TAMPA, FL — The Florida community is helping Greek actors with a telethon scheduled to take place in early November to raise money in support of the Actors’ Home and the Greek Actors’ Union.
This fundraiser, which aims to take on wider dimensions via the Internet wherever there are Greeks, is being prepared under the auspices of the Prometheas Panhellenic Cultural Center based in Tarpon Springs, at the initiative of its President, Effie Vassiliou.
Vassiliou, who is currently in Greece, met and discussed the matter with the President of the Actors’ Home, the well-known and popular actress of Greek theater and cinema Anna Fonsou, the President of the Greek Actors’ Union, Spyros Bibilas, and the General Secretary of the Mutual Relief Fund the same organization, presenter, actor and singer, Kostas Venetsanos.
“There are actors and other artists that we have loved all our lives because in their own way they have helped us to make life better for all of us,” Vassiliou told The National Herald. “Some of them are going through difficult times today for various reasons and need help. We will do our duty.”
For her part, Anna Fonsou stated that she had known TNH for a long time and shared her best wishes that the newspaper may contribute to Hellenism for many more years to come.
She also referred to the current economic hardship that several Greek actors and other artists are going through. “We ask the community to support the project and our efforts to help those in need,” she said.
She also explained that the aims of the Actors’ Home are to present various programs related to theater and culture in general.
Venetsanos, one of the first hosts of music programs on Greek television, also spoke about the work of this institution, as well as the initiative of the Panhellenic Cultural Center of Florida. “Anna Fonsou is a pioneer and a fighter,” he said among other things, pointing out that the Actors’ Home is a model of its kind. “I believe that the Greek community embraces us all Greek artists and sympathizes with our problems,” he said, also citing the efforts of the Mutual Aid Fund and the Greek Actors’ Union. He also praised Vassiliou’s initiative.
The Actors’ Home was founded in 1997 in the form of a union on the initiative of Anna Fonsou. In 2002 it received the legal form of a non-profit institution under public law under the sponsorship of the Ministries of Culture, Finance, Education and Health. Its main purpose is to accommodate actors with financial problems in its facilities.
The costs of setting up the institution were borne by Fonsou from the start, who also granted a plot of land.
The Actors’ Home provides rooms for actors with financial difficulties, while at the same time assisting people in the arts who do not live there in a variety of ways when needed.
The foundation is also active in the cultural field with exhibitions, book presentations, plays and other events.
Prometheas President Vassiliou is interested in organizing events of a cultural nature, if possible with the participation of artists from Greece, during the new business period of the organisation. Theatrical performances are planned for the near future.
As part of its interest in Greek education, each year Prometheas offers honors and cash prizes to students for their achievements in Greek.
During this year’s event, the keynote speaker was educator Georgia Mitsis, former Principal of Holy Trinity Greek Afternoon School in Clearwater, who spoke on the three hierarchs and the Greek letters.
Mitsis noted that the three hierarchs viewed Greek education as the forerunner of Christianity. Thus they united the beauty of the Greek language with the truth of the Christian faith, Hellenized Christianity and Christianized Hellenism to such an extent that Christianity and Hellenism have since become one and are known as Hellenic Christian culture.
Mitsis stressed that Greek is the oldest language in Europe and has a long and proven history. It is the language that has enriched international scientific discourse to this day, it is the language that has developed, shaped and recorded the beginnings of most scientific theories, philosophical reflections, but also important theological and Christian texts and, over the course of many centuries, into one has become such of the longest living languages in the world.
“As Greeks abroad and as native Greek speakers, we have a sacred duty to keep our language alive and to pass it on to our children,” Mitsis said. “By supporting the presence of the Greek language and Greek letters, we are expanding the influence of Greek thought and strengthening our homeland itself. We are all invited to contribute in our own way to support efforts to strengthen the Greek language, the Greek to keep the language alive and to contribute to its widest dissemination.”