Blog


2017 Panigyri Review

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Another wonderful Panigyri has come and gone! 

Church Services

The Divine Litergy was celebrated by Fr. Niko Bekris at Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church.  

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Artoklasia and Memorial Services followed in memory of: 

Sophia & George Paris, Evelyn Pavlou, Peter Notaras,
Andrew G. Saffas, Tasso John Conomos and Alexis Maria Keramaris
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Welcome

Our luncheon followed with President Katherine Stathis  welcoming everyone. 

prayer


Marcello Souza offered the opening prayer.


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Lunch

Chef Yianni Varelis prepared a delicious selecion of entrees: 
Greek Style Chicken with Olive Oil, Lemon and Oregano
Greek  Lamb Shank with Orzo
Grilled Salmon with Lemon & Butter
Pasta Primavera
Salad, Spanakopita, & Dessert - Galaktoboureko
Coffee, Tea or Iced Tea

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Agora

Various souvenirs from Kythera were available for purchase at the Agora.

Kythera News


Kythera News

Vikki Fraioli shared news from Kythera. 

The biggest news was the devastating results from the fire on Kythera in August that burned out of control for several days. 

Photos from web blogs and Facebook were shared.

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An Island Named Desire
 

Shooting for the sequel to Kythera Mon Amour, "An Island Named Desire" took place on the island this summer. 

We  all look forward to seeing it when it is releaseed early next year.

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Popi Coroneos getting dolled up for her shoot at the 

August 15 Panigyri in Potamos


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James Prineas making preparations for the shoot.

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Jamie Fraioli sitting with film star Popi Coroneos

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Ready, Set, Shoot…..on the Platia in Potamos. Let the dancing begin!

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Vikki Fraioli encouraged members to submit photos and info on their relatives for the Potamos Book Project. Don’t be left out of the book!

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Although they were unable to attend the Panigyri this year, members and friends celebrated Tikey and Penelope’s birthdays! 

Xronia Polla and many many more!

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Vikki encouraged everyone to take a look at the Notable Kytherians section of the KSOCA Website! We have added the wonderful biograhical blog of Alexa Conomos as she takes us on “Giagia’s Journey,” A Photo Journal of the Life of Penelope Benardos Conomos.

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Anastasia Conomos Condas Scholarship

Our scholarshp recipient this year was Julia Moore, granddaughter of long time member Panagiotis (Pan) Coukoulis.

Julie wrote a wonderful essay about the life of her grandfather that you can read on her scholarship page.

She was unable to attend the luncheon to accept her award, but submited a thank you letter that can be read on her page.

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Memorials

This year we mourned the loss of so many of our dear friends. After a moment of silence, family members or friends offered a few words about their loved ones. May their memory be eternal.

Hospital Supples Project

Ted Leonis shared some news about the hospital supplies project. In short, the AHEPA along with the IOCC will send a container $650,000 worth of hospital supplies to Kythera if we are able to raise the funds to send that container over. Ted has already retained pledges for about $1000. We would need to raise aproximately $18,000 to send the container. Carol Notaras graciously pledged an additional $5000 to go toward that fund! We can not begin to thank her enough for her generous offer.

Ted is now working with a representative of the hospital in Kythera to determine what supplies they are in need of.

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The Panigyri ended with our annual raffle where everyone is a winner!

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Fr. Nikos Bekris offered the closing Prayer.



Panigyri Highlights Video by Ted Zamenes

 For more photos of the 2017 Panigyri Click Here


Alexis Maria Keramaris

1991 - 2017


The Kytherian Society mourns the tragic loss of Alexis Keramaris.

May her memory be eternal . . .


Alexis Maria Keramaris was born Oct 20, 1991 in Santa Barbara to Nick Keramaris and Terry Chlentzos.  She attended Peabody Elementary, Santa Barbara Junior High, and graduated in 2009 from Santa Barbara High School, where she participated in the Visual Arts and Design Academy. As a People to People student ambassador, Alexis visited England, France, and Belgium during her high school years.  Alexis participated in Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church throughout her school years, and took part in Greek Folk Dance Federation yearly events.

Alexis was a talented artist, and participated in a pre-college program at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston.  While attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she fell in love with printmaking and pursued studies in Lithography.  Alexis spent a semester studying art at the Complutense University in Madrid during her junior year in college, a dream made possible by receiving the PanHellenic Scholarship.  Alexis graduated from SAIC in 2014.

