The recipient of the 37th Homeric Award of the Chian Federation made a matching offer for up to $100,000 for assistance to the Island of Chios
New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
The long list of the Homeric Award honorees, of the Chian Federation includes “giants” such as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Senator (now Vice President) John Biden, late Archbishop Iakovos, former Senator Paul Sarbanes and Congressman John Brademas. The recipient of the 37th Homeric Award, Greek-American businessman of Chian heritage, philanthropist and a major supporter of US/Hellenic and Orthodox causes, Michael Psaros has proven to be one of the worthiest and a man who matches his words with deeds.
On Friday, December 2, in front of 300 participants at the Annual Homeric Award Gala, Michael Psaros made one of the most impressive speeches, touching upon the threats against Greece and the role Greek American Community should play in order to be effective in helping the motherland. At the same time he announced that along with his wife Robin, they will match any funds raised by the Chian Federation in the U.S. and Canada, up to 100,000 dollars, specifically for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, to cover needs of the people o Chios.
Chian Federation through the HelpChios Fund has donated over 180,000 dollars over the past four years, to substitute the daily costs of the soup lines organized by the Metropolis of Chios.
Michael Psaros is a Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner of KPS Capital Partners, LP, and a member of its Investment Committee. KPS Capital Partners, LP is the manager of KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of private equity funds with approximately $5.6 billion of assets under management focused on making controlling equity investments in companies across a diverse range of manufacturing industries.
As it was pointed out, by Nicholas Poulis, member of the organizing committee of the event and of the HelpChios Fund, as a result of its investments, KPS has saved tens of thousands of premium U.S. industrial and manufacturing jobs.
Mr. Psaros is the Treasurer of the Holy Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America and serves on the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Board. He is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarch, where he serves on the National Council. He is also a founding member of FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism; and serves on the Board of Trustees of The Leadership 100 – Advancing Hellenism and Orthodoxy in America and the board of The Hellenic Initiative.
Dr Peter Michalos, a professor of Medicine at Columbia University, presented Michael Psaros, who received the prestigious award from the President of the Chian Federation Ioannis Kontolios.
In his address, the honoree spoke with pride about his Greek roots, coming from the island of Chios. He has also sent a power message of unity for or Greek American organizations.
“Washington may be the only leverage we have to check the forces confronting Greece today. I am exhorting our entire Diaspora, our Hellenic American Community and each of our respective Hellenic and Orthodox organization, to finally coordinate our respective political and lobbying activities in Washington. To speak with one voice,..”.
Psaros stressed the need to unite “to coordinate our efforts to ensure the new administration protects the territorial and national integrity of Greece and Cyprus” and expressed confidence in the ability of Andy and Mike Manatos, calling for “merging all of various efforts behind their leadership.”
Addressing the critical situation in Greece, he said the country has experienced “an unprecedented financial catastrophe and its people has suffered under an inhuman, irrational and dogmatic Troika-imposed austerity regime, that has destroyed a country and communities and caused great injury to families”.
He praised the people for maintaining the hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow.
“No amount of austerity will ever crush the Greek spirit, sense of destiny and will to overcome”, he said.
He blamed the failed Obama administration policies in Syria for the refugee crisis that hearts Greece and the island of Chios and blame EU for doing nothing.
“How could the U.S., the EU and NATO have not demanded the Turks to seal their boarder five years ago?”, he asked.
Psaros was very critical of Erdogan’s threats against the territorial integrity of Greece and his questioning of the Lausanne Treaty.
“Greece and Chios are confronted by a new Sultan in Constantinople. This absolute dictator has released real criminals from his prisons, in order to make room for over 50,000 journalists, political opponents, judges, teachers, clerics, military personnel and civil servants. This Sultan has suspended all freedoms. This Sultan has absolute control over the second largest military inside NATO. He is doing everyting he can to turn Agia Sophia into a mosque…”.
He called “terrifying” the questioning of Greece’s sovereignty of Chios, Lesvos, Lemnos, Samos and Icaria be Tayyip Erdogan and said:
To this Sultan we say OXI.”
In concluding, he called on all Chians to embrace or Church and our Archdiocese and pray for the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “who is now under siege from many forces”. He has also asked the community to help financially the effort to rebuilt St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in Ground Zero.
The president of the Federation Ioannis Kontolios spoke about the 42 year old history of the organization, founded the year of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus, its many accomplishments for the Chians in America and the assistance it offered to many foundations in the island.
The Chairman of the Homeric Award Committee, Markos Marinakis, recalled that he was the chairman of the 1st Homeric Award and he praised Michael Psaros long list of accomplishments for the Greek Orthodox Church and the community in general.
Philip Christopher, President of the International Coordinating Committee “Justice of Cyprus” and past recipient of the Homeric Award, paid tribute to Chian Federations first president, the late George Livanos, for his struggles for Cyprus an Hellenic causes.
Greetings were also offered by the Consul Generals of Greece and Cyprus Constantinos Koutras and Vassilios Philippou.
State Senator Tony Avella presented Mr Psaros with a proclamation.