Everyone comes to the Gabby Awards to see the celebrities and stars. Lets face it– we are a star struck world motivated by fame, money and glitz and glam.
The actual name of our award– the Gabby– stands for Greek America’s Best and Brightest.
We celebrate success, as we should. We recognize success, as we should. But sometimes we get caught up in it, too.
We have always tried to emphasize the ideals that drive us– excellence, entrepreneurship, philotimo, and of course– philanthropy.
And what a better expression of philanthropy than volunteerism.
The unsung heroes of the Gabby Awards and the very reason for the success of our events were our volunteers.
These are the people who travel the farthest, on their own dime. They are the first to wake up and the last to go to bed. They work the hardest and get compensated the least… Nothing actually, and they are the ones that get shit on the most by people. It’s not fair, actually. They stuffed the pretty gift bags that everybody took home… They checked everyone in and made sure the events all started on time. It was volunteers that were responsible for the show going on too.
Without them, we couldn’t do what we do.
I wish we could make a Gabby Award for best volunteer– although I’d have a real problem selecting the best. There’s the Tsaoussis family that I mentioned before, or amazing supporters like Christina from Connecticut and Eleni from Astoria, both of whom always had a smile on their face despite dealing with some pretty high strung guests.
There are the Rizakos sisters who are our Chicago rocks– stable and always present, and the team from Ohio that came in to support the show production. There was Vassia the trusted assistant producer who sat by waiting for her instructions with clip board in hand, ready to jump… and of course, the amazing Tia, the incomparable Tia, who is always ready, willing and able to lend a hand.
Of course– and there will be another blog post for them– there were the amazing volunteers who actually put on the show Leah Michalos and Anthoula Katsimatides supported by Soula Keres and many others, who actually “made the show go on” at the Gabby Awards.
There were so many more– from all across the United States and Canada, too numerous to name– some, I didn’t even have the chance to say hello to or thank personally, because there was so much going on all weekend long.
It’s actually quite amazing how so much talent came together under the ideal of volunteerism– an offspring of philanthropy– to celebrate our common heritage.