The Gabby Awards
The Gabby Awards, an acronym standing for "Greek America's Best and Brightest" stars were created to celebrate the Ancient Greek ideal of the pursuit of excellence in our daily lives.
The awards honor those North American individuals who strive for excellence in their careers, philanthropic life and in the service of the public.
Launched in Chicago in 2009 and held every two years in a different city, the Gabby Awards quickly became the pinnacle awards event for Greek North Americans, attracting international support, media and recognition.
The awards are hosted during a weekend and a series of events and cultural activities are also held. Proceeds from the Gabby Awards support the charitable and humanitarian relief efforts of the Greek America Foundation.
The inaugural Gabby Awards were hosted at the historic Reskin Theater in Chicago with over 1,000 guests in attendance from throughout the nation and world.
The emotional show opened with a video montage called "Diaspora" with accompanying vocals by Greek singer Glykeria, who also performed at the festive after party at the Chicago Hilton, next door.
In addition to awards in business, philanthropy and numerous other categories that evening, the most notable presentation was the Lifetime Achievement Award to Oscar winning actor Olympia Dukakis who shared stories from her childhood in the immigrant neighborhoods of Lowell, Massachusetts. That award was presented to her by Jim Gianopulos, then President and CEO of Fox Films and a board member of the Greek America Foundation.
2009 Gabby Awards: Performing Arts Award to Melina Kanakaredes
2009 Gabby Awards Winners:
Philanthropy - John Rangos
Performing Arts - Melina Kanakaredes
Business - George Sakellaris
Arts and Culture - Harry Mark Petrakis
Athletics - Dean Karnazes
Politics - Alexi Giannoulias
Lifetime Achievement - Olympia Dukakis
2011 Ellis Island
The second Gabby Awards paid tribute to our immigrant forefathers and mothers and returned to the very location where many of them first entered the United States. The emotional awards ceremony was held inside the Hall of Registry at Ellis Island.
More than 1,200 guests were greeted at Battery Park by "immigrants" speaking Greek, dressed in period costumes and accompanied them on the boat to Ellis Island, where awards were given to deserving individuals and lifetime tributes were awarded to Michael Dukakis and artist Stephen Antonakos, who had last visited Ellis Island as an immigrant child when he arrived with his family at the age of 6.
An entire weekend was planned, which included a sponsors' reception at the Bulgari shop with members of the family present to share their Greek family lineage.
2011 Gabby Awards Opening Tribute to Immigrants
2011 Gabby Awards Winners:
Business - Jim Gianopulos
Philanthropy - Peter Karmanos Jr.
Athletics - Chris Chellios
Education - Dr. Linda Katehi
Arts and Culture - Constantine Maroulis
Science & Medicine - Dr. Andreas Tzakis
Politics - Sen. Olympia Snowe
Lifetime Achievement Award - Michael Dukakis
Lifetime Achievement Award - Stephen Antonakos
Keeping in the tradition of creating a weekend of cultural experiences for our guests, the Gabby Awards in Hollywood were a tribute to the Greeks of Hollywood and a century-long history in Tinseltown. The awards were held at the historic El Capitan Theater where the Academy Awards were once held and opened with a moving live tribute to Melina Mercouri and other great Greeks who impacted show business.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were handed out to Sid Ganis, the former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, costume designer Patricia Field and HBO Films president Kary Antholis, amongst others. The star-studded after party was held at Paramount Studios with Elena Paparizou performing.
The weekend culminated with "Opa: A Celebration of Greece" at Disneyland, which was coordinated with the Greek America Foundation and included Greek menus at the park's restaurants specially designed by celebrity chef Argiro Barbarigou, performances of song and dance throughout the park and special appearances of Mickey Mouse in full Greek costume.
2011 Gabby Awards Opening Tribute to Immigrants
2013 Gabby Awards Winners:
Business - Sophia Amoruso
Athletics - Christina Loukas
Education - Nicholas Economides
Arts and Culture - Greg Yaitanes
Performing Arts - Chris Diamantopoulos
Science & Medicine - Dr. Peter Diamandis
Lifetime Achievement Award - Sid Ganis
Artistic Achievement - Kary Antholis
Artistic Achievement - Patricia Field
2017 New York City
The 4th Gabby Awards honored the journey of those who came before us, allowing us to recognize our "best and brightest" at the world's most prestigious venue for performing arts, Carnegie Hall. Nine individuals were honored for their excellence and achievement.
The awards show included numerous musical performances that spanned generations, including a rendition of The Andrews Sisters' classic "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," a tribute to opera diva Maria Callas, a Broadway tribute to West Side Story and Melina Mercouri's epic hit "Never on Sunday."
An emotional opening tribute to our immigrant ancestors featured music, song, video and actors recreating Ellis Island arrivals. Greek singers Anna Vissi and Glykeria also performed at various points throughout the night.
Andrew E. Manatos was given our Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of work advocating for Greek American community issues in Washington DC. The award was presented by his sone Mike, which included video greetings by two United States Presidents and a host of politicians and community leaders.
Academy Award winning actor George Chakiris and Greek singer Glykeria were given Artistic Achievement Awards for their respective work in the performing arts. Upon accepting her award, Glykeria offered a few words of appreciation and sang a moving song called "Patrida," about Greece.
A festive After Party followed at The Plaza Hotel that featured an electrifying performance by Anna Vissi.