Cosmos FM-Hellenic Public Radio, celebrating its 35th anniversary, hosted the Phidippides Award Gala on December 2 at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows, Queens. Photo: Anna Sarigianni
NEW YORK – Cosmos FM-Hellenic Public Radio, celebrating its 35th anniversary, hosted the Phidippides Award Gala on December 2 at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows, Queens. In a moving ceremony, the 26th Phidippides Award for Passionate Advocacy of Hellenism was bestowed upon Andy Manatos, a distinguished community leader, philanthropist, and an advocate for Hellenic issues.
Manatos, founder of Manatos & Manatos, has spent his life working with Washington, DC’s leading policymakers from both political parties and setting numerous legislative and policy records. With his son Mike, in addition to their firm’s commercial work, Manatos has contributed millions of dollars’ worth of work over the years to improve policy toward the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Greece, and Cyprus. Mike Manatos, his eldest son with whom he has worked for 31 years, served as the Gala Chairman. Protopresbyter Fr. Alex Karloutsos was the keynote speaker.
The event was attended by the last three generations of the descendants of Nikos Manatakis (Manatos), grandfather, son and grandchildren, as well as Ambassador of Greece to the United States Alexandra Papadopoulou, Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Cyprus in New York Michalis Firillas, Fr. Alex Karloutsos, the advisor to the publishers of The National Herald Antonis Diamataris with his wife, Litsa, and representatives of the Greek community organizations. Also present were AHEPA Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas, Atlantic Bank president Nancy Papaioannou, and Stephen Cherpelis.
It was a moving moment when the whole Manatos family took the stage when Andy Manatos received the award. He told TNH how proud he is of his Greek heritage and fighting for the interests of Greeks everywhere.
Stelios Taketzis, Chairman of the Board of GAEPIS and producer at Cosmos-FM, after welcoming the guests, the community members, the organizers and the volunteers, addressed the Manatos family and gave the floor to the honoree’s grandchildren, Andrea and Lucas. Taketzis then presented the youngsters with the radio station’s honorary pin, telling them that they should be proud of their Greek heritage.
“We are very happy because after two years we have our live event. The fact that this year we can all be together, look people in the eye and speak to them is something that makes us very happy,” he told TNH, while expressing his joy regarding the award to Andy Manatos.
Manatos was introduced by Fr. Karloutsos, who praised Manatos, both during his remarks and in his statements to TNH.
The honoree told TNH that he is very proud to be Greek: “We are very lucky to have been born Greek and we do everything we can to promote it, which is becoming more and more difficult because many Greek-Americans are Americanizing and that is why the existence of Greek radio and Cosmos FM are necessary.”
His son, Mike Manatos, focused on the importance of the Phidippides Award: “The people who have received this award so far are the most important in the Greek community and we are very happy as a family that we will contribute to the existence of this station for the next 35 years.”
Then, with the warmest words about Andy Manatos, the Ambassador of Greece to the USA, Alexandra Papadopoulou, spoke, noting how rare it is for “three generations of Greek-Americans to dedicate themselves to Hellenism.”
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