Την προηγούμενη Πέμπτη στο “Palais Royal”, τα μέλη του Hellenic Heritage Foundation, συγκεντρώθηκαν για το καθιερωμένο ετήσιο Χριστουγεννιάτικο δείπνο.
Ο πρόεδρος του HHF , Τόνυ Λουράκης, καλωσόρισε τους προσκεκλημένους και ανακοίνωσε πως το Ίδρυμα Ελληνικής Κληρονομιάς έχει ένα μακρύ κατάλογο δραστηριοτήτων στον τομέα της Δημοτικής εκπαίδευσης καθώς και της Πανεπιστημιακής Παιδείας. Στον τομέα της Δημοτικής εκπαίδευσης επιτυχίες όπως: δωρεές βιβλίων στις ελληνικές κοινότητες, στήριξη μαθημάτων επιμόρφωσης δασκάλων και δημιουργία ηλεκτρονικής πύλης για την Ελληνική γλώσσα και διδασκαλία. Στον τομέα της πανεπιστημιακής παιδείας προσφορά επιταγής $200.000, που είναι τμήμα της συνολικής προσφοράς $1.5 εκατομμυρίου προς το πανεπιστήμιο, συνέχιση της χορήγησης υποτροφιών για τους φοιτητές που αρίστευσαν καθώς και θέσπιση τιμητικής διάκρισης για τον εκλιπόντα πανεπιστημιακό καθηγητή Μιχάλη Βιτόπουλο που απεβίωσε πέρισυ στα 70 του χρόνια. Ακόμη, τιμητική διάκριση επίτιμου μέλους στους, Άγγελο Δημάγκο, Γιάννη Φαναρά, Τομ Καρβάνη, Γιώργο Ράιο, και Γιώργο Σερέτη.
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Tony Lourakis President of the HHF
Speech and Aknowledgements
• Acknowledge special guests:
• Supreme Court Justice and HHF Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient – The Honourable Andromache Karakatsanis
• Consul General of Greece in Toronto – Victor Maligoudis
• Member of Provincial Parliament and Past-President of the HHF – Ms. Effie Triantafilopoulos
• President of the Hellenic Home for the Aged and Past-President of the HHF – Mr. John Fanaras
• Our distinguished partners and faculty from the University of Toronto
• Our distinguished partners and faculty from York University including the Chair of Modern Greek Studies – Professor Sakis Gekas
• Primary Education Initiative Overview/Accomplishments:
• Almost $60,000 in Greek School Textbook grants to the Greek Communities of Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg & Halifax
• Also continue to offer a very successful and very popular Effective Teacher Training Course to Greek school instructors across Canada. This course is available both in class and online so that we could offer it to Greek teachers located outside of Toronto and is completely free to all successful participants.
• The HHF is funding the development of a national Greek-Education online portal in collaboration with the University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, which will provide educational resources and material to anyone wanting to study the Greek language across Canada. Once developed, the portal will be designed to provide current contact and curriculum information for Greek-language programs operating in Canada; listing and categorization of learning materials, lesson plans and assessment tools on various Greek-language and culture units; classification and comments of Greek-language textbooks; links to online resources, publications and curriculum guidelines; and will serve to be an essential tool to Greek-language learners across Canada.
• UofT: Courses continue to perform extremely well and our fundraising efforts this year have done the same as we have been able to make another installment of $200,000 this Fall towards our commitment and pledge to make this program a permanent one making our total contribution to date at $1.5 million. Thank you once again to all the Donors here tonight who were able to make this happen. (Invite Prof Robert Austin, Monica Hahm and Themis Aravossitas to stage for a cheque presentation of $200,000)
• York: Over 20 years ago, the HHF began a similar fundraising effort to establish a Chair of Modern Greek history and Language at York University. As a direct result of that effort, we were fortunate to establish a number of Undergraduate Scholarships and Graduate Fellowships in support of students who excelled in Hellenic Studies. We are fortunate to have a few of those students here with us this evening as well as a few of the Donors who made this possible.
• John Alexopoulos Memorial Scholarship – Maria Karteri
• Olympia and Spyros Thomas Scholarship – Alexia Hantziantoniou
• Chris Tarnaris Memorial Scholarship – Joy Richards
• Dr. Dimitrios Oreopoulos Undergraduate Scholarship in Hellenic Studies – Angelos Stamos
• HHF Graduate Fellowship – PhD Candidate, Spyros Papageorgakis
• HHF Graduate Fellowship – PhD Candidate, Ioanna Bampe
• HHF Graduate Fellowship – MA Candidate, Dimitris Makhlouta
• Our final award was created together with members of the Mirkopoulos Family (who I’d now like to join me on the stage) to honour future graduates within the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. Receiving The HHF Nick Mirkopoulos Memorial Graduate Fellowship at UofT is – Mr. Kevin Zi-Xiao.
• Recognition for long-time York University Professor Mihael (Michael) Vitopoulos who passed away earlier this year at 70. Professor Vitopoulos was a fixture of Toronto’s Greek Community. As an article in the Toronto Star put it: “In his seven decades, Vitopoulos penned works of theatre about the Greek diaspora, performed at the Greek Cultural Centre. He dove into research on the modern Greek language and its writers. He made sure new funds breathed life into York University’s language program, and he acted as a father figure to first-generation Greek-Canadians in his classes.” (Tony to invite Prof. Sakis Gekas to say a few words.) (Tony to invite the late Prof. Vitopoulos’ family – Natasha Baage and his two daughters Nina and Andrea Vitopoulos – to the stage to accept a small token of our affection and recognition)
• Honourary Life Members: We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize a few other embers for the extraordinary contributions both to our Foundation and our community. The HHF Board recently nominated 5 individuals to join a prestigious new group we call HHF Honourary Life Members and we are honoured to have almost all here with us this evening and I’d like to invite them to the front of the stage for a photo and to accept a token of recognition for their exemplary service and support of our goals to preserve and promote Hellenism in Canada. Please join me in congratulating Angelo Demangos, John Fanaras, Tom Karvanis, George Raios and George Seretis as the HHF’s newest Honourary Life Members.