MATTITUCK, N.Y. – Concerts featuring a wide range of music and performers have proven to be an enjoyable and effective means of fundraising for the people of Greece during the economic crisis. On July 4 approximately 480 tickets were sold at $50 each for “An Anthology of Greek Song” with Grigoris Maninakis and the Mikrokosmos Ensemble.
The event was presented by the Hellenic Relief Foundation in cooperation with the Greek Orthodox Communities of The Transfiguration of Christ of Mattituck – which hosted the concert in its courtyard – and the Church of Ss. Anargyroi, Taxiarchis, and Gerasimos of Greenport, and the Hellenic American Taxpayer and Civic Association of Southold Township in New York.
HRF Board member Dino Avlonitis told The National Herald that more than $15,000 was raised despite the fact that weather concerns limited the audience to about 250 people. All net proceeds will be used to purchase food for needy families in Greece.
Joining Mikrokosmos were guest vocalists Eleni Andreou and Elena Toumaras. They performed songs beloved by the community, and the guests not only sang along with enthusiasm, but there were outbursts of dancing along with applause.
The concert began at 8 PM and thanks to an agreement with nearby Cooper Farms, the latter’s 4th of July Fireworks display was rescheduled to begin when the concert ended, allowing the audience, which feted Greece, to also celebrate America during the reception. Popular chef Prokopis Zervas prepared the meze that were served.
Well-known businessman Kostas Zahariadis was the coordinator of the event.
Avlonitis noted that mixed in with the fellowship and fun were serious conversations about the situation in Greece on the eve of the recent referendum. They also expressed their appreciation that HRF enables them to express their mutual support and solidarity with the neediest in the homeland.
He said that the members of the Board of Directors are continually reviewing the deepening crisis and are pursuing new and better ways to raise funds and to help.
AID TO DATE 260K+
HRF has remitted about $260,000 and distributed about 240 tons of food since its founding.
Philipas Vogiatzoglou was present during the May deliveries in Athens and Thessaloniki and Stelios Taketzis was present during the June Deliveries in Athens.
Board member Stelios Taketzis told TNH “HRF is monitoring the situation in Greece closely. If we detect problems with availability of foods or the bank closures last a long time we have mechanisms ready to send food items for U.S. HRF has no cash reserves in Greek banks.”
During their most recent meeting a few weeks ago, three members of the Brotherhood “Mani” committed a fair sum of money, to be supplemented as needed by HRF, for monthly distributions of food to the most isolated villages in Moni. “These people are so proud,” Avlonitis said that they will not accept any charity.” HRF decided that in cooperation with the Brotherhood, a black sack containing food and water will be dropped off outside the doors of neediest families.
HRF is excited about a fundraising concert in Manhattan in November featuring well-known Greek singing stars. ”We cannot reveal them yet, but they are big names,” Avlonitis said.