According to the words of the founder of this Organization, Mr. Dennis Syntilas, the organization was founded in October 1978 by a relatively small number of members compared to the current total members. The year 1979 it had 170 members. The first deposit was made from donations of the members of the organization and thus the amount gathered was a respected amount in the organization’s account, which was later used for the purchase of our house.
From the beginning the members of the organization were thinking to buy a house that would become the roof of the organization. Some of the members wanted to buy a house on Broadway. Eventually, after a voting from the majority of the members decided to buy the house which now houses the organization. This house was purchased for $215,000, in 1986 and also upgraded from donations by members with a main contribution to the cost by Mr. George Fakiris.
Before the house was bought, the organization used the Altos Democratic Club as its roof and had a paid secretary. The organization’s founder Mr. Dennis Syntilas was also the first president of the organization since its foundation until 1985. In the last year of Mr. Syntila’s presidency the first articles of association were filed. The members of the Organization studied the articles of association of similar organizations before reaching their final decisions.
The dream of the founder of the organization was to include members or the honorary members of other nationalities, in order to enhance its power. For example, we mention that Honorable Peter Valone, former speaker of the NYC Council and Honorable Joseph J. Risi, Supreme Court Judge became honorary members. According to the organization’s articles of association, the main mission of the organization is to assist its members in maintaining and upgrading their properties and solving problems related to their property. Also to offer Community Service for all residents.
At that time a serious problem arouse in the community. The lawyers association wanted to built a jail on Rikers Island, so that the members of the Bar Association would visit the prisoners instead of going upstate to visit. The association of Greek American Home Owners, in conjunction with other associations in the area, managed to prevent the intentions of these lawyers. This effort had great help by the radio shows of Ms. Tina Santorineou and Ms. Papadatou.
After Mr. Syntilas, late lawyer John Boubaris took over as president for 4 years. It is worth noting that Mr. Boubaris paid the loan of the house out of his own money, which in the meantime had been bought- for the first two years. Mr. Boubaris died in 2006. After Mr. Boubaris, president of the association was Mr. George Alexiou, who offered his services as president for 16 years in total. In the meantime the late Mr. Athanasios Alafogiannis served for a 4-year period as president. It is worth noting that since September of 1990 and for 10 consecutive years Mr. George Kitsios offered his services as Secretary General, and later on 8 years as president.
For the history of the association we mention the following details:
The organization in 1982 had 1300 members who managed to stop the construction of the prisoners building in Rikers Island.
- Founder first president Mr. Dennis Syntilas 1978-1985
- John Boubaris, president, 1986-1989
- George Alexiou, president for 16 years
- Athanasios Alafogiannis, president for 4 years
- George Kitsios, president from 2007 to 2010
- George Alexiou, President 2011-2014
- George Kitsios, president from 2015 to 2016
- George Kitsios, president from 2017 to today
Another major success of the Greek American Homeowners Association is the Athens Square Park. Our organization contributed more than $125,000 for this purpose. With the help of the organization’s members Honorable Peter Valone, former speaker of the NYC Council, Honorable Joseph J. Risi, Supreme Court Judge and Mr. George Delis, the Athens square was founded and chaired by Mr. Dennis Syntilas.
Twenty seven years ago the annual Thanksgiving lunch was established by George Alexiou and the board of directors especially with the help of Peter Stathatos, Peter Pliakas and John Milas which offers food to over 2500 people every year. The costs are covered by donations of members of the club. It is worth noting that most of the costs for the Thanksgiving lunch is covered by Mr. George Fakiris.
Also, twenty years ago our Organization started giving scholarships to 10 university Students and 10 Afternoon School Students, continuously and every year.
File name: GAHOA Full History 2017