History of Our Parish - Growth in the New Church, Tragedy, and Recovery PDF Print
History of Our Parish
Celebrating the First Divine Liturgy
Building the First Church
Growth In The Church Community
World War II Involvement and Post War Growth
Building the Hellenic Center
Building the Present Church on South Grande Avenue
Growth in the New Church, Tragedy, and Recovery
The 80s and 90s
List of Chanters, Choir Director, Organists, and Sunday School Directors
List of Parish Council Presidents
List of Parish Priests
Closing Remarks
All Pages

The Church was having its problems during these following years, raising funds to take care of its expenses. Festivals, picnics, fashion shows and dances were held by various groups to fund the Church. At one general meeting a momentous suggestion was made by Bill Chamuris to have Bingo as a fundraising program. He was able to do the initial paperwork with the Trustees and the proper authorities to establish the program. It should be noted that this lasted for 30 years with many unsung loyal workers. The total amount that the Church received over those years was one and a half million dollars! Ted Papanastasiou chaired this program over its last years.

1974 Choir1980 Junior Choir

Some other activities took place during this period. The community helped sponsor a Greek-English Language radio program on Sundays for several years. In 1973 PYGA was formed for boys’ activities, namely softball and basketball and the young girls, that same year established the Maids of Alitheia for their activities in the community. The community held a Hellenic Festival annually, either in the spring or the fall. A new opportunity came about when the community was able to have a large Greek Food Booth at the Dutchess County Fair. This was worked by members of the community each year on the 3rd week in August. Now the parish had a Festival on the Church & Center grounds plus the County Fair grounds. Along with the regular life of the Church, these two events called forth the best efforts of all towards the goal of meeting the annual expenses of the community.

Along with the very active Sunday school, we were able to now add a Junior Choir that took part in many of the Church services with the senior choir. This also encouraged many of the youth to take part in the Lenten readings on Fridays.

A tragedy struck the community in the fall of 1977. The Hellenic Center was destroyed one Saturday night by fire. All that was left were the bare walls. One item that was lost was the original ornate chandelier from the old church. It had graced the center for many years and many functions. The community rallied, committees were set up and along with the Trustees the Center was rebuilt and opened again for events in 1979.

The years since the beginning of the church community had flown by, almost without being noticed. The members were often too busy to take note of their progress and accomplishments. The 50th anniversary of the Church Community was celebrated in 1979 with a gala Dinner held at the newly refurbished Hellenic Center. The greater Poughkeepsie area took note of the celebration with prominent dignitaries attending that evening.

1983 Dance Group at the Hellenic Festival1983 Cypriot Costumes worn by the Dance Group at the Hellenic Festival

Now that the Church was built, the members and the Trustees began to gradually decorate the interior. It was when Rev. N. Soteropoulos was here that the design of the large altar apse mosaic of the Virgin Mary was decided upon. Also at that time Mr. Mavodones designed the marble baptismal font that is based on the Baptistery of Hagia Sophia.

When Rev. S. Sarigianis came to the Church community the following additions were made: the installation of the altar area mosaic of the Virgin Mary, the moving of the older silver icons from the storage room to the two apse chapels on the left and right sides of the nave, the removal of the smaller silver votive icons on the brick iconostasion wall and their replacement by eight newly hand-crafted full sized mosaic icons. In addition, two Archangel icons from the original iconostasion of the old Church were added, a Byzantine style chandelier, the paintings of the 12 Apostles on the center cross beam of the nave and the huge icon of Christ the Pantocrator (He who Rules over all) on the central ceiling of the nave. The Ahepa donated the Royal doors to the altar area.