The success of the 2013 Gabby Awards weekend was largely because of the dedication of the volunteers who supported our efforts. And of these volunteers, none were more amazing than my rockstar Tsaoussis family from New York.
Mom Liz, son George and daughter Evangelia were– for the Greek America Foundation– the epitome of dedication and service to our organization.
The first time I met Liz– at Michael Psilakis’ Kefi Restaurant in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, she looked at me and said– “Let me tell you something. We don’t have a lot of money but we have a lot of heart. We have a lot of ‘orexi’ to work and we love what the Greek America Foundation does.”
This was in 2011– right before the Gabby Awards at Ellis Island. That year the entire family worked their tails off, working until the wee hours of the night, helping wherever we asked them to help.
Fast forward to 2013– the stakes are higher. The event wasn’t in their own backyard, but across the nation in Los Angeles. Money is tight for most Americans and mom Liz has just completed a second round of debilitating chemotherapy for cancer she was diagnosed with a year earlier.
When Liz called to offer her family’s services for the 2013 Gabby Awards, I was floored. This woman had just fought and beat cancer– a second time. Financial hardship, life– the works. Yet, she told me that she wouldn’t miss the Hollywood Gabby Awards and neither would her two kids.
Eva and George, like their mom, were in Hollywood for the entire weekend, on their own dime, spending hours on end welcoming guests at check-in tables always with a smile and volunteering their little hearts out. Combined, they put in the work of a half dozen people. George also co-curated our “Greeks of Hollywood” exhibition which I wrote about earlier.
In the end, I received an email thanking me for the opportunity to serve the organization. Can you believe that? These rockstars who worked their tails off thanking me. I should be building busts of the three Tsaoussis’ and placing them in our offices in Chicago.
Thank You, Liz, George and Eva.