were twisted and torn apart like pieces of straw.
According to the Archdiocese, the Office of Ionian Village has released a limited edition “Meet me at the Chapel” Christmas Ornament to raise funds to repair areas of the camp site damaged by the storm. All proceeds from this ornament fundraiser will be donated to the Ionian Village Tornado Fund.
The Ionian Village has now partnered with So Blue Greek Ceramics & Gifts to commission this striking ornament. This small business is owned and operated by Elizabeth Chiarel, who reached out to Ionian Village as a response to the life-transforming experience her children all had at the camp. The solid beechwood ornaments were all individually hand-painted in Greece by Katerina Kourteli.
The Archdiocese says that Kourteli has a Masters in Fine Arts from Coventry University in the UK and is a resident of Athens, Greece. The artisan also attended a three-year iconography course under iconographer George Kordis at the school called “Iconourghia.”
The Office of Ionian Village is very pleased to offer this beautiful hand-painted ornament that will bring the love and warmth of the beloved Chapel into homes this Christmas season, and for generations to come. Click the link here to order. Only limited quantities remain.