DANBURY, CT – The Pan-Gregorian of Connecticut Charitable Foundation held its 24th Annual Dinner Dance on October 22 in Danbury, celebrating nearly two and a half decades of philanthropy and charitable giving, with over $30,000 in scholarships, grants and charitable donations awarded at this event. Pan-Gregorian of Connecticut is an affiliation of Greek-American restaurant owners and entrepreneurs in Connecticut.
Nine students, currently freshman at universities including Boston College, Gettysburg, Worcester Polytechnical Institute, and the Universities of Connecticut and Virginia, received scholarships totaling in excess of $20,000. In addition, Pan-Gregorian donated $5,000 to both the Greek’s Children Fund at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital and the Paideia/Hellenic Studies Program at the University of Connecticut, as well as a donation to Lea’s Foundation, which supports Pediatric Leukemia Research, in memory of deceased member Diane Bokron from Omar Coffee.
Over the years, Pan-Gregorian has granted over a quarter million dollars in scholarships to students; the Paideia/Hellenic Studies Program at the University of Connecticut has received total grants of over a half a million dollars for the perpetuation of Greek culture, including scholarships and the erection of a Greek Amphitheater on the University of Connecticut’s campus; and the Greek Children’s Fund has received over one hundred thousand dollars.
The President of Pan-Gregorian Enterprise, Chris Skabardonis, welcomed all the guests and thanked and praised the members for their continued dedication to philanthropy and the support of causes perpetuating the Hellenic culture.
Attorney Gregory J. Stamos, Past Supreme Counselor of the Order of AHEPA and President of the Hellenic Bar Association of Connecticut, was the Master of Ceremony, and in his welcoming remarks noted that the Pan-Gregorian restaurant owners not only were generous in their individual capacities, but collectively had accomplished wonderful things and were the embodiment of the Greek term “philotimo.”
The 250 attendees were graced with the remarks of the keynote speaker, the renowned Greek-American chef and restauranteur, Maria Loi. She has authored 36 cookbooks including the official Greek cookbook of the 2004 Athens Olympics, has appeared on a number of television cooking shows and cooked at the White House for President Obama. Loi currently owns flagship restaurants in both Manhattan and Athens.
Stamos introduced Loi by noting that she, as the Pan-Gregorians, also embodied not only Greek hospitality in her professional endeavors but has also supported philanthropy and charitable giving in both her professional and personal life as well, thereby making her the perfect keynote speaker for the Pan-Gregorian Organization. Loi dazzled the audience with her charisma and energy, extolling both a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle, coupled with service to others, noting that such was the embodiment of Greek philoxenia.