Dr. George Drogaris and George Dalaras, a Greek musician and singer, recently organized a North American concert tour held in five cities from January 31, through February 16. A portion of the proceeds raised through this 17-day visit were donated to a Greek orphanage: “Kivotos Tou Kosmou,” also known as Ark of the World. The donation would not have happened without the help of Paul Kotrotsios, Publisher of Hellenic News of America, as well as Chairman of the Mid Atlantic Greek American Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

“We raised money for them because they were in need,” Kotrotsios said in a phone interview.

Five singers from Greece, which included Dalaras, Feat, Michalis Tzouganakis, Aspasia Stratigou, Alexandros Tzouganakis, and their band participated in the tour. They were originally scheduled to visit seven North American cities but were only able to make it to five of them; New York City, Toronto, Atlanta, Chicago, and Atlantic City. They did not make it to Montreal or Boston this time. 

While some concerts did, in fact, have smaller audiences than originally thought, New York City’s concert almost sold out. Those that came out in New York, as well as the other cities, enjoyed the performances knowing they were being held for a good cause.

People loved the concerts,” said Drogaris. “They had a great time. It involves children.”Spectators were not the only ones enjoying themselves. The members of the band had a great time knowing the tour would benefit the children in Greece that live at ‘Kivotos Tou Kosmou.’ “People from all around the world want to come to Greece,” Drogaris said. “Children in Greece need help.”

Cretan Singer Michalis Tzouganakis accompanied George Dalaras on the tour.

Ark of the World provides everything that a child needs in Greece as in the rest of the world. That includes shelter, clothing, food, medical care and a school where they can receive a great education foreshadowing their future of hopes and dreams, perhaps some that their ancestors never had the chance to reap. The orphanage is determined to improve the lives of every child there as many of its children were without the necessities of life.

George Dalaras with Pauline, Evangeline and Elizabeth Manos from Philadelphia

“It’s a great work,” Drogaris said. “Happiness is useful to the guy next to you.”

A total of $10,000.00 was donated directly to the orphanage. It will be used to provide funding for work training so that opportunities may be able to increase.

“It gives them the tools they need to succeed in life,” Drogaris said. 

Greeks from the tri-state area gathered to attend the show in AC.

One of the main goals of this concert tour was to make others want to assist those that need a similar type of aid. 

“I encourage others to do the same thing,” Kotrotsios concluded. 

Main photo caption:  L-R: Dr. George Drogaris (concert organizer), George Dalaras and Paul Kotrotsios.