Hellenic Hearts, a non-profit organization, was created and co-founded by Leadership 100 members John Aivazoglou and Nick Karalis, along with Kostas Mikropoulos and Tim Vlassopoulos, with the intent of supporting Hellenes from the Greater Philadelphia area in extreme financial distress. Its inception was on February 17th, 2016, at John’s 50th birthday party when in lieu of gifts, donations were collected in the amount of $20,000. The momentum continued into the next event, the Annual Golf Invitational and Dinner, which raised more than $85,000. Other Leadership 100 members currently serving on the Board of Directors include Michael Bapis, also a member of the Leadership 100 Board of Trustees, Dimitri Halakos, James Karalis; Peter J. Pappas, of Blessed Memory, who was a long-time member of the Leadership 100 Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, also served on the Hellenic Hearts Board.
One of the primary purposes of the organization is to respond to catastrophic emergencies including but not limited to death, medical necessities, and financial shortcomings within 48 hours. The organization has already provided financial assistance in many emergencies, such as support of a struggling family after a fire destroyed their home and all their possessions but one. Miraculously, only a single icon of Jesus Christ survived that devastating fire. It also aided a woman fighting breast cancer pay for an expensive experimental treatment after her insurance company refused to pay. She is doing well.
Hellenic Hearts also created the Educational Guidance Program, directed by Louie Karapanagiotides. Along with his numerous volunteer advisors, Karapanagiotides manages college preparation symposiums and community service events for deserving Greek American students. Twelve students were chosen as the Class of 2017 and were provided free SAT tutoring through Princeton Review. As a result of the prep course, the students increased their scores 110-185 points. The program participation also requires the students to engage in community service events scheduled by the advisors. In the Spring of 2018 the organization will begin accepting applications for fifteen, $1,000 need-based scholarships. Naming opportunities are available for endowed scholarships.
Hellenic Hearts Educational Guidance Program College Admissions Workshop
The main fundraising event, Hellenic Hearts Golf Invitational, which included the annual dinner, will take place June 4, 2018 at the Rolling Green Country Club in Springfield, PA. The club recently hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament (2016).
Since its founding, Hellenic Hearts has envisioned spreading to every major city in the nation, to serve as a safety net for Hellenes in need. The organization will assist anyone who wishes to establish a Hellenic Hearts Chapter in their area. For more information please contact Margaret Antzoulatos.
This article was first published on Leadership 100.
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