Her art was elaborate, passionate, and fiery, an unspoken expression of her sweet and troubled soul.  Alexis found life difficult and complicated, often struggling to fit in.  Her true friends gave Alexis the freedom to be herself, and then she was able to shine.   Because of her own struggles with mental illness and subsequent substance abuse, Alexis had plans to attend graduate school to become an art therapist.  Alexis always maintained that substance abuse was related to mental health, and really wanted to pursue studies combining the two fields.  Unfortunately, Alexis’ life was tragically ended by an accidental overdose on September 3, 2017.   

Alexis leaves behind her mother and stepfather, Terry Chlentzos–Panages and Tom Panages of Sacramento; father, Nick Keramaris of Athens, Greece; aunt Effie Keramari of Athens; and stepbrothers Tommy, Anthony, and Alex Panages of Sacramento. 

Trisagion Service will take place on Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00 pm at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 600 Alhambra Blvd, Sacramento CA 95816

Funeral will take place at 10:00 am on Friday, September 15 at Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 1205 San Antonio Creek Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93111. Interment to follow at Santa Barbara Cemetery, followed by the Makaria (mercy meal) in the Orthodox Center.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation either to Mental Wellness Center in Santa Barbara:

https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1403274  

or to Sutter Medical Center Foundation.  For the latter, donations can be made out to “Sutter Medical Center Foundation” and mailed to Sutter Health Office of Philanthropy, PO Box 160045, Sacramento, CA 95816.  Please write “Mental Health” in memo section of the check.

Alexis will be remembered for her beautiful brown eyes, radiant smile, hearty laugh, and sensitive soul.  Rest in peace, sweet girl.  

May her memory be eternal.

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Tasso John Conomos

1938 - 2017



The Kytherian Society mourns the loss of long time member 

Tasso John Conomos on August 9, 2017. 


Tasso John Conomos, beloved husband, cherished father, loving grandfather, and devoted son passed away peacefully with loved ones by his side on August 9, 2017. Ever gracious, he showed the courage to bow out gracefully after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. As Dad reflected in recent weeks ~ his cup was full. 

Tasso was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, on September 11, 1938, to proud Greek immigrant parents, John and Penelope Conomos. Raised as a first generation American with a great appreciation for higher education, Tasso was among the first in his family to attend college. Passionate about science and the great outdoors at a tender age, the one-time Sea Scout received a Bachelor of Science in Geology and earned a Masters in Marine Geology from San Jose State University, then accepted a Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution and received a Doctorate in Oceanography at the University of Washington (UW). He was later appointed to the UW Department of Oceanography research faculty before an exciting endeavor brought him and his new wife to the California Bay Area in 1969.

Tasso joined the US Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct groundbreaking research on the San Francisco Bay estuarine systems and other west coast estuaries. It was his team’s body of work that ultimately shaped San Francisco Bay environmental policy for the next 40 years. Tasso was later assigned to the role of Regional Research Hydrologist and then Administrator for Hydrologic Research for the Western Region of the USGS ~ a senior leadership position in which he thrived until his retirement in 2001. Cited for his outstanding contributions to and advocating for water-resource research, program monitoring, and identifying, recruiting, and mentoring hundreds of scientists ~ Tasso was granted the highest honor of the US Department of the Interior, the Distinguished Service Award, and honored as a world leader in the definition of estuarine processes.

And yet despite his professional success, nothing was more important to Tasso than his wife of 48 years and their three children. He enjoyed spending part of every year in the Sierras, where he indulged his seafaring soul on Lake Tahoe. And he often journeyed to his ancestral homeland of Greece to trace and to honor his family lineage on the island of Kythera. A jack of all trades, Tasso was a master woodworker, a gourmet cook, an incredible mentor, and an esteemed friend to.. everyone. Dad never knew a stranger.

He is survived by his loving wife, Janice, son John W. Conomos (Amanda), daughters Penelope Benis (Christopher), and Alexa Anderson (Bradley), grandchildren Christopher, Alexander, and Nicholas Benis, Tasso and Basel Conomos, and Luka, Britton, and Annick Anderson. He also leaves behind his devoted mother Penelope Conomos and his loving sister Chrysanthy Conomos.

Tasso is now united in eternal rest with his revered father, John A. Conomos, and his beloved sisters Damiani Conomos and Anastasia Condas.

A Trisagion service will be held Sunday, August 13th at 7 p.m. at Church of the Holy Cross, 900 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont, California. The funeral service will also be held at Church of the Holy Cross on Monday, August 14th at 11 a.m.

