NEW YORK – The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has made a significant donation of $15 million to St. Michael’s Retirement Home, for the completion of the new building complex in Uniondale, NY. The driving force behind this donation is Andreas Dracopoulos, co-chair of the SNF, as noted by Stelios Vassilakis, director of programs and strategic initiatives at the SNF, in an interview with The National Herald. He said that “the implementation of the donation is a vision and an initiative of Andreas Dracopoulos”.
Dracopoulos promoted the $15 million donation for St. Michael’s, out of respect and love for his neighbor but also because of the exemplary operation of the retirement home so far, despite the negative experience the Foundation has had. had with the refusal of the donation of 25 million dollars. at St. Demetrios School in Astoria by former Dean of St. Demetrios Cathedral and current Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Archimandrite Nektarios Papazafiropoulos.
Dracopoulos told TNH that “after the disappointment for the sabotage of $25 million that we would have given to St. Demetrios and which would benefit the Greek community alone, St. Demetrios lost the opportunity to become a great institution for education. ”
Dracopoulos noted that “our love for Hellenism and the Greek community in all parts of the world is great and cannot be wasted by any individual wherever they come from. The opportunity therefore presented itself for the Saint-Michel retirement home, which we knew because it was one of our first donations more than 20 years ago. I must praise the work of Bishop Andonios de Phasiane because it is due to his own passion and efforts and we must recognize that thanks to him, Saint Michael is still going very well.
Dracopoulos also said that “as we help children, we also help the elderly, these are the weak points of our humanity, when you are born and when you grow up, you need help and support. So that’s something that touches us and especially when we see that those who promote it have the passion, the maturity and the organization to do it correctly and we must praise the contribution of Bishop Andonios, the mission of Saint Michael.
He added “and this is how this combination of the need, the mission and the effort of Bishop Andonios brought this result. I also want to rent Haeda Mihaltses [St. Michael’s Board of Trustees President] who, together with Bishop Andonios and the other collaborators and with great stubbornness, passion, dedication and time have supported this work. So all this has helped us, despite the damage caused to St. Demetrios, and I say damage in terms of confidence to work with the Greek community again, with great joy and great effort from both sides, we are at a point where we are looking to get the job done well and we are very pleased that the necessary paperwork has been signed and we are moving forward with the donation of $15 million which we believe is crucial for the project advance and end. Here, I must also salute the effort of Mr. Stathis Valiotis who, from the beginning, supported the project with a large sum of 10 million dollars, and we came with 15 million dollars.
“Again we are looking forward to a project that will be completed on time, based on budget although we all know that with inflation there are difficulties, but we believe that Bishop Andonios and the whole team will remain determined to complete the project that has a common recipient, man.We will all grow old, so those who have nowhere to go will be able to go to a home of quality, dignity and humanity.
Stelios Vassilakis told TNH: “This is a very significant donation of $15 million. The Foundation essentially becomes the largest donor, there are other major donations. Essentially, the Foundation is helping the organization move forward in a significant, I would say, home stretch of completing the construction of the project in the new space at Uniondale.
Vasilakis also said that “as you know, this retirement home has a long and very important presence in the Greek-American community, plays a very serious role and offers very important services and, in fact, the time was right after an exemplary operation of many years to upgrade. The needs are great, these organizations are in the process of being modernized. This is a place that has been the subject of particular attention and will be even more so in the future. years to come, because from what you know, Mr. Kalmoukos, the number of people entering these ages who will need such organizations is increasing, not small essentially, we are entering a phase in which organizations will play a very important role and at the same time it was necessary to develop the organization and give it the possibility of moving on to the next phase in order to be able to offer much more specific offers and much more and basic services.
Vasilakis also pointed out that “what you have to recognize here is that he has really worked in an exemplary way all these years. The role of Bishop Andonios de Phasiane was very important in the rise of the organization to a very high level and we must also take into account the fact that it functioned in an exemplary manner during the pandemic. Nursing homes have faced many and I would say very grim issues during the pandemic, as you know. »
He noted that the Stavros Niarchos Foundation “recognizes the needs of the Greek-American community both for young people and for people of all ages, and I believe it has a long tradition of contributing to these areas. We believe that St. Michael’s Retirement Home plays a very important role in the Greek-American community.