|Party with the Greeks at the Hellenic Ball|
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Feb 24, 2012
If two round trip tickets to Greece and a week’s stay at the Hilton Hotel on someone else’s dime sounds like your kind of vacation, then you’ve got to try your hand at winning it, as it’s the top prize at this year’s Hellenic Ball. And if you want to win, you have to be in attendance because that’s the only place tickets will be sold. Actually, the Greek trip is just one of eight other vacation trips that will be raffled off on the night.
The biennial ball this year will be held under the theme “Sunset In Santorini” in the Imperial Ballroom at Atlantis, Paradise Island on Saturday, March 10. Ball patrons will be entertained with music from “A Night in Athens” Trio (George Antonopoulos, Nic Trivelas and Joanna), a Greek band out of South Carolina, and The Falcons with their traditional Soca, Calypso, down home sounds.
“It’s a fun, cultural ball,” says Alexandra Maillis-Lynch. “It’s a welcoming ball, which people can feel comfortable coming to alone because they don’t need a partner to dance, because Greek dancing is all about line dancing.” People who want to have some idea of the kind of dancing that will be done at the ball can participate in free Greek dance lessons that will be offered by the Greek community on Thursday, March 1 at the Greek Orthodox Church on West Hill Street. Greek mezedes (hors d’oeuvres) will be served.
While having fun, patrons will also support a worthy cause, as funds raised will aid the Ranfurly Homes for Children. It’s a charitable arm of the ball that has been taking place every two years since 1974. Past recipients have included the Cancer Caring Centre, the home for the aged, the Governor General Youth Award, the Police Force Dependents Fund, the Hope Centre, Boy Scouts, and Princess Margaret Hospital’s burn unit.
“The purpose really of establishing the Hellenic Ball was to bring the Greek community closer through all walks of life in the Bahamian community to recognize our customs, dancing, cooking and to become familiar with them, but it’s primary purpose is to benefit charities,” said ball founder Tony Klonaris. “The ball represents an instrument through which we Greeks, a small segment of Bahamian society, can contribute greatly.”
The Hellenic Ball all started as a result of Bahamian Greeks celebrating Greek Independence Day, one of the most important holidays in Greece, which represents their independence from the Turks. Like Greeks around the world, Bahamian Greeks celebrated it like a church event at their church that was founded in the 1930s. That changed in 1973 when they decided to take the event public and donate proceeds to a deserving Bahamian charity. In 1974, they made their first donation to the Ranfurly Homes for Children
With this year’s donation to the Ranfurly Homes for Children, the Hellenic Ball has come full circle 38 years later. Klonaris estimates that to date they have donated over $600,000 to charities since 1974.
Maillis-Lynch who is president of the board of directors at the Ranfurly Homes for Children said it was fantastic, that the home would benefit this year. She says they really need the money.
With a diverse cross-section of the community attending the ball every two years, with other nationalities outweighing the Greeks, there is a variety of food on offer to satisfy all palates, along with a few Greek specialties – desserts, and lamb and Greek salads, of course.
Tickets for the black-tie optional Hellenic Ball are $250 per person. Cocktails are served from 7 p.m. to 8 pm., with dinner following. To RSVP, telephone 359-0999 or 424-0400.
A NIGHT IN SANTORINI
What: Hellenic Ball
When: Saturday, March 10
Where: Imperial Ballroom, Atlantis, Paradise
Time: Cocktails 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., dinner to follow
Entertainment: “A Night in Athens” Trio (George Antonopoulos, Nic Trivelas and Joanna) and The Falcons
•Donation: $250 per person
Dress: Black-tie optional
To RSVP: Telephone 359-0999 or 424-0400