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Olympia Dukakis Memorial Prize

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Why this prize?

From Gregory C. Pappas, President & Founder

Olympia Dukakis was a founding board member of the Greek America Foundation and one of our most active supporters over the years. This endowment isn’t only to reflect and honor her commitment to this organization, but to celebrate her dedication to her community and heritage, as well as the causes she fervently believed in the most. By launching this endowed prize that will benefit a female-led initiative in film or theater, we believe we are not only honoring Olympia’s tremendous legacy, but also supporting potential future Olympias. This fund, and ultimately this prize, will be an investment in our community’s future as we will seek to honor other female geniuses, like our dear Olympia.

About the Olympia Dukakis Prize

The Greek America Foundation is proud to launch an annual prize, championing the spirit and preserving the legacy of the late Olympia Dukakis, who was a founding board member and supporter of our organization throughout its entire existence.

After a long life and illustrious career on stage and screen, Olympia Dukakis passed away on May 1, 2021. 

Called a “force of nature” and a “national treasure,” Olympia cared deeply about our work, particularly our support of young people and our creative approach to sharing our heritage with the world.

In 2013, as a humble expression of our appreciation for all that she had given the organization and the world, we sponsored her nomination and the cost for her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The unveiling of her Star took place during our Gabby Awards weekend in Los Angeles in June 2013.

As a true embodiment of her spirit, we will inaugurate an annual genius grant that will be awarded to a female-led project in the creative arts— particularly in theater or film. The prize will be awarded annually on June 20, the anniversary of Olympia’s birth. Details of the competition will be forthcoming on our website.

After fundraising is complete, we anticipate the first prize to be awarded in 2022.

Our goal is to endow $125,000 to fund the Olympia Dukakis Prize to be awarded annually and in perpetuity in the amount of $5,000.

Upon completion of fundraising, a jury will be selected by the Greek America Foundation’s board of directors who will oversee the competition. This jury will rotate every three years.

Thanks to these generous donors we've raised $11,000 of our $125,000 goal

Gregory Pappas & Agamemnon Polyzois • Darden Livesay • Stephen-Kleon Skourtis • Joanna Tsanis • Antholis Family Charitable Fund • Michael Conway • Peter Photiou • Barbara Tsairis  Elena Saviolakis  Andrea Holland  Pamela Spyrs • Anthoula Katsimatides  Anthony Adelianakis  Amed Khan  Zoi Maroudas • Lia Bozonelis • Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos • Peter Kalis • Lazarus Goanos • Tina Andreadis • Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks • Mark & Louise Gatanas • Frances Mitchell • Michael Avgoustidis

Add your name to our list by making a donation today.

Olympia and the Greek America Foundation

See below a collection of our favorite moments from Olympia’s many years of supporting our organization at our events throughout North America.

Remembering Olympia

Winning the Academy Award for "Moonstruck"

Speaking About Growing Up Poor