On September 26, 2011, the Greek America Foundation hosted an evening in Mr. Tsakalos’s honor and simultaneously secured the matching funds to endow the scholarship forever and fund additional scholarships. All proceeds from the event support the Greek America Foundation and the scholarship fund. The event included special remarks by the legendary screen and theater actress Olympia Dukakis, who is a spokesperson for the Foundation’s efforts that surround programming for young people. Furthermore, Mr. Tsakalos was recognized for his work with a special presentation.
An endowed scholarship in the name of Nicholas Tsakalos was announced at the 2011 Gabby Awards at Ellis Island, launched with a $100,000 gift by the Baltimore businessman and philanthropist, with a pledge of an additional $100,000 from the Baltimore-Washington Greek American community who wish to honor Mr. Tsakalos’s philanthropy and his life of committed service in a lasting and meaningful way.
“H&S Bakery, Inc. co-owner Nicholas Tsakalos has touched quietly the lives of so many people in our community,” said Chrysovalantis Kefalas, one of Greek America’s Forty Under 40 winners in 2010, who has since become an active member of the Foundation’s efforts. “I remain in awe by Mr. Tsakalos’s work ethic and generosity and believe that giving students, who would otherwise not have the opportunity and the means to do so, the privilege of studying in Greece, to learn for themselves the relevance of being Greek in contemporary culture, is a fitting tribute to Mr. Nick’s legacy of service.”
In the spirit of Pericles, who said “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others,” the Nicholas Tsakalos Endowed Scholarship of the Greek America Foundation will provide students the life-changing opportunity to spend an entire semester studying in the land of his/her ancestors, Greece. The Foundation envisions the Nicholas Tsakalos Endowed Scholarship becoming a model for communities across the country to ensure that their students have the opportunity to experience the richness of their Hellenic heritage.
The scholarship endowment fund – named the Hellenic Legacy Scholarship Endowment Fund – is an integral component of the Greek America