World renown philanthropist Marianna Vardinoyannis, founder and President o ELLPIDA, will be honored at the 5th Annual Gala of the Hellenic Initiative (THI), an organization which leads the Greek Diaspora community internationally in raising awareness and capital for Greece. The gala will take place at New York Hilton Hotel, on Friday, September 29. ( 6 PM cocktails and silent auction; 7:30 PM dinner and awards). The proceeds of the event will be invested in entrepreneurial programs in Greece. The gala also will support Greek NGOs that foster economic development opportunities and provide crisis relief for underserved communities in Greece, particularly children.
Greek singer Sakis Rouvas, distinguished for his charity work and social responsibility, and the messenger of ELPIDA’s Association of Friends of Children With Cancer, will be the Master of Ceremonies. The attendees include Greek American actress Nia Vardalos, entrepreneurial legend John Pappajohn, THI Chairman Andrew N. Liveris, chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company and the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award winner Evangelos Pappas, Founder, RT Safe.
Founded in 2012, THI is a global, nonprofit, secular institution mobilizing the Greek Diaspora and Philhellene community to support sustainable economic recovery and renewal for the Greek people. THI’s programs address crisis relief through strong nonprofit organizations. THI also builds entrepreneurial skills in a new generation of business leaders.
Marianna V. Vardinoyannis is a visionary who, for the past three decades, has devoted her life to charity and social solidarity, also has been helping to fight childhood cancer and support human rights. She is founder and president of the Marianna Vardinoyannis Foundation, of ELPIDA’s Association of Friends of Children With Cancer, and of the ORAMA ELPIDAS Volunteer Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Since 1999 she has been Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO promoting the protection of children and has earned awards and international recognition for her extensive humanitarian work.
The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award, funded and administered by THE LIBRA GROUP on behalf of THI, supports Greek startup companies.
The Libra Group has committed more than €10 million to the award. Other supporters include the Australia-based property investment and development company, Jalouise Pty Ltd, which has contributed US $500,000 to the program and Piraeus Bank offering its valuable support to the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award participants through its subsidiary, the Excelixi Centre of Sustainable Entrepreneurship, since 2013. Support and mentoring for winners is provided by the Libra Group and other supporters of the program.
The award has granted more than $5.6 million to 19 promising Greek startups over the past four years. The 2017 winners will have the opportunity to share $1.49 million, along with mentoring and business support.