Greek Diaspora Unites Under The Hellenic Initiative

October 26, 2020

THI’s November 12 Virtual Gala Supports Businesses and Offers Crisis Relief to Those Affected by Pandemic in Greece

 Once again uniting the Greek diaspora and philhellenes internationally to raise awareness — and capital — for Greece, the 2020 Gala of U.S.-based The Hellenic Initiative (THI) is for the first time ever going virtual. 

The Greek diaspora, even generations after so many built new and successful lives around the world, has never forgotten its roots,” THI Executive Director Peter Poulos said. “Which is why so many Greeks, wherever they are, have a passionate commitment to supporting their homeland. Our Annual Gala is simply a vehicle for Greeks to raise funds that help the place from which they came.

This 8th Annual Gala, online due to COVID-19 precautions, will provide pandemic crisis relief and help Greek businesses and entrepreneurs who took an economic hit when pandemic travel restrictions ravaged Greece’s all-important tourism industry — a sector which is normally recession- and disaster-proof.

Replacing the in-person fundraisers THI has hosted over the previous seven years in New York and four years in London, the ticketed event on Thursday, November 12 is titled “Radiate: The Hellenic Initiative Virtual Gala.” The event is a call-to-action that will illuminate a Greece of innovation, strength, and resiliency by telling the business success stories of THI’s many grantees. 

More than $1 million has been raised to date.

WHEN:  Thursday, November 12, 2020 — New York 6 PM-7 PM EST and London 11 PM-12 AM GMT

WHAT: This celebrity-filled event will include special performances and messages from:

Performances Remarks/Messages
  • Rita Wilson, Greek American actress, singer, songwriter, and producer
  • Christos Mastoras, lead singer of Melisses, the popular Greek rock band

(Ms. Wilson and Mr. Mastoras will perform together)

  • Monika, one of Greece’s most acclaimed indie artists
  • The Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra, featuring young Greek musicians
  • Nia Vardalos, Greek Canadian actress, screenwriter, director, and producer 
  • George Stephanopoulos, Greek American television host and commentator
  • Peter Diamandis, Greek American founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation
  • His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
  • Diane Kochilas, Greek American cookbook author, celebrity chef, and cooking school owner



  • New York Tickets: Individual $250, New Leaders $100 (21-40 years old). For U.S. sponsorship, click here. 
  • London Tickets: Individual £200, New Leaders £50 (21-40 years old). For U.K. sponsorship, click here.  


SILENT AUCTION:  During the online event, THI will host a silent auction. THI has organized both luxury and charitable auction items that, particularly this year, focus on giving to those in need. Charitable auction items include programs for hunger relief, health and social welfare support, and vocational training. As in prior years, Greek artists, food and wine purveyors, luxury destinations, and fashion and jewelry designers from around the world have come together to donate items. A bidding website is under development and will be available soon.