ASTORIA – Renowned Greek singer Dimitris Mpasiswas met with members of the Board of Directors and supporters of Brooklyn’s Greek School of Plato at a special event held at the Republic in Astoria on October 23. The meeting was held in view of the concert that Mpasis will perform on Sunday, November 10, at The Vanderbilt in Staten Island.
The concert is a fundraiser to help build Plato’s new Cultural Center in Bay Ridge, which will be its headquarters and much more.
“This gathering was just for the people to meet Dimitris Mpasis, who will sing at our main fundraiser. The Cultural Center will not simply be the headquarters of Plato, but it will be available for Hellenism and other communities, since it will also host events,” said Plato School Board of Directors President Vasilios Danas, who is responsible for organizing the concert.
“It is a school that does not belong to a church or community, it operates on its own. At this event, we have to show our support and help everyone,” said Dora Gasparis.
Hellenic Roots Executive Director and Founder Petros Fourniotis, said that “such a place of Greek culture is needed, especially in Brooklyn, where there is no other.”
For his part, Dimitris Mpasis, who spoke at length with the attendees, expressed his joy at the fact that he will close this year’s U.S. tour with a concert that will take place for a great cause.
“The entire team, the Board of Directors, and the leadership are to be congratulated for this effort, because they have decided to build a cultural center in which New York Greeks and future generations will learn Greek traditions and customs. Greece is very big. I’ve sung in Australia, America, Brazil, Argentina. We must keep the torch lit,” he said.
As for the concert itself, the well-known singer promised a festive night that will be engraved in the memory of those who come.
“The concert is meant to be a party and to entertain, both on stage and in the audience. We’ve experienced unique moments on this tour and I think this concert will be a night to remember,” Mpasis said.
The need for new building infrastructure is not new to the Greek School of Plato. Already, a few years after its establishment, in 1978, privately owned facilities proved to be inadequate, given the increase in registrations.
“At the moment, we go to other communities and we ask for rooms. We have other office spaces and others for classrooms. We want everything to be under the same roof so we can work better. It will be different for both students and teachers,” said Vice-President of the Board, Leonidia Garbi.
The new building will be a four-story structure with 14 rooms, a library, and a children’s recreation area for recess on the terrace. Located at 7th Avenue and 92nd Street in Bay Ridge, its construction cost is estimated at $5.5 million.
“We need this cultural center. We are already the first generation of us and our children the second. We want to be able to teach them our culture and the Greek language, which is in danger of extinguishing here, but we will be the ones who will keep it,” said the President of the Board, Maria Abazis.
The Cultural Center is scheduled to open in January 2020.