The Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation unveiled its Never Forget Letter Mailbox for families who lost love ones on 9/11. Photo: Courtesy of the Loukoumi Foundation
NEW YORK – Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation Founder and Executive Director Nick Katsoris shared an update on the Foundation’s efforts including a visit to Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, and the upcoming 9th Annual Loukoumi Dance Party & Make A Difference Awards on June 1.
“It was an inspiring and emotional day in the Town of Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, on May 5 as The Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation unveiled its Never Forget Letter Mailbox for families who lost love ones on 9/11,” Katsoris said via email. “The mailbox was placed adjacent to an original piece of steel from the World Trade Center donated to the town of Gander. We now invite residents and tourists from around the world to place their Never Forget Letters into this mailbox, which is beautifully decorated with artwork by the students of Gander Elementary School. This mailbox will stand as a symbol that we must never forget those that we lost on 9/11 and also as a symbol that we must always remember the incredible kindness shown by the Town of Gander to the 7000 airline passengers whose planes were diverted to Gander that day, which became the story of the award-winning musical Come From Away.”
Also on May 5, the Loukoumi Good Deed of the Month Zoom was hosted live from Gander Elementary School in Newfoundland, Canada. “On the Zoom, we introduced this month’s good deed project, assisting animal shelters,” Katsoris continued. “We also heard from students worldwide including from the ACS Athens School, the San Carpoforo School in Lake Como, Italy, and Our Lady of Grace School in the Bronx, NY, as they shared good deed projects they are working on in their cities. Diane Davis and Mihalia Hillier from Gander also addressed the students.”
“On this special trip, Gander Elementary School also held its inaugural Loukoumi Foundation Good Deed celebration as students showcased their good deed projects for charities they are passionate about,” Katsoris noted. “Over $3,000 was raised by the kids through their bake sales, bracelet making, kindness rocks, wood carvings, keychains and more. Hundreds of items were also collected for homeless, animal shelters, school supplies and more.”
“Special thanks to Gander Mayor Percy Farwell, Deputy Mayor Bettina Ford, The Town Council, Kayla White, Gander Elementary School Principal Duane Smith, Assistant Principal Naomi Young, Diane Davis, Mihalia Hillier, Andy Introzzi and everyone at Enhance a Colour for designing the mailbox, our foundation advisory board members Judy Abrams (one of the producers of Come from Away and thanks to everyone from the show), Loukoumi Foundation sponsors Eileen and Gary Franklin/George’s Angels, and Kristen Versaci, all the faculty and students at Gander Elementary, whose artwork adorns the mailbox, and last but not least a huge thank you to teacher Christopher Hillyard for helping make this all happen,” Katsoris said.
The 9th Annual Loukoumi Dance Party & Make A Difference Awards will be held on Thursday, June 1, 6-10 PM, at Mulino’s at Lake Isle Country Club, 660 White Plains Road in Eastchester, NY. At the event, the 2023 Loukoumi Foundation Inspiration Award will be presented to social entrepreneur, author, founder/CEO of WOHASU®, and producer of the World Happiness Summit Karen Guggenheim.
The 2023 Loukoumi Make a Difference Award recipients include Ryan O’Connor; American Community Schools (ACS) Athens; Anne Hutchinson School Adopt a Nursing Home Students; Chapel School Students Chloe Campbell, Kievana Graham, and Gabe Sierra; Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy; Fordham Preparatory School; Fordham University Kiwanis; the Town of Gander, Newfoundland, Canada; Loukoumi Kids Club Chapter, Aguada, Puerto Rico; Our Lady of Grace School Food Pantry Volunteers; Our Lady of Victory School, Mt. Vernon, NY; San Carpoforo School, Lake Como, Italy; Saints Joachim and Anne School, Queens, NY; and Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens.
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