American Hellenic Institute


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CONTACT: Peter Milios
July 12, 2017—No. 32 (202) 785-8430

AHI Organizes Fourth Greek Heritage Night at Phillies Game

Greek Ambassador Throws Out First Pitch

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute organized its Fourth Annual Greek Heritage Night held in cooperation with Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, June 20, 2017, at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pa.  Approximately 600 persons from the Tri-State Philadelphia area were in attendance to see the Philadelphia Phillies take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

“On behalf of AHI, I sincerely thank the Philadelphia Phillies, especially the unbelievable unwavering efforts of the Phillies’ Director of Publicity, John Brazer, and Director of Group Sales, Vanessea Mapson, 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 communities 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, “We continue to receive positive feedback about the event, and we will continue to work to see it grow every year.”

Ambassador of Greece to the United States Haris Lalacos threw out the ceremonial First Pitch.  The popular Phillies mascot, The Phillie Phanatic, sported an Evzone costume. The Phanatic and The Pan-Macedonian Dance Group, under the direction of Ioanna Yiantsos, performed Greek dances upon the Phillies’ field during the 5th Inning. The Pan-Macedonian Dance Group also preformed pre-game at the main entrance gate. Miss Elena Iliadis sang the National Anthem.

“Congratulations to AHI for organizing, for yet another baseball season, a very successful Greek Heritage Evening with the Phillies,” Ambassador Lalacos said. “More than 20,000 spectators in the stadium and many more TV viewers spent three hours with Greek music, dancing and scenery. Kudos for a tremendous outreach effort.”

A promotional video about Greece, made possible by the Press Office of the Embassy of Greece, was played on the ballpark's Jumbo-tron. Greek Heritage Night also featured a Greek cuisine stand.

WATCH: Promotional video about Greece

READ: Media coverage of Greek Heritage Night by CosmosPhilly

Luncheon for Greek Ambassador

Earlier in the day, AHI Members Nick Chimicles and George Tsetsekos hosted a luncheon in honor of Ambassador Lalacos at the Union League.  Twenty prominent members of the Greek American community of the Tri-State Philadelphia area attended.

In Appreciation

AHI is grateful to the many individuals and entities that helped to make this event a success.

For assistance with ticket sales, marketing, and promotion from the Greek American community: Drs. Spiro and Emily Spireas and SigmaPharm Laboratories; Constantine Larigakis, The Lou Nicozisis Family, George and Niki Tsetsekos, Paul Kotrotsios and Hellenic News of America; Nicholas and Kathleen Chimicles and Chimicles & Tikellis LLP; Demo and John Vasiliou and Astra Foods; Law Offices of George Horiates, The Pan-Macedonian Dance Group, Seasons Pizza and Demetrios Halakos.  

Special acknowledgement and thanks goes to CosmosPhilly, Hellenic News of America, and Stellios Lambrou of The National Herald, for their media coverage.

From The Philadelphia Phillies: John Brazer, director of Publicity; Vanessa Mapson, director, Group Sales; The Phillie Phanatic; and of course, The Philadelphia Phillies organization.

 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 Peter Milios 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.