NEW YORK – Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church held its annual Stewardship and Mistletoe Galas on December 7 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 127-year old church.
The event began with remarks by the President of the Parish Council Dr. John Getsos who welcomed all those present including His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, Archdiocesan Council Vice President John Catsimatidis, and the presiding priest of the Annunciation community the V. Rev. Archimandrite Father Chrysostomos Gilbert. Dr. Getsos noted that the event was the 18th gala at the Harvard Club for the 127-year old church, one of the oldest parishes in New York City and one of the oldest in the country. He thanked all those present for their support, especially the many past presidents and parish council members past and present and most especially, his wife Maria Sakalis, for all her efforts with the Philoptochos Society and as co-chair of the annual festival. Getsos then introduced Fr. Gilbert who noted that it was an honor to welcome Archbishop Elpidophoros to the gala just nearing six months since his enthronement. He then presented His Eminence with a gift, an engolpion, which Archbishop Elpidophoros put on and graciously accepted pointing out how pleased he was that his schedule allowed him to spend time at the event which was “filled with happy and young faces, the best and brightest in New York City.”
His Eminence then spoke about how the Christmas season brings old and new friends together and he hoped the season would bless all with friendships, old and new, and also deepened everyone’s faith in the Orthodox Church. He commended the organizers for making the event such a success, congratulated Fr. Gilbert, and acknowledged and thanked John Catsimatidis and his wife Margo for their presence and their support. Archbishop Elpidophoros expressed his gratitude for the gift and gave his blessings to all for a merry Christmas.
Following the invocation, the attendees enjoyed dinner and dancing well into the night in support of Annunciation Church and its ministries. Young people crowded the space which was decorated for the festive holiday season with a massive Christmas tree and a Christmas village display complete with train set and gingerbread houses.
Businessman and philanthropist John Catsimatidis noted that the train set and the Christmas gingerbread village reminded him of his youth.
Among those present were Rev. Deacon Eleftherios Constantine, Direct Archdiocesan District Youth and Young Adult Ministries Director Fr. Panagiotis Papazafiropoulos and his wife Christina, Dean of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Brooklyn Fr. Evagoras Constantinides, New York State Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, Georgios Michailidis, Head of Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Consulate General of Greece in New York, Hellenic Lawyers Association 2nd Vice President George Zapantis, Kristina Headrick, Tiffany Apostolou, Christine Salboudis, Konstantine Ouranitsas, 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.
The Grand Raffle prizes included a $1000 American Express Gift Card, two tickets to the 2020 Gala, Greek Sweet: bi-monthly delivery of Greek desserts, catered Greek dinner for six by Chef Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Catering, and two Broadway tickets with pre-theater dinner at Kellari. The General Raffle prizes included a $400 Apple gift card, $250 gift card to Jacob’s Pickles, $250 gift card to Maison Pickle, two tickets to the New York Philharmonic, $200 gift card to Bloomingdale’s, SONOS Bluetooth Speaker, $200 gift certificate to Chelsea Piers, Nespresso machine, 2 gift cards to the Intrepid with $100 gift card for dining, $100 gift card for Uber eats, and a $100 gift card to Ousia Restaurant.
The raffle drawing was held after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Dec. 8 at Annunciation Church, attendance not required to win, with prizes to be picked up by March 1, 2020.
More information about Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is available online: annunciation-nyc.org.