The annual American Hellenic Institute (AHI) delegation’s visit in Greece, was concluded on Wednesday evening at Grand Bretagne Hotel with the organization of the 7th AHI Formal Dinner.
This year’s guest of honor, selected by AHI, was UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyanni, who eventually did not manage to attend the event, due to the blockage held at Syntagma Square.
AHI President, Nick Laryngakis, member of the Administrative AHI Board, SAE U.S.A. Coordinator, Theodore Spyropoulos and AHI Greek Branch President, MP Elias Malevitis, referred to Ms. Vardinoyanni’s vast charitable activities, giving hope and life to children suffering from cancer, through the Oncology Children’s Unit “Marianna B. Vardinoyanni – ELPIDA” (HOPE). On behalf of Mrs. Vardinoyanni, Emeritus Genetics Professor of Athens University Medical School, Ekaterini Metaxotou, received the award, the statue of Winged Victory.
Addressing the event, the members of the Greek Diaspora referred to the multiple year activities and initiatives of the Foundation in issues affecting American relations in South East Europe. As it was stressed by Mr. Laryngakis, AHI, which is consistently promoting issues of Greek interest, giving “battles” in Washington, is on the side of Greece, especially now that it is going through a critical phase.
“Greece has gone through more difficult situations, such as the occupation and dictatorship, and eventually it managed to emerge stronger. In regard to the crisis the whole world is currently experiencing, it will only be able to respond with the help of the Greek people and support of Diaspora Greece”, stated Mr. Laryngakis, among other things, saying that “Greece never dies”.
“Greeks abroad have always been at the forefront of serious issues concerning the homeland”, stressed Mr. Spyropoulos on his part, with the assumption that an “ethical crisis is much more worrying than an economic one”, adding that “AHI, since 1976, with its founder Eugenios Rossidis, engages in an honest struggle for the justification of Cyprus, but also on Greek national issues, a difficult case, which is fortunately continuously supported by the Diaspora. Greeks abroad, via SAE too, continue our struggle for a better Greece”.
The AHI event was attended by the 1st Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Gregoris Niotis, MPs, the President and Secretary of SAE, Stefanos P. Tamvakis and Olga Sarantopoulos, respectively, representatives from various bodies, AHI members and friends in Greece.
Later on Thursday, AHI delegation was scheduled to visit ELPIDA Children’s Oncology Unit, as a token of appreciation for the work of Mrs. Vardinoyanni, to donate an amount in support of this inspiring project.
Contacts in Greece and Cyprus
During their 7th annual visit in Greece, AHI delegation members had a series of meetings with Defense Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Foreign Ministers, Demetris Dollis and Spyros Kouvelis, Director General of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad, Petros Panagiotopoulos, and the U.S. Ambassador to Greece.
During their parliament visit, the Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament, Philippos Petsalnikos awarded Mr. Laryngakis with the Medal of the Hellenic Parliament, in honor of AHI and him personally.
Prior to Greece, the delegation visited Cyprus, whereby meetings were held with Government Ministers and the Archbishop.
Caption: Left to Right: AHI Board Member, SAE USA Coordinator, Theodore Spyropoulos, AHI Greece President, Elias Malevitis, AHI Representative in Athens, George Economou, AHI President, Nick Laryngakis. Center: Genetics Professor, Ekaterini Metaxotou.
Source: ANA – MPA