NEW YORK – The Loukoumi book series which has touched the lives of thousands of children with its messages of “believing in yourself” amd “helping one another” will find an audience numbering millions on October 18 when the “Make a Difference with Loukoumi Television Special” airs on FOX channels across the country and on MEGA channel in Greece, the U.S., Australia and Canada.
Loukoumi.com lists the channels and times of the broadcast.
Dozens of children along with their friends and families filled the auditorium of Eastchester High School with laughter and excitement on October 8 for a special screening of the program, where they were greeted by Loukoumi’s creator, attorney Nick Katsoris.
One of the show’s highlights was the presentation of the winner of the dream career contest for which children submitted videos of themselves expressing their aspirations.
The winners are given tastes of those careers and the top winner is aptly-named Sophia Lotto, whose ringing voice and ample charm has her pointed in the right direction: Broadway.
Constantine Maroulis, the Tony Award-nominated star of Rock of Ages, who sings the anthem “Don’t stop believing” that also expresses the Loukoumi Spirit – met Sophia in the heart of Times Square and gave her a personal backstage tour of the Helen Hayes Theater before taking her onto its famed stage.
There, Sophia, whose name is Greek and whose proud parents, Angelo and Adele, have Neapolitan roots that must include Greek genes, shined as she sang alongside the Broadway star.
The program features celebrity chef Cat Cora as its host, who became part of the Loukoumi team of celebrities like Gloria Gaynor, Olympia Dukakis, Jennifer and John Aniston, Alexis Christoforous and others who through the years have narrated audio versions of the six Loukoumi books published to date.
The special includes segments illustrating themes that run through all the books, including stopping bullying that is the at the core of the new cartoon of the award-winning book Loukoumi and The Schoolyard Bully featuring the voices of Nia Vardalos and Morgan Freeman.
It was noted that October is National Bullying Awareness Month.
Further illustrating Katsoris’ gift for motivating community leaders to give even more of themselves, Aphrodite Skeadas, National Philoptochos president reads passages from the books to children in the show.
Katsoris told the guests on October 8 of the joy he has experienced watching the Loukoumi generation growing up and learning the messages he reinforces – like a Greek bard – with rhyming slogans such as “Work real hard and don’t get blue. Believe in yourself and dreams come true,” and “Lend a hand to a friend in need. Whatever you do. Whatever you say. Do something nice for someone today!
Katsoris, who enjoys making children’s dreams come true, told the gathering “This was my dream and it was possible because of all of you,” and then singled out “my wife Roula, and my children Julia and Constantine, who inspire me every day.”
He was later joined by FOX News anchor Ernie Anastos and weatherman Nick Gregory.
The broadcast coincides with USA Weekend’s National Make a Difference Day (October 25th, 2014), when millions of Americans participate in public service and charitable projects across the country.
Katsoris’ dedicated and talented team and the Loukoumi Make a Difference Foundation organize activities that have drawn thousands of Greek-American children and which have raised money for the medical research of the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital .
Every Loukoumi book that is sold also generates $2 for St. Jude’s.
Katsoris was the show’s creative and executive producer and Effie Samios was its producer. The day before the broadcast, on October 17, Anastos will interview Katsoris on FOX.
Mamie Stathatos-Fulgieri, former president of the Hellenic Lawyer’s Association, was delighted and told TNH she was in the show along with her son Evangelos. Told her face could not be seen she said “Of course,” with a mischievous smile. She was the person in the Loukoumi costume. “I do it at book signings, Bar Mitzvahs and shows!”