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Politics

Blue Dream Gala to Benefit Refugees International, Spotlights Greek Crisis Aid

SOUTHAMPTON, NY –  The long-awaited annual Blue Dream Gala, which is held at The Muses Cultural Center and spills out beneath tents evoking the Isles of the Aegean on the grounds of the Kimisis Church of the Hamptons, will take place on August 29.

Blue Dream is the quintessential great party for a great cause – there will be music by a DJ and the band Milos International, the dress is Island Chic, and once again the chartable cause has a Greek dimension.

Refugees International (RI), this year’s honoree and fundraising beneficiary, along with Amani Global Works, was invited by the organizers to address what has become a desperate situation in Greece.

Michael Gabauda, its president, responded with a white paper that proposes an RI mission to assess a comprehensive response to Greece’s refugee crisis. It would focus on three lines of inquiry:

1) Immediate attention to refugees on the islands by boosting the capacity of local authorities to respond through financial support of international humanitarian NGOs (as the IRC is currently doing), coupled with the establishment of properly funded and staffed transit facilities on the mainland where new arrivals should be transferred as soon as possible.

2) A more generous approach to burden-sharing from European nations to the difficulties encountered by Greece, particularly at a time of serious financial constraints. A tepid response plan to the Mediterranean migration crisis prepared by the European Commission is being met with dithering attention by individual member states who essentially only agree on the “fight the smugglers” aspects of the plan, but not much on anything else, in particular on the notion of quotas to be divided among different countries.

3) A comprehensive review of the support provided to Syria’s front line neighbors, who have received refugees generously but have not received the financial resources necessary to compensate the great stress that large refugee populations have meant to their economies and services.

According to the white paper, “RI is currently working on item #3 above and could conceivably address both #1 and #2 if resources could be made available to help us wage a sustained advocacy campaign in Europe.”

GREAT CAUSES, GREAT PARTY

Matt Dillon, Honorary Chair and Rosanna Scotto, Master of Ceremonies will greet the guests at the dinner which begins at 7:30 after the 6:30 cocktail reception.

The program, which will raise awareness for the two charities, will be brief. Guests who have been coming for years know a wonderful experience will follow the warm reception they will receive as they enter the grounds from Father Alexander Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Presbytera Xanthippe, Father Constantine and Presbytera Anastasia Lazarakis, the Parish Council and the army of dedicated volunteers led by chair persons Olga Paladino, Karen Mehiel, Maria Samuels, and Angela Giannopoulos, the noted event planner.

Refugees International is a leading advocacy organization which campaigns for lifesaving assistance and protection for refugees and people who have been displaced by conflict, persecution or natural disasters. RI does not accept government or UN funding, allowing the organization to work independently to obtain assistance and protection for vulnerable populations.

The Central Philosophy is to Care, Cure and Make Whole by providing healthcare to one of the most impoverished and forgotten areas of Africa, Idjwi Island. AGW works to provide accessible healthcare to all Ban’Idjwi by focusing on maternal healthcare, child healthcare, and malnutrition, as well as other factors that contribute directly to the region’s health crises such as education, agriculture, and transportation.

For more information visit kimisishamptons.org. For tickets call Sandy Tsamutalis at 201-248-7012.

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