The stunning Chicago Skyline (source: Gabby Awards)
What promises to be a spectacular event of immense interest to the Global Greek Community, and especially to the Greek American Community, will be taking place next month in Chicago - the first ever Gabby Awards!
From all accounts, and as publisher of the Greek America Magazine, Gregory Pappas himself says, "The Gabby Awards in Chicago will be the biggest gathering of Greek American talent and success-ever! HBO President, Eurovision Finalist , Greek Heart-throb, and Legendary Lobbyists have recently been added to the Gabby cast of stars." We presume he is talking about Kary Antholis, Kalomoira, Alexis Georgoulis and of course the father and sons team of Andrew, Mike and Tom Manatos, in that order, who have recently confirmed attendance at this star-studded event according to the Gabby website!
Melina Kanakaredes John Varvatos Olympia Dukakis Nia Vardalos
Honorary Co-Chairs are CSI actress Melina Kanakaredes and designer John Varvatos, who last year opened Greece's Fashion Week.
Academy Award winning actress Olympia Dukakis will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award and My Life in Ruins star Nia Vardalos will present the "Performing Arts" Gabby Award.
The show's MC will be Chicago’s own Emmy Award winning television journalist Anna Davlantes.
Corporate leaders like Jim Gianopulos (Fox Films) and Dennis Malamatinas (Marfin Investment Group) will also be on hand to serve as award presenters.
Two of the nation's top celebrity chefs, who are also nominees in the "Arts & Culture" category will be attending the event: Iron Chef Cat Cora and Michael Psilakis of Manhattan's Kefi Restaurant.
Several other nominees and prominent Greek Americans have also confirmed their attendance at the Inaugural Gabby Awards to be held in Chicago, at the Merle Reskin Theatre, on June 19th, 2009.
The Gabby Awards were founded to celebrate excellence amongst Greek Americans and to reward those who embody it, bringing together people from all over America who have excelled in their field and who have one very significant factor in common - their Greek Heritage.
Created and hosted by Greek America Magazine, the nation’s most widely-circulated periodical for Greek Americans, the "Gabbys" are the brainchild of it's founder Gregory C Pappas, the word itself referring to Greek America’s Best and Brightest Stars.
The Gabby Awards' eight categories are Entertainment & Performing Arts, Arts & Culture, Athletics, Education/Academia, Philanthropy/Public Service, Business/Entrepreneurism, Politics/Government and Promotion of Hellenism.
There are 5 to 6 nominees in each category, and these include such Global Greek notables as Rita Wison, George Stephanopoulos, Ted Leonsis, Chris Tomaras, Father Nicholas Triantafillou, Pete Sampras, Peter Peterson, John Catsimatidis, Arianna Huffington, Harry Mark Petrakis, Alexi Giannoulias, Jennifer Aniston, and organisations such as the Onassis Foundation and the American Hellenic Institute.
The winners will receive a unique statuette designed for the occasion by well-known Greek jewelry designer Konstantino. The Awards Ceremony will be followed by an After Party to be held at the Chicago Hilton and Towers , and promises to be an unforgettable evening of celebration, food and dancing to the music of Glykeria and Kostas Karafotis.
It is interesting to note that the Gabby Academy which has identified and nominated the individuals who have excelled, includes many prominent Greek Americans from all over America who are involved professionally in the Greek American community, either as writers, journalists, and directors of various organizations. Others are opinion-makers, public relations professionals and people involved in various communications-related fields as well as other leaders in business, arts and culture, academia and other fields. Apart from Gregory Pappas, these include people like Nick Larigakis, Andrew Kaffes, John Metaxas, Paul Glastris, Yiannis Valsamas and Alexia Haidos.
We don't know if it was overlooked or left out deliberately, but we think that it would be great if at least one more category could be added, that of Science/Medicine, as there are many prominent Greek Americans who have excelled in this particular category. Hopefully next year!
We congratulate the creators of the Gabby Awards for taking high-profile initiatives like this and wish them every possible success!
To watch the promo video click here
To read more about the nominees click here.
For a full list of nominees and to cast your vote click here .
To read more about the Gabbys click here
To buy tickets to the Gabbys and the After Show click here
Note: Greek America Magazine is America's most widely circulated periodical for Greek Americans. With a national readership of over a quarter of a million readers, Greek America is the nation’s periodical for all things Greek.
Its affiliate Greek America Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization founded by Greek America Magazine’s publisher Gregory Pappas serves as a medium for a host of nationwide cultural events focusing on the promotion, preservation and perpetuation of the Greek history, heritage and culture in America.
All contributions to The Gabby Awards are tax deductible as allowed by the Internal Revenue Service code for contributions to charities.
All proceeds from the Gabby Awards will go to the special endowment fund established by the Greek America Foundation called The Hellenic Legacy Fund, which will offer scholarships to students for study abroad programs in Greece.