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Helle Chapter 283 Founding Sisters – Helle Chapter Chartered in November 1955

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Sister Elena Danigelis modeling DOP white robe at Helle Chapter’s 60th Anniversary

Helle 283

Falls Church, Virginia

Chartered November 9, 1955

Facebook:  Daughters of Penelope Helle Chapter 283

The History of Helle Chapter 283

Helle Chapter 283 was chartered on November 9, 1955, by our Brother Ahepans Chapter #370 in Alexandria, Virginia.  Our first president, Bessie Charuhas, recalls that her father thought it would be a good idea to start a new Daughters Chapter in the Alexandria area.  Relatives and friends were contacted and a group of women of many ages came together to learn more about forming a chapter.  Mrs. Ann Williams from DOP headquarters in Washington, DC, held a meeting with the group to explain what the DOP was all about.  She explained the DOP purpose and goals, and explained what a chapter and its members would represent.

The first chapter meeting was held on December 7, 1955 at the YWCA in Alexandria, VA.  The chapter was named Helle, after the daughter of Athanas, King of Thessaly.   The following officers were elected and sworn in by Zoe Calavaris:  Bessie Charuhas, President; Katherine Xidon, Vice President; Sylvia Callas, Secretary; and Ann Kiriakow, Treasurer. 

From the beginning, Helle Chapter #283 was an active and growing chapter.  Early activities included bake sale fundraisers, fashion shows, and mid-year meetings.  Most of the fundraisers at that time were to benefit Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA.  Helle Chapter was able to raise enough money to purchase appliances for the new church hall kitchen.

Many Helle Chapter Sisters served beyond Chapter officers to District level positions, and Sister Theodora Dacales was DOP Grand President in 1992-1993.  

In 2005, Helle Chapter #283 celebrated its 50th anniversary with a luncheon honoring our founding sisters, life members, and members with 25+ years in the Daughters of Penelope.  We were honored that Grand President in 2005, Mary Boufis Filou, and Grand Governor, Sherry Dingas, attended and spoke at the celebration.

Today, Helle Chapter #283 continues to be a thriving, philanthropic group of women.   We collect warm clothing for many local shelters; donate to many food banks; support our national and district projects; support veterans; support healthcare for women in Greece; support Christodoulion Orphanage for Girls in Greece; support our church; support the church and orphanage in Kenya; provide an annual academic scholarship; provide educational and inspirational presentations to the Saint Katherine community; and enjoy various group social activities.  Our largest fundraiser, Taste of the Mediterranean, began in 2015 and continues in 2023.  Another successful past fundraiser was our Tea Around the Tables. A great accomplishment for our chapter was raising the full amount to train a service dog named “Ellie” who was paired with a veteran soldier.

Maids of Athena

Cassiopeia Chapter 205


In August 2022, Helle Chapter helped reactivate its Maids of Athena Chapter, Cassiopeia Chapter 205.  Nine young women were initiated, elected officers, and and have begun conducting meetings.

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