NEW YORK – Once again uniting the Greek diaspora and philhellenes internationally to raise awareness — and capital — for Greece, the 2020 Gala of U.S.-based The Hellenic Initiative (THI) for the first time ever is going virtual.
"The Greek diaspora, even generations after so many built new and successful lives around the world, has never forgotten its roots," THI Executive Director Peter Poulos said. "Which is why so many Greeks, wherever they are, have a passionate commitment to supporting their homeland. Our Annual Gala is simply a vehicle for Greeks to raise funds that help the place from which they came."
This 8th Annual Gala, online due to COVID-19 precautions, will provide pandemic crisis relief and help Greek businesses and entrepreneurs who took an economic hit when pandemic travel restrictions ravaged Greece’s all-important tourism industry — a sector which is normally recession- and disaster-proof.
Replacing the in-person fundraisers THI has hosted over the previous seven years in New York and four years in London, the ticketed event on Thursday, November 12, 6-7 PM EST and 11 PM-12 AM GMT is titled "Radiate: The Hellenic Initiative Virtual Gala." The event is a call-to-action that will illuminate a Greece of innovation, strength, and resiliency by telling the business success stories of THI’s many grantees.
More than $1 million has been raised to date.
This celebrity filled event will include special performances and messages from:
Rita Wilson, Greek-American actress, singer, songwriter, and producer who will perform with Christos Mastoras, lead singer of Melisses, the popular Greek rock band. Also performing, Monika, one of Greece’s most acclaimed indie artists, and the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra, featuring young Greek musicians.
Remarks and messages will be presented by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America; Nia Vardalos, Greek-Canadian actress, screenwriter, director, and producer; George Stephanopoulos, Greek-American ABC News anchor and political commentator; Peter Diamandis, Greek-American founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation; and Diane Kochilas, Greek-American cookbook author, celebrity chef, and cooking school owner.
New York Tickets: Individual $250, New Leaders $100 (21-40 years old). For U.S. sponsorship: https://www.eventora.com/en/Events/THI-Virtual-Gala.
London Tickets: Individual £200, New Leaders £50 (21-40 years old). For U.K. sponsorship: https://www.eventora.com/en/Events/this-virtual-event-london.
During the online event, THI will host a silent auction. THI has organized both luxury and charitable auction items that, particularly this year, focus on giving to those in need. Charitable auction items include programs for hunger relief, health and social welfare support, and vocational training. As in prior years, Greek artists, food and wine purveyors, luxury destinations, and fashion and jewelry designers from around the world have come together to donate items. A bidding website is under development and will be available soon.
Founded in 2012, THI is a global, nonprofit, secular institution mobilizing the Greek diaspora and philhellene community to support sustainable economic recovery and renewal for the Greek people. THI's programs address crisis relief through strong nonprofit organizations and build entrepreneurial skills in a new generation of business leaders. Since 2012, THI has committed or distributed $5.7 million in direct crisis relief and $10.1 million in economic and entrepreneurial development. Last year's Gala raised more than $2.2 million, making it the most successful fundraising event in the Greek diaspora globally.
More information is available online: https://www.thehellenicinitiative.org.