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    AWO Greece Christmas Bazaar Raises 15,000€

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    The American Women’s Organization of Greece held its Annual Christmas Bazaar on November 24, 2013  for the charities that we support each year through our community services program.  More than 175 volunteers from our membership, family members, friends and students from local schools turned out to work at the oldest and loveliest craft bazaar in Greece.  Despite torrential rain, our spirits were not dampened  and the Bazaar with the theme “Disney Comes to the Ledra” was a huge success, with plenty of good food, beautiful handicrafts, homemade American pies and cakes and many, many sponsors present to help celebrate our “65 Years of Giving”.  

    The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held with Mrs. Virginia Bennett, DCM of the American Embassy, Mr. Detlef Winter, Manager of the Athens Ledra Marriott who is our major sponsor, Mary Latsey-Amvrazi, AWOG President 2013  and Jane Bizos and Nora Stamouli, Bazaar Chairpersons.  Our Grand Lottery had 75 wonderful prizes, all donated by companies here in Greece and our tombola had more than 500 prizes all donated.  The AWOG elves work all year long to produce this event and it is the great unifier of the organization, bringing all the membership together for this common goal. 

    Community Services Chairperson Angelique Hatziantoniou and her Committee will begin the difficult process of selecting the charities we will support with the 15,000€ which was made on the day.  One of the charities we support each year is FOIVI, the oldest shelter in Greece for battered women, a cause that AWOG supports, and we held a lecture on Anti-Violence last spring at which the Director of FOIVI spoke.  

    Some of the things we have done this past year through our community services committee were to hold a party for the children of SOS Village at Apokries and also to buy a laptop for the disabled athletes of St. Christophers who have won medals in the para-Olympics and needed the laptop to bring to matches.  These donations were in addition to the 18,000€ distributed from the proceeds of the Christmas Bazaar of 2012.  Our areas also do their own charitable work, through lotteries and donations at their area meetings, thereby bringing the total donations from AWOG to over 22,000€ last year.  As the crisis deepens here, the needs are greater and we find ourselves challenged to raise more money to help keep many of these institutions open – and oftentimes are asked to buy fuel in emergency situations. 

    The new AWOG board will begin its work on January 1, 2014 and will be planning another fundraiser which will help ease the crisis here for the needy.  As I assume the Presidency of this wonderful organization, I realize the challenges that face me and look forward to ideas and suggestions from FAWCO  as to innovative ways to raise money for the many in need here.

    Happy Holidays to everyone.

    Jane Bizos, President-Elect
    AWOG 2014-2015

    AWOG Bazaar 3AWOG Bazaar 2

    AWOG Bazaar 2013

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