2016 – 2017 officers
The Daughters of Penelope is the Women’s group of the AHEPA Family with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1929, in San Francisco. Today,
the Daughters of Penelope is a leader in philanthropic, educational and cultural activities with local chapters in the United States, Canada and Greece. (National website – Daughters of Penelope)
The Daughters of Penelope was founded in 1929 through the effort of Ahepan Emmanuel Apostolides, who formed “EOS” Chapter #1 in San Francisco, California, with 25 charter members; Alexandra Apostolides Sonenfeld became the first Grand President of the Daughters of Penelope in 1931.
The head of Penelope in ancient headdress symbolizing friendship and womanhood, which is the foundation of life, home and country, identifies the Order. Encircling Penelope’s head is an olive wreath, the prize awarded victors of the ancient Olympic games. The cross on the Daughters’ emblem symbolizes Greece, and the crossed sabers are the shield of Greece. The eagle symbolizes the United States. The letters Theta Pi stand for Daughters of Penelope. The Daughters are affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Alope Chapter No. 158 of Albany, New York, was started on April 27, 1947. Of the original sixteen charter members, we have one continuously active, Member, Sister Kathryn Karris.
The Daughters of Penelope is a non-profit organization open to all Christian women of good moral character. The organization is an independent non-profit entity, although we are a family member of the cornerstone organization known as the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). There are over 350 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, The Bahamas, Australia and Greece. The Chapter, District and National Officers are elected annually. Programs are approved for the coming year at the annual conventions.
The objectives of the Daughters are to promote the social, ethical, and intellectual interests of its members; to cultivate good citizenship and patriotism for the United States of America and the other countries in which chapters exist; and to promote the dissemination of Hellenic culture and ideals. The betterment of humanity is a unifying theme of the Daughters, and members are encouraged to participate in worthwhile projects both nationally and in their respective communities.
Projects and Community Involvement
Saint Basil’s Academy in Garrison, New York, is a school and home for young children of Greek descent whose parents are dead or unable or unwilling to care for them, has been the Daughters’ project since 1950. They have constructed and furnished dormitories, have build a swimming pool, and continue to meet the yearly needs of the academy with fundraisers.
The Penelope Shelter Home for Battered Women in Mobile Alabama has been operating since 1980. The ongoing support continues to help women of all races, faith and creeds in time of need.
The Papanicolaou Cancer Research Institute is an ongoing project adapted in 1969. The Daughters have raised many thousands of dollars for cancer research.
The Daughters have established a Re-Entry Scholarship Program for women re-entering the work force, after raising a family.
Annually the local chapters and the national organization give thousands of dollars in scholarship awards for high school and college students.
The Salute to Women Awards Program is held every year in Washington, D.C. This program, instituted in 1970, honors outstanding women in all fields of endeavor. Many well known prominent women have been recipients of this coveted award,
Presentations of the Greek classics to local schools, public libraries and museums, continue in order to preserve the Greek history.
Since the founding in 1947, Alope Chapter has supported many charities, including:
- Cooley’s Anemia Foundation
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Special Olympics
- Albany Ronald McDonald House
- Camp Good Days and Special Times
- Scleroderma Foundation
- Albanian Relief fund
- Capital City Rescue Missions
- Mercy House
- Farrano Center for Children
- Albany Medical Center Breast Screening Mammography Clinic for under privileged women of the community
- Albany County Dept. of Social Services Adopt-A-Family Program
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Memorial
- American Heart Association
- National Tuberculosis Sclerosis Association
- Juvenile Diabetes
- Bone Marrow Registry
- March of Dimes
- Salvation Army
- Tuberculosis Foundation
- Muscular Dystrophy Foundation
- Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology, for the support and training of the future priests of the Greek Orthodox Church
- Scholarships to the youth of Saint Sophia Church
- The needs of the Saint Sophia Parish
Our Major Fundraiser is our annual “Antique Show and Bake Sale”. Other fundraisers are held as the need arises. This year we are focusing on Mental Health and Organ Donation. The main projects for the Daughters of Penelope are the “Center for Organ and Tissue Donations and Transplant”, associated with Albany Medical Center. We are trying to make the nation aware of the great need for organ donation, to help the more than 600,000 Americans waiting for the gift of life.
“Mental Health” awareness is also of concern, due to the stigma that still prevails with any kind of mental or emotional ailments. To this day people hide behind closed doors when there is any mention of mental illness. With so much advanced medications and treatments, no more should we shut the door to this disease.
In between fund raising projects, we do find time to entertain ourselves and increase our knowledge by bringing in informative guest speakers to discuss topics that affect our members and their families.
One of the most rewarding aspects of belonging to the Daughters of Penelope is their contribution to the community and the gains they have made in helping women develop leadership and creative potentials, as well as nurture their goals and dreams.
Our overall picture is a grand one. We look forward to another laudable and memorable 50 years with the leadership of our young women’s junior order the — Maids of Athena. They have a praiseworthy legacy to follow.