NEW YORK – A unique setting does not guarantee an extraordinary event, but it helps. Good music also contributes, but there is one thing that makes a gathering memorable and inspires attendees to deepen their devotion to the host organization and return with friends next time: the dedication and spirit of the hosts.
The guests at the spring Soiree of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity heard live and DJ music from PowerStation – there was also a jazz singer guests said was fantastic – but when they left they were not only humming the tunes or singing the praises of the organizers.
Since the event at Guastavino’s – built under the magnificent vaulted spaces of the 59th Street Bridge – on June 5, the organizers, including chairpersons Justin Bozonelis and Stella Pantelides, have been told by people they now wanted to be more involved with the Cathedral and its ministries and organizations.
The party went on past midnight and “All the feedback I got is that this was the best one in terms of raw energy and fun,” Bozonelis told TNH.
Pantelides told TNH “to me it was special because the community turned out to welcome Father John Vlahos, the Cathedral’s new Dean, and to honor industrialist Dennis Mehiel, and also because there was a feeling of togetherness, especially among the young adults.”
After a lull in organized young adult activity in recent years, she finds that there is a hunger among them for such events. “They are basically telling us, the older generation, that they want to get together…I remember there was always a party, almost every weekend, where Greek-Americans could meet one another.”
Those days are history, but today’s social traffic can bear at least two or three big bashes a year. “It doesn’t have to be the Cathedral,” Pantelides said, but its events can anchor the calendar.
And it doesn’t have to be only the very young. Every generation was delighted to see grandparents dancing near their children’s children on Friday night. About 300 of the more 500 guests were said to be young adults.
Jim Pantelides’ words of praise to TNH for his wife and Bozonelis’ efforts were echoed by enough others to be deemed objective, although he also credited Fr. Vlahos and the Board for the Soiree’s success: “Of my 12 years of serving on the Board of Trustees of the Cathedral, this was our best event,” Pantelides said.
Mehiel, who in addition to his achievements in commerce and his philanthropic endeavors was also instrumental in the resolution of the dispute with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that was blocking the construction of the new St. Nicholas at Ground Zero, was the first recipient of the Holy Trinity Cathedral Award.
Welcoming the guests, Stella Pantelides thanked the organizing committee for its work and Bozonelis further thanked the volunteers and sponsors and Dean Poll, president of the Cathedral’s Board of Trustees.
Poll thanked the young adults for supporting the event, words which were echoed by Bozonelis who said “we know it’s Friday night in Manhattan and that you could be anywhere you want to be, but hundreds of you have shown up in support of the Cathedral.”
Archbishop Demetrios attended and thanked everyone and expressed his appreciation for Mehiel’s contribution to the community.
Business mogul John Catsimatidis introduced Mehiel, his good friend. With his usual passion and humor, Mehiel spoke to the guests and thanked the Cathedral for the honor. He was then presented with an icon that symbolized the Holy Trinity.
Bozonelis told TNH the Soiree was also the most successful spring event of the Cathedral in terms of raw ticket sales and sponsorships and 100 percent goes to the Cathedral’s operating budget.