Upper Darby, PA – Music and dancing filled the church center at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church this past Saturday. The event brought together the Greek community to raise funds for the rebuilding of St. Nicholas church in New York, which was destroyed at 9-11.
Singers Kalomira and Angelos Dionysiou headlined the event, and were accompanied by Atlantis of Philadelphia. The event was hosted by the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley and was under the auspice of his Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey.
As the evening kicked off, a video played that featured the St. Nicholas Shrine that is scheduled to be completed in two years. Approximately 50 million dollars is being raised to bring the dream to fruition. Several members spoke on behalf of the fundraising project, including Stathis Karadonis of the Federation, Michael Karloutsos of Archdiocese and his Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey.
But none of the speeches was more touching than the one given by Eleni Kousoulis, on behalf of her sister Danielle who was lost at the 9-11 tragedy in New York. On this evening, she was being honored and remembered as well.
Danielle was raised in the Philadelphia Greek community at St. Thomas Greek Orthodox church in Cherry Hill. Danielle was involved in many aspects of the Greek community including GOYA and as a parishioner.
Family members looked on, as Eleni spoke about her sister’s life. Eleni said, “when Danielle moved to New York and started working at the World Trade Center , she would go to St. Nicholas a lot to worship. I think it’s fitting that we’re here supporting the building of St. Nicholas. I think that’s what Danielle would want.” She added, “As Greek Orthodox christians, we need to rise up and rebuild St. Nicholas, so we can continue to worship there and show the terrorist, they can’t win. Its really important to my family to have a place to worship at ground zero, just like they did before 9-11. I want to thank you all for your support on this project”.
All proceeds raised on Saturday evening, went to the Holy Metropolis of New Jersey St. Nicholas Fund. For more information about building or to make a donation to the St. Nicholas National Shrine, please visit them online.