Our Four Decade History
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. To date, the Greek Children’s Fund has raised in excess of $10 million and has helped over 10,000 families and their children be treated in the United States.
The First 20 Years:
On February 25, 1983, Stanley Matthews made his very first donation of $1,000 beginning the Greek Children’s Fund. Within the first year of operation, the GCF provided a family with financial assistance to pay their rent at the Ronald McDonald House and provided aid to over 50 families. By the end of 1986, the GCF raised and disseminated over $50,000 to help defray the cost of treating Greek children with cancer and to assist and support Greek families with some of their non-medical needs while at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Rounding out the 80’s the organization saw much success. The P.G.E.I. Charitable Foundation of America raised and donated $85,000, the National Philoptochos hosted the Cancer Fund Luncheon to benefit the GCF at the Plaza Hotel raising more than $98,000, and the Pan Gregorian Enterprises of New Jersey raised over $100,000 for the GCF.
The 90’s for the GCF focused on establishing a national presence and eternal bonds. Celebrating it’s 10-year anniversary in 1993, Greek super star entertainers Giorgos Dalaras and Demetra Galani performed at the Paramount Theater in Madison Square Garden benefiting the organization, followed by a dinner dance held at the Plaza Hotel, NYC. A couple of years later, Greek entertainers’ heavyweights, Glykeria, Giannis Zouganelis, Isidora Sideri and Kostas Kantzoglou, flew to New York to meet with the GCF to discuss how they can help in raising funds and awareness about the plight of Greek patients. Throughout the decade, the GCF hosted trips to Eisenhower Park (Hempstead, NY) and Vasilopita Party’s at Whitestone Billiards (Whitestone, NY) with MSKCC patients and their families, and in collaboration with AHEPA, organized a trip to Disney World for GCF patients. The organization collaborated with National Greek Television (NGTV) to host several telethons, raising over $200,000, and with Antenna Satellite, $750,000. Closing the decade strong, the GCF raised a total of $1,522,166 for the MSKCC endowment fund and announced their relationship with Schneider Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, NY.
The Last 20 Years:
The 2000’s saw new and exciting momentum for the GCF. Kicking off, the National Greek Television (NGTV) telethon at the Crystal Palace (Astoria, NY) raised approximately $125,000 for GCF. ‘Battle for Life’, an organization created by Greek-national families residing at the Ronald McDonald House was also formed. Gaining momentum in the mainstream world, the GCF took part of the first “Greek Night” at Shea Stadium (now Citi Field, NY) and continued to have a presence throughout the 2000’s. In 2005, the GCF published their first magazine, “Hope,” and a year later, surviving GCF patients and families had a reunion in Leondarion, Arkadia, Greece (hosted and organized by GCF volunteers Peter and Thamie Nanos). In 2007, the GCF donated $500,000 to the to the Schneider Children’s Hospital and in the same year, a relationship blossomed with the All-Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. Rounding out the decade, the GCF announced its partnership with The Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center at Hackensack, N.J. and donates $500,000 to the hospital.
Over the years, the GCF continued to focus on the well-being of every child and has built a non-profit organization based on philanthropy, kindness, and collaboration. As of 2020, the GCF continued to evolve, helping those (of any age) combat the difficulties of COVID 19 and looking to the future, educating the world on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle with programs and partners surrounding health, fitness and nutrition.
As of 2023, the Greek Children’s Fund turns 40 and continues to have a have long-standing partnerships with several prestigious medical institutions in America and in the past has worked with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Schneider Children’s Hospital (SCH) in New Hyde Park, NY, All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL, and The Joseph Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ. At SCH, in addition to non-medical financial assistance, the GCF provided the Greek American community with professional bilingual/bicultural social services through a part-time social worker/program coordinator.
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The Greek Children’s Fund (GCF) focuses on the well-being of every child and has built a non-profit organization based on philanthropy, kindness, and collaboration.
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Our Board 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.
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Greek Children’s Fund
P.O. Box 541500
Flushing, NY, 11354