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“Greeks in South Florida” Celebrate First Ever Greek Heritage Night at the 2023 Miami Open Tennis Tournament with the Greek Children’s Fund
by Laura Neroulias Bisiotis
What better way to celebrate Greek Independence Day by continuing to march on! On Sunday, March 26, 2023, the “Greeks in South Florida” organization collaborated with Hard Rock Miami and the Miami Open to host the first ever Greek Heritage Night at the annual tennis tournament. With over 100 Greeks in attendance, the world class campus grounds were filled with those rockin’ blue and white clothing, accessories, and Greek flags were dawned throughout the stadium. Celebrating upon entry first at the “Kiki on the River” restaurant pop-up, attendees enjoyed light Greek bites while watching the live tennis matches on the massive, outdoor theater before heading inside the stadium.
“Greeks in South Florida” started in 2017 as a Facebook group to help spread awareness and connect the Greek and Cypriot communities throughout three counties (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach). Focusing on the people, churches, businesses, interests, events, and happenings of those Greeks and Cypriots based in South Florida, the group was and to this day continues to be an open forum of curated news for those who live in the area, those moving to Florida, and for those who are visiting of where to go, what to do, and how to support each other. To date, the “Greeks in South Florida” Facebook page has over 5,500 members and the Instagram page (which went live in 2020 out of the need to continue to support locals, and their businesses during amidst the pandemic via a second digital channel) has over 2,500 followers which includes, Christina Pappa (actress, @pappachristina Instagram), Emilia Vodos (My Style Rocks, @emiliavodos Instagram), Manoli Lagos & Nicole Aivazoglou (founders of The Living Fuel, @thelivingfuel Instagram), Christos Bisiotis (Michelin Nominated chef and founder of The CB Concepts, @thecbconcepts Instagram), Tony Kariotis (founder of Greece Media, @greece Instagram), and more.
While “Greeks In South Florida” was the ‘Group of the Match’, proceeds from each ticket purchased for that session directly went in support of the Greek Children’s Fund – established in 1983 by the late Stanley Matthews, a Greek American businessman whose mission was to provide financial assistance towards the daily, non-medical needs of children of Hellenic descent and their families suffering from cancer and life-threatening illnesses. Throughout its four-decade history, the Fund has been part of several Greek Heritage Nights including with the New York Red Bulls, New York Islanders, New York Yankees, and over 10 seasons with the New York Mets at Citi Field with past honorees of the “Greek Children’s Fund Mets Spirit Award” including the Catsimatidis family.
Over the years, the Greek Children’s Fund, upon doctors’ approval, have had children and patients be part of the festivities in throwing the first pitch, participating in opening ceremonies with the color guard, Greek dancing on the field, singing the American and Greek National anthems and riding the Zamboni machine.
With 2023 marking its milestone 40th year of saving lives, the Greek Children’s Fund continues to better the world while remaining an all-volunteer run organization that raises funds through events, sponsorships and partnerships. Focusing on the well-being of every child, as well as the families and siblings of those who are being treated, the Fund’s values are based on philanthropy, kindness, and collaboration. Successfully providing financial assistance to thousands of families and their children that face non-medical financial problems that are caused by illness and displacement, to date, the Greek Children’s Fund has raised in excess of $10 million and has helped over 10,000 families be treated in the United States.
For more information about Greeks in South Florida, you can visit on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/GreeksInSouthFlorida/ and Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/greeksinsouthflorida
For more information about the Greek Children’s Fund, you can visit www.greekchildrensfund.org, and on social media including, Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/greekchildrensfund/, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/greekchildrendsfund, and LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/company/greekchildrensfund/