New York.- Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. honored five New Yorkers at his annual Greek Heritage and Culture Celebration on Thursday, March 22, 2007. The event was co-sponsored with the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee (HANAC).
Addressing several hundred people at City Hall, Thompson said: “Today, New York City is home to the largest Greek population anywhere outside of Greece. And every year, Greek Americans play increasingly prominent roles in the life of our city.”
“In business, growing numbers of Greek Americans serve as leaders, playing key roles in New Yorkʼs economic life. Teachers, entrepreneurs, artists, doctors – Greek Americans are leaders in a wide range of professions. And from Astoria to smaller Greek American communities elsewhere in the five boroughs, Greek Americans are keeping cultural traditions alive, teaching children about the history, language, and customs of Greece.”
Thompson continued: “Tonight, we are paying tribute to this rich heritage and we are honoring a distinguished group of Greek Americans who are all achievers in their fields. They have provided outstanding leadership in the past and the present, and they are all an important part of our future.”
The first award went to Constantine Maroulis, a former finalist on “American Idol.” Maroulis additionally has appeared on Law & Order: SVU and was a part of the cast of the Broadway musical “The Wedding Singer” and the off-Broadway production of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Living in Paris.” He lends his support to a number of local and national charitable projects that support the Broadway community and a variety of other organizations.
Journalist and award-winning author Nicholas Gage was the second honoree. Gage was an investigative reporter and foreign correspondent for 10 years with the Associated Press, the Boston Herald Traveler, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He is the author of the award-winning novel, Eleni, which is about his plight growing up in Greece, and the life and death of his mother, who was killed in the Greek civil war. Gage served as co-producer of the movie version of his novel and as Executive Producer of The Godfather, Part III. He has held the post of President of the Paneopirotic Federation, and was an active member of the Order of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association.
The next award went to medical and community leader Eva Kosta. Dr. Kosta is a Manhattan-based cardiologist in private practice, as well as a clinical instructor at New York University Medical School, where she teaches second-year students. She is a member of the American Heart Association and the Hellenic Medical Association and is involved in many community activities.
Peter Pappas, a business leader and community leader, received the next award. Pappas currently served as President and CEO of P.J. Mechanical Corporation, and owner of Delta Sheet Metal and Expert Installation. He also is an accomplished real estate developer in New York, South Florida and Sacramento, California. Pappas is active in the Greek-American community, and serves as a member of the Archons of St. Andrews, Archdiocesan National Council, Leadership 100, and National Chairman of the Cyprus Childrenʼs Fund. He also is a board member of the Crohnʼs and Colitis Foundation, as well as the Michael Wolk Heart Foundation.
The final honoree was spiritual leader The Very Reverend Eugene N. Pappas, a revered theologian, ecumenist, social activist and media commentator. He presides over the Three Hierarchs Church in Brooklyn and serves as the President of the New York Archdiocesan District Presbytersʼ Syndesmos. Rev. Pappas is the former National President of the Archdiocesan Presbytersʼ Council and a former member of the General Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ. A noted lecturer and public speaker, he is producer and host of WNYE Radioʼs program, “Matters of Conscience,” a chaplain of the State of New York Fraternal Order of Police, and an Orthodox Theology Instructor at the Xaverian Catholic Diocesan High School in Brooklyn.
Students from Three Hierarchs Parochial School in Brooklyn sang at the event.