Telemarathon 2020 Gala is a Huge Success

The fourth edition of the Telemarathon, organized by the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal (HCGM) Fundraising Committee (FRC), completed its first full day of recording on Saturday, January 25, with an unprecedented Fundraising Gala in the evening, spearheaded by Fundraising Committee Honorary President, Dr. George Tsoukas.

The Gala is the new, fourth pillar of the Telemarathon; the other three being sponsorships, donations by direct mail and donations called in during the broadcast.  Including the Gala in the Telemarathon was an initiative by Dr. Tsoukas who is now the new Vice Chairman of the FRC. The committee is thrilled to have him aboard; this well-respected dynamic McGill professor’s dedication to the cause will bring the FRC’s fundraising endeavours to a higher level.

During his keynote address, Dr. Tsoukas announced to the 130 guests in attendance at the Gala, which was developed as a kickoff event to the Telemarathon, that approximately $330,000 in pledges have been collected thus far. Some of the major donors to the Telemarathon include Nick Tsatas, the Tsoukas Family, George Tsitouras, Basile Angelopoulos, Andrew Vassilakos, Andrew Christopoulos and John Moukas.  Dr. Tsoukas also spoke with great pride about the exceptional education provided by École Socrates-Démosthène and our Supplementary Education schools.  

An accomplished artist, Dr. Tsoukas announced that the next fundraising event to be organized by the FRC will be a Vernissage event featuring his paintings.  At the Gala, Dr. Tsoukas personally auctioned off one of his paintings, which was sold to Nick Tsatas for $5,500, who then donated the money and auctioned the painting again, this time to be won by HCGM Board Member, Peter Tsokanos for $4,500.

Amongst the distinguished guests were Very reverend Father Demetrios Antonopoulos, Consul General of Greece in Montreal Michalis Gavriilidis, Annie Koutrakis, Member of Parliament for Vimy, Dennis Marinos, President of the Hellenic Quebec Congress, Andreas Crilis, HCGM President, Michael Paidoussis, former Honorary Consulate of Cyprus, Demetrios Manolakos, Honorary President of the HCGM, John Theodosopoulos, President of the Hellenic Board of Trade, Peter Pamel, Judge of the Federal Court and Judge ex officio of the Federal Court of Appeal, Chris Adamopoulos, General Director of Ecole Socrate Demosthene, Kaiti Kyriakidou, General Director of Supplementary Education, Dr. Jacques Bouchard, Chair, Interuniversity Center for Neohellenic Studies of Montreal at Université de Montréal and Stavros Tsinalis, Chairman of the HCGM Fundraising Committee.

Our private chef for this special evening was Niko Karagiannakis, executive chef for BMO, who has cooked for some of the biggest names in Hollywood, like Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and Hugh Jackman, as well as prominent local families like Herbie Black, Randy Stroll, Hugette Bombardier and Marcel Dutil. Last year he had the opportunity to cook for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Queen of Belgium. 

The elaborate 4-course meal of his creation was paired with wines from different areas of Greece: namely Corinth, Kefalonia and Drama.

At the end of the evening, President Crilis thanked everyone for their presence at this historic event and for their important contributions to our schools.  He also expressed gratitude for the collective effort that produced these great results.

Recording for the Telemarathon resumes on Sunday, February 9th, at the Hellenic Community Center. The community at large is invited to drop by with their donations from 12 pm to 8 pm. The final episodes will air on Odyssey TV on February 9 and 16.

Photos from the event can be found on the HCGM Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheHCGM/photos/?tab=album&album_id=4181194665239920