The 12th Hellenic Charity Ball Returns to San Francisco
By Giuliana Harris
Elegant, beautiful, philanthropic, and festive, The Hellenic Charity Ball, presented by The Elios Charitable Foundation (ECF) returns for its 12th year on November 16, 2019 at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, CA. Held biennially, this evening always promises to be a night of celebrating its Honorees who hail from the Arts and Entertainment industries; all while supporting the Hellene and Philhellene beneficiaries of the ECF.
The 2019 Honorees include Dennis Boutsikaris, George Pelecanos, Constance Stamatiou, and Aliki Theofilopoulos. Boutsikaris’ career is full holding Hollywood and Broadway roles; Pelecanos is an award-winning author with major credits with HBO; Stamatiou is known for her work with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre; Theofilopoulos has had a successful and extensive career in television and film animation.
The hosts of the evening include Greek-American celebrities Marilu Henner and Constantine Maroulis, both of whom were previous Hellenic Charity Ball Honorees, in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Henner has hosted the Hellenic Charity Ball (HCB) in the past, while Maroulis joins her for the first time as co-host. In hosting previous HCBs, Henner brings charm, enthusiasm, and total delight with both her love for her culture and the arts. Throughout the years, Maroulis has attended HCBs and enthralled the guests with his vocal performances.
The night will begin with a fantastic cocktail hour where a luxurious silent auction featuring special experiences will be held. Following, the evening will commence its three-course dinner with the much-anticipated awards show to highlight the 2019 Honorees. It is always an inspiring evening to watch the introductory videos for each honoree, where guests can hear the personal stories of the Honorees’ backgrounds and career evolutions. Most inspiring though, is their acceptance speeches as they reflect on the impact of their Greek Heritage and share special stories from their career journeys.
After the Awards Show, the Greek kefi kicks in with the dancing and live music. Mediterranean Soul, featuring Christos Sarantakis on bouzouki, Venetia Phillips on trumpet, and Evgenia as a guest vocalist,will play for the Greek Dancing, and Cloud 9 will take the stage for the Top 40 music.
The Elios Charitable Foundation held its first Hellenic Charity Ball in 1997. Per their official website: “…the Foundation strives to position Elios as a leader in the community and to make a positive impact in the lives of Greek Americans and Philhellenes.” Furthermore, their website details, “Through the Hellenic Charity Ball and other events, the Foundation celebrates and recognizes the accomplishments of those individuals who best exemplify our Hellenic spirit and values, and who have advanced Hellenic causes.”
In a press release distributed by the Elios Charitable Foundation, their President and Chair John Gumas stated: “I’m proud we can celebrate our distinguished honorees and at the same time, raise financial support and awareness for our Hellenic beneficiaries. It is the support of these programs that truly informs our path forward as proud Greek Americans and Philhellenes.”
Each Hellenic Charity Ball exudes a spectacular and unique “joie de vivre,” where new memories are created and touches of magic are everywhere.
For more information on the 2019 Hellenic Charity Ball, visit elios.org
Elios Charitable Foundation’s 2019 Hellenic Charity Ball
Honoree/Host Biographies & Photos Courtesy of The Elios Charitable Foundation
Elios Charitable Foundation’s 2019 Hellenic Charity Ball
ABOUT THE 2019 HONOREES
Dennis Boutsikaris has received the prestigious Obie Award twice for his theatrical work. He was the first American to play Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Broadway in Amadeus. His Broadway credits include Filuemna (directed by Sir Laurence Olivier), Bent and the 2009 revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs. His many films include The Bourne Legacy, Money Monster, Oliver Stone’s W, Dream Teamand Crocodile Dundee 2. On television, he can currently be seen as Richard Schweikert in Better Call Saul, as President Roarke in Quantico and many appearances on Law and Order. He has earned numerous awards for his work on over 140 audiobooks.
George Pelecanos is a novelist, screenwriter, film and television producer, and the recipient of numerous international writing awards. He is the author of 21 novels set in and around Washington, D.C., and was a producer and writer on the HBO series The Wire, Treme, The Pacific, and The Deuce.
Constance Stamatiou is a dancer with the world acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a company she first joined in 2007. She has performed at the White House Dance Series and has been a guest performer on So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, TED Talk, Logo’s Trailblazer Honors, and The Today Show. On film, she danced in Shake, Rattle & Roll and in Dan Pritzker’s Bolden. She is a certified Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis instructor.
