Greek Easter a big hit for the Guild for Exceptional Children, raises $3K

Easter was marked at Spartan Souvlaki with a day of music, food, games and giving to a good cause.

The Greek Easter event was held on April 20, the same day as traditional Easter, outside of restaurant, , 6824 Eighth Avenue, hosted by George Lykourezos and his wife Maria, its owners, with proceeds from the festive day going to the Guild for Exceptional Children (GEC).

Paul Cassone, CEO of GEC, was thrilled to have the Lykourezos family’s support and generous donations to the nonprofit organization. “They invited local folks in community to attend and raise money to donate to the Guild. They’re a generous family with the community at large,” he said. “We’re just really thankful that they’ve chosen the Guild’s mission.”

Caroline Mansuetto, associate executive director of development for the Guild, also attended the event. “Every year, it’s so fantastic. It was such a great day. The weather was wonderful and (the Lykourezos family) work so hard to put this day dedicated to GEC,” she said.

Local residents of all ethnic backgrounds gathered at the closed-off block near the restaurant where tables and chairs were set up for dinner and mingling with each other. Games were set up for the children. Music was also a central aspect of the shindig. “They usually have an assortment of Greek music playing in the sound system. Music was going on all day. It’s a really festive atmosphere,” said Cassone.

Of all the unique aspects of the celebration, the main standout, per usual, was the food. “There were roasting pigs and lamb right out on the street in charcoal pits. People ate family style,” said Cassone. “Wine, water and soda were served, as well as vegetables. It really was a feast that they’ve thrown, featuring Greek specialty food.”

Shish kebabs were also enjoyed by the attendees. “The food was endless. Just wonderful,” Mansuetto said.

The Guild has shown its appreciation over the years to the Lykourezos family for its dedication to the noble cause. “We honored him at our gala dinner dance for his support in GEC over the years. We really count on that type of support. Government funding doesn’t cover all the things we do,” said Cassone.

“They’re very dedicated people and we’re just so grateful for everything they do. They started early in the morning to work on a day full of activities so we thank them for their efforts,” Mansuetto added.

Cassone also noted that because of fundraisers such as Greek Easter, GEC is able to provide top notch service to its members.

“We offer services to people who need help, such as round-the-clock supervision to people in hospitals and seniors in our care with developmental issues. We also offer intensive care and environment changes to serve them,” he said. “We’ve been doing this despite that fact that government resources have dwindled over the last years. The fundraising we do ourselves. It’s done by community supporters. We are so appreciative to George and Maria’s work and support.”

The Guild is also impressed by the community’s continued support and turnout for the event. “We had about close to 200 people and over $3,000 was raised,” said Mansuetto.

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