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General News

Ted Leonsis Talks to TNH on Being Honored at The Hellenic Initiative’s 11th Annual Gala

November 29, 2023

NEW YORK – Ahead of The Hellenic Initiative’s 11th Annual New York Gala on December 2, honoree Ted Leonsis, the well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist, shared his thoughts with The National Herald. The founder, chair, principal partner, and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, one of the world’s most valuable regional sports and entertainment companies with one of the most diverse ownership groups in all of sports, Leonsis is the Majority Owner and Chairman of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, and 2019 WNBA Champion Washington Mystics.

“It is a profound honor to receive this award and to lend my support to The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Summer Youth Academy,” Leonsis told TNH. “THI is an organization dedicated to fostering positive change in Greece, and this initiative exemplifies its commitment to youth empowerment. There’s great power in the harmony of teamwork and the mentorship of young people – it’s an incredible unifier of communities. By combining the transformative power of sports with vital life skills, we aim to make a lasting impact on the lives of deserving young individuals. The monies raised will allow us to make leaps towards this outcome. I am truly privileged to be part of this journey, connecting my heritage with a brighter future through THI’s remarkable work.”

THI, the largest global non-profit uniting the Greek Diaspora – with supporters in over 47 countries – will host its sold-out 11th Annual Gala on Saturday, December 2, in New York City. Cocktails and the silent auction item viewing begin at 6:30 PM at the premiere event space 48 Wall Street, followed by a walk across a red-carpeted Wall Street for dinner, awards, and entertainment at Cipriani Wall Street at 8 PM.

Funds raised support THI’s vetted humanitarian partners and economic/entrepreneurial development in Greece.

Luxury items from Greek artists, food and wine purveyors, luxury destinations, and fashion and jewelry designers are among the items up for bid in the silent auction which is now open online. For the full list of items, visit the auction website: www.thinyc23auction.com.

To further honor Leonsis, a portion of the evening’s proceeds will help fund the THI Summer Youth Academy, a leadership program designed to empower youth with limited resources in Greece. THI has partnered with basketball training and sportsmanship organization Eurohoops to create a life-changing summer experience for 100 young people who deserve every opportunity to succeed. The program, which will debut in July 2024 with Leonsis serving as the 2024 Academy Honorary Chair, will offer intensive basketball coaching, life skills workshops to foster personal growth and resilience, and mentoring from basketball idols and special guests.

Through the Leonsis Foundation, his sports teams, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation and his family’s personal giving, Leonsis supports hundreds of charities each year, as noted in his online biography. In 2015, Leonsis was named chairman of the board of DC-CAP (District of Columbia College Access Program), which is dedicated to encouraging and enabling DC public high school students to enroll in and graduate from college.

More than 800 distinguished guests, benefactors, and dignitaries are expected to attend THI’s annual celebration in New York that brings together the Greek diaspora in a powerful way to give back and also honor prominent figures such as Leonsis whose remarkable career and philanthropy inspire us all.

Founded in 2012, THI is a global, nonprofit, secular institution mobilizing the Greek diaspora and philhellene community to support sustainable economic recovery and renewal for the Greek people. THI’s programs address crisis relief through strong nonprofit organizations and build entrepreneurial skills in a new generation of business leaders. In recent years, THI has made direct distribution of more than $20.5 million, 60% of which has been deployed into Greece’s economic development, and 40% into programs focused on crisis relief and generated extensive additional funding with significant impact on the GNP of Greece.

More information is available online: https://www.thehellenicinitiative.org/.

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