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National Hellenic Museum Holds Stellar Annual Gala!

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Chicago's National Hellenic Museum issued the following press release yesterday, regarding this year's stellar Annual Gala 2014.

The Museum is America's sole national institution dedicated to preserving the Greek-American legacy, and honoring Greek culture, heritage and history.

The National Hellenic Museum's Annual Gala 2014 - Great Success!
Partnership with The Field Museum announced by
John P. Calamos, Sr., Chairman of the National Hellenic Museum and
Richard Lariviere, President of The Field Museum

Chicago, IL, June 4, 2014 - More than 500 hundred friends and supporters of the National Hellenic Museum (NHM) from around the country gathered at Chicago's Radisson Blu Aqua hotel, on Saturday, May 31st, for the Museum's annual gala and celebrated Greek Island style.

Guests were welcomed in the spirit of Santorini, as the Radisson's entrance was overtaken by traditionally bedecked donkeys along with young people dressed in Greek Island costumes. Before dinner, guests mingled in a cocktail reception with Greek-inspired appetizers, traditional music and dancers. Fuchsia orchids transformed the hotel's ballroom, emanating the feel of bougainvillea in the Aegean, and creating a gorgeous room where guests dined and danced the night away.

The Museum was thrilled to have Anna Davlantes, Emmy Award-winning television anchor, as the evening's Mistress of Ceremonies, while Greek Soprano Anastasia Zannis performed several songs from the islands, including "Boy on a Dolphin" made famous by Sophia Loren.

Two historic Greek American organizations, The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) and the Greek American Restaurant Association (GARA), were honored during the evening for their philanthropic work both in the U.S. and in Greece. AHEPA was founded in early 20th century to fight bigotry and help Greek immigrants adjust in their new home, while GARA has united the Greek restaurant community in order to support institutions that promote Greek heritage and help people in need.

The evening's highlight was the joint announcement by NHM Chairman, John P. Calamos, Sr., and The Field Museum President, Richard Lariviere, detailing the partnership between the two museums to co-present the United States exhibition of the largest Greek antiquities collection in more than a generation. "The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great" will feature more than 500 pieces and artifacts from 22 Greek museums beginning in November 2015.

Co-chaired by Peter Parthenis, Sr. & William G. Conopeotis, the gala featured an exciting silent auction filled with luxury products by designers of Greek heritage including Bulgari, Lalaounis & Konstantino, destination prizes including stays at luxury hotels in Mykonos, Santorini, and the Peloponnese, as well as a variety of items from outstanding Chicago restaurants, spas, fashion boutiques and many others.

The NHM's largest annual fundraiser, the gala generated contributions that will support the Museum's programs and exhibitions as it carries out its mission as the only national institution dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Greek American story and the Greek heritage and culture.

In attendance were: John Calamos Sr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees and CEO of Calamos Investments; Peter Parthenis and William Conopeotis, Co-Chairmen of the event; Father Sotiris Malamis; Ioanna Efthymiadou, Consul General of Greece; Anthony Kouzounis, AHEPA Supreme President; Stan Greanias, GARA CEO; Connie Mourtoupalas, President of the National Hellenic Museum; Petros Saganas, Financial Manager of the Greek National Tourism Organization; Bill Parkinson, Curator for Eurasian Anthropology at the Field Museum; Chris Tomaras, Chairman of the Pan-Hellenic Scholarship Foundation; Demetrios Logothetis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hellenic Academy; and members of the Board of Trustees of the National Hellenic Museum.

For more information, visit http://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org or call 312-655-1234.