CHICAGO, IL – The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation will once again this year award a quarter of a million dollars in merit and need-based grants to Greek-American students pursuing degrees at universities across the United States.
Among the country’s most noteworthy Greek-American events, this year’s Gala will be held on June 14 at the Hilton Chicago. As the largest private institution providing significant monetary awards to Greek-American college students since 2002, the foundation this June will reach a milestone in having awarded a total of 263 students with almost two million dollars.
“Education is my passion,” said PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation Chairman Chris Tomaras. “I founded the PHSF to ensure that deserving students of Hellenic heritage will have the means to complete their education and pursue their career goals,” he added.
Honored as the 2014 Paradigm Award recipient for his accomplishments as a Greek-American will be Fidelity Investments Executive VP and CEO James D. Speros. “This is a towering figure in the world of marketing, advertising, and communications, and we are happy to present him as a paradeigma, an example for our students to emulate,” Tomaras said. Past honorees include Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, John Calamos Sr., president and CEO of Calamos Investments, Senator Paul Sarbanes, and Academy Award-winning writer and director Alexander Payne.
Emcee for the evening will be Pete Zervakis, past PanHellenic Scholarship recipient and current multimedia journalist for the ABC affiliate WKOW TV in Madison, WI. As customary, musical entertainment will complement the event. This year’s show will feature energetic tunes by Babis Tsertos, Eftihia Papageorgiou, and the Hellenic 5 Orchestra, while past performers have included Petros Gaintanos, Glykeria, and the Chris Sarlas Orchestra.
A pleasant night of celebration, dining, and entertainment awaits students and guests of the 2014 PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation gala, all in the name of education and keeping strong Greek-American ties. For Chris Tomaras and his group of supporters, the greatest sense of gratification is that students with financial needs are assisted with tuition in completing their studies.
“Without our encouragement and support, some [students] would have probably discontinued their academic pursuits,” said PHSF Vice Chairman Robert A. Buhler. In future years, the foundation will continue its course with offering merit and need-based scholarships while expanding its current Hellenic Birthright and Mentoring programs. “Our plans include career-building opportunities and cultural immersion programs,” he added.
Running an organization of such caliber comes with heightened responsibilities, and with his leadership and dedication, Tomaras has been able to accomplish the necessary goals in securing financial support for Greek-American students. One of the greatest challenges faced, he noted, is the pressure to keep up with the community’s growing need for support as applications from a number of deserving students pour in annually.
“Our biggest challenges have been the large volume of applicants and our inability to help more students than we could at times, as we relied mostly on our own (not adequate) finances,” Tomaras stated. “However, we consider it an achievement to have been recognized by the community for the significance of our cause, thus earning their trust and now receive their participation with some financial support so that, together with our own funds, we can achieve higher goals,” he added.
Tickets to the 2014 PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation gala at the Hilton Chicago are $250 per person. Tables of 10 are also available. A $10,000 grand prize raffle, including $5,000 and $1,000 prizes, will take place that night, and proceeds will benefit the foundation’s scholarships and educational programs. To join the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation in celebrating the achievements of the 2014 PanHellenic Award recipients, contact 312-357-6432, or visit www.panhellenicscholarships.org.