Remembrances may be made in Tasso’s name to Church of the Holy Cross (www.goholycross.org) or the Kytherian Society of California (www.ksoca.com).



Andrew G. Saffas

1922 - 2017


The Kytherian Society mourns the loss of long time member Andrew G. Saffas on July 21, 2017. Andy and his wife Niki (Andronikos) have been long time supporters of the Kytherian Society and have attended their annual Panigyris for many years. 

As an extremely talented artist and sculptor, Andy shared his talents and works of art on many occasions. His giclee  prints of Naos Agias Tridadas in Kythera, and a framed photograph were auctioned off to the highest bidders at our Panigyri’s.  In addition, he designed beautiful note cards with scenes from Kythera and a boy and girl in traditional Kytherian costume. We owe our thanks to Andy for his dedication and thought that went into the creating the LOGO for the Kytherian Society of California. The distinction of "Honorary Kytherian" was bestowed upon him in 2010.

Andy will always be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor and warm and generous heart. He will be dearly missed by all. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Niki and all of his family. 

Eternal be his memory.


Published in East Bay Times on July 28, 2017

Andrew died peacefully at home at 95 years of age. Early in life he demonstrated artistic talent and became very accomplished, producing bronze sculptures, fine oil paintings and jewelry. (saffasart.comandrewgsaffas.com) He had a love for his Greek culture, and his art was inspired by the people and landscapes of Greece. With surviving wife Niki, Andrew shared a love of Greek dance, and they performed often in authentic Greek dress. His most proud artistic accomplishment was the bronze Soldier Memorial Monument, since 2005 situated in Athens, Greece. The Trisagion will begin at 7 pm on Sunday, July 30, 2017 at Ascension Greek Orthodox Church, 4700 Lincoln St., Oakland. Funeral services begin at 11 am on Monday, July 31, 2017, also at the church. Graveside service at Sunset View Cemetery will be private.







Read Andy’s thoughts on the creation of: 

The Kytherian Society Logo in 2010


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Niki presenting the logo to the members of the board

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Beautfiul photograph donated by Andy & Niki for our auction.


On two separate occasions Andy and Niki donated this gorgeous giclee  print of Naos Agias Tridadas in Kythera for our auction.

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Naos Agias Tridadas - Ναοσ Αγιασ Τριαδοσ - Kythera 2007


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Note cards of Kytherian girl and boy in traditional dress.


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Andy and Niki at the 2014 Panigyri


Visit Andy’s website SaffasArt to see some of his amazing artwork and sculptures, including the Soldier Memorial Monument  "in honor of the volunteers - Greek Americans, Greek Immigrants and Americans - of Company C, 2671st Special Reconnaissance Battalion, U.S. Army, who, together with Greek Resistance Forces in 1944, fought for the Liberation of Greece, the occupied land of their forebears."



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Read Andy’s REFLECTIONS on the PAA website.

"The sculptor reflects on the origins of his art and on the vitality of dance, and remembers his parents".




Kythera Summer Edition 2017

Hot off the press for your reading pleasure, the Kythera Summer Edition!

Click on the photo below to read the newspaper.



Eternal Be His Memory...

George A. Paris

May 2, 1921 - May 11, 2017

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The Kytherian Society of Calfiornia mourns the loss of long time member George A. Paris who passed away on May 11, 2017 at the age of 96.

George was born in Oakland, CA to Alex and Rose Paris. He lived in Hayward for the last 60 years.

During WW II, George served for five years in the U.S. Merchant Marines. Afterward, George had a career in sales and retired from Speidel-Textron in 1982. He served as a docent on the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien in San Francisco until he was 86. 

George enjoyed fishing and golfing, volunteering for many different golf and charity events. George was the host of the "Paris Invitational" for 25 years at Edgewood Lake Tahoe.

George was married to his loving wife Sophia for 69 years. She preceded him in death 6 months earlier. Their love grew sweeter with every year. 

George is survived by his devoted children, Alex Paris of Walnut Creek, and Elena Milan (Richard) of Arnold, and grandchildren, Lisa Paris Repice (Joey) of Los Angeles, Marc Paris of Concord, Matthew Milan of Los Angeles, Alex Milan of Austin, TX and Aaron Milan of Los Angeles. 

George is also survived by his loving sisters Harriet Prongos and Helen Redgrave (Richard) and preceded in death by sisters Pauline Jouthas and Jenny Anderson.

