Tarpon Springs, FL – Members of The IUPAT District Council 78 and Local Unions 1010, 73, 88, 164, 1175 and 2301, with members of the International staff and General Executive Board, proudly marched in the 2015 Greek Independence Day Parade and Festival hosted by the city of Tarpon Springs and the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Several members of the IUPAT were given special recognition, including General Secretary/Treasurer George Galis, Eastern Region General Vice President William Candelori, District Council 78 Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer Walter Ilczyszyn, at a formal ceremony by the St. Nicholas Parish Council, prior to the start of the parade. Parish Council President Nik Manias of CL Industrial Coatings and St. Nicholas Pastor Father Anastasios Gounaris presented the IUPAT dignitaries with commemorative plaques denoting their service to the American/Greek Community. Both the International and District Council 78 were given recognition for generous donations of $5,000 and $2,500 respectively to the Parish Building Fund.
The IUPAT’s contingent in the parade was led by General Secretary George Galis, General Vice President William Candelori, District Council 78 Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer Walter Ilczyszyn and members of Local Union 88 with the U.S. and Greek National Colors (flags) and the IUPAT District Council 78 Painter’s Union Banner. The procession consisted of 40 plus IUPAT members including, DC 78 President Al Litchtman, Local 88 President Allen Scep, Local 2301 President Richie Jones, Local 164 President Terrance Thompson, Local 1010 President William Thomas, DC 78 Business Representatives Chris Analetto, Alex Vargas, Paul Orvosh, Gerry Showers, Debbie Greco, Al Trombetta, DC 78 Trustee Lora Greenwell and DC 78 Directors Jack Plettinck, Steve Hall and Andrew Bott. All IUPAT participants wore our union colors on t-shirts with Eleftheria, the Greek word for freedom, on the front. The members’ children rode atop the District Council 78 super duty work truck with a 20-foot trailer wrapped in Greek colors in tow. They waved Greek and American flags, and tossed Ouzo flavored candy and IUPAT T-Shirts to the crowds lining the 1.5 mile parade route.
The procession culminated at the end of Tarpon Springs’ World Famous Sponge Docks, where the official reviewing stand and thousands of spectators cheered and applauded the IUPAT members for their participation.