The Kogarah Church Philoptohos Society hosted its inaugural St Elesa Food Initiative Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, July 23 at the Emporium Function Centre in Bankstown.
The event was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, His Grace Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia, His Grace Iakovos of Miletoupolis and other members of the clergy.
Over 300 attendees enjoyed a wonderful family night filled with generosity, food and dancing.
Leo and Andrew Stefadouros of Olympic Marble donated a beautiful hand created mosaic icon of St Elesa to help raise funds via a raffle.
The event was also sponsored by: Acropolis Funeral Services, Auctus Strategy, C&C Chickens, Delphi Bank, Envirosystems Technologies, Euro Funeral Services, Fokas Beyond, John Skufris – Ray White Commercial South Sydney, SOS Physiotherapy, St George Prescription Centre, and Premier Northpak Packaging.
Bishop Christodoulos addressed the audience on the night and provided insights into how the St Elesa Food Initiative came to fruition and has developed over the past two years to support nine crisis shelters and provide meals to rough sleepers across Sydney.
Archbishop Makarios gave a speech as well and congratulated the Initiative on their achievements and thanked all the volunteers involved. He also reminded the attendees of the importance of giving, especially during the current economic conditions, and that a smile can go a long way when wanting to help and support your fellow man.
The audience also heard from Vivian Stavis, Manager of the Lillian Howell Project, who accommodates young women who are experiencing homelessness. Vivian recalled her clients delight at the home cooked meals that arrive each week, especially the rizogalo (rice pudding) and invited the volunteers to come to the shelter and teach the young ladies how to prepare it for themselves.
A wonderful family night was had by all. Children enjoyed the free photobooth and face painting, whilst Tasso from Greek Bouzouki Entertainment Sydney entertained the crowded dance floor.
The Kogarah Church Philoptohos Society raised $55,000 for the St Elesa Food Initiative. These funds will be used to provide meals, clothes and other needed item to those in need across Sydney.
*All photos by Eirini Alligiannis.