The Hellenic Initiative’s 4th Annual Gala Raises More Than $2 Million

October 4, 2016

The Hellenic Initiative’s (THI) Fourth Annual Gala took place on September 30 in New York City, and raised a total of more than $2 million, which will be directed in programs that are expected to create a positive, long-lasting, impact in Greek society.

With more than 700 guests, THI’s banquet was attended, by prominent members of the Greek diaspora community and major philhellenes from around the world.

Keynoting the gala was Admiral Jim Stavridis, USN (Ret), Dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Greek-American actor Chris Diamantopoulos served as the evening’s emcee.

With the banquet’s main theme focusing, as every year, on the empowerment of Greece’s future, THI honored two very active and impactful Greek NGOs: (1) METAdrasi — which offers interpretation services to immigrants and protection to unaccompanied children, and (2) Together for Children — which is a union of nonprofit child welfare NGOs

A special recognition award was conferred on ReGeneration, an innovative paid internship program for Greek graduates, sponsored jointly by The Coca-Cola Co. and THI. The program focuses on building “employability” and battling Greece’s “brain drain.”

A special tribute was made to four Olympic Greek athletes: Lefteris Petrounias, Katerina Stefanidi, and Spyros Gianniotis, and Greek-American Helen Maroulis – all of whom competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. THI also will be supporting the Greek athletes who plan to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

THI’s annual gala fundraiser fully aligns with the organization’s main mission, which is to support Greek society during the current financial crisis, through programs focusing on crisis relief, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

Over the past four years, THI’s crisis relief programs have benefited, among others: thousands of people with more than two million meals, more than 10,000 children with vaccinations, more than 13,000 people with primary and secondary dental treatments.

In addition $4,250,000 was distributed to 14 Greek startups through the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award; 233 paid internships have been secured through the ReGeneration program; more than 400 business ideas have been mentored through the VentureGarden program; and several young and talented Greeks were given the chance to participate in internship programs in leading U.S. and Australian companies.