Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
NEW YORK – The Thirteenth National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon was held Saturday, December 3, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Old Greenwich, CT with more than 650 attendees from throughout the United States. The event entitled “Let Us Rejoice and Embrace the Children,” was organized by the National Philoptochos and the Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos under the high patronage of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America and with the spiritual blessings of His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane.
The Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon unites supporters from across the United States every two years to raise funds for critically ill children. At the luncheon, National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas and Luncheon Chairman Maria Skiadas presented donations totaling $204,456 to fifteen area hospitals and research programs:
Arts For Healing, New Canaan, CT; Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC; Children’s Tumor Foundation, New York, NY; Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY; Incurable Illness Foundation, Brooklyn, NY; Kids in Crisis, Cos Cob, CT; Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research, Inc., Hartford, CT; Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY; New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY; New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY; New York University Hospitals Center, New York, NY; Port Washington Special Education PTA (SEPTA), Port Washington, NY; Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center, Bellerose, NY; ROSSCO Stamford School Community Organization, Inc., Stamford, CT; St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, Bayside, NY.
The Luncheon program featured special greetings and blessings conveyed by His Grace Bishop Andonios on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios who was unable to attend; dynamic presentations by President Aphrodite Skeadas; profound words from Guest Speaker, Dr. George Coukos, Professor of the Perelman School at the University of Pennsylvania; stirring remarks from Evangeline Mekras Scurtis, Luncheon Honoree; and moving testimony from Katina Brountzas and Andrew Kahan, parents whose children have been assisted at the area hospitals. Children brightened the program with musical performances by the Archdiocesan Metropolitan Youth Choir under the direction Ms. Maria Koleva. Ms. Andrea Tantaros, Fox News Anchor and host of The Five, served as Master of Ceremonies with charm, humor and grace as she aptly guided the luncheon program.
President Skeadas presented the National Philoptochos Society ARISTA Award in memory of Mardene Morykwas for her outstanding and generous philanthropic support to the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon. Dr. Angeline Pappas of the Church of Our Saviour, Rye, NY, accepted the award on behalf of her late niece.
President Skeadas stated, “This year’s luncheon takes place during the Nativity season in which the Birth of Jesus is celebrated. The culmination of today’s event forms part of the larger mosaic of giving in this period of Holy Christmas.” She offered special gratitude to the Luncheon General Chairman and Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos President, Maria Skiadas and the Luncheon Co-Chairmen, Stella Fiorentino, Lily Katos and Stella Pantelidis as well as the entire Luncheon Committee from throughout the country. She also thanked the entire Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos for hosting the event. The District distributed 500 new Christmas toys and gifts to children in need throughout the District thanks to the generosity of the guests who brought gifts to ‘honor the children’.
In his closing remarks His Grace Bishop Andonios extended congratulations to Philoptochos on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios for their exemplary philanthropic work in the field of medicine. His Grace thanked all the benefactors, sponsors and Philoptochos Chapters and members nationwide and reemphasized the importance of this unique luncheon and the mission of Philoptochos to support the health and well-being of all children.