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Star Parade at the Hellenic Charity Ball 2015
The 10th Anniversary of the biennial Hellenic Charity Ball 2015 of The Elios Charitable Foundation, celebrating Greek-American Luminaries in Arts & Entertainment, will take place on Saturday, November 14, at Westin St. Francis on Union Square, San Francisco. One of city’s most star-studded events, the biennial gala pays tribute to distinguished arts and entertainment luminaries in the Greek-American community and is the principal source of funding for the Elios Charitable Foundation. This year’s honorees include cinematographer and director Constantine Makris (“Law & Order,” “Orange is the New Black”); actor and dancer Gilles Marini (“Sex and the City: The Movie,” “Brothers & Sisters”) and comedian Demetri Martin (“The Daily Show,” “Important Things with Demetri Martin”). Singer-songwriter Ariana Savalas, will be presented with the Elios Spotlight Award and 2009 Hellenic Charity Ball Honoree, Marilu Henner, will be the evening’s emcee.
“For 20 years, the evening has paid tribute to outstanding achievements made by Greeks in arts & entertainment, celebrating the glamour of Hollywood in an atmosphere reminiscent of a Greek wedding,” says John Gumas, Elios Charitable Foundation President. “The Hellenic Charity Ball has given Elios a fundraising platform, allowing for investment in the celebration and preservation of Hellenic culture.”
Constantine Makris is a Greek-American television director, producer, and cinematographer who became especially well-known for his work on Law & Order, for which he was the cinematographer for 156 of its episodes. His work on Law & Order led to him winning three cinematography-related Emmy Awards in the years of 1993, 1997, and 1998; and a nomination in 2000.
Gilles Marini found himself in the international spotlight after appearing in what some have called the second greatest shower scene in film history in 2008’s Sex and the City: The Movie. He was then cast in ABC’s eighth season of Dancing with the Stars where he quickly became a fan favorite, finishing second by less than one percent of the votes. He was also invited to participate in the first ever All-Stars edition of DWTS after viewers voted Marini the “Best All-Time DWTS Contestant.”
Demetri Martin is a standup comedian, writer, director and actor. He has released two comedy albums, These Are Jokes and Demetri Martin: Standup Comedian. He has released three hour-long comedy specials, Demetri Martin: Person, Demetri Martin: Standup Comedian, and Demetri Martin Live (At the Time), which is currently streaming on Netflix. After writing and appearing as a featured performer on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Demetri created and starred in his own television series called Important Things with Demetri Martin. He was also NEO’s cover in September 2009.
Ariana Savalas Jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress has captivated sold out audiences across the country headlining in some of the nation’s poshest clubs including San Francisco’s Feinstein’s at the Nikko. Online audiences have enjoyed watching the saucy debut music video for her original song “One Man Show” as well as her collaborations with the Postmodern Jukebox which have garnered millions of views and reached #1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts. She can be seen on tour with them in the US and Europe. She was also NEO’s cover in April 2010.
2009 Honoree and 2015 Emcee Marilu Henner is best known for her acting career in film and television. Her work includes her break-through role as receptionist-turned-cabbie Elaine Nardo on Taxi, films such as The Man Who Loved Woman, L.A. Story, and Perfect, and the hit TV sitcom, Evening Shade. She recently served as host of the PBS series America’s Ballroom Challenge and she competed in the first Celebrity Apprentice. Marilu is also considered a health and wellness expert, publishing books on the subject and offering online classes.
Committed to preserving and celebrating Greek heritage, Elios Charitable Foundation directs proceeds from the gala to support like-minded organizations and projects which include Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Modern Greek Studies Program at San Francisco State University, the Center for Tebtunis Papyri at UC—Berkeley, Hellenic Heritage Institute, Hellenic Research Fellowship Program at Sacramento State University, Metropolis of San Francisco Folk Dance Cultural Programs, Modern Greek Studies Foundation for the San Francisco Greek Film Festival, Nemea Center at UC-Berkeley, PBS for the documentary The Greek Americans II: Passing the Torch, and United Hellenic American Society.
Founded to celebrate and preserve the spirit, values and ideals of Hellenic culture and heritage, the Elios Charitable Foundation launched the Hellenic Charity Ball in 1997 as a way to continually note the ongoing arts and entertainment contributions of Greek-Americans on American culture.
The Hellenic Charity Ball is an elegant, black-tie affair that attracts the West Coast’s most influential taste-makers and industry leaders. The Ball will include a formal seated dinner in the Grand Ballroom at St. Francis on Union Square, followed by the award show which will include presentations, performances and specially produced videos celebrating the honorees’ Greek heritage and their notable careers.
Past honorees and participants have included Chris and Jim Bogios, Mario Frangoulis, Stratton Leopold, Nick Cassavetes, Louie Gundanas, Constantine Maroulis, Michael Chiklis, Maria Menounos, Nia Vardalos, Olympia Dukakis, Nicholas Gage, Tony Orlando, Melina Kanakaredes, and many others.
For more information and to reserve tickets their website is elios.org/.