HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE LOUKOUMI MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOUNDATION
 OVER 100,000 MADE A DIFFERENCE WITH LOUKOUMI IN 2019 (See Below) ; HERE'S TO MORE GOOD DEEDS IN 2020!
JANUARY
DREAM DAY: I WANT TO BE AN OLYMPIC SWIMMER
Sam wants to be an Olympic Swimmer when he grows up and this winner of our Loukoumi Dream Day contest got to live his dream day with the coach and members of the U.S. Men's Olympic Swimming Team. Sam swam and received gold medal instruction during a day he will remember forever.
FEBRUARY
LOUKOUMI FOUNDATION VISITS COME FROM AWAY: In February 2019, The Loukoumi Foundation visited the Broadway musical Come From Away. Pictured here on stage resentatives from the Anne Hutchinson School presented letters that students wrote for families who lost loved ones on 9-11. The Sweet Treat Girls also presented over $1,000 collected by students and raised through their bake sale for the charity Broadway Cares. Photo by Jillian Nelson.
MARCH
FUNDRAISER AT LOI ESTIATORIO:
In March 2019, Celebrity chef  Maria Loi  opened up her heart and her restaurant Loi Estiatorio for a very special event. Maria hosted a wonderful group of people for an amazingly delicious “Sunday Supper” with all proceeds benefiting the Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation. THANK YOU Maria and Dara for making a difference in the lives of so many!
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HAPPINESS: Special thanks to Loukoumi Good Deed Ambassador Michelle Gordon who spread Loukoumi's mission of making a difference at several assemblies in the North Merrick School District celebrating International Day of Happiness.Thank you for making a difference with Loukoumi!
APRIL
LOUKOUMI SAVES A PARK: The 8th book in the Loukoumi series was released in April. Narrated by legendary Broadcaster Bob Costas the book tells the story about how Loukoumi saves her local baseball park and in the process teaches kids how to preserve the environment.
THE WESTCHESTER CHILDREN'S MUSEUM: Loukoumi Saves a Park premiered at The Westchester Children's Museum in the Make A Difference With Loukoumi Exhibit Space during the Good Deed of the Month Program. The monthly program is sponsored by the Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation.
MAY
RYE NATURE CENTER: In May, The Loukoumi Foundation visited the Rye Nature Center and helped clean up the nature center grounds, interacted with the center's animals, planted trees and celebrated the release of our new environmentally themed book Loukoumi Saves A Park.
LOUKOUMI DANCE PARTY & MAKE A DIFFERENCE AWARDS: The Loukoumi Foundation hosted its 5th annual event at The Lake Isle Country Club presenting 11 Make A Difference Awards to children, schools and organizations making a difference in the world and the Inspiration Award to Grammy Award winning legend Gloria Gaynor. Special thanks to Make A Difference With Loukoumi Sponsors The Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation, Loukoumi Good Deed Sponsors First American Title Insurance Company, and Eileen and Gary Franklin (George's Angels) and Loukoumi's Gift Sponsor Greenberg Traurig. Photos by Jillian Nelson. Pictured left Actress Elena Kampouris congratulates the 2019 Loukoumi Dream Day winners, three of which (aspiring entertainers) will spend the day with her in 2020.
JULY
DREAM DAY: I WANT TO WORK IN AN ANIMAL SHELTER: Jenna lived her Loukoumi Dream Day spending the day at the Orphans of the Storm Animal Shelter in Deerfield, Illinois.
AUGUST
DREAM DAY: I WANT TO BE A NEUROSURGEON: Denise from PS 205 in the Bronx lived her Loukoumi Dream Day of being a neurologist with reknowned neurosurgeon Dr. Grace Mandigo at Coumbia University Medical Center.
SEPTEMBER
GOOD DEED SCHOOL CURRICULUM:
As the 2019-20 School year commenced so did the Loukoumi Good Deed of the Month curriculum in over 300 Schools. Thank you to all the schools for making a difference with Loukoumi.
