For over 40 years, a tiny swath of land on the western shores of the Peloponnese peninsula near the village of Vartholomio has been welcoming generations of Greek Orthodox youth from throughout the United States.
Ionian Village was created in 1970 and since then, over 17,000 teens have participated in its summer programs which include religious instruction and Greek culture. The program is a ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
On September 8, 2016 a tornado destroyed much of the camp site including buildings that were used for recreational activities, the camp’s main chapel and housing. Over 600 trees were uprooted leaving the 35-acre site heavily damaged.
More than $1.5 million is needed to clear the land and rebuild structures to make the camp site operable again it time for the 2017 summer season.
A group of former staff and campers are organizing a fundraiser to benefit the rebuilding of Ionian Village as part of the “RenewIV” campaign which has already generated large donations from various Greek Orthodox and Greek American charities, including Leadership 100, the women’s Philoptichos society and AHEPA.
The event will take place on February 18 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield, NJ. Details are here.