National Hellenic Museum raises $350,000 at annual Greek gala

The Event: On May 31, the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago served as the vessel on which 475 Grecophiles embarked on a “Journey to the Greek Islands,” for The National Hellenic Museum’s annual gala.

Cause célèbre: “At the museum we present the Greek immigrant story which, in essence, is a universal story and, in many ways, part of American history,” said Connie Mourtoupalas of Chicago, museum president originally hailing from Thebes, Greece. “Greek history and culture; the principles of Greek philosophy, democracy lay at the very foundations of the U.S. and are still quite valid today.”

The NHM has become a resource for thousands of schools throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. Open year-round, it offers programs and classes for children and adults that range from Greek mythology and history to their newest curriculum on immigration.

“The museum has a mission to perpetuate our culture and the Greek heritage,” said Peter Parthenis of Inverness, board member, vice president and event co-chairman.

And now, according to Bill Conopeotis of Lake Forest, museum trustee and event co-chairman, members of NHM, “Are trying to take our local museum to the national level; raise funds and awareness and spread the Greek culture and history throughout the whole nation.”

As part of the celebration, the benefit honored members of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association and the founders of the Greek American Restaurant Association for their on-going philanthropy within the Greek-American community in Illinois and nationally.

In November 2015, NHM will present “The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great,” in partnership with Chicago’s Field Museum. The exhibit of nearly 600 priceless Greek cultural treasures, many never before out of Greece, will only be in two locations: Chicago and the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC.

Bottom line: The event raised more than $350,000 for NHM.

National Hellenic Museum, 333 S Halsted St, Chicago. Phone: (312) 655-1234 or see:

Tags: ,