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Lincolnwood, IL— May 28, 2014— “I plan to share this prize with my parents. They have always taken care of me so I want to take care of them,” Petros Marinakos said after winning $300,000 playing Lucky Day Lotto.  The Lincolnwood resident was happy to discover that the numbers on his Quick Pick ticket – 08 - 15 - 28 - 38 - 39 – were an exact match in the April 8 Lucky Day Lotto evening drawing.

On Monday, May 12, at the Roditys Restaurant in Chicago, The Chicago Council of Justice for Cyprus (CCJC) held an event in memory of one of its most dynamic past chairmen, “Celebrating the Life of Basil Portocalis.”

Monday, 19 May 2014 23:16


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EL GRECO. . . An early  painting, a religious icon by Domenikos Kyriakos Theotokopoulos has been loaned to the Santa Cruz Museum in Toledo, Spain for an exhibit that will run through June 14 as part of events for the “El Greco Year” in both Greece and Spain.  The painting’s origins were discovered in 1983 by the culture ministry’s archaelogist GIORGOS MASTOROPOULOS.

MOSAICS…The Classical Art Society welcomed DIMITRI  LIAKOS, Professor Emeritus, Northern Illinois University who was to lecture and examine the unique and magnificent mosaics from churches in Ravenna, on May 15 at 6:00 p.m. at Fullerton Hall of the Art Institute of Chicago.

BEST WISHES. . . to LOUIS G. APOSTOL, Executive Director and counsel for the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board who was elected Chair of the NIU College of Law Board of Visitors at its Annual Meeting in April.

STAR CHEF. . . Chicago chef JIMMY BANNOS, JR., of River North’s The Purple Pig, was a co-winner in the Rising Star Chef category at the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards held in New York.

HONORED. . . MRS. KAREN COOKE and MRS. ALEXANDRA SMIRNIOTIS upon their retirement---for the many years they have dedicated to the Sts. Constantine and Helen Church Sunday School administration.

CHRISMATION. . . VASILIOS (WILLIAM) SENSENBRENNER with Eleni T. Lemberis as Sponsor. . . . NICOLETTA  DODARO with Maria Visvardis as Sponsor.      .

40 DAY CHURCHING. . . SEAN JR., son of Marina Dedes and Sean Gallagher. …JULIAN, son of Bobby and Darice Alvertos…CONSTANTINA and ALEXIA, children of Fotios and Ruby Psyhogios.




Also…. STAR Editor DIANE ADAM…GEORGIA MITCHELL on the 12th…ERNEST NEOKOS on the 26th…GEORGE PATERAKIS on the 30th…JOHN  H. SECARAS on the 16th…HARRY J. SECARAS on the 19th…MARY YANNIAS on the 28th.


KORAES GRADS. . . CONSTANTINE ALEMIS…NATALIA  CVETKOVIC …ANNABELLA GOFIS and  NICHOLAS GEORGIOPOULOS attained “A” Honor Roll at Nazareth Academy.  EVAN SELLAS achieved “B” Honor Roll status. Koraes students scored in the top 10% nationally in standardized testing.

AWARD. . .The Illinois Associated Press Media  Editors (IAPME) annual contest winners includes  DAN MIHALOPOULOS  who received 3rd place in business for his “Clout in Session.” 

CONDOLENCES to the family of the late GEORGE THOMAS TSOKOLAS who fell asleep in the Lord on April 18.  He was the husband of Sultana (nee Papanikolaou) and son-in-law of Father Byron and Presvytera Cynthia Papanikolaou.  May his memory be eternal.

One is rich


 through one’s possessions,


through that which one can

with dignity

do without



As has been done in previous years, the American Legion Hellenic Post 343 will be paying tribute to the Veterans by sponsoring events that will honor their accomplishments as well as their sacrifices.

ARTOCLASIA SERVICE: On Sunday May 18, an Artoclasia was held at St. George Orthodox Church in Chicago.  Commander S. Betzelos, Adjutant M. Nichols and Past Commander N. Lianos had made arrangements and preparations for the Artoclasia with the help of the priests and the church’s administrative staff. 

Veterans and their families were welcomed to the Artoclasia Service which started at 9:30 a.m. where  they were guided to sit together.  Veteran badges were issued by the Adjutant as they entered the  church.  After the Liturgy and Artoclasia, arrangements had been made for a Fellowship hour to take  place in the social center.  It was recommended that all Veterans bring their caps to wear during the  coffee hour.



On Monday, May 26 at 11:00 a.m. there will be a Memorial Ceremony at the Veterans’ Monument at Elmwood Cemetery, to pay tribute to all Greek Americans who served in the defense of this country.  

