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AHI-sponsored Greek Heritage Night at Phillies Game a Home Run
June 3, 2014—No. 34 (202) 785-8430

AHI-sponsored Greek Heritage Night at Phillies Game a Home Run

Greek Ambassador Throws Out First Pitch; Meets with Philadelphia Mayor

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute-sponsored Greek Heritage Night held in cooperation with Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, May 28, 2014 at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pa., was a tremendous success.  Approximately 1,000 persons attended Greek Heritage Night to help the Phillies stage a ninth inning rally to beat the Colorado Rockies, 6 to 3.

“On behalf of AHI, I sincerely thank the Philadelphia Phillies, especially the unbelievable unwavering effort of the Phillies’ Director of Publicity, John Brazer, without whose support the event could not have been a success,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “I am also deeply grateful to the Greek American community of the Tri-State Philadelphia area who came out in droves to support Greek Heritage Night and proudly displayed their Hellenic pride.  Finally, the event could not have been a success without the incredible backing of certain individuals and entities that helped to promote it and to sell tickets.”

He added, “AHI has received tremendous positive feedback about the event, and it will be something we will explore replicating in other major league cities. In fact, we have one lined up for September in Washington.”

At the baseball game, Ambassador Panagopoulos threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The popular Phillies mascot, The Phillie Phanatic, sported an Evzone costume custom-made by the Phanatic's seamstress, Kim Hanley. During the middle of the fifth inning, The Phanatic led Pegasus Dancers, a Greek dance troupe under the direction of Youth Advisor Mela Akranis, from Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Upper Darby, Pa.  A two-minute promotional video about Greece, made possible by the Embassy of Greece, was played on the ballpark's Jumbo-tron.


Greek Ambassador on Philly Media, Business Circuit; Meets with Mayor

Thanks to the efforts of Phillies Director of Publicity John Brazer, Ambassador Panagopoulos and AHI President Larigakis appeared on two popular morning radio shows: the first hosted by Chris Stigall on WPHT 1210-AM (heard by 300,000 listeners) and the second hosted by Angelo Cataldi on SportsRadio WIP 94-FM (heard by 600,000 listeners).

In addition, AHI Board Member George Tsetsekos organized a series of outreach events for Ambassador Panagopoulos with business, civic, and community leaders from Philadelphia. Meetings with Ben Craig, executive director, Global Interdependence Center (GIC); and Linda Collins, president, World Trade Organization in Philadelphia; were held for Ambassador Panagopoulos. Prior to departing for the ballgame, Ambassador Panagopoulos met with the mayor of Philadelphia, Honorable Michael Nutter, and Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberg. Also, an interview with Francis Hilario, reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal, was arranged.

Finally, AHI Board Member Tsetsekos and AHI Member Tassos Efstratiades hosted a luncheon in honor of the ambassador at the Union League with prominent Greek Americans from the Philadelphia area in attendance.

In Appreciation

AHI is grateful to the many individuals and entities that helped to make these events in Philadelphia a success.

For assistance with ticket sales, marketing, and promotion from the Greek American community: Spiro Spireas and SigmaPharm Laboratories; Constantine Larigakis, George Tsetsekos, Paul Kotrotsios and Hellenic News of America; Nick Chimicles and Chimicles & Tikellis LLP; Astra Foods, Law Offices of George Horiates, CosmosPhilly, and Pegasus Dancers, Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Upper Darby, Pa. 

From The Philadelphia Phillies: John Brazer, director of Publicity; Vanessa Mapson, director, Group Sales; The Phillie Phanatic, Kim Hanley, the Phanatic’s seamstress; and of course, The Philadelphia Phillies organization.

From the Greek Embassy in Washington, DC: Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Christos Panagopoulos; Artemis Konti, Embassy of Greece’s Press Office; and Spyros Koukovinis who helped to create the two minute video promoting Greece.

Radio Stations: 1210 WPHT morning show with Chris Stigall; SportsRadio WIP 94-FM morning show with Angelo Cataldi; and Lazarus Tsaousidis, owner, Tasty Twisters, who provided specially-designed pretzels and Thessaloniki “Koulouri” pretzel to both radio shows.

The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center and think tank that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.


For additional information, please contact Georgea Polizos at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at and follow us on Twitter @TheAHIinDC