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Monday, January 24, 2022

Elected Officials Hold Greek Independence Celebration in NYC

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New York City Hall – City Council Members Costa Constantinides, Vincent Gentile, and Paul Vallone, in conjunction with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, today celebrated the anniversary of Greek Independence.   The celebration honored Greek-Americans who have dedicated themselves to serving their communities.

Council Member Constantinides said, “As the first Greek-Cypriot American elected to the City Council, there is special pride in having the opportunity to honor Greek-Americans who have worked to promote Greek cultural heritage. The Greek-American community has long been a part of the diverse melting pot that is New York City.  Our honorees have worked for the betterment of their communities and serve as important role models.  I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and my colleagues, Council Members Vallone and Gentile, for standing with the Greek-American community and honoring their contribution to our great city.”

The Council Members honored:

  • Eleftheria Pancyprian Youth Soccer Club
  • Greek Orthodox Council of IBEW Local 3
  • The Papageorgiou Family, Owners of Zenon Taverna restaurant
  • Andrew S. Gounardes, Counsel at the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

The Saint Demetrios School Choir provided musical entertainment during the ceremony, performing several songs in Greek.

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The City Council celebrates Greek Independence Day --credit Madeleine Ball for the NYC Council
The City Council celebrates Greek Independence Day –credit Madeleine Ball for the NYC Council

The honorees have helped promote Hellenic and democratic values and have been examples of civic engagement throughout the community, including working with children to promote teamwork and academic excellence, as well as promoting Greek culture and culinary arts.

“I’m proud to join my Council colleagues in wishing a happy Greek Independence Day to all New Yorkers and to people of Greek descent across the world,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The Council is proud to celebrate the backgrounds and heritages which make New York City great. I thank Council Member Costa Constantinides for hosting this Greek Independence Celebration.”

Councilman Costa Constantinides at the NYC Council Greek Independence Day celebration -- credit Madeleine Ball for the NYC Council
Councilman Costa Constantinides at the NYC Council Greek Independence Day celebration — credit Madeleine Ball for the NYC Council

Council Member Gentile said, “When we celebrate Greek Independence we honor a historic event in Greece’s history; we also celebrate a nationality that has laid the foundations for philosophy, literature, art, science, mathematics, sports, and politics. These foundations have withstood the test of time and are prevalent in our American culture. Thus, we all carry on Hellenic traditions. Congratulations to our honorees who exemplify their Greek-American culture and values with class and dignity.”

“I am proud to once again stand with Council Member Costa Constantinides as we celebrate the anniversary of Greece’s Independence at City Hall,” said Council Member Vallone. “The Greek-American community continues to be one of the most culturally proud and vibrant in our City, especially in my district with the parishes of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Shrine Church and the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church of Whitestone. I look forward to continuing to work with the Greek-American Community on issues important to them, as well as sharing with them in celebration and appreciation of their rich culture and history.”

Remarks from Rev. Archimandrite Anastasios Pourakis -- credit Madeleine Ball for the NYC Council
Remarks from Rev. Archimandrite Anastasios Pourakis — credit Madeleine Ball for the NYC Council

Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights.  He serves as the chair the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on six additional committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation.  For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

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