Astoria, NY.- Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall co-hosted their Annual Greek Independence Day Celebration on Thursday, March 26th at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria. The annual celebration honors the achievements of Queensʼ Greek-American community, which is the largest in the world outside of Greece. The event featured traditional Greek folk dancing, singing, and foods.
“Ancient Greeks invented democracy and provided the western world with a foundation for its governments, languages, science and art,” said Assemblyman Gianaris. “Modern-day Greeks are able to carry on these traditions because of the sacrifices and contributions their ancestors made to win their freedom. Our four honorees this year contribute to the community in a variety of ways, including aiding in the fight for justice, providing vital government services, performing community outreach, and boosting our economy through successful businesses.”
The highlight of the celebration was the honor bestowed upon outstanding members of Queens’ Greek-American community. This yearʼs four honorees were singled out for their hard work and commitment to the community. The honorees were:
Michael Hartofilis: Lawyer, Member of Hellenic Lawyers Association Board of Directors
George Paralemos: Queens County Regional Representative and Greek Liaison for State Comptroller DiNapoli, Pan-Icarian Brotherhood of America District Governor
Stamatiki Valiotis: Alma Bank Director of Community Relations, Malba Association Treasurer, Vryseon Anavrytis Society Secretary
Mary Zias: TD Bank in Astoriaʼs Senior Store Manager, President of the Astypalean Association
Assemblyman Gianaris, whose parents were both born in Greece, is the first Greek-American elected to office from New York City and is a lifelong resident of Astoria.