A Vision Realized: Alex and Faye Spanos Faith and Heritage Center
On Thursday, September 22, 2016 the Metropolis of San Francisco celebrated the Thyranoixia of the Alex and Faye Spanos Faith and Heritage Center. This new facility marks the realization of the vision of His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony, of blessed memory, to provide for expanded space at Saint Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center in Dunlap, California. The focal point of this new building is the Metropolitan Anthony Gallery which will display Liturgical items, vestments and icons from his estate. The Saint Photini Chapel completes the Center offering a place of prayer and worship, surrounded by uplifting iconography by Dr. George Kordis of the Saints and Feast Days of the Church.“This is, indeed, a historic day for our Metropolis and for Saint Nicholas Ranch, as we celebrate the completion of this building but also the inauguration of a new chapter with the expansion of programs and activities here at the Ranch, which are now possible because of this magnificent center which stands before us,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “This facility is as much a tribute to Metropolitan Anthony, of blessed memory, as it is to the Spanos family and their abundance of generosity and kindness they have always demonstrated to the Metropolis. Even the beautiful chapel of Saint Photini, the patron saint of Faye Spanos, offers a prayerful element to this facility that truly combines faith with culture, the past, the present and the future.”
Over 150 guests attended this event which started with an Agiasmos Service and Ribbon Cutting including Mrs. Faye Spanos, her daughter Dea Spanos Berberian, and son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Helen Spanos. Following the official opening of the doors, a champagne reception and tours of the new building were held, along with a formal luncheon donated and prepared by Paul and Nick Pries and family from Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in San Jose, CA.
In his opening remarks, St. Nicholas Ranch Board President Fanis Economidis stated that Metropolitan Anthony “wanted something that could act as catalyst for the promulgation of our faith and Hellenic heritage. Thus the idea for a Faith and Heritage center was born.” Fanis also recalled a poignant moment where he and Michael Spanos were at the bedside of Metropolitan Anthony as his time on earth was nearing an end who said, ‘Please Michael, in honor of your father and mother, build this center.’”
The Alex and Faye Spanos Faith and Heritage Center, designed by Christ J. Kamages of the CJK Design Group, spans nearly 7,000 square feet. Its barn-like exterior complements the existing structures of Saint Nicholas Ranch yet brings a modern feel through the interior which includes the Metropolitan Anthony Gallery, administrative offices, a library, infirmary, gift shop, conference room, and fireside room. Two other major donors to this facility are the Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos who donated a meeting room and library, and the Elios Charitable Foundation who donated the Elios Cultural Room to house archives and materials from the Folk Dance and Choral Festival ministry. The Saint Photini Chapel is the perfect place for groups to start and end their day with prayer prior to using the other areas of this facility for their meetings and discussions.
A Book of Needs was developed to provide donation opportunities for the interior furnishings of the Alex and Faye Spanos Faith and Heritage Center. During the luncheon the crowd generously donated nearly $100,000 to help complete the furnishings to make this facility fully functional.
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