OCTOBER 12, 19, 22 & 26: LOUKOUMI GOOD DEED BUSES IN BOSTON, GANDER, CHICAGO & NEW YORK
BOSTON: OCTOBER 12
Children on the Boston Loukoumi Good Deed Bus visited the MSPCA (pictured above) bringing supplies for the animal shelter. They also visited Hellenic College/Holy Cross in Brookline and made cards for patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and at Philoxenia House, which they visited on stop #3. Thank you to Despina Stavros, Constance and Georgeann Mavrovitis.
GANDER, NEWFOUNDLAND:
OCTOBER 19
Students at Gander Elementary School, who weren't born when 9-11 occurred, embarked on a very special Loukoumi Good Deed Bus visiting 9 stops. 22 of the students are among the authors in our Inspiring Stories book (see below) with the award winning musical Come From Away , which tells the story about how over 7,000 airline passengers were stranded in this Canadian town of Gander on 9-11 when their planes were diverted there due to the shutdown of the U.S. airspace. On October 19, students boarded the Loukoumi Good Deed Bus, visiting the stops featured in Come From Away . These kids followed in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents, sharing the same message of kindness as their relatives did 18 years ago. They brought supplies to the animal shelter, donated hockey equipment to the Arena for kids in need, canned goods to the Salvation Army, raked leaves at Town Hall, met with the present and former Mayors and cleaned furniture at the Pentecostal Church. The bus also made a very emotional stop at the Appleton Peace Park just outside town where they planted a tree in memory of those who lost their lives on 9-11 (Pictured above). They then placed rocks around the tree embossed with words of kindness and what made this act even more emotional is that adjacent to the tree was displayed an original piece of steel from the North Tower of the World Trade Center donated to the town by the U.S. government for all they did on 9-11 to assist the stranded passengers. It was indeed a very special day. Thank you to Assistant Principal Hillyard, Ms. Canning, Eileen and Gary Franklin and everyone in the wonderful Town of Gander for this very special day.
CHICAGO: OCTOBER 22
Our Chicago Loukoumi Good Deed Bus started at the Hellenic American Academy where students made cards and collected donations for  St. Jude Children's Research Hospital . The tour continued to  Bernie's Book Bank   where students sorted and packaged over 7,500 books! Students also presented a check of $5,000 thanks to a generous donation made by The Demetra and Eric Vassilatos Foundation in honor of the students’ efforts to make a positive difference in their community (pictured above). On the final stop students visited residents at the   Greek American Rehabilitation & Care Centre   where they shared donations, stories and performances to brighten the residents’ day. Thank you to everyone at the Hellenic American Academy for continuing the tradition on this second annual Loukoumi Good Deed Bus in Chicago. Looking forward to next year!
Maria Loi cooks with the kids above followed by a visit to the 9-11 Tribute Museum (right).
NEW YORK: OCTOBER 26
Our New York Loukoumi Good Deed Bus started at Holy Trinity in New Rochelle where Executive Celebrity Chef Maria Loi cooked with over 50 kids. Together with the organization Philoxenia and the Soup Run they created and packaged over 81 meals which they then served to the homeless near Madison Square Garden in New York City (pictured above - photo by Jillian Nelson). The final stop of the day brought the children to the 9-11 Tribute Museum where following an emotional tour, children wrote "Never Forget" cards and letters for families who lost loved ones on 9-11. Special thanks to Maria Loi, Fr. Nick Anctil, Kwaku Farrar and everyone at the 9-11 Tribute Museum
OCTOBER 21: NAMING OF THE LOUKOUMI FOUNDATION TREATMENT ROOM AT ST. JUDE
We are proud to announce that on October 21st The Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation Treatment Room was officially named at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In the Loukoumi Foundation room, while patients undergo their treatments, reading instructors will engage the children who often leave their schools for several months at a time so that when they return to their schools they will not fall behind. This project is supported by kids who each make cards for patients and donate $1 for this project. The Loukoumi Foundation is pledging $150,000 to fund this program for at least the next 10 years. To participate and support this program Click Here On this very special day we were also joined by Loukoumi Dream Day winner Ava Tsapatsaris and her mother Giovanna. Ava, our top fundraiser for the project, wants to be a pediatric oncologist when she grows up and we were delighted to make her Dream Day come true at St. Jude. Also with us was former St. Jude patient, Alivia Parks, who has been the inspiration for this project. It was wonderful spending the day with Alivia and her family on the 10 year anniversary of our last visit to the Hospital.
Loukoumi standing outside the Loukoumi Foundation Treatment Room at St. Jude.
OCTOBER 22: RELEASE OF THE NEW BOOK
INSPIRING STORIES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Loukoumi Foundation released Inspiring Stories That Make A Difference. Our new book is in partnership with Come From Away , the award-winning musical about how during the week of 9/11, 7,000 stranded airline passengers found a safe harbor in the town of Gander, Newfoundland. Together The Loukoumi Foundation and  Come From Away  have partnered to share their joint message of kindness through the heartwarming stories of over 75 children, who are having fun paying it forward for causes that mean something to them. Get ready to be inspired by these extraordinary kids, who are changing the world one good deed at a time! Special thanks to Producer Judy Abrams, Karen Strauss and everyone at Come From Away for making this happen!
On Broadway! On the book's release day the Producers of Come From Away graciously invited many of the local authors in Inspiring Stories to see a performance of Come From Away on Broadway. The authors also took to the stage after the play!
Following the performance was a Q&A with the cast and Loukoumi Foundation President Nick Katsoris, who shared with the audience his experiences from the preceding weekend in the wonderful town of Gander. Photos by Steven Webster and Marielle Verni
OCTOBER 28: MEDITERRANEAN TASTING EVENT
7 Celebrity Chefs Benefitting a new initiative LOUKOUMI FEEDS THE HUNGRY
Our Make A Difference with Loukoumi Month concluded in a very special way with the First Annual Mediterranean Tasting Event featuring 7 celebruty chefs at the New York Athletic Club. Proceeds will benefit the new program "Loukoumi Feeds The Hungry" where Executive Celebrity Chef Maria Loi will cook with a different school each quarter, and then together they will bring the food they cook to a local homeless shelter. Special thanks to the Dream Team of Chefs (Cesare Casella, Diane Hendericks, Miltos Karoubas, Maria Loi, Achilles Poliviou, Andrew Walton and Bill Yosses) who cooked up Mediterranean specialties at stations around the room! Special thanks also to our host organizations Our Lady of Grace School, Philoxenia, The Archangel Michael Byzantine Youth Choir and The William Spyropoulos School, our Loukoumi's Gift Sponsors Athy O'Keeffe and The Center for Discovery, Dara Davenport and Christian Wistehuff for a perfect evening and to the incomparable Maria Loi for dreaming this dream. Photos by Jillian Nelson.
At the event we celebrated the authors in attendance of our new book Inspiring Stories That Make A Difference!
The Loukoumi Foundation presented its inaugural Parents of the Year Award to Laura Evans Manatos and Mike Manatos
NOVEMBER
EDUCATOR'S CONFERENCE:
Loukoumi Foundation President Nick Katsoris was the Keynote Speaker at the Annual Professional Development Seminar sponsored by The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.(pictured here with His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros)
DECEMBER
THE EPOCH TIMES: The Loukoumi Foundation is featured in the Epoch Times. Click here to read article (Good Deeds: Kids Making A Difference In The World)
SAVE THESE 2020 DATES!
March 7 : Loukoumi Good Deed Celebration
June 18 : Dance Party/Make A Difference Awards
October 24 : Loukoumi Make A Difference Day
October 27 : Mediterranean Tasting Event - NYAC