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AWOG in Greece Surpasses Charity Goals

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Home for the Holidays in Athens

In the midst of an economic crisis, the Athens community found a way to give to those less fortunate.  More than a thousand people came to the longest-running holiday charity fair in Greece, organized by the American Women’s Organization of Greece (AWOG).  AWOG Christmas Bazaar 2012 volunteers surpassed expectations and raised even more money than last year.  This year, more than 17,500 Euros will be distributed to local Greek charities.

“We’re proud as Americans in Greece to donate these much needed funds to Greek charities during such a critical time when times are tough for so many people, especially charities,” said Mary Latsey-Amvrazi, president of AWOG. “It takes our volunteers months of planning and it was our most successful turnout to date.”

This year the group decorated the donated space at the Athens Ledra Marriot with the theme ‘Home for the Holidays’ in mind. Each table offered homemade crafts and baked goods, as well as products donated b corporate sponsors.  The American Ambassador to Greece, Daniel Smith, and his wife, Diane Smith, who is also the Honorary President of AWOG, were present for the ribbon cutting. The Vice Mayor for the city of Athens, Eva Kontostathakou also attended.

The Grand Lottery raffle featured the chance to win luxurious prizes with a one-euro ticket.  For the first time, two companies, Lifan Motorcycles and Electric Motor Way, each donated a motor scooter.  Greek travel company, Navigator, donated the grand prize which was an 8-day Mediterranean cruise on Royal Caribbean.  

“So many people support our efforts from our volunteers to our sponsors.  Our biggest sponsors offered really impressive prizes this year and we are so thankful,” said Jane Bizos, AWOG vice-president and chair of the 2012 AWOG Christmas Bazaar.  “The best thing is that several Greek charities will continue to benefit because of everyone’s collective efforts, for the year to come.

submitted by: Marissa Tejada, AWO Greece

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