ASTORIA – The organizing committee during the penultimate meeting held April 12 at the Stathakion Cultural Center in Astoria noted that the April 22 Greek Independence Parade will be completely successful, with a parallel reflection on the revenue flow.
Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York President, Petros Galatoulas, welcomed the increased participation of the youth in the preparations for the parade, while the final list of the grand marshals of this year’s event was announced.
Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, Nassau County District Attorney, Madeline Singas, and the Greek businessman and philanthropist from Odessa Pantelis Boumbouras are the grand marshals.
Video: TNH/Costas Bej
At the same time, it was announced that this year’s parade will honor the town of Greece, NY for its symbolism, with the award given to Town Supervisor William Reilich, who will be, in essence, the fourth grand marshal.
There will also be a significant number of guests from Greece including government representatives such as the Regional Governor of Central Macedonia, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, the President of KEDE Giorgos Patoulis, the Mayor of Corfu Konstantinos Nikolouzos, the Mayor of Syros – Ermoupolis Giorgos Marangos, and the Mayor of Samos Michalis Angelopoulos.
The Presidential Guard is expected to be a thirty-person contingent, which will arrive in New York on April 18 and will be present at the celebration. The first time the Evzones marched in the New York parade was in 1949 and the only living Evzone from that unit, Mr. Lantzounis, resides in Pennsylvania and is 90 years old and will attend the parade.
Galatoulas also said he was looking for a student from Heraklion, who a few months ago was punished by his high school for raising the Greek flag in the courtyard since it was considered a danger.
A moment of silence was observed in the memory of Air Force Captain Giorgos Baltadoros, who lost his life on duty on April 12. In addition, it was reported that there will be three vacant posts in the official platforms, one in honor of the deceased and the other two for the soldiers detained in Adrianople.
Chairman of the Greek Independence Gala at the Hilton, Philip Christopher, said that the aim was to raise $100,000 with sponsorship of $5,000 from 20 companies. Indeed, he thanked individual businessmen like Nikos Mouyiaris and Michael Chalkias, and the three banks, Alma, Investor’s, and Atlantic.
The chairman of The Greek Independence Parade Gala at Terrace on the Park, Nikolas Mpardis, who called on the associations to support each other for both, noted that he was not happy with the sums so far. Clearly more optimistic was the chairman of the raffle committee, Vasilis Gournelos, who estimated that the community would respond and the target amount would prove realistic.
Also, it was noted that the Hellas FM radio fundraiser, raised a total of almost $16,000, so it remains to be seen whether all donors will be consistent.
For her part, the chair of the parade committee, Nancy Papaioannou, referred to the importance of the parade and reminded everyone that “we are the second economic power all over America and we must remain united. This way we will assert our rights and help our country.”
The Treasurer of the parade, Paul Kotronis, appeared stressed, but he noted that there is still time to get money into the coffers. Also present were, among others, the Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus, Vasilios Philippou, and the Consul of Greece, Lana Zochiou.
The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York held its second to last meeting about the upcoming Greek Independence Parade. Photo by Costas Bej
The Pancyprian Women’s Network honored Nassau County DA Madeline Singas as the Woman of the Year. (Photo by TNH/ Costas Bej)