NEW YORK – The guests were energized by the Greek and American music of their youth and inspired by a tango performance, but they brought their own kefi – fueled by their love for Greece – to the fundraising dinner dance of the Athenians’ Society in the Penthouse Suite of the Terrace on the Park on March 20.
The net proceeds will benefit the Brefokomio Athinon Municipal Foundling Home and the Society’s president Panos Adamopoulos thanked the guests for their attendance and all who contributed to the event’s success, including the officers and members of the Society and especially Iota Bakoyianni, who suggested hosting a dinner dance with a nostalgia theme a year ago.
Among the guests of honor were Consul General of Greece Amb. George Iliopoulos and his wife, Anthousa, High Commissioner of Cyprus in New York Amb. Vasilios Philippou and his wife Anthea, Atlantic Bank and HACC President Nancy Papaioannou, and Christos Koutsis representing Investors Bank, along with representatives of numerous community organizations.
The dance featured music of the 50s, 60s and 70s presented by DJs of Bravo Sound and the dance demonstration of Angeliki Deisi and her partner reminded that much of the music on our grandparent’s 78s featured the fox trot and tango music that was popular in Greece before the rebetika revolution.
When past Greek Parade Chairman Dino Rallis returned from the dance floor saying “this music shows our age” – his excellent dancing did not give him away, however – a member of another generation said “no, it reminds us all of our youth. I heard these songs at home growing up too.”
The old Greek favorites were interspersed with American pop anthems like Twist and Shout and Rock Around the Clock and the dancers born in Greece were as impressive as the American-borns.
Amb. Philippou told TNH “Today’s event is yet another fine initiative of the Society in behalf of the children of the Brefokomio. It shows that diaspora Greeks, who have been continuously fighting for our national issues” have also mobilized on a philanthropic basis during the crisis. He hopes such initiatives, for which he praised Adamopoulos and the Society, will continue when Greece and Cyprus emerge from the crisis, noting that there are always underprivileged among us.
When Amb. Iliopoulos, who has fond memories of growing up in the Patissia section of Athens, was told the Diaspora does bit forget Athens during this difficult period, he responded that “Athens is our mother. It is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, notwithstanding that is has had low points in its history. We always have the hope that it will fully revive and once again become a city that has very much to offer its residents.”
He too expressed his admiration for the Society, noting “It does not only limit itself to dances and other social events and helping its members but aims to help in a practical way institutions like the Brefokomio. They are always vigilant about the needs of Athens and how they can help.”
George Kitsios, the President of the Greek Children’s Fund and the Greek American Homeowners Association of Astoria emphasized the importance of what the Society does in support of the Brefokomio. ”I hope what they do become examples for other organizations so that they also support the homeland,” he added.
The Society recently dispatched its first shipment of clothing for the needy of Athens.
They are preparing another shipment of new and gently used, clean clothing. Donors can contact Board Member, Fani Pagoulatou at 516-835-3500 for donations and further information.