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COMMUNITY NEWS

Kritiki Filoxenia of Staten Island Hosted Its 31st Annual Dinner-Dance

March 18, 2024

STATEN ISLAND, NY – With the youth dance groups stealing the show with their skillful performance and vitality, Kritiki Filoxenia of Staten Island held 31st annual dinner-dance on March 16 at the Katsoris Community Center which was packed with members and friends.

The guests enjoyed traditional food and sweets and were entertained by live music by Petros Maroulis on lyra, Georgios Chalkiadakis on laouto, Stylianos Koutsourakis on askomantoura, and Vasilis Kokotsakis on guitar.

Kritiki Filoxenia President Nicholas Yasparakis thanked the guests for their presence and support, all the volunteers and sponsors, and referred to the important creative and cultural work that is being carried out.

“All the members of the Board of Directors are young people, Cretans, second and third generation, who love their country and work with zeal, appetite and new ideas for the further progress of our club and this gives us great optimism for further progress and prosperity,” he said. “Kritiki Filoxenia was founded in 1992 in Staten Island with the main purpose of preserving and spreading to the younger generations the traditions, morals and customs of our special homeland, Crete. We have a history, a dynamic present and an optimistic future.”

Members and friends filled the Katsoris Community Center for Kritiki Filoxenia of Staten Island’s annual dinner-dance on March 16. Photo: TNH/Michael Kakias

Pancretan Association of America President Diane Kounalakis spoke to The National Herald, congratulating the Staten Island association for the social, cultural and philanthropic work it performs and expressed her admiration for the great attendance at the celebration.

The dance teachers, Chrysoula Stefanaki-Kournidaki and Panagiotis Xenakis, said that the association’s dance program includes children aged 3 years and above, divided into classes, with classes taking place every Sunday afternoon in the community hall, 45 minutes for each class. The children are taught pentozali, syrto, maleviziotis and other Cretan dances, they noted.

Fr. Nicholas Petropoulakos, presiding priest of the Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Staten Island, congratulated the association for the flawless organization of the event and expressed the pride of all the members of the parish for its contributions.

Fr. Vasileios Apostolidis emphasized that celebrations like this promote Greek culture and at the same time provide an opportunity for everyone to get together and have a good time.

New York State Assemblyman and Staten Island Republican Party Chairman Michael Tannousis sent warm wishes and spoke of his wife’s Cretan origins, noting that they visit the island every year.

Manolis Vlastakis, a founding member of the association, expressed his joy that Cretans and friends not only from New York but also from other cities came to Staten Island to celebrate and have fun together.

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