To support my dear friend Jimmy Pantelides and his courageous battle with Pancreatic cancer, I am training to run at Jimmy’s side during the Boston Marathon on April 15.
I was provided this opportunity by the Alpha Omega Council in Boston who gave me their very in-demand charity slot for this race. Alpha Omega is dedicated to the promotion of Hellenism. Their mission statement is to: Unite Americans of Hellenic ancestry in order to promote and encourage loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America; cultivate the ideals of Hellenism and strive toward maintaining positive Greek-American relations; tecognize the achievements of individuals or groups who have excelled; and help alleviate the wants of the poor and needy by establishing, maintaining, and aiding religious, charitable, scientific, literary and educational activities.
Alpha Omega has contributed over $2,000,000 to various philanthropic causes, not including their annual Scholarship Awards ($5,000 each). The charities supported annually by Alpha Omega include: the Archbishop Iakovos Library & Learning Resource Center; Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston; Hellenic Cardiac Fund at Children’s Hospital; Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology; Hellenic Nursing & Rehabilitation Center’ Philoxenia House; St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center.
In addition, each year around the Boston Marathon, Alpha Omega has created a number of remarkable programs to better educate the world on Greece’s contributions to society today. They include:
A Wreath Ceremony each year (since 1984) where olive wreaths flown in from the plains of Marathon, Greece to crown the Boston Marathon winners are presented to the Boston Athletic Association. This ceremony, attended by over 250 members of the Boston athletic, educational, political, diplomatic and other communities, recognizes the historical ties between the world’s first democracy in ancient Athens and the birth of democracy and the striving for freedom and human dignity that rang out of Boston in 1776 and continues today.
A Marathon Essay Competition for Boston area students to illuminate the role of the Battle of Marathon in preserving the emerging Athenian democracy and civilization, and connecting that historical event and the concept of the marathon run to the citizen soldier in the birth of America, and the role, duties, and opportunities for civic participation today. Middle school students, then studying ancient Greece under the Massachusetts State curriculum, are invited to write an essay on aspects of the battle of Marathon and its historical significance. The winners are recognized at the Wreath Ceremony.
I got to see the depth and breadth of their programs first hand when they honored my father, Andy Manatos, with a Lifetime Achievement award in 2016.
I am hoping you can show your support for Jimmy and this wonderful organization by making a contribution.