The Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball, brings together area HSAs to support philanthropic endeavors. This year’s event benefits a 6 year-old battling Neuroblastoma.
For the past 12 years, Hellenic Student Associations (HSAs) at local Chicago universities have come together to celebrate their heritage and support important community philanthropic endeavors.
Midwest Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball
The very first Midwest Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball took place in 2005. In a newsletter written by that year’s committee, the first youth ball Chairman Kyriakos Mellos defined the mission of this effort.
“To begin to bridge connections between the various Greek associations and groups in the Chicagoland area, and to slowly unite to become one true voice, one entity, that can truly show how strong we will continue to be as an ethnicity and group in America. We hope that you find tonight a pleasurable, and fun experience and may this be the beginning for future, united endeavors.”
Back in 2004, the Hellenic Student Associations from University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University, DePaul University, and Northwestern University began communicating, discussing ways they could impact the community, and foster a spirit of cooperation, all the while celebrating their Hellenic Heritage. The students could unite around a worthy cause. — and have a party. At that time, University of Chicago didn’t have an HSA, but has since joined the effort.
Since that first Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball in 2005, more than 300 young Hellenes, ages 18-25, have gathered each year in this spirit. Past events have supported causes such as: the Asylo Aniaton, an establishment in Sparti that houses individuals with disabilities and mental illnesses; Theofanis Yanias, now in remission from Neuroblastoma; Angela Malfas, who was severely injured in a car accident; The Hollywood House Assisted Living Community; Hellenic Heart Program at Children’s Memorial Hospital, and more.
This year’s event will once again benefit Chris Ellis. He was last year’s beneficiary, however, after getting to know him and his family, the HSA reps have developed a personal connection with him. This year’s organizers elected to use the proceeds to help defray Chris’ continuously mounting medical expenses. He suffers from stage 4 Neuroblastoma.
“We felt we could do even more for him, seeing that he is still in and out of the hospital. We are in constant awe of his strength and bravery.” ~ Maria Arianas, President, University of Illinois at Chicago Hellenic Student Association
Chris Ellis, age 6, is a little boy with a “heart of gold”. He’s always smiling, and his strength and bravery are an inspiration to all who meet him. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in 2014. Chris’ mom Danielle described her brave little boy.
“Chris is an avid gamer. With the extended amount of time he spends in the hospital and resting at home he has honed his skills in many Nintendo games on his WiiU and 3DS. He also loves to play on his iPad. His favorite games and characters are anything involving the Mario Brothers and Angry Birds. He is a Lego master builder and loves to bake.
When he isn’t feeling up to playing his games he watches his gaming idol Zack Scott play them on Youtube. He had a dream playdate at his house with Zack and his wife just before Christmas and now considers Zack his buddy.
Chris is a kindergartener but has to be home tutored because of his immune system being very weak and also his chemo treatment has been very taxing on his little body.He enjoys learning, is very good at math, and loves to be read to. When feeling well, he loves to play kickball inside the house, is a very generous and thoughtful little boy and loves his family and friends. His absolute favorite thing to do is hide and wait for someone to pass by to scare. His favorite victim is his mommy.”
Attend the 12th annual Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball
Every year, college students from the Midwest (and sometimes beyond) reunite for a night of dancing, friends, making memories — and a difference.
“It’s especially important for the younger college students, because they get a chance to meet new friends, network, and grow their Greek relationships. This event is important to aid the Chris and his family in fighting Neuroblastoma. The proceeds will go directly toward funding bills for hospital procedures and treatments at Comer Children’s Hospital.” ~Nikoletta Frangos & Peri Stangas, President, Loyola University Hellenic Student Association
The 12th annual Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball will take place on Friday, February 19 at Fountain Blue, 2300 Mannheim Rd., in Des Plaines, IL. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Yianni.
“In Ancient times, Greek city-states (or poleis) would unite when external forces threatened Hellenic ideals and values. Today, the combined strength of the HSAs and broader Hellenic community emulates that of our ancestors, as we come together to fight another force: cancer. Through our annual Youth Ball fundraiser, we strive to show that, when the youth of the Hellenic diaspora unite, we can help any community members to surmount obstacles of healthcare cost and anything else life may throw our way.” ~ George Tsourdinis, President, The University of Chicago Hellenic Student Association
WindyCity Greek is a media sponsor for the 12th annual Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball. Help this adorable little boy win this fight for his life.
Learn more about Chris on his Facebook page, and cheer him on to win this fight!
Updated: This event has already taken place.