Aliki Theofilopoulos, a native of Southern California, launched her career animating on iconic Disney films including Hercules and Tarzan before moving into the world of television as a story artist, writer, director and executive producer. Theofilopoulos co-directed, wrote and storyboarded the first Minnie Mouse driven short on Disney’s Disney Mickey Mouse and received an Annie nomination for the episode. Recently, she worked at DreamWorks as the co-executive producer on the upcoming “Unannounced” series as well as serving as the supervising producer on the Harvey Girls Forever. For Walt Disney Animation, she served as the storyboard artist, writer and Emmy-nominated lyricist for the acclaimed and long-running cartoon, Phineas and Ferb, helping to give shape to the characters, their stories and overall tone of the show. Her many credits include work with Nickelodeon Animation, Warner Brothers Television Animation, Hanna-Barbera Productions and others.
ABOUT THE 2019 HOSTS/MCs
With the energy of a teenager, the wisdom of a sage, and the memory of a super hero, Marilu Henner proudly owns her Greek heritage! Along with starring in over fifty films, seven Broadway shows (including Chicago and last year’s Gettin’ the Band Back Together!), two National Tours (Annie Get Your Gun and Grease), and two hit classic sitcoms, (Taxi and Evening Shade), this five-time Golden Globe nominee is also a New York Times Best Selling author of ten books on health, parenting, memory, and lifestyle improvement (including Total Health Makeover, Total Memory Makeover, Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer!). Henner has hosted and executive produced her own nationally syndicated talk shows (Marilu and Shape Up Your Life) and her own radio show, The Marilu Henner Show. As a two-time competitor on Celebrity Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars, Marilu made it to the Final Five and played for The Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and the Alzheimer’s Association. She also competed on the 23rd season of Dancing with the Stars on ABC reaching the quarterfinals. Henner currently co-stars with Candace Cameron Bure in the ongoing Hallmark Murders and Mysteries series, Aurora Teagarden, written by Charlaine Harris. Also, in 2020, while she works on her eleventh book and workshops her next New York play, Henner can also be seen across the country in her one-woman show, A Memorable Evening with Marilu Henner!Marilu Henner is one of 12 individuals in the world diagnosed with “hyperthymesia,” a highly superior autobiographical memory that allows her to recall every minute aspect of her life from the past to present, an ability that has been the subject of many national and international press interviews including “60 Minutes.” Henner was a past Hellenic Charity Ball honoree in 2009.
Constantine Maroulis is an accomplished actor, producer, singer and songwriter best known for his Tony-nominated performance on Broadway in Rock of Ages, and his epic run as a finalist during the heyday of American Idol. His new original album, “Until I’m Wanted,” is expected to be released later this year. Additional television credits include, Amazon’s Golden Globe Winner, Mozart in the Jungle,Madame Secretary, Law & Order SVU, The Tonight Show, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Got Talent, The Today Show, and returning to American Idol as a mentor in Season 15. Upcoming, Maroulis will be starring in the feature film Either Side of Midnight, directed by Roger Spottiswoode. Maroulis was a past Hellenic Charity Ball honoree in 2011.
SPONSORSHIP AND PAST BENEFICIARIES
The 2019 Hellenic Charity Ball is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship and support of: George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation, Bank of the West, Gerry & Jeannie Ranglas, Angelo & Sofia Tsakopoulos, Vrionis & Son, LLC, AT&T, Anthony & Betty Saris, Byron & Stephanie Scordelis, Dean & Marianne Metropoulos, First Republic Bank, and Union Bank.
At the heart of the not-for-profit Elios Charitable Foundation, the group’s mission is to preserve and foster the values of Hellenic culture. Through its grants and sponsored projects and programs, the Foundation strives to position Elios as a leader in the community and to make a positive impact in the lives of Greek Americans and Philhellenes.
Past and current Elios Charitable Foundation beneficiaries and partnerships include: the Center for Modern Greek Studies at San Francisco State University; the Center for Tebtunis Papyri (CTB) at the University of California, Berkeley; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Ancient Art Council and Get Smart with Art program; the Hellenic Heritage Institute; The Hellenic Journal; Hellenic ResearchFellow ship Program at California State University, Sacramento; partnership with The Heritage Greece/National Hellenic Society; Oakland’s Kairos Music Academy; Los Angeles Greek Film Festival; Loyola Marymount University’s Basil P. Caloyeras Center for Modern Greek Studies; the Metropolis of San Francisco Folk Dance Programs; San Francisco Greek Film Festival; Nemea Center at the University of California, Berkeley; and United Hellenic American Society.
Leadership for the Elios Charitable Foundation includes: John Gumas, president and chair; Patrick Mockler, vice president; Philip Economopoulos, secretary; and Michael Kasolas, treasurer. Frosene Phillips, executive director.
For additional information about the 2019 Hellenic Charity Ball, visit www.elios.org.
Email the author: Giuliana