The 2021 Grant Recipients present at the luncheon, shown with His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos, National President Arlene Siavelis Kehl, Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos President and Luncheon Chair Theone Dickos, Tri Chairs- Katherine Kotsis, Evanthia Valassiades, and Margaret Yates, Vanessa Vitsas, and Grant Committee Chair Nikki Burns. Photo: Anne Buskirk Photography
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – With a joyfulness reflecting the hope, gratitude and resilience of a world just beginning to arise from a global pandemic, Philoptochos stewards from across the nation joined together on November 6 to celebrate the 18th Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon. Hosted by the Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos in the unforgettable ambiance of the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis, close to 400 guests gathered to enjoy a moving afternoon of inspiration, entertainment, fellowship, and philanthropy in support of the Children’s Medical Fund.
The Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon is the principal fundraising event of the National Philoptochos Society. Since its inception in 1989, the biennial luncheon has raised over $4 million for children’s hospitals and research programs, as well as special programs that serve the needs of ill and fragile children, along with assistance to individuals and their families throughout the United States and in other parts of the world.
Despite the unique challenges brought on by the pandemic and under the dedicated leadership of Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos President Theone Dickos, Luncheon Chair, and her Tri-chairs, Katherine Kotsis, Evanthia Valassiades, and Margaret Yates, the event was a glorious success. Over $500,000 has already been raised in association with this year’s event, and during the luncheon, grants totaling more than $272,000 were awarded to representatives from the 12 selected programs located in the seven states- Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky- included within the Metropolis of Detroit. The balance of the funds will be disbursed to cover the medical expenses of needy children throughout the United States during the interim period until the next luncheon as well as to fund children’s medical programs and projects at National Philoptochos Conventions.
Arkansas Children’s Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas $25,000
Ascension St. Vincent Hospital Foundation in Indianapolis, Indiana $35,000
Children’s Hospital Buffalo Foundation in Buffalo, New York $15,951
Hurley Foundation Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan $15,080
LeBonheur Children’s Hospital Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee $21,059
Lima Memorial Foundation in Lima, Ohio $35,000
Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation in Louisville, Kentucky $30,840
Ascension St. John Foundation, Detroit, MI $21,765
Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI $20,000
United Rehabilitation Services, Dayton, OH $12,500
National Philoptochos President Arlene Siavelis Kehl expressed her gratitude to Theone Dickos and her entire committee and thanked the Metropolis of Detroit for successfully adapting through these challenging times to host a wonderful event. Dickos, Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos President, thanked all the sponsors and supporters of the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon and poignantly conveyed that while it was held in the Racing Capital of the World, “our race to help the children will never end.”
Marigo Sofia Mihalos, Senior Director of Talent and Entertainment Relations for SIRIUSXM and one of the Greek America Foundation’s “40 Under 40” Class in 2018, served as Master of Ceremonies. The audience enjoyed a performance by the String Quartet from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and was treated to a delightful musical interlude by “Indy Voice” Indianapolis Children’s Choir, under the direction of Joshua Pedde. Mrs. Pam Argyris, Luncheon Chair of the 2019 Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon held in Chicago, was the 2021 Honoree.
The luncheon program featured the inspiring remarks of His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, who praised the work of the Philoptochos and expressed with great emotion his gratitude for the generous grants to the special programs throughout the Metropolis of Detroit that will benefit the medical needs of ill and fragile children. His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos, Spiritual Advisor to the National Philoptochos, read a heartfelt, uplifting message from His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, who was unable to attend.
The audience was touched by the message of Guest Speaker Mike Emanuel, Chief White House Correspondent for Fox News. Emanuel first brought attention to our heroic first responders, who over the past 18 months have taken on even greater risk as they tirelessly work to care for the critically ill in the midst of the pandemic. He also shared the personal story of his son, Savas, who as a toddler required the type of special medical care and intervention that the programs supported by the Children’s Medical Fund seek to provide. Emanuel applauded the National Philoptochos Society for their dedication to the children.
As a society, we have no greater responsibility than the protection, health, and welfare of our children. True to the theme of this glorious and sometimes emotional afternoon, the National Philoptochos embraced our most vulnerable children by shining a spotlight on the many challenges that affect their well-being, and we rejoiced in the generous contributions of our many supporters that will allow us to continue both lifesaving and life changing support for these children with critical needs. With warm hearts, the attendees of the 2021 Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon departed with gratitude and newfound inspiration for the work Philoptochos does and the difference we make through this most important Philoptochos ministry.
The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society is the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. More information is available online: www.philoptochos.org.
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