Hundreds Attend Annunciation’s Stewardship and Mistletoe Galas

Annunciation's Mistletoe Gala at the Harvard Club in Manhattan drew hundreds of young professionals to support the church and usher in the festive Christmas season. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

NEW YORK – Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church held its annual Stewardship and Mistletoe Galas on December 15 at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan. The evening of Christmas spirit, live music, dancing, and dinner benefited the Annunciation Church and was among the best attended events of the year with hundreds present to support the 126-year old church.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church was founded in 1892 and celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the first time in the Hudson Memorial Baptist Church on West 4th Street. Since the early days of Annunciation’s inception, the founding stewards of the parish worked faithfully and diligently to make a difference in the lives of all people.

Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Annunciation Church and its parishioners have joyfully inherited this legacy and have developed dynamic ways to make a positive impact on all members of society.

In an effort to ensure that future generations will celebrate the Good News of the Annunciation, the parish is initiating a Capital Restoration campaign in the hopes restoring the landmark building and church sanctuary.

The Mistletoe Gala brought together young adults from across the New York tri-state area to celebrate a night of holiday cheer with live music by both Dean Vali and DJ Bobby Karounos, dancing, open bar, and a buffet also to benefit the Annunciation Church.

A gingerbread village was on display at the Harvard Club adding another festive touch to the Annunciation Church’s gala. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

Among those present, members of the Parish Council and the Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Chrysostomos Gilbert, Annunciation’s presiding priest, who gave the welcoming remarks and best wishes for the Christmas season. Fr. Gilbert has been the parish priest since 2013. The current Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago was the previous presiding priest from 2010-13.

Many members of the community were also in attendance as well as Georgios Michailidis, Head of Economic & Commercial Affairs at the Consulate General of Greece in New York, Hellenic Lawyers Association 2nd Vice President George Zapantis, and Constantine Larigakis, Director, Corporate Affairs for SigmaPharm Laboratories, who attends every year from the Philadelphia area to get a taste of New York during the holidays, enjoy the gala with friends, and to support the Annunciation Church.

Also among those at the Mistletoe Gala, Philo4Thought (HMI) Inc.

CEO and Founder, Adj. Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Literature, Communications & Environmental Studies, New York City, Administrative Manager & Student Coordinator, Center for Genome Technology & Biomolecular Engineering, Columbia University, and journalist and public speaker Christine Salboudis and National Hellenic Student Association Chairman, Advisory Council Chairman, and Past President Konstantine Ouranitsas, a consultant with the Project Controller practice at Deloitte Consulting, LLP.

This year’s Grand Raffle included five prizes: First Prize: $1,000 Amazon Gift Card; Second Prize: Two Broadway tickets and pre-dinner at Kellari; Third Prize: Year’s delivery of bi-monthly Greek treats by Pavlitos Baked Goods; Fourth Prize: Private catered dinner for six by Chef Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Catering; and Fifth Prize: Special Sports package with four U.S. Tennis Open tickets, New York Rangers tickets and basket of fan gear, and four tickets to Barclay’s Center.

The raffle drawing was held after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Dec. 16 at Annunciation Church with prizes to be picked up by March 1, 2019.

More information about Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is available online:

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church held its Stewardship and Mistletoe Galas at the Harvard Club in Manhattan. Photo by Eleni Sakellis
Dancing at the Mistletoe Gala. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

Dancing at the Mistletoe Gala. Photo by Eleni Sakellis
Christine Salboudis and Konstantine Ouranitsas were among those at the Mistletoe Gala. Photo by Eleni Sakellis


  1. Ah, Midtown, Harvard Club, champagne and dark rooms, a celebration of the Manhattan-Athens creme de la creme elites and their chaplains. Isn’t that precious?

    Meanwhile, New Rome and the New World burn to the ground.

    Did they invite the Port Authority officials to the Christmas party? I sure hope so.

  2. The pastor is the son of the late Utah pastor and the cantor is the archdiocese protpsaltis. Nate of Chicago was the former pastor. This was the ghetto church of the 1940s Greeks. For the longest time it was struggling because the building is a former Presbyterian church with Tiffany stained glass windows that fell under historic preservation. The church had two prior manifestations closer to midtown but was given the current building because the city needed the previous one for a police station. They have overcome the burdensome costs of historic preservation by renting out most of the building during the week. But they still need serious repairs. The parish has seen somewhat of a revival due to academic gentrification of nearby Harlem as well as youngsters moving west as the east side became overpriced. The Parable of Talents (Matt 25:14-30) confirms the glory of capitalism over slothful envy of socialism, but the previous comment show the vile middle eastern darkness of envy which pollutes most Greek souls. The pastor should read Tom Friedman’s Lexus & Olive Tree to see the source of the blindness of his soul.

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