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Cyprus Federation Testimonial Dinner to Benefit the Island’s Children in Need
Michael & Mary Jaharis, who along with George David, were the honorees at the Cyprus Federation of America’s 2013 Testimonial Dinner, held recently in New York, pledged an additional $200,000 to the Cyprus Children Fund, citing and praising Consul General of Cyprus in New York Koula Sophianou for her work on behalf of children in need. The proceeds of the event it its entirety will be channeled towards alleviating the hardships facing the island’s children after the banking crisis of last March and it was in this spirit that the country’s President Nicos Anastasiades who attended the diner, declared restructuring the economy to be number one priority. “Cyprus as a whole is working tirelessly towards the much-needed restructuring of its economy,” he said. “Unfortunately, the painful consequences impact the most vulnerable.”
Besides the need to implement a series of measures to address the social impact of the crisis, Anastasiades considers targeted and well established philanthropy to be of great importance and praised the three honorees and the Cyprus Federation that set examples of such activity.
Regarding the Cyprus issue, the president said that the negotiations “must be properly and thoroughly prepared” and take into consideration “the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the principles upon which the EU operates” if they are going to bear fruit. “We cannot afford another failure,” he declared.
Evangelos Venizelos, Foreign Minister of Greece, also attended and saluted the event, as did Archbishop Demetrios of America.
Cyprus Federation President Constantine Tsentas reconfirmed the diaspora’s pledge towards helping the island in any way and by whatever means possible. Echoing similar sentiments, PSEKA President Philip Christopher said that “from the moment we wake up in the morning until we go to bed we think of Cyprus, Greece and our national issues.”
Peter Papanicolaou, the event’s Chairman and until recently President of the Federation, introduced the honorees and expressed his gratitude on behalf of the organization and the Cypriot Americans.
George David owes his lasting love of Cyprus to his childhood in Petra, where he was born in 1937 and lived during the formative years, when he received his first schooling under inspired teachers. An education later rounded at the Enlglish School of Nicosia, where he gained an understanding of the island’s international character.
After graduating form Edingurgh University, obtaining the institution’s highly regarded Bachelor of Commerce in 1959, he worked for the A.G. Leventis Organization in Nigeria – where he also served the Greek and Cypriot community as president in Lagos.
Today, after more than 50 years of success in the world of business and enterprise, he is Chairman of the Board at Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and as of recently Chairman of Eurobank-Ergasias.
Michael Jaharis received his law degree from the DePaul University College of Law before he entered the pharmaceutical industry. He was the founder and Chairman of Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is currently a founder and director of Arisaph Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and a founder of Vatera Healthcare Partners LLC, a private investment firm.
Mr. Jaharis is an Honorary Governing Member of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as a previous Sustaining Fellow. He also serves as Trustee Emeritus of Tufts University in Boston; Chairman of the Board of Overseers for the School of Medicine, Tufts University; Member of the Columbia University Medical Center Board of Visitors; Member of the Board of Overseers of the Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences; Director of The Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA); Founder of Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism; and Vice Chairman of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Mary Jaharis was born in Wisconsin, spent much of her early childhood in Athens, Greece and later moved to Chicago, where she completed middle school and high school. She attended Northwestern University, graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Fine Arts, and later studied at the New York School of Interior Design. She is an Honorary Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and on the Board of the St. Catherine’s Foundation, an organization overseeing the restoration of the St. Catherine Monastery in the Sinai Desert.
Mrs. Jaharis is Life Trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as a previous Sustaining Fellow. She is also an active member of the Philoptochos.
Cyprus Federation of America was founded in 1951 in New York City and currently consists of 25 chapter members located throughout the United States including the Tri-State area, Virginia, Ohio, Chicago, Washington, Florida and California. The organization networks closely with the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), the International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus” (PSEKA), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC), and the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York.