Thank you to everyone who touched his life.

Donations can be made to: 

Ascension Historical Society, 

4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602


Our sincerest, heartfelt condolences to the Paris Family.


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Sophia and George at the 2015 Panigyri

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The Anastasia Conomos Condas Scholarship

Scholarship applications are due and must be received no later than July 1, 2017

Time is quickly running out so if you know of anyone who may qualify, please encourage them to submit their application. 

Please read the guidelines carefully to assure that your application meets all the requirements. 

This scholarship is created for students of Kytherian descent in honor of Anastasia Conomos Condas long-time president of the Kyhterian Society of California and member of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation. Her dedication and love of her Greek heritage inspired many Greek Americans to study the rich history of the modern world. The Kytherian Society of California believes that education embodies the spirit of all Kytherians. and this scholarship stands as a legacy of all members..

Applicant's must:

  • be a United States citizen of Kytherian descent
  • be a resident of the State of California
  • be between the ages of 17 and 32
  • be accepted or enrolled for the current and/or upcoming school year as a new or continuing full-time student in undergraduate, post graduate or vocational schools leading to an undergraduate degree, post graduate degree or certificate.
  • attach proof of full-time admission and/or enrollment and your Grade Point Average score from the latest quarter or semester
  • attach a photograph of yourself
  • attach a 500-word essay entitled, “My Family’s History on Kythera.”
  • attach signed letters of recommendation from two individuals not related to you, providing their names and contact information
  • have a parent or grandparent who is an active  Kytherian Society member who has paid his or her $30 dues for the past two years and has attended our meetings and functions.
  • submit your completed application with a postmark no later than July 1, of each year..


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2017 Panigyri Save the Date


Kytherian Society of California

Panigyri of the Myrtidiotissa

October 1, 2017


10:00 a.m. -  Church Services & Artoklasia

12:00 p.m. - Luncheon


Hope to see you there!


2017 Panigyri -  Save the Date


Kytherian Society of California

Panigyri of the Myrtidiotissa

October 1, 2017


10:00 a.m. -  Church Services & Artoklasia

12:00 p.m. - Luncheon


Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church

20104 Center Street, Castro Valley, CA 94546


Menu Selections:

Greek Style Chicken with Olive Oil, Lemon and Oregano

Greek  Lamb Shank with Orzo

Grilled Salmon with Lemon & Butter

Pasta Primavera (Vegetarian)

Salad, Spanakopita, & Dessert - Galaktoboureko

Coffee, Tea or Iced Tea


$39 per person

$15 Children 12 & Under - Chicken Strips


 For more information contact:

Katherine Stathis

Elaine Moulos

Vikki Vrettos Fraioli


Bring a bottle of wine to share with your table!

Please donate a prize or gift basket for our annual Raffle! 

Complete and mail your reservation form by September 22, 2017

BRING a FRIEND to help the KSOCA grow!


Click to view:

Panigyri Flyer

Panigyri Reservation Form


Kytherian Genealogy


Do you have any old photos lying around of your relatives born in the District of Potamos prior to 1917? 

If so, the Kytherian Genealogy Club in Sydney, Australia can use your help!

Amalia Samios and Kalie Zervos run the Kytheirian Genealogy Club for the Kytherian Association of Australia. They have more records on Kytherian genealogy in one room than anywhere else in the world, including Kythera! They compile family trees for people as well as help people with their own research. 

At the moment they are compiling the entire family tree for all the villages in the Potamos district, which include all the top part of the island. It will include everyone born between about 1630 and 1917! 

This is a huge project that they have been working on for the last 2 years. When it is completed it will include nearly 20,000 people. They are hoping to print it into book form and possibly have an online version so that everyone can trace their island ancestors.

Here is where you can help!

If  you have any photos of people born in the Potamos district before 1917  please submit them to the project. 

They would like a photo of the persons face and head  and would like you inculde any information you may have on that person so they can try and locate their birth certificate. 

Include any or all of the following 

                            *  Birthdate and Place
                            *  Immigration Year and to what country (if applicable)
                            *  Occupation
                            *  Place and Date of Death

Submit your photos and info by sending an email to: Amalia Samios at

Kytherian Genealogy Club

Already, almost 300 photos have been submitted. 

They are expecting this number to increase to at least 500!

Villages that will be incuded are:

Christoforianika, Farodulianika, Gerogiadika, Guria, Karavas, Katsoulianika, Kominianika, Kroroniadiadika, Kousounari, Logotherianika, Melitianika, Potamos, Priniadika, Trifilianika and the small villages near these locations.

Don’t let your family be left out!

They already have almost 300 submissions 
and that 
to reach at least 500!

Submit your photos today!


Below is an example of what they are looking for: 



March 2017 News


Dear Members and Friends,

We are sad to report the passing of Dr. Peter Notaras from San Francisco. Peter was a long time member of the Kytherian Society and attended our luncheons annually up until a few years ago when his heath no longer permitted him to attend. Peter suffered from dementia and more recently had suffered several strokes. He passed away peacefully in his sleep.As per Peter’s wishes there will be no funeral or memorial. Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife, Carol. May his memory be eternal.

On our website is a paper written by Yiannis Mavromatis in 2001, entitled, Kytherian-American Immigrants where he mentions Peter.

PETER NOTARAS settled in San Francisco in 1965 and is an orthodontist in the suburb of Lafayette, California. He grew up in Wisconsin where his father, George Notaras (Belagienias) from the village of Friligianika, had settled in 1910. George Notaras operated a candy store business. In memory of Peter's mother, Kiparisoula, the family made a donation of $25,000 to the Gerokomio.


Below is a photo of Peter and Carol at the last panigyri he attended in 2013.

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Kythera Mon Amour

Have you seen Kythera Mon Amour?

If not you can rent it online for $3.00 by following this link:

https://www.reelhouse.org/kythera/kythera-mon-amour

Kythera mon Amour | Reelhouse

It is a fun movie to watch and James is now working on a sequel that he will be shooting in Kythera this summer so if you are on the island this year,  keep a look out for him. Our very own Mary and Richard Lind were there last year for the shooing and are extras at the ending of the film when everyone is waving goodbye.

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James Prineas submitted the film to several Independent Film Festivals where it has received special recognition.

Most recently, James was at TROPFEST in Sydney, Australia where he was a finalist and also winner of the Best Original Score for The Beekeepers of Kythera,
(a short segment of Kythera Mon Amour).

Congratulations James!

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Kythera Weather

Kythera has had quite a winter! In Januray the island was covered in snow and they have had an abundance of rain as well.

(Pictures below from the Facebook Page: Avlemonas, the beauty of Kithira)



Happy 107th Birthday to our very own 

Penelope Benardos Conomos 

on March 25, 2017!



If you have not seen the BLOG entries written by her granddaughter Alexa Conomos, you are missing out!

You can follow her story right here on our website by clicking the link below:

Penelope Benardos Conomos

Our best wishes to Penelope for many more happy and healthy years!

You are an inspiration to ALL of us!


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A Kytherian friend from the east coast has asked that I pass on this information about the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, Greece. Please share this information with anyone you think might be interested. If applicants or parents have any questions about the program, they can contact the Greek Summer staff at greeksummer@afs.edu.gr


SAVE THE DATE:

Panigyir of the Myrtidiotissa

October 1, 2017

Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church, Castro Valley


November Updates

Kythera Mon Amour DVD


The Kythera Mon Amour DVD is now available for $20

In addition to the movie, it includes hightlights from the 

Kythera from the Air DVD

Order your copy today by sending an email to the Kytherian Society.

DVD Cover



Penelope Benardos Conomos


Long time KSOCA member, Penelope Benardos Conomos, will be celebrating her 107th birthday in March 2017! I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who has reached that age! God Bless her! As a tribute to her grandmother, Alexa Conomos,  daughter of John T. Conomos, will be sharing stories and photos from Penelopes life that will be posted here on our site for all to read. 

You can follow her story by clicking the Notable Kytherian link at the top of the page, and scrolling to Penelope Benardos Conomos.

Penelope is an inspiration for all and we are so fortunate and thrilled to have her as a member and friend of our Kytherian Society of California.

Click here to follow her story: Penelope Benardos Conomos


Lucas Roemer (Cominos)

We were very proud to learn that Lucas Roemer, son of KSOCA member, Eve (Cominos) & Daniel Roemer, spoke at the Kytheriansmos Symposium in Kythera this past August. Lucas received a trip to Kythera as a graduation present this year. He is now in his first year of college at Lawrence University in Wisconsin.

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Lucas with his sister Anya
Grandchildren of Nicholas & Joan Cominos


Below is a copy of Lucas’ Presentation

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   © KSOCA 2012