Plato’s Greek School opens new educational and cultural community center in Bay Ridge

The new building aims to achieve LEED certification and serve

The whole South Brooklyn community

On Sunday September 10, 2017, joined by nearly two hundred community members, the Greek School of Plato, an educational and cultural organization dedicated to the promotion of Hellenic heritage in Brooklyn through language education and artistic programming, a inaugurated its new community center at 670 92sd Bay Ridge Street, Brooklyn.

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Kirk Tzanides, former chair of Community Board 10, served as emcee for the occasion. He welcomed everyone to the celebration and spoke enthusiastically about the importance of the Greek school of Plato in educating the next generation of Greek American youth about the rich history and culture of Hellenism. Kirk described supporters of this noble cause as “joining the immortal Spartans as current defenders of Thermopylae”.

After a traditional blessing service led by Father Damaskinos Ganas and Father Melitios Bougas, the ceremony began with greetings from local elected officials and community leaders. Guests included State Senator Marty Golden, Assembly Members Peter Abbate and Pamela Harris, Council Member Vincent Gentile, Nicholas Chamberas representing Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis and Andrew Gounardes representing President of the Eric Adams borough.

After these greetings, the board members of the Greek School of Plato spoke about the importance of this new center not only for the school itself, but also for the community as a whole. Tina Demetis, Emeritus Fellow and Former President of the Parents’ Organization and a long-time supporter of the school, spoke of the school’s 40-year history and success: “A testament to success of Plato is attested by the continuous registration of the children of our elders ”. Maria Abazis, President of the Board of Directors spoke “I would like to thank the parents, the teachers, the visionary leadership of the Board of Directors, the power take-off, the generosity of donors, investors and the committee of fundraising campaign for the work they are undertaking to make this incredible new design a reality ”and thanked the school’s great benefactor, Bob Geroulanos, for his generous donation of $ 1,000,000. Spiro Geroulanos, president of the construction committee, spoke about the school’s commitment to be an educational and cultural center open to the whole community, and not just to the Greek school itself. “By constructing this new building, we will ensure that Plato serves as a beacon for this community and all families for decades to come. “

The highlight of the whole ceremony was a speech by Vasiliki Christakos, a seven-year-old student at the school, who explained how much the school meant to her. Vasiliki explained to the crowd that she had two families: her original family and her Greek school family. Vasiliki’s speech left everyone beaming from ear to ear.

The last speaker of the ceremony was the great benefactor of the school, Bobby Geroulanos. Mr. Geroulanos made a generous contribution of $ 1,000,000 to launch this school project. He spoke eloquently about what motivated him to make this donation, explaining that he grew up in a poor household in Greece and that it was his upbringing that really put him on the path to success in life. life. He vowed from an early age that if he ever achieved great success in life, he would help build a school so that others could have a great education just like him.

The inauguration ceremony marked the official start of a GSP fundraising campaign. The first donations, pledges and fundraising efforts totaled $ 2,500,000 for an ultimate goal of $ 5,300,000. GSP’s board of directors established a fundraising committee to lead the fundraising efforts and they hired a nationally recognized company, The Angeletti Group, to help with this historic effort.

The Greek School of Plato is a 501 (c) (3) organization which was founded 40 years ago in 1977. Since then it has been a thriving organization in the heart of Bay Ridge with a long tradition and a goal of to provide a basic Greek program of language, literature, history, theater, folk dance, music and religion. The new community center will be built to provide the Greek school of Plato with a permanent presence in the neighborhood and to support other nonprofit educational and cultural community organizations and philanthropic efforts.

At the end of the ceremony, all guests were invited to join in for a traditional groundbreaking photograph. A copy of this photo is attached.


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