Previous and current administrations of Post 343 have done a great job in recording the names on giant marble slabs of those Greek Americans who have donated their time, their talents and in some cases  their lives to defend Democracy and Freedom.



In addition to the religious memorial at St. George Orthodox Church, plus the memorial at the Monument, another memorial takes place in Washington, D.C. several times during the year.  This memorial incorporates a free one day trip to our nation’s capital to visit the World War II Memorial, as well as the Korean and Viet Nam memorials.  These memorials contain very artistic statues and displays of what took place during these conflicts.  

During a couple of visits to Washington. I visited these war memorials myself and was very touched by most of the artwork.  There was one particular display that did impress me the most, and this was the Wall of Gold Stars.  I was really amazed when a tour guide told me that there were 4,048 gold stars, as each Gold Star represents 100 American servicemen that lost their lives during World War II.  The grand total of U.S. servicemen who lost their lives in this war totals 404,800.  This number should be repeated as often as possible in order to make sure that all Americans are well aware that 404,800 Americans gave their lives during WW II.


Poppies will be available for distribution, during these celebrations, to anyone that is willing to help in the funding of all Veteran programs.

The “Honor Flight Chicago” is available to any Veteran who participated in WW II as well as the Korean and Viet Nam Conflicts.  As indicated above, in order to participate in this free and worthwhile event, please call Adjutant Mike C. Nichols at 847-296-4595.  More details will be outlined in future articles.


 CICERO, ILL.---The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth (OCCHY), a PanOrthodox organization dedicated to educating and preventing alcohol and substance use/abuse among teens, will host an important town hall meeting for parents and students, this May 22 at 7:00 pm at Saint Haralambos Church, 7373 N. Caldwell, Niles, Ill. The theme of this event is “Keep Prom & Graduation Safe & Sober.”

              “Statistics show that alcohol is the most used/abused substance among adolescents because it is so easily accessible. Our efforts to educate and therefore prevent underage substance use can only succeed when parents, educators and legislators understand and support our mission; which in turn, encourages funding by government Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug [ATOD] prevention agencies,” stated Gordana Trbuhovich, coordinator of OCCHY Chicago.

                As a recognized partner of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its National Underage Drinking Prevention initiatives, OCCHY was invited to host a town hall meeting to coincide with SAMHSA’s National Prevention of Underage Drinking Week, which takes place during the week of May 19, and focuses on the prevention of underage drinking. SAMHSA is the lead agency for the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking, and has sponsored these events every two years since 2006 as a way for communities to learn more about preventing this public health problem. With the invitation, SAMHSA offers a grant to subsidize this important program.

                The town hall meeting will feature local experts, who will help to educate parents and teens about refraining from using alcohol and other substances, and why it’s so crucial to their well-being.

                Ted Penessis, Education Manager for the State of Illinois Liquor Control Commission, oversees the tobacco enforcement operation, alcohol server training program and underage drinking awareness programs.  Penessis is a government and communications professional with twenty years’ experience, including serving local municipalities and school districts, and has considerable experience in PR and marketing consulting, and previously was a TV Producer/Director for an NBC affiliate in Rockford, IL. He will speak to teens about Illinois programs and efforts toward underage prevention and the health and safety ramifications of alcohol consumption.

                Lisa A. Razzano, PhD, CPRP is a tenured Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Deputy Director of the Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is the co-Principal Investigator for the 5-year, federally funded UIC National Research and Training Center on Psychiatric Disability and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions and serves as the Director for the James Scholar Program at the UIC College of Medicine. Dr. Razzano has been PI or co-PI for federally funded research focusing on mental health service interventions and psychiatric rehabilitation.  Her research and contributions have been recognized internationally, including research awards from the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Chicago, and the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group.  She is an award-winning practitioner, counselor, speaker and advocate of alcohol and substance abuse prevention, and sits on numerous National, Federal & International Government Advisory boards and panels. Dr. Razzano will present, “Science Meets Your Brain,” a talk relating the brain with alcohol and substance abuse.

           Christina Jones, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. Ms. Jones received her Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University in 1995. She has worked with adolescents in the in-patient setting at Charter Barclay Hospital; and was the family therapist at Hellenic Family & Community Center as well as the Senior Addiction Counselor at Grateful House, a recovery center for women over 18. She earned an Executive Scholar Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management in 2011 and spent four years as Executive & Clinical Director of Hellenic Foundation, a not for profit social service organization, where she developed education and intervention programs for adults and adolescents in many areas including addiction. Ms. Jones is a motivational speaker, author, workshop facilitator and clinical consultant. She works extensively with individuals, couples and families in the area of addiction/recovery, co-dependency, domestic violence, eating disorders, and trauma as a result of sexual abuse. Ms. Jones is passionate about educating and empowering individuals, particularly teens and young adults to make healthy choices.

                Commander Brian Baker and Officer Frank Czajka of the Skokie Police Department will address current trends and data on adolescent behaviors, parent cooperation, arrests, and consequences associated with alcohol and substance use.

                This event is one not to be missed. Education is critical to prevention. Peer pressure is rampant and can be extreme. Let’s give our teens the tools they need to stay strong, stay sober, stay healthy, and stay safe.

                 OCCHY-Chicago is a faith based coalition under the auspices of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is based at Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cicero, Ill. OCCHY serves high school district 219 in the townships of Niles, Lincolnwood and Skokie, as well as the nearly 80 Orthodox Christian parishes of all jurisdictions, throughout Metropolitan Chicago.  For more information, contact Trbuhovich, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 708.298.9770.

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The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation is proud to support the arts and culture through an invitation to attend a special performance by virtuoso mandolinist Dimitris Marinos.  The event, MUSIC ANALECTS VI, An Odyssey to a Starting Point, will take place on Sunday, May 18, at 4pm in the Chicago Symphony Center's Buntrock Hall, located at 220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL.

Saturday, 10 May 2014 15:57

Bomb hoax forces Acropolis Museum evacuation

Written by

ATHENS, Greece (AP) —A bomb hoax forced Greek authorities to evacuate the Acropolis Museum in Athens and an adjacent subway station for more than an hour.

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Joined by wide-eyed youngsters from some of the city's most impoverished Southside neighborhoods, religious leaders gathered this week at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Chicago to dedicate more than 10,000 new books provided by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). The trove of colorful, age-appropriate reading materials will benefit thousands of schoolchildren participating in after-school enrichment opportunities, mentoring and summer learning programs in the Chicago area.

Van E. Vlahakis—January 14-1935-April 6 2014

Eftichios Van Vlahakis, Ph.D., CEO of Earth Friendly Products, died Sunday, April 6, 2014 in Key Largo, FL.

Born on the Greek island of Crete in 1935, Vlahakis left war-torn Greece in 1953 and emigrated to Chicago, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Roosevelt University. After several years working as a chemist, he started his own cleaning products company, Venus Laboratories, in 1967. 

A 1958 chemistry graduate Vlahakis credits Roosevelt with “teaching me how to think, solve problems and to work with people.” Vlahakis found himself working tirelessly to make a better life here in America. Thomas Hassapis a 1959 chemistry graduate of Roosevelt and a friend who lived for a time with Vlahakis and other Greek immigrants in a North State Street apartment building that they called ‘The Greek Embassy,” recalled his friend’s ambition.  “A lot of us worked very hard to become something,” said Hassapis, in an article which appeared in the 2012 Roosevelt Review. 

Vlahakis served as CEO of Earth Friendly Products. “There was a lot of information coming out at that time about things that were bad for you.” Earth Friendly Products has been hailed as a “champion” in the eyes of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

“Some day somewhere a historian will investigate the origins of the green movement and its eco-friendly products. A search on ‘Google look-alikes’ will be populated with entries that contain ‘Earth Friendly Products,’ or ‘Dishmate,’ or ‘Venus Laboratories.’ The researcher may find that a young man from Greece living in Chicago was struggling with English but knew he could master the symbol-intensive subject of chemistry. That young man, Van Vlahakis, later recognized the need for more effective cleaning products and in 1967 founded Venus Laboratories, Inc. to make better cleaning products and pursue his dream of business success,”according to the Earth Friendly Products website

Known as a visionary, he was granted an honorary doctorate from Roosevelt University in 2012.
Vlahakis loved boating, scuba diving, traveling, Greek music, old movies. 

He is survived by his children John E. Vlahakis (Stephanie Anton Vlahakis), Elli Manolas (John Manolas), Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks (Eric Hanks); and by his grandchildren Alexandra Vlahakis, Ian Vlahakis, Zachary Vlahakis, Nicole Manolas, Stacy Manolas, Kasia Manolas and Alexsia Hanks. He is also survived by cousins, nephews and nieces.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Eftichios Van Vlahakis Scholarship Fund at Roosevelt University. For more information about the fund, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

May his memory be eternal.

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The Greek Star newspaper is the longest continually published weekly Greek-American newspaper in the United States.

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