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.

2009 Chicago

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.

1936278_239139305206_2582778_n Jim Gianopulos on the red carpet
petrakis Writer Harry Mark Petrakis receiving an award
1936278_239159595206_327374_n Ultramarathonman Dean Karnazes
1936278_239159670206_968731_n Gregory Pappas presenting the philanthropy award to John Rangos
5047_203740485206_1361060_n Melina Kanakaredes and Glykeria
1936278_239139295206_7172111_n Melina Kanakaredes and Olympia Dukakis
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.

251190_10150626337655207_2523569_n Inside the Hall of Registry at Ellis Island
247963_10150626333860207_5211437_n Greek jewelry designer Konstantino with John and Joyce Varvatos
253703_10150631168920207_8237113_n Immigrants in costume greeting guests at the pier
249743_10150626336410207_6037967_n Michael Dukakis with Stephen and Naomi Antonakos
253689_10150626362795207_5729769_n Melina Kanakaredes and John Varvatos
252582_10150626337295207_6334573_n Transportation to Ellis Island for the awards
243818_10150631176445207_258137_o U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe receiving an award
199263_10150436797340207_6910973_n A special book called Tribute for all guests
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

2013 Hollywood

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.

jm20130525_8067-copy Tribute to the Greeks of Hollywood
jm20130525_8071-copy Jamie Lee Curtis presenting an award
jm20130525_8111-copy Justin Chambers presenting an award
vardalos-copy Nia Vardalos and Ian Gomez at Disneyland
img_0538-copy Olympia Dukakis receiving her Star on the Walk of Fame
img_0866-copy The awards show finale at the El Capitan Theater
The Greek America Foundation’s Gabby Awards Olympia Dukakis, Jim Gianopulos and Melina Kanakaredes
jm20130525_8129-copy Sid Ganis receives the Lifetime Achievement Award
jm20130525_8198-copy The after party at Paramount Studios
4 Elena Paparizou sings
2011 Gabby Awards Opening Tribute to Immigrants

2013 Gabby Awards Winners:
Business - Sophia Amoruso
Philanthropy-John Pappajohn
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.

pic 27 copy Actors depicting immigrants on stage at Carnegie Hall
pic 34 copy Nikos Kouroupakis and Eirini Tornesaki sing "Xenitia"
pic 38 copy Comedian Angelo Tsarouchas brought the house down as the emcee
pic 50 copy Theane Evangelis present a Gabby Award to Marie Bountrogianni
pic 54 copy John Solo depicts an AHEPA founder during a monologue honoring the birth of the organization