GREENLAWN, NY – The Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church hosted a luncheon in honor of George J. Tsunis, who has been nominated to be the United States Ambassador to Norway.
Tsunis expressed his gratitude to Senior Pastor Fr. Dimitrios G. Moraitis, to the Parish Council and his fellow parish members and friends.
He made a moving tribute to his family, including his father of blessed memory, Demetrios, and lauded the pioneering generation of the Greek-American community. He praised them for building the parishes and organizations that are the core of the community, and urged those present to continue the work of the founders, to keep the community moving forward and lift it to even higher levels.
Acclaimed celebrity chef, Michael Psilakis, a childhood friend of the honoree, created and presented an outstanding menu consisting of his modern and sophisticated interpretation of Greek fare.
Three hundred people filled the Greek Cultural Center, including Nassau and Suffolk country’s political civic leaders.
Fr. Alex Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, quoted Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who said “the measure of a man is the worth of the things he cares about.” He noted that for Tsunis, whom he called “my spiritual son and younger brother,” these include family, church, community, country and friendship, in addition to the tools that have made him a success in business and politics.
Tsunis’ wife, Olga, Fr. Karloutsos said, “guides him to stay focused on the essential, not the ephemeral, and not to stray away from the core values that make life worth living,” and create a good home for their children, James, Eleni and Yanna.
Tsunis’ confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations is scheduled for December. The guests learned that Tsunis has pledged $100,000 to the community if other donors can match by December 1.