On October 23, Greek Americans Against Breast Cancer will host 50 Shades of PINK, an event to foster cancer awareness and raise funds for research.
Greek Americans Against Breast Cancer
Greek Americans Against Breast Cancer (GAABC) was inspired by the courage, journey, and dedication of Marianthi Koritsaris, director of Plato Academy in Des Plaines, IL. following her battle with breast cancer. She fought her battle with signature smile, drive, and unselfishness. A mom and devoted leader of her school, she continued to go to work during her chemo treatments. She would not let her students down. She set an amazing example of not only courage, but steadfastness, determination, and strength.
The idea for the group and event was by Eleni Moutidis, a Plato parent, as a way to make a difference, but also honor Marianthi’s battle. Others quickly joined the cause.
“Plato Academy is proud of its mission of philotimo. A small portion of the will go to Plato’s social justice curriculum as well as a scholarship fund for students whose families have been touched by this devastating disease. Plato Academy has brought awareness and support to breast cancer by creating Greek Americans Against Breast Cancer,” explained Chairperson Filisa Mantas.
Events take place every three years, and the proceeds benefit a different organization, as well as Plato. In 2009, a well-attended inaugural event took place at the Rosewood Banquets. Sen. Olympia Snowe and two-time cancer survivor Pam Paziotopoulos as speakers. The proceeds were donated to The Lynn Sage Cancer Center to fund the research of Dr. Virginia Kaklamani, a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer and cancer genetics.
In 2012, a gala event took place at the National Hellenic Museum featuring Dr. Sandy Goldberg, founder of A Silver Lining Foundation, plus Dr. Regina Stein and Dr. Kalliopi Siziopikou, both from of Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Proceeds were donated to A Silver Lining Foundation to fund free mammograms.
50 Shades of PINK
The third GAABC event will be a casino night, and 50 breast cancer survivors will be honored. Dr. Leonidas Platanias, Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University will speak, as well as cancer survivor Dr. Tina Mantis. Dr. Regina Stein was so well received that she speak again this year. Proceeds will benefit the research labs at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. The evening’s emcees will be Chris Demetriou and Anna Hagopian, both local actors and models.
Have Fun, Support the Cause
Marianthi’s heartfelt words are inspiration enough to be part of this cause.
“The community should support this event because breast cancer is a devastating disease that kills mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends. In 2008, when I was diagnosed, I realized that the Greek community was very secretive about the disease. My children were basically my support system. My Plato community also rose to the challenge of support for me, their teacher and principal, and I wasn’t surprised at that because Plato Academy is a social justice school that takes on many causes and makes them part of our curriculum.”