Chris P. Tomaras, Chairman of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation was the distinguished guest of honor at the First Annual Ariston Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at the John Evans Alumni Center on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.
The intimate gathering of supporters marked the first anniversary of the founding of Ariston Foundation. “We founded the Ariston Foundation on Greek Independence Day March 25, 2011, because we are proud of our Hellenic heritage and the value that Hellenism places on education” said Anthe Mitrakos, cofounder of the Ariston Foundation. “From Aristotle to Plato and Socrates, the ancient Hellenes laid the foundation for achieving one’s best.
That is why we honor our heritage by naming the Foundation “Ariston,” continued Anthe. “It is also why we chose Mr. Chris P. Tomaras to be our very first recipient of the Ariston Hellene Award,” said Vasiliki Mitrakos, cofounder and President of the Ariston Foundation. “His many accomplishments in business and his philanthropic spirit, especially in establishing the scholarship and educational programs of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, reflect the principle of excellence upon which the Ariston Foundation was founded. We present this award to him in recognition of his efforts to support the education of Greek American college students across the United States,” explained Vasiliki. Left to Right: Vasiliki Mitrakos, Chris P. Tomaras, Neil Menelaos Vranis, Anthe Mitrakos “With much enthusiasm I accept the Ariston Hellenes Award. It is a great honor for me to be named the first recipient. I am very proud that you have established the Ariston Foundation.
In doing so, you have truly embraced the mission of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation. You have made it your own through your love of education and your ethnicity,” expressed Mr. Tomaras in his acceptance of the award. Honoring the many members of the audience from Greece, Mr. Tomaras expressed in Greek his passion for education and stated “Morfosis (education) is the most significant ingredient of the human existence which, together with the values instilled in our students by their families, delivers leaders and significant contributors to society.” Following in the footsteps of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, the members of the Ariston Foundation awarded two scholarships to outstanding students whose high academic achievement is an inspiration to all Greek American students. Neil Menelaos Vranis, a senior at John Hopkins University, majoring in neuroscience and business and Maryann Vlahos were the first scholarship recipients.
Neil Vranis, who was able to attend the event, expressed his gratitude to the members of the Ariston Foundation for the award. He also thanked his parents who have supported him in his quest to be a neuroscience physician as well as instilling in him the values of Hellenism. College students of Hellenic descent are encouraged to join the Ariston Foundation. The organization needs more members to expand its mission of promoting excellence in education. For more information contact Vasiliki Mitrakos at [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]].