Holy Cross Brooklyn Outreach Center stages concert to feed the homeless

Four Greek and Antiochian Orthodox churches joined forces to present a spring concert on Friday, June 14, to benefit the Holy Cross Outreach Center and its Feeding the Homeless Ministry.

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, St. Nicholas Antiochian Cathedral and St. Nino Georgian Orthodox Church helped sponsor the event that showcased talent from their parishes.

The concert featured musical selections ranging from classical to popular songs performed by soloists and choirs along with traditional Greek and Arab dance troupes. All proceeds went to help the homeless.

Holy Cross Brooklyn Outreach President Maria Vasaka-Monioudis was very pleased with the inaugural concert and hopes it will become an annual event.

The concert was hosted by Demetrius Kalamaras and took place in Holy Cross’s Stavroula Angelakos Gabriel Auditorium, with appetizers, desserts and refreshments.

Highlights included John Generale performing a beautiful rendition of “Danny Boy,” Connor Mayrose’s breathtaking “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and Sandra Arida’s lovely version of “’Til There Was You” from “The Music Man.” There was also a crowd-pleasing cover of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Andrea Zrake, Anthony Zrake and Laila Ellias.

Since March 2008, Orthodox Christians in communities throughout the borough have been conducting midnight runs to bring food, clothing and toiletries to New York City’s homeless. These community efforts inspired a group of Orthodox philanthropists to help fund the effort.

In 2013, HCBOC was established as a charitable organization open to all communities to promote philanthropy throughout the borough and New York City.

Current HCBOC programs include the Homeless Midnight Run and Outreach on the Go. For the Midnight Run, the organization prepares sandwiches and food packages along with clothing and toiletries to distribute to the homeless. For Outreach on the Go, HCBOC volunteers prepare home-cooked meals for home delivery. 

“I am so thankful to the overwhelming support from the Brooklyn community,” said Vasaka-Monioudis. “I am proud to say that through the Holy Cross Brooklyn Outreach Center our volunteers have distributed over 47,500 meals to the homeless and 7,000 bags of groceries to our neighbors in need. We are so grateful for everyone’s support. We are very excited that we have found a location and hope that this outreach center can really bring help to those who need it in our hometown of Brooklyn.”

Rev. Michael Ellias, pastor at St. Mary’s, was pleased with the event.

“I thought that this inaugural concert in support of the HBOC was an outstanding effort on everybody’s part,” Ellias told this paper. “The performers celebrated to the glory of God and our church communities came together as one. I think future programs will become even more special and spectacular.”

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