This past year has been a very special one for the non-profit organization originally founded in 1998 as the Panmessinian Scholarship Foundation. Following a successful year-long fundraising program designed to complement the generosity of its founder and principal benefactors, the Foundation was able to more than double the number of grant recipients, from two last year, to five this year. Moreover, each of this year’s five Grant Awards has been increased to $5,000, for a total of $25,000.
The Foundation’s Board of Directors will present this year’s five Grant winners at its Annual Awards Banquet to be held at the Rosewood Restaurant and Banquets near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Tuesday, November 25, immediately following a 6:30 p.m. reception and dinner. The event is open to the public, and the Foundation requests a donation of $50 per person to help defray the evening’s expenses. Each of the recipients will receive their Grant Award, a Certificate and address the guests. The Foundation’s benefactors will also be publicly recognized at the event.
Chris P. Tomaras, the Foundation’s founder and Chairman of its Board of Directors, reflected on the milestone saying, “Everyone connected with our Scholarship Foundation is gratified to know that this year even more of our deserving high school graduates of Hellenic descent will be able to continue their higher educations thanks, in varying degrees, to these grants. The number of applicants this year increased substantially, in part as a result of our program being accepted on the internet’s premier student aid web site, www.scholarships.com. Our independent Academic Committee, which is responsible for evaluating the applicants and selecting the recipients, really had its hands full!” Mr. Tomaras also serves as Vice President and Regional Coordinator for N. & S. America on the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, or ΣAE.
He hinted that the momentum achieved by the Foundation could allow for an exciting announcement at this year’s event. “We are considering expanding the scope of the Foundation to include all students of Hellenic descent rather than those of Messenian origin only. This would result in the change of the institution’s title to PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation,” he continued. “To achieve this, I encourage our community to support our effort through bequests, donations and events such as this so that we can help more Greek American students excel and distinguish themselves in America’s college campuses,” he added.
Additional information and reservations for the Awards Banquet, and the Foundation’s Grant Program, is available at (312) 357-6432.