The Ahepan Summer 2020 - 19

REFLECTIONS

The Golden Age of the Sons of Pericles and the ISIBT "Soul '70"
John A. Lygizos
We saw that as an opportunity. We went to the manager of the
More than 150 former Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena
Sheraton Cadillac Hotel, the host hotel for the tournament. As
gathered March 7, 2020 to celebrate the 50-year reunion of the
22-year-olds, we were able to convince the hotel representatives
epic International Sons Invitational Basketball Tournament
to advance us the $600. We left the meeting unsurprised as if we
(ISIBT) "Soul '70" originally held in Detroit, Michigan, March
had expected the outcome all along.
6 to 8, 1970. The success of the reunion was measured in the
We all worked hard for the success of the dance. More than
merits of charities it benefited and by a renewal of the bonds of
1,800 persons packed Cobo Hall, dancing to the music of the Trio
50 years of friendship through our Hellenic descent.
Bel Canto. It was the largest Greek American dance in Detroit
For many us of in Detroit, we found a great opportunity to
history. Thirty-five basketball teams from across the country parbring our Hellenic pride and traditions to 1970s Detroit. When
ticipated. Teams and supporters were ferried around in vans genDistrict 10 was awarded the bid to host the basketball tournament
erously donated by Chrysler Corporation with
during the 1969 Minneapolis AHEPA Supreme
the help of the late Jim Pikulas, vice president
Convention, we immediately went to work. We
of Chrysler at the time. The team bracketing
heard a band that played at the convention
and games were organized through the help of
named, "Showtime Parts I & II." The music the
George Petrouleas, Jim Koukios, and George
band played fit perfectly into our entertainCaralis. The treasurer of the ISIBT was Alex
ment plans. We hired them on the spot.
Davlantes, who was so conscientious that he
We became active in the District 10 Sons
never removed his necktie even at 3:30 a.m.,
and Maids in the mid-1960s. With the help of
counting and reconciling. Anna Galanis, an art
Ahepans, the District 10 Sons grew to over
and architecture student at the time, created
600 members and seven chapters. By 1969,
the artwork, and Andy Moundros, who later
we were ready to submit a bid to host a basworked for Motown Records, provided phoketball tournament in Detroit. We were suctography services. The then-District Treasurer,
cessful. Up to that time, the tournament had
Top: Andy Moundros, who worked for
Peter Christoff, was central to the success of the
been known as the National Sons Invitational
Motown with John Lygizos.
Tournament. We wanted to showcase Detroit Bottom: Pete Christoff, John Manolis, SP ISIBT planning.
The profit ISIBT realized was donated to
and District 10's influence on the youth. We Horiates, and John Lygizos with Soul '70
reunion
singer
the Detroit School for the Deaf for the puralso desired to display pride in our heritage.
chase of two machines that made it possible for the hearing
Because of our close proximity to Canada, and the influence of
impaired to use the telephone. The main reason for our donalocal music, we decided to name the event as the International
tion to the school was that our treasurer, Alex Davlantes, had
Sons Invitational Basketball Tournament "Soul '70."
just started as a teacher there. Many years later, he became the
We approached the Trio Bel Canto when they were in Detroit
school's principal.
for another affair in the fall of 1969, and decided to hire them
In November 2019, Chapter 391 president John Manolis
as the Greek entertainment for Saturday night, March 7, 1970.
announced that a reunion be held March 7, 2020. His reason was
The ISIBT Committee was comprised of Sons and Maids memeven more consequential. He suggested it be used as a fundraisbers, who acted as one. We were definitely ambitious with our
ing event to benefit patients of Niemann-Pick syndrome, which
plans. Even though we had no funds in our treasury, we had
is a neurological degenerative fatal disease that strikes children.
confidence that we could make it work. We wanted to obtain
Stephanie Christoff, a daughter of Peter and Mary Christoff, is
Cobo Hall as the venue for the dance. For non-Detroit natives,
stricken with the disease.
Cobo Hall is huge. It is where the annual Auto Show is held.
The success of the reunion was not only measured by the
Luckily for us, Greek-owned Roumell Catering managed Cobo
renewal of the friendships, but also by the fundraising reasons
Hall at the time. Although they gave us a break on the deposit to
that brought us together after so many years.
hold the venue, we still had to pay $600, which we did not have.

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The Ahepan Summer 2020

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The Ahepan Summer 2020 - Intro
The Ahepan Summer 2020 - 1
The Ahepan Summer 2020 - 2
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