Meet Our Board
A message from Stanley Matthews (1931 – 2023), Founder of the Greek Children’s Fund
“On behalf of the Greek Children’s Fund, and most importantly, the patients and their families, I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation for your continued and unprecedented support of this most worthwhile cause. They say that a man never stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child. By courageously and tirelessly supporting the Greek Children’s Fund, the Greek American community stands tall. Greeks have always distinguished themselves by their compassion, warmth and energy. The continued success of the Greek Children’s fund is a testament to those very qualities. It is but one example of what our community can accomplish, and I, along with all the other members, are eternally grateful and proud to be part of such a wonderful community. I wish to personally extend my deepest appreciation to all of you. I consider you all as not only friends and supporters, but as family. You are an inspiration to us all and your efforts make me proud of our great heritage. I know that with your help and with God’s blessing, we will achieve another forty years of progress.”
Greek Children’s Fund Board
The Greek Children’s Fund is led by a committed group of individuals dedicated to improving the daily lives of children and families of Hellenic descent who suffer from cancer and life-threatening illnesses. The board of directors each give their time freely to support, advocate and guide the Fund to ensure its strategic goals are being met.
Sam Matthews, Esq. is the current President of the Greek Children’s Fund for the past four years. For the past 30 years, he is an active Board member and executive officer, including Past President.
During his tenure with the GCF, Sam has played an instrumental and leadership role in raising and distributing in excess of $10 Million to over 10,000 needy pediatric patients facing life threatening illnesses. He was an integral participant in the sold-out Concert of Hope at Madison Square Garden; first ever International Greek telethon with Antenna Satellite, TV; various National Greek TV telethons; Greek Night with the Mets; several dinner galas; and various other fundraising events. Sam is happily married to Anastasia for over 20 years, and they have four beautiful children, Athena, Niki, Steele and Phoebe. He has been an entrepreneur for over 30 years. He is an active member of the Greek Orthodox church and has served on boards of numerous other philanthropic organizations. In 2013 he received the GCF lifetime achievement award for his leadership and dedication to the Fund and in 2017 he received the US Congressional Flag of Honor issued by the U.S. House of Representatives commending his philanthropy and his community service.
Irene Kehayas Drakopoulos
Irene Kehayas Drakopoulos is the current Vice President of the Greek Children’ Fund. Irene is a tireless networker and champion of GCF’s mission, Irene has been a volunteer for over thirty-one years as a Member and on the Executive Board since 1992.
She has successfully garnered the support of the Greek-American community by promoting GCF activities and accomplishments. Furthermore, Irene has diligently worked on all GCF fundraisers over the last 31 years. Irene was on the team of GCF volunteers that organized the 1997 Concert of Hope at Madison Square Garden in NYC and the Telethon of Hope in February 1999. Irene planned various GCF dinner galas and served as Master of Ceremonies. She has also organized numerous fundraisers at her church parish St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway, NJ – GOYA, YAL , FOCUS Groups – with proceeds going to GCF. Irene co-chaired the 1st Annual Achilles “Archie” Mavromatis Memorial Golf Classic. She has served as co-chair for the last nine Annual Greek Nights at Shea and Citi Field with the NY Mets, the NY Red Bulls, the NY islanders and the NY Yankees. Irene has provided invaluable assistance with GCF’s 25th Anniversary Christmas Reception. Irene is happily married to husband George for over 15 years and they have two beautiful sons Petros and Loukas. Irene enjoys spending time with family, volunteering for the GCF, the Greek Orthodox church and their philanthropies. Irene was awarded the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of NJ Volunteer Award in 2019.
Eleftheria (Ria) Georgelis
Eleftheria (Ria) Georgelis is currently Co-Vice President and Secretary of the Greek Children’s Fund for the past 4 years. For the past 26 years, Eleftheria assisted with many fundraisers such as Concert of Hope at Madison Square Garden, International telethon with Antenna, Telethon with Dimitrios Kastana Greek channel, Greek Night at Shea Stadium, Greek Night with the NY Islanders and various other fundraising events.
Eleftheria spearheaded and was Co-founder of the Young Adult Division of the Greek Children’s Fund. She recruited members of the Intercollegiate Hellenic Society which she was Co-President from 1997-1999. The members of the Young Adult Division would visit the patients and families twice a month at the Ronald McDonald House.
Eleftheria is happily married to Anastasios and have 2 beautiful children, George, and Evangelia. She currently works for the NYC Department of Education as a School Counselor. She is an active member of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Shrine Church in Flushing, NY.
Ismini Michaels has been a Greek Children’s Fund (GCF) volunteer for the last 40 years. She is an indispensable member of the organization and has served as treasurer since 1994.
Among her countless contributions to GCF, Ismini has been responsible for building strong relations with the Cypriot community, with singer Anna Vissi and with other Greek and Cypriot-American organizations and businesses in the New York area. She recruited GCF volunteers and supported the establishment of the GCF Young Adult Division. She is trusted and respected by all past and present GCF members for her loyalty, generosity and for being ready to lend a helping hand at any time.
“For me, the Greek Children’s Fun represents the hope that we give to a young child battling a devastating illness, a reassuring smile to alleviate a fear, and the simple act of comforting those that are in need. I made a promise to myself and in my husband’s memory, that I will continue, for as long as I live, to work as hard as I can, for this wonderful organization that has helped so many, providing so much.”
A Greek Children’s Fund (GCF) member since 1997, Tina Anastos has been actively involved in many of the fundraising events over the years beginning with “The Concert of Hope” in 1997 and the “Telethon of Hope” in 1999.
As Tina’s love and passion grew for the GCF, she became progressively more involved. She focused on selling tickets and promoting Greek Night at Mets Stadium, serving as co-chair of the event in 2009, 2010 and 2011. As a Scout leader, Tina coordinated and participated in the color guard ceremony at Greek Night with the Mets with her Cub Scout Pack #340 and Girl Scout Troop #502 from Monroe, NY. Tina is very active in both the church and Greek community currently serving as Treasurer on the Parish Council, Sunday School teacher for over 30 years, and choir member. She also served as President and VP on Daughters of Penelope Kronos Chapter 188.
“GCF has assisted so many families throughout its 40 years and I feel honored to be part of this wonderful organization. Volunteering for GCF has given me the opportunity to make a positive difference to a family dealing with life-threatening illnesses.”
The GCF New Gen:
Hope for Life
The New Gen: “Hope for Life” was established by a group of young members whose goal is to continue to build a strong vision and raise public awareness about the care of children with life threatening illnesses. While they come with new ideas and actions, the synergy of love for ailing children and families remains leading.
Become a Part of Our Community!
Throughout its 40-year history, the Fund has continued to better the world and has remained an all-volunteer run organization that raises funds through events, sponsorships and partnerships.
Stay In Touch with the Greek Children’s Fund: Become a part of our community! We want to hear from you! Never hesitate to call or email us if you have any questions about the Greek Children’s Fund.
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Greek Children’s Fund
P.O. Box 541500
Flushing, NY, 11354