Event Honored Marianna V. Vardinoyannis and The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award
NEW YORK CITY, October 02, 2017 — The Hellenic Initiative‘s (THI) 5th Annual Gala held on September 29 at the New York Hilton raised more than $2 million and more than 900 guests attended. The Gala is the largest and most successful Greek Diaspora fundraising event and is attended by Greeks from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.
THI leads the Greek diaspora community internationally in raising awareness and capital for Greece. Funds raised through the Gala will be invested in entrepreneurial programs in Greece. The gala also supports Greek NGOs that foster economic development opportunities and provide crisis relief for underserved communities in Greece, particularly children.
Founded in 2012, THI is a global, nonprofit, secular institution mobilizing the Greek diaspora and Philhellene community around the world to support sustainable economic recovery and renewal for the Greek people.
Since its inception, THI has distributed $3,744,000 in direct crisis relief and invested more than $8,106,698 in economic development, including $5.7 million for the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award (HEA), which is managed and majority funded by The Libra Group.
2017 GALA HONOREES
- Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, a visionary who, has devoted her life to charity and social solidarity, also has been helping to fight childhood cancer and support human rights. She is founder and president of the Marianna Vardinoyannis Foundation, of ELPIDA’s Association of Friends of Children With Cancer, and of the ORAMA ELPIDAS Volunteer Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Since 1999 she has been Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO promoting the protection of children and has earned awards and international recognition for her extensive humanitarian work.
- The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award, funded and administered by THE LIBRA GROUP on behalf of THI, supports Greek startup companies. The award has granted more than $5.7 million to 19 promising Greek startups over the past four years. The 2017 winners will have the opportunity to share $1.49 million, along with mentoring and business support.
Leading Greek artist Sakis Rouvas served as the evening’s emcee and performed to the delight of all guests. Distinguished for his charity work and social responsibility, Rouvas is the messenger of ELPIDA’s Association of Friends of Children With Cancer.
Entertainment and dancing was provided by the famous Jimmy Vali Band.
Speakers included advertising legend George Fertitta of Bloomberg Associates and Julia Chatterley, co-anchor “Bloomberg Markets” and “What’d You Miss?”