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Events

RMHNY Greek Division Held Its 27th Annual Christmas Dinner on Dec. 12

December 13, 2022

NEW YORK – The Ronald McDonald House of New York (RMNH-NY) Greek Division held their 27th Annual Christmas Dinner on December 12 at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. The event, celebrating and supporting RMH-NY’s families and mission, also honored the Daughters of Penelope (DOP) Medusa Chapter #345 and Order of AHEPA Chapter 517 of Holmdel, NJ.

Vasiliki Rentas-Sakkas, RMH-NY Greek Division Vice Chair, gave the welcoming remarks, thanking all those present for their continuing support of the organization, including the DOP, AHEPA, the donors, the committee and Greek Division Coordinator and Administrator Spiridoula Katechis for all her efforts.

Daughters of Penelope Medusa Chapter #345 was honored at the Ronald McDonald House of New York Greek Division 27th Annual Christmas Dinner on December 12. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Rentas-Sakkas then introduced the Very Reverend Archimandrite Chrysostomos Panos to give the invocation and share his greetings on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America who could not attend due to the Centennial Pilgrimage to the Phanar and the Holy Land. Fr. Panos noted that the Greek community worldwide has helped support the organization, helping give children and families battling pediatric cancer “a home away from home.” He congratulated all those involved in the organization, including Greek Division Chairman Spiros Maliagros, RMH-NY President & CEO Ruth C. Browne, SD, and the honorees DOP Chapter 345 and AHEPA Chapter 517 for all their efforts to help those in need.

Greek Division Chairman Spiros Maliagros, President of TIG Advisors, could not attend in person but sent his greetings via video.

The Greek Division of RMH-NY was established in 1979 with the partnership of two friends who shared a dream- to help support children and families battling pediatric cancer. President Emeritus Vivian Harris met Niki Sideris, both of blessed memory, through Mrs. Sideris’ volunteer work as a translator for European families receiving medical treatment through New York Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In a short time, a bond was formed. In 1988, Mrs. Sideris was named Chair of the Greek Division. Since that time, the Greek community has been a vital lifeline to families from Greece and Cyprus, as well as Greek-Americans and children from across the globe and all 50 states traveling to New York City to find the critical medical treatment for their children.

AHEPA Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas at the podium during the Ronald McDonald House of New York Greek Division 27th Annual Christmas Dinner on December 12 at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

RMH-NY President & CEO Ruth C. Browne, SD, thanked everyone for attending and for their ongoing support, especially Greek Division Chairman Spiros Maliagros, Vasiliki Rentas-Sakkas, and Spiridoula Katechis, on her name day and that of Spiros Maliagros. Dr. Browne noted that the doors of RMH-NY remained open during the pandemic, and its many programs flourished in supporting children and families in innovative ways, and with the Greek Division’s support, the organization was able to help when they were needed most to continue RMH-NY’s mission. She added that three more family rooms are planned for 2023 and thanked all the Greek community organizations, the Philoptochos, Greek Schools, the AHEPA family of organizations for participating in the annual Greek Division Walk-a-Thon, among other programs, and making the RMH-NY their charity of choice.

AHEPA Chapter 517 President Dimitri Dimitriades accepted the award for the chapter during the Ronald McDonald House of New York Greek Division 27th Annual Christmas Dinner on December 12. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

A moving video presentation included children and families sharing their stories and thanking all the volunteers and the RMH-NY for keeping families close during difficult times.
The honorees were then presented with DOP Medusa Chapter President Helen Pappas and AHEPA Chapter 517 President Dimitri Dimitriades accepting their respective awards, thanking the RMH-NY, and sharing their dedication to giving back to the worthy charity. Pappas noted that RMH-NY is the oldest and dearest charity to their hearts while Dimitriades shared the poignant story of how the chapter first became involved with the charity through the personal experience of a member. He concluded by saying he and the chapter looked forward to continuing to support the RMH-NY until the day there won’t be a need for it.

AHEPA Supreme President then shared his remarks, though he was not a scheduled speaker, congratulating the chapter that “taught them another way to give” and shared his hope to continue supporting the charity.

Left to right: RMH-NY Greek Division Vice Chair Vasiliki Rentas-Sakkas, Daughters of Penelope Medusa Chapter #345 President Helen Pappas, RMH-NY President & CEO Ruth C. Browne, SD, and Greek Division Coordinator and Administrator Spiridoula Katechis. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

Cyprus New York Productions’ talented artists Phyto Stratis, Louis Panayiotou also known as Louis Bluehart, Demetris Michael, Ariadne Anna, and Aggeliki Psoni with Rafailia Kapsokavadi on violin then performed their festive show, under the musical direction of Stratis, titled ‘In the Spirit of Christmas.’ The show featured beloved Christmas songs and carols, warming the hearts of the audience who applauded enthusiastically and sang along in the spirit of the season.

Among those present were Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Konstantinou and his wife Myrsini, Consul General of Cyprus Michalis Firillas, Nikitas Drakotos, John Catsimatidis, the members of the RMH-NY Greek Division committee and volunteers.

More information about RMH-NY is available online: https://www.rmh-newyork.org/.

Left to right: Aggeliki Psoni, Ariadne Anna, Louis Panayiotou, Spiridoula Katechis, Phyto Stratis, Demetris Michael, and Rafailia Kapsokavadi. Photo by Eleni Sakellis
Left to right: Louis Panayiotou, Ariadne Anna, Phyto Stratis, Aggeliki Psoni, and Demetris Michael performing at the Ronald McDonald House Greek Division 27th Annual Christmas Dinner. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

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