While for 55 years the Fresno Greek Fest has been a celebration of all things Greek, the goal of the event has always been to give back to the community. This year they add a new name to the list; St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center Fund. On September 11, 2001, the twin towers collapsed on the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. In the years following the attack, rebuilding was the next step in the healing process.
The St. Nicholas Shrine will be more than just a church. As a place of prayer and meditation, the shrine will be a sanctuary for all people, visitors from around the world, family members of the victims, and all souls affected by tragedy. Remembrance is the key to building a better future for the generations to come, and this shrine will serve as a place of learning. The entire structure will have programs of remembrance designed specifically for surviving family members, interreligious educational programs, and cultural events for everyone to participate in while visiting. To learn more visit www.stnicholaswtc.org and to donate visit https://fresnogreekfest.showare.com/DonationAddToBasket.asp?camp=11.
Greek churches across the United States are joining forces to help rebuild and return St. Nicholas Shrine to Ground Zero. The Shrine will be built in the shadow of the Freedom Tower and directly across from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. This year $1 from every ticket sold will go toward the goal of raising $25,000 for the St. Nicholas National Shrine WTC Fund. A booth will be set up for festivalgoers to learn about the St. Nicolas Shrine and what it will represent. Acceptance of additional donations will take place at the booth and the exit.
On a local level, Fresno Greek Fest donates to a wide variety of organizations in the Central Valley. “It’s really a circle of giving, because our community loves Fresno Greek Fest and with their amazing support it’s a gift that goes right back to the community,” said Peterangelo Vallis, Executive Director of the event. Canned foods collected at the gate are shared with the Community Food Bank, the Rescue Mission and Poverello House. Organizations such as Sunnyside High School, Bullard High School, Roosevelt High School, Clovis East High Schools’ Boys Basketball, Boys and Girls Water Polo, Choir and Forensics Teams, Boy Scouts of America, Victory Outreach, Fresno Soap Company, Modesto Dance Groups, and Buchannan High School, are provided with donations for their programs. “There is an old saying about ‘beware of Greeks bearing gifts’,” laughs Vallis. “Fresno Greeks have gifted the Valley with fifty-five years of love.”
For more information about the Fresno Greek Festival Donations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the office at (559) 233-0397.