NEWARK, N.J. – October 31, 2015 – Over 100 Greek-Americans joined the Hellenic Dancers of NJ, Inc. (HDNJ) in the first-ever Greek Heritage Day at the NJ Devils vs. NY Islanders game on Saturday, October 31st at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
The day highlighted Greek culture, music, and heroism with pre-game and first intermission dance performances by the Hellenic Dancers, a post-game concert featuring Alex Karakis, Aleko Marmatakis, Mike Mavroudis, and Evangelia Psarakis, and a distinguished honor for Hero of the Game Captain Manny Manioudakis for his decorated military career and commitment to his country and community.
Attendees who purchased tickets in the Greek section were awarded with group pricing, a commemorative t-shirt, NJ Devils hat, and a Greek flag. Ticketholders also had the opportunity after the game to take a group photo on the NJ Devils ice with the Hellenic Dancers of NJ.
HDNJ was recognized as the Non-Profit of the Game, and provided with a grant to help with the ever-increasing costs of insurance, costume maintenance, and travel expenses for the group. Arete Bouhlas, Assistant Director, states, “We are thankful to the NJ Devils for reaching out to us to perform for such a platform and for the added support as Non-Profit of the Game. This grant will assist us in paying for all of the associated costs that come with being a professional dance troupe. Most importantly, it was a terrific opportunity for HDNJ to bring traditional Greek culture to a new audience. The dancers’ energy was infectious and we received a lot of positive feedback. Overall it was a very positive experience.”
Deemed a highly successful event with a large group of Greek-American supporters, the Hellenic Dancers of NJ and the NJ Devils hope to make Greek Heritage Day an annual event at the Prudential Center.
About The Hellenic Dancers of NJ, Inc.
The Hellenic Dancers of NJ was founded in 1972 by the late Very Reverend Father Jim and Presvytera Eleni Chakalos at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Asbury Park, NJ. What began as a small group of students learning the basic dances of Greece, grew into an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has preserved over 300 Greek folk dance traditions and has toured the United States. The mission of HDNJ is to research, preserve, and perform the regional folk dances of Greece within the Greek community, and to share these rich, cultural traditions with the American public. Throughout its 43-year history, the troupe is nationally recognized with performances including the Inaugural Festivities for former President Ronald Reagan, 20/20 ABC Television Program, Closing Ceremonies 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, as well as many other Greek and culturally diverse festivals and special programs. For more information, please visit www.HellenicDancersofNJ.org.