Displaying items by tag: THI

Sunday, 03 December 2023

By C.K.

MANHATTAN, NY. In New York, The Hellenic Initiative honored entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Leonsis at an event that drew over 900 Greek Americans and philhellenes. The prestigious ceremony took place at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan.

Ted Leonsis, distinguished as one of the most financially influential Greek Americans in the United States and notably the sole Greek-origin owner of an NBA team (Washington Wizards), bears the family name Leontsakos. He played a pivotal role as one of the founding members of The Hellenic Initiative, contributing to its establishment during the challenging times of the Greek crisis.

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As time has progressed, the Greek economy has successfully navigated its way out of the era of austerity measures. Nevertheless, The Hellenic Initiative remains steadfast in its commitment to ongoing activities, with a focus on supporting philanthropic causes and initiatives geared towards the education and advancement of young Greek professionals. The organization's resilience and dedication were evident in 2023 at its 11th annual event in New York, recognized as the flagship gathering. The Chairman of the Board, George Stamas, proudly announced a noteworthy achievement amid applause – a substantial sum of $2.65 million was raised.THI New York 1

"Since the founding of The Hellenic Initiative 13 years ago, our external consultants estimate that the contribution to the Greek GDP has exceeded $500 million," he said in his speech.

The event's proceedings commenced with a prayer led by Father Alexandros Karloutsos, who conveyed the message of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. Following this, George Stamas assumed the podium, introducing Ted Leonsis before jointly presenting the award with the Chairman of the Board, Andrew Liveris.

"Ted’s charitable instincts really know no bounds… Philanthropy, the love of mankind, philotimo, the love of honor," added George Liveris.

"When The Hellenic Initiative was started, we were internal. We really needed to get out of the crisis, and pretty much the world forgot what we stood for, what ethos and what power we exported to the world and made the world," said Ted Leonsis.

In his address, Andrew Liveris emphasized the central online slogan (hashtag) of The Hellenic Initiative, namely #olimazi (AllTogether), highlighting its significance in relation to the impressive sum of $2.65 million that was successfully raised.

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"'OliMazi' is what we constantly say, and it was about 11 years ago when George Stamas and I, the two of us, came up with this crazy idea that it was time for the Greek diaspora to stand tall that this is a time for the diaspora to stand tall in Greece’s moment of need, that it was a time for Hellenes and Philhellenes around the world to show the gratitude for the forebears, to the heritage, to the traditions, but also to the motherland as it was going through a hard time.”

At the conclusion of the event, Peter Poulos, the CEO of The Hellenic Initiative, graced the stage alongside Artemis Kohas, Michalis Printzos, and Princess Tatiana, expressing gratitude to all the members of The Hellenic Initiative. The audience was treated to an entertaining dance program by the Jimmy Vali Band, featuring a repertoire of both Greek and international songs.