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Children of St. Basil Academy perform their Christmas program.

GARRISON, N.Y. – The first major snowstorm of the winter which dumped more than six inches at Saint Basil Academy and the surrounding area on Dec. 17, didn’t dissuade about 150 people from attending the annual Christmas program there. According to board of trustees member Dr. Steven Gounardes, though some dignitaries had cancelled their plans to come, he was “very humbled to see the Archbishop not only attend but arrived exactly at 11 am as scheduled even with the inclement weather.”

Also attending was the Supreme President, executive director and treasurer of AHEPA, along with other Ahepans and Daughters of Penelope members, and the National Philoptochos.

The highlight of the event was two check presentation; one from students at John Caroll High School in Maryland who, as part of their senior project raised funds for SBA. They presented His Eminence with a check for $5,015.40. The other check was for $10,000 from Andrew Gounardes, who ran the NYC Marathon as a fundraiser for SBA.

Board member Spiro Mitsis, also an academy alumnus, had some very unique and special gifts for every child through a fundraising project he undertook.

After the gift distribution at the Main, many other donations were made. His Eminence stayed at SBA and watched the children open their gifts and then joined in singing Christmas Carols with everyone.

Earlier the children put on a special Christmas program. The night before Vespers service was held, and a morning Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the Very Rev. Dean Moralis, a board member and dean of Annunciation Cathedral in Baltimore.

Generous donations for the Academy presented to Archbishop Demetrios, Fr. Constantine Sitaras, director; and Evellyn Tsiadis, board president.


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