Olympiakos fans with the Championship trophy during the dinner dance on November 12. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
BAYSIDE, NY – Olympiakos Fan Club Gate 7 – NY USA hosted its 25th Annual Dinner Dance on November 12 after a hiatus of three years due to the pandemic, at Laterna in Bayside.
Fans were excited to see the trophies brought to the event from the storied team’s Soccer Championship, as well as the Basketball Championship and Cup. Many posed for photos with the trophies and some even held them up, moved by their love of the team.
Fan Club President Theodore Menis welcomed everyone to the event and invited Fr. George Anastasiou, presiding priest of the Holy Cross community in Whitestone and a fan of Olympiakos, to give the opening prayer, mentioning that Fr. Anastasiou always supports the Club.
In his remarks, President Menis thanked all those present for attending, noting the success of the event which filled the venue with Olympiakos supporters after the pandemic that affected everyone also took its toll on the Club which lost some members to COVID. Menis pointed out that “every year we gather to see each other at this event and now there are some whom we will not see again. We all knew and loved them and they will be missed.”
He continued: “After about three years we decided to invite the people again and make a night of it, but not only like the events of the past – in previous years we got together to have a good time and to show the world that we exist, it was not to solve the economic problem of our organization. Tonight, however, has a great economic significance, for our organization after three years we are facing serious economic difficulties.”
“Four or five people have made a great effort to keep the Club open. It has been there for 28 consecutive years,” Menis said. “It is the only [such] organization in the world that has stayed in the same location for that time period; we are the only one outside of Greece, others have changed locations several times. I am openly asking you for your help. If we want to continue to have this space, a night like tonight is not enough. We need to gather together, renew memberships, to help with the executive board members, to have some meetings and elections, so I’m not the only president… it is a huge responsibility, but where will we go without the support of the people? That’s why I’m asking for support. I would like when we leave that we should leave something for the younger ones. There is in this room a ray of light, young people are here tonight from Greece, from Boston, and they also want to help so that the Olympiakos Club will remain.”
George Tsampas, owner of King Souvlaki with his brother Kostas Tsampas, who was also present, then took the floor and also spoke about the need for support. “Look at what we have built over 30 years. It would be a shame to throw it away because someone doesn’t have the time… we have to continue.”
Menis then thanked all those who continue to help the Club, including, among others, Kostas and George Tsampas, Savas Konstantinides of Mega Brokerage, Vasilis Kefaliakos of Annis Florals, and Ioannis Kartsonis. He also thanked Cleanthis Meimaroglou, Greek American Soccer Club President Nikos Arvanitis, and Andreas Kaliambakos, as well as the members of the media covering the event, including from Greece – the ‘Thrylos 24 Gr’ channel journalists Fotis Roumeliotis and Paris Spiliotis were in attendance.
Attendees enjoyed a cake from Lefkos Pirgos, decorated with the team’s logo, and were entertained with live music from Laterna’s house band featuring the talented singers Giorgos Louloudakis, Rena Andreou, and Fotis Mihalakis. The dancing continued well into the night with the Olympiakos fans looking forward to more event and wins for their team.
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