Hellenic American Academy Gala Honors Parthenis Karras Couples

Press Release

CHICAGO, IL – The Hellenic American Academy will honor Mr. & Mrs. Peter Parthenis and Ethel Parthenis, Tina Verros & Peter Parthenisat its annual Gala taking place on Saturday, Feb. 7 at The Drake Hotel (140 East Walton Place, Chicago).

Though they come from different backgrounds, the honorees share a story of personal achievement followed by extraordinary generosity and service to our Greek-American community. The Gala will highlight these outstanding virtues, which the Academy strives to instill in its students every day to ensure that our next generation is imbued with: an unwavering commitment to academic excellence, our beautiful Orthodox faith, and our rich Hellenic heritage.

The reception will begin at 6PM followed by dinner at 7, and then the dancing will begin! This year’s Gala will pump up the entertainment with the amazing music of The Chris Sarlas Orchestra who will play a wide variety of Greek and American music to ensure everyone gets on the dance floor.

The Hellenic American Academy begins 2015 with a great deal to celebrate at its Gala. HAA student Demetrios Maroutsos was selected as one of only two students in the entire United States to participate in the 2014 Greek Youth Parliament. In October, in an extraordinary act of generosity, the John C. Kulis Foundation announced it was donating $600,000 to the Academy through a five-year matching grant program. In December, the school successfully completed the first stage of this challenge raising a total of $240,000 with the matching grant for 2014.

Approximately 1,000 Greek-American children have been educated at the Academy over the last decade, making it the largest Greek-American educational institution in the Midwest. The Academy’s vision and plans for sustaining and expanding its offering of excellent programs to serve even more children is critical to creating a place where young generations discover their roots, cultivate their talents, and learn the importance of giving back. The Academy’s noble mission can only be realized with the generous support of our Greek-American community through events such as this Gala.

The 2015 Hellenic American Academy Heritage Award Recipients are Peter and Ethel Parthenis, who have been longstanding supporters of the Greek American community. After founding Grecian Delights Food, Inc. in 1974 and creating a highly-successful business in the production and supply of Mediterranean and ethnic foods, Mr. and Mrs. Parthenis turned their talents and energy to philanthropy with particular emphasis in supporting Hellenic causes. Their contributions include support of the Foundation of Hellenic Studies at the University of Illinois, the National Hellenic Museum, Hellenic American Academy, the United Hellenic American Congress, and Leadership 100. Mr. Parthenis was also appointed an Archon of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle by our Ecumenical Patriarchate. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Parthenis’ efforts have made (and continue to make) an extraordinary impact in our Greek American community.

The 2015 Hellenic American Academy Service Award recipients are Spiro and Dora Karras. A graduate of the Academy’s predecessor Socrates School, Dr. Karras went on to become a leading oral and maxillofacial surgeon but he and his family have never forgotten the school which nurtured him. The Karras family was instrumental in saving the school through its relocation and transformation from Socrates School into the Hellenic American Academy. Dr. Karras was the School Board President for 12 years and continues to serve on the Academy’s Executive Committee. For years, Mrs. Karras has spearheaded numerous fundraisers and events to support the school. All three of the Karras children are successful graduates of the school and the family continues to actively support the Academy in all endeavors large and small.

“Both Mr. and Mrs. Parthenis and Dr. and Mrs. Karras have worked hard to achieve great personal success but they have never forgotten their roots and the importance of giving back to their community,” said Demetrios Logothetis, Chairman of the Academy’s Board of Trustees. “It is truly our privilege to recognize their spirit of giving and we invite the Chicagoland Greek community to join us in honoring these two outstanding couples.”

Proceeds from the evening will be used to support The Hellenic American Academy’s excellent programs which have been recognized by the University of Crete as a model of outstanding Greek Orthodox education, including the bilingual Socrates Day School where students are routinely scoring in the 90th percentile in national standardized testing, robust Saturday and Evening Greek language programs and an active Greek cultural program.

Tickets are on sale for $200 each. To reserve, contact the HAA office at 847-317-1063 or via email at [email protected].




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