The annual Radiomarathon Gala & Auction Evening, the main fundraising event for the charity, took place last Saturday 8th October 2011 at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
Main speaker was the First Lady of Cyprus and President of the Radiomarathon Foundation, Mrs Elsie Christofias. Opening her speech, she said: “The Radiomarathon foundation has for the past 22 years conquered the hearts of the Cypriot population. It constitutes a celebration of love, volunteerism, generosity, and respect.”
She added: “Throughout the years, the foundation has succeeded in reversing the social prejudice towards people with special needs. Whilst promoting awareness of their everyday problems, the foundation’s goal today is to ensure the continuation of the remarkable results it has achieved so far.”
Mrs Christofias proceeded to speak about how the essential funds have been used to date noting that as of last year, overall contributions have amounted to the sum of €38,557,649.
The First Lady concluded by congratulating Marfin Laiki Bank, the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (RIK) and London Greek Radio for their dedication and hard work, as well as the evening’s sponsors and guests for their contribution to the achievement of the charity’s aim.
“You all being here this evening proves that love can exceed any obstacle,” she said.
In his turn, Vice Chairman of Marfin Laiki Bank, Neoclis A. Lysandrou, spoke about the importance of such events. He said: “The uniting factor is our love for our children, the sense of responsibility and the recognition of the need to secure for them the necessary conditions for their education, employment and recreation,” adding, “The Cypriots and Greeks of Great Britain are justifiably proud to have written their own history of contribution, thus elevating the Radiomarathon to a social institution and a lively platform of daily care for the children with special needs.”
Concluding, Mr Lysandrou said: “Marfin Laiki Bank renews, once again, its promise that it will continue to support further this unique humanitarian institution, despite the difficult conditions under which we are operating.”
Mr Antonakis Yerolemou, Chairman of the Radiomarathon Trustee Board, spoke about the work of the Radiomarathon Centre, noting that it is now leader in education and training for young people with learning disabilities in the Enfield area.
“The Centre has been running a successful AQA programme of activities for young adults since 2010 and offer a variety of subject areas including catering, horticulture, drama, art & design, sport & leisure, animal care, childcare and office administration,” he said.
Speaking about the importance of fundraising, Mr Yerolemou said: “Your generous donations will help secure the tremendous results achieved so far, to develop new facilities to improve the lives of the children and young adults, and to continue repayment of the renovation work.”
“Radiomarathon is well on the way of achieving our vision of being a centre of excellence,” he concluded.
Speeches were also made by President of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation Executive Board Mr Makis Symeou, Marfin Laiki Bank General Manager Sophoclis Argyrou who welcomed guests and thanked them for their generosity throughout the years, and presenter of the night psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos who created a moving atmosphere.
A live auction took place were guests could bid for their favourable items. Amongst the items sold were seats in the executive boxes at Emirates Stadium, holiday packages to Aphrodite Hills, Palm Beach and Four Seasons in Cyprus, as well as Blue Sun Hotel in Croatia. Furthermore, the auction included holidays on a private yacht, a signed football by Tottenham FC, paintings by Jane Maclean and sculptures. Mr Tony Vouros acted as auctioneer and Master of Ceremony.
A raffle also took place with many rich prizes up for grabs.
Headlining this year’s entertainment programme was Elli Kokkinou who was in London exclusively for the Radiomarathon Gala. She performed numerous hits including ‘Masai’, ‘Den Gynete’, ‘Kosmotheoria’, ‘Erota Mou’, ‘Ti Tis Eheis Vrei’, as well as latest hits ‘Ta Genethlia Mou’ and ‘Eroteftika’, and had guests dancing till the early hours of the morning. Her first ever performance in the UK was brought to you by Andreas Michaelides and Polis Poliycarpou of Prive Productions.
The evening’s proceeds will go towards the Radiomarathon Centre in Enfield, facilitating a wide range of activities and training opportunities, helping members reach their potential and live more independent and happy, fulfilled lives.
Present at the event was Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Gregorios, Cyprus High Commissioner Mr Alexandros Zenon, representatives of the Cyprus High Commission, members of our business community and customers of Marfin Laiki Bank UK, who served to make the evening a success.