History and Background

AHEPA Palmetto Chapter 284 was chartered by the Supreme Lodge of AHEPA on June 8, 1931. The group was organized in response to the strong desire of a number of Greek Americans to support the national AHEPA organization founded nine years earlier in Atlanta, Georgia. The chapterís mission, modeled on the national organization, is to promote Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence. They believed that by working together toward these ideals they could help assimilate Greek Americans into American society, and create an awareness of the principles of Hellenism to people outside the Greek-American community. Although a majority of the membership is composed of Americans of Greek descent, application for membership is open to all men who share the goals of AHEPA.

The original Columbia chapter was initiated on June 8, 1931.  After a period of inactivity, Brother Charles Sofas reactivated the Chapter in October of 1960.  Chapter 284 has since maintained 540 consecutive monthly meetings for the last 43 years.  In that time, the Palmetto Chapter has continued to grow and establish itself as a leader in the AHEPA family. 

The chapter and its members have made outstanding contributions to the Greater Columbia metropolitan region, the Hellenic community, the Greek Orthodox Church, and to the Theological Seminary. Highlights include:

  • The construction of two AHEPA homes for the elderly in the greater Columbia area

  • The donation of seven volume sets of the Greek classics to the Richland County Public Library, Columbia College, Fort Jackson Library, University of South Carolina, A.C. Flora High School, and the Brookland Theological Seminary.

  • Creation of the Daniel Kavadas and George Boukedes Scholarship Foundations Substantial contributions to Columbiaís Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and its building fund 

  • Aid to the needy, local orphanages, and the Speech and Hearing clinic.


We Americans of Hellenic origin have formed and are now actively perpetuating a fraternal Order, non-partisan in politics and non-sectarian in religion, the members of which:

  1. Promote loyalty to the United States of America;
  2. respect the inalienable rights of mankind;
  3. strive for the betterment of society;
  4. abhor all political corruption;
  5. defend and protect all oppressed people everywhere;
  6. cultivate the noblest attributes and highest ideals of true Hellenism;
  7. labor for the perfection of a moral sense, the sprit of altruism and true benevolence;
  8. champion the cause of Education;
  9. love God and man; and
  10. hope for happiness


The 2017-2018 Officers for AHEPA Palmetto Chapter 284

President - John Kleckley
Vice President - Mike Psillos
Treasurer - John Metropol
Recording Secretary - Timothy McDonald
Corresponding Secretary - Mike Geronimakis

Committee Heads

VP, Hellenism - John Kratsios
VP, Education - Robert Grenier
VP, Philanthropy - Ilias Houlis
VP, Civic Responsibility - Gene Garris
VP, Family & Individual Excellence - Preston Spivey III
VP, Investment - George Bybee
VP, Auditing - Mark Hobbs
VP, Membership - Likie Beleos

Board of Governors

Chairman - Nick P. Leventis
Member - Alex K. Koutrakos
Member - Gus Koutrakos
Member - Michael Psillos
Member - John Psomas
Member - Nick Stefan
Member - Lee Xanthakos

Foundation Heads

George A. Boukedes Scholarship Foundation - Steve Bitzas
Chairman of Dr. Daniel S. Kavadas Scholarship Foundation - George Bybee
AHEPA Foundation 501 (c) (3) - Steve Bitzas

National AHEPA

Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, GA, AHEPA is by far the largest Greek-American organization.  Its scope is international- with chapters in the United States, Canada, Australia and Greece. For more information on the national organization, please visit their website. AHEPA local chapters are grouped in one of 26 Districts, each of which generally covers more than one state.

AHEPA Foundation 501(c)(3)

The AHEPA Columbia Foundation was established in August 2001 exclusively for charitable purposes. It is the institution of the AHEPA Columbia Foundation that enables donations to AHEPA 284 tax deductible.  The 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation is managed by a board of directors made up of the following individuals

President - Steve Bitzas
Vice-President - Demetri Voulganelis
Treasurer - John Kleckley

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