The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is the largest and oldest American-based, Greek heritage grassroots membership organization. Its scope is international and its mission is to promote Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family & Individual Excellence.
With the desire to perpetuate our Hellenic ideals and traditions, in 1974, during a District Lodge meeting in Toledo, Ohio, District #10 Governor Peter Skoulis asked then Past President Milton Gust if he would agree to structure a new scholarship program for the AHEPA family of District #I0 Michigan. With this vision in mind, Milton gathered information and ideas from as many sources as possible in the ensuing months and held extensive meetings with various individuals from both the AHEPA as well as the Daughters of Penelope (DOP).
After a year of planning, formulating, and putting pen to paper, at the 1975 District Convention in Midland, Michigan, he presented a complete, comprehensive, and detailed educational scholarship resolution for District #10. The program was accepted unanimously by both Orders of AHEPA and DOP delegates and is now known as the District #10 Educational Foundation.
The first formal District #10 Educational Foundation meeting was held on July 21, 1975. The initial Foundation committee members that participated during the formative years consisted of Past Grand Vice-President Lucille Koken, Past Grand Governor Georgia Sekles, Past District Governor Beth Gregory, Past Supreme Governor Nick Georges, Past District Governor Chris Kontos, and Past President Milton Gust. Sister Lucille Koken served as the Foundation's first Chair and Milton Gust served as the first and only Secretary-Treasurer for the next 30 years. The Foundation incorporated itself and began the process of establishing funds.
From this humble beginning and starting with less than $5,000 in total assets, the Educational Foundation has now become one of the finest Foundations in the AHEPA domain and one that has been copied by other districts. The Foundation received its 501(c) (3) tax exempt status in 1998.
The main financing of the Foundation comes from the investment of established endowment funds from generous philhellenic benefactors, annual chapter obligations, E-Club members' annual dues, donations made by individuals or organizations as memorials or honorariums, and "planned giving" options, i.e. Bequests, Charitable Remainder Trusts, etc.