The Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs welcomed a special guest to its monthly meeting last Thursday.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas of Dardanellia, the Director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley, California, was welcomed by the organization that also counts him as a member.
As Nikitas Lulias, Metropolitan Nikitas grew up in Tarpon Springs, the son of Constantine “Gus” and Kally Lulias and the brother of John Lulias, the founder of the Levendia Greek dance troupe.
Peggy Proestos, the local club’s public relations chair, wrote in an email that Metropolitan Nikitas spoke about the importance of education and how much it meant to him to be a Rotary International Scholar in 1980-81.
“He emphasized the good that has resulted from the Tarpon Springs Rotary Club’s scholarships to him and other local students and what a difference a scholarship can make to each young person,” Proestos wrote.
The Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs raises money throughout the year from events such as the upcoming Tarpon Springs Triathlon on Sept. 6 that goes toward multiple scholarships local high school students can apply for.
Metropolitan Nikitas frequently takes part in Tarpon Springs’ Epiphany Day celebration. He is notable as becoming the inaugural Metropolitan of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.