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HANAC Honors Harry Giannoulis at 41st Annual Gala
Harry E. Giannoulis, President of The Parkside Group, a renown strategic communications and public affairs firm, received the “Man of the Year” Award at HANAC’s (Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee) 41st annual HANAC gala that took place at the familiar venue of Mandarin Oriental in New York City, this past October. “My relationship with HANAC began 25 years ago when I got my first job there right after school. At this job, I helped the youth learn how to work in an office, and today, I am the honoree,” Giannoulis said. “You have to understand how moving this is for me.” He also reflected on the progress and success our community has achieved, indicating that in the greater Astoria area alone, the elected offices for State Senate, State Assembly and now City Council are occupied by people with “exotic” names like Gianaris, Simotas and Constantinides.
“I like to honor people from the community who have worked very hard, achieved great success and who are sensitive and respond to those who are less fortunate,” HANAC’s Chairman Evangeline Douris said in an interview with NEO magazine. “Mr. Giannoulis exemplifies those attributes. He is a powerhouse in the city, but in his own quiet and discreet way, helps those in need. That’s the kind of honorees I have had through the years. There are many successful people like Mr. Giannoulis in our community. It is important that we recognize them.”
Fr. Nicholas G. Anctil offered the Invocation and NY Deputy Mayor Haeda Mihaltses introduced the honoree. Yanna Darilis from the New Greek TV presented the program.
The late George Douris and his wife Evangeline started HANAC in 1972 with the aim of providing services for young Greek immigrants. Forty years later the organization provides a wide array of programs to immigrants, seniors, families, youth and those struggling with alcohol and substance abuse, with the intention of bettering the lives of its clients and their loved ones. “I am proud of the extraordinary work HANAC has done for 41 years,” said Douris. “I am proud of the talented, dedicated staff that runs our programs. I am proud of the tender loving care we give our elderly, the most vulnerable population. I am proud of the 30,000 clients served annually.”
HANAC’s mission emphasizes not only helping those in need, but providing relief to the distressed caretakers, family members and colleagues of each client. The organization also places special focus on supporting youth, particularly through its Beacon program and after-school and summer youth programs. Furthermore, individuals seek help through HANAC’s substance abuse prevention and treatment services, lessening the burden carried by family members and friends who have struggled as a result. According to Mrs. Douris, moving forward and “based on the needs of the community, we will be pursuing Mental Health licensing and of course, we will continue to identify other needs in the community and pursue funding.”
HANAC sponsors more than 40 programs in at least a dozen locations throughout the four boroughs of New York City. More information about the organization can be found at hanac.org