Local residents, businesses offer up another reason to give thanks

Families in need had a sweet surprise on Thanksgiving, when they sat down to bountiful holiday dinners.

The dinners were the result of a Thanksgiving food drive, whose grand benefactor was Marathon Bank—recently acquired by Investors Bank — in coordination with the Greek American Property Owners of Brooklyn.

The meals were assembled on November 22, Thanksgiving Day, in the basement of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Bay Ridge.

The drive met with astronomical success, receiving food donations from Jaraq Produce Incorporated, Leo’s Casa Calamari Pizza and Pasta, Piccardi Brothers Quality Meats, Sandy Vallas and an anonymous donor, said Zoe Koutsoupakis, vice president of Marathon Bank and coordinator of the drive, who also credited Fox Industries, Ltd. as a sponsor for the effort. The Rex Manor, located at 1100 60th Street, prepared and cooked 70 turkeys.

The meals, which were comprised of mixed vegetables, fruits, pies, turkey, and more, were thereafter delivered to families in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Astoria.

“I want to thank my Marathon Bank staff, Monica Buono, Zenaida Graves, Jewel Malave and Angela Zoto, for helping us deliver the complete meals,” Koutsoupakis said. “My appreciation goes out to all my staff members at Investors/Marathon Bank who contributed in other areas in making this possible.”

Koutsoupakis additionally paid homage to Helen Psaras, president of the property owners group, for her “help and support,” as well as all the volunteers who “[made] this mission possible”– Vallas, Christina Frangoulis, Anastasia Michail, Vaso Sakkas, Michael and Vasilios Niamonitakis, and Calli Neamonitis.

“It is so important to give back to the community,” Koutsoupakis affirmed. “My management team was my right and left hands; they’ve been helping me with this for five years now.”

Koutsoupakis, in conjunction with the drive’s grand benefactor, Investors Bank, is currently hosting a Christmas food drive and will be hosting an Easter food drive subsequently. To find out more about donating food to the current Christmas drive, e-mail Koutsoupakis at zkoutsoupakis@mnbny.com.

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