NEW YORK – After a performance of the Broadway hit musical Rock of Ages, some members of the delighted audience made their way to nearby the NY Marriot Marquis where the show’s star, Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis, was presented with the first ever Loukoumi Make A Difference Award on January 3.
Nicholas Katsoris, who introduced Maroulis to the gathering in the lounge with the spectacular view of Times Square, is the president of Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation named after the children’s book series he authors that has touched the lives of thousands of children with its message of believing in themselves and helping one another.
“We are here to honor a very special person…and an amazing artist. He has made us all proud,” Katsoris said.
“As successful as Constantine has become,” he continued, “one of the things I’ve always liked about him is what a great person he is. Over the last ten years I have called him time and time again to ask him for something, and he never says no.”
Katsoris told the honoree he was chosen to be the first recipient award “for all you have done to inspire children across the country.”
Standing nearby was Sophia Lotto, the young girl who won the Foundation’s 2014 dream career contest which culminated in an appearance singing on Broadway with Maroulis for the “Make a Difference with Loukoumi Television Special” that aired on the FOX network last year.
An appreciative Katsoris declared at the gathering “Constantine, you didn’t only make Sophia’s dream come true, you showed children at home that anything is possible.”
Maroulis’ family was present to share the experience with him, including his effervescent daughter Malena and her mother Angel, and Maroulis’ mother Constance and his sister Anastasia.
Maroulis told TNH his relationship with the Loukoumi endeavor reminds him of his journey with the “Rock of Ages” show. “Being able to be a part of something from the very beginning, and watch it grow and see it become a global brand and inspire people all over the world is incredible.”
He added, “It’s a very nice layer in my career and life and family. My daughter is a big fan of Loukoumi and my partner Angel and I love reading the books to her.”
“It’s also a community thing,” he told TNH, “involving talented Greeks in our field…and to be in a position to help out and give back…by giving St. Jude’s Children’s hospital – it’s been really wonderful.” A portion of the books’ proceeds is donated to St. Jude’s.
Katsoris is a New York attorney and the president of the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund, which has awarded over 850 scholarships totaling over $2 million.
He is also author of the legal thriller Crimes of Fire and currently resides in Eastchester, NY with his wife, Voula, a real estate attorney, and their children, Dean and Julia.