Astoria elected officials and community leaders hosted an event on March 14 to commemorate the 193rd anniversary of Greek independence.
“Celebrating Greek Independence allows us to take a moment to reflect upon the noble democratic ideals that bind our two great nations,” Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) said. “New Yorkers of Hellenic descent and especially tonight’s honorees deserve special recognition for their contributions to the educational, social, moral and economic principles that are so deeply ingrained in the fabric of our communities.”
More than 200 community members joined the officials at the Federation of Hellenic Societies’ Stathakion Center in Astoria. The evening featured Greek cuisine and traditional Greek dance performances by the Cretan Association Dance Group.
“There are more than 53,000 Greek Americans living in Queens and they have contributed greatly to the borough’s economic, civic and political and cultural life,” Borough President Melinda Katz, who attended, said. “They are an integral part of our borough’s unique cultural diversity, and an asset that makes Queens a truly special place to live, work and visit.”
The Greek consul general in New York, Georgios Iliopoulos, received recognition for his diplomatic role in promoting the cultural ties between Greece and the United States. Nick Tziazas, president of the Pancyprian Youth Soccer League, and Evie Hantzopoulos, co-president of the PS 85 Parent Associations and executive director of the youth leadership organization Global Kids, were also honored for their contributions to the Greek-American community.
“I am proud to join my colleagues in celebrating Greek Independence Day and honoring individuals who have worked to promote Hellenism throughout the city,” Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) said.