More than 350 of the Greek America Foundation’s donors and supporters descended upon New York City on Friday, June 3, for the fifth biannual Gabby Awards, our premier fundraising gala honoring Greek America’s Best and Brightest Stars.
Guests gathered at the historic Grand Ballroom of The Plaza Hotel for an exquisite dinner and special entertainment program to recognize the foundation’s 15 years of impact in philanthropy, culture and service in North America and Greece.
Our “Greek Summer” theme set the tone for the night with stunning decor inspired by the Aegean Islands. The theme also inspired the namesake art piece created exclusively for our event by Cacao Rocks, one of Greece’s leading contemporary artists.
Angelo Tsarouchas, America’s favorite comedian, served as master of ceremonies for the evening.
The Gabby Awards are a celebration of the most successful, philanthropic and innovative leaders in Greek America. Past honorees have included some of North America’s most successful executives, creatives, athletes, artists, scientists and other leaders in their fields.
This year’s honorees included Amed Khan, humanitarian; Niki Leondakis, CEO of CorePower Yoga and John Varvatos, fashion icon and philanthropist. Click here to read more about them.
True to our “Greek Summer” theme, our honorees received handmade ceramic awards created by Alexandra Manousakis, an acclaimed artist based in Hania, Crete.
In addition to highlighting the honorees, our program included various creative and artistic components such as comedic segments and performances of music by great Greek composers Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis and Vangelis.
And of course, we closed the night out with an epic performance by Greece’s queen of pop, Anna Vissi, and renowned drag queen Athena Dion, who performed Vissi’s smash hit “Xana Mana” as hundreds of themed beach balls were tossed throughout the ballroom.
Vissi and her complete orchestra headlined our after party at Melrose Ballroom in Astoria, the Greekest neighborhood in America, taking our guests on a journey into “Athens by night.”
Click here to read the full 2022 Gabby Awards program credits.
Board members, donors, volunteers and longtime supporters of the Greek America Foundation spoke throughout the night, highlighting various foundation initiatives making a tremendous impact on both sides of the Atlantic.
Among our highlighted projects were the Greek America Corps summer volunteer programs in Greece; Olympia Dukakis Prize; Dipla Sou LGBTQ+ Helpline; Project Hope for Greece and Capital Campaign.
We made important announcements, including a major annual gift of $60,000 from Mr. & Mrs. Michael Psaros, which will fund our Chios summer volunteer program, and the launch of our $10 million Capital Campaign with an inaugural gift from Aristotle Loumis.
The family of the late Andreas Koutsoudakis of New York also announced an annual campaign that will fund a new summer volunteer program on the island of Crete in his memory.
Dinner and dessert for our guests at The Plaza Hotel featured exquisite creations by acclaimed New York based chef Mina Stone and Athens-based pastry chef Antonis Selekos. Imported wines from some of the most bespoke producers in Greece starred prominently throughout the night.
Our live and silent auction featured various beautiful items that were generously donated by some of the most renowned brands and talented individuals from North America and Greece. Offerings included luxury Greek travel packages, exquisite artwork, curated experiences and more.
We offer special thanks and gratitude to all of our sponsors without whom the 2022 Gabby Awards would not have been possible. Click here to see our list of sponsors.
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Olympia Dukakis Prize
We want to honor the legacy of one of our founding board members. We will give an annual $5,000 genius prize to a female-led project in film or theater in honor and in memory of Olympia Dukakis. Help us raise the funds we need to endow this prize in perpetuity so we can support future Olympias.
Greek America Corps Volunteer Program
We’re making our summer volunteer program in Greece an important part of what we do. Help us secure the future of this program by making a contribution to our Scholarship Endowment Fund that will allow us to keep sending young adults to serve Greece’s most vulnerable people.
Dipla Sou Greek LGBTQ+ Helpline
More than 1,000 calls per year from young Greeks in crisis call the helpline. We need to ensure that psychologists and trained staff continue to answer the phones. Join our Circle of Support with a recurring monthly donation or one-time donation.
Project Hope for Greece
Our commitment to Greece’s most vulnerable people. To date, we’ve raised almost $1 million and made a huge difference in the lives of thousands of people. Help us surpass the $1 million dollar mark.
Donate to our Capital Campaign today and help sustain the future of the Greek America Foundation’s programs for generations to come. We’re honored that the inaugural gift for this campaign has come from Aristotle Loumis, a longtime supporter of the organization and a member of our Greek America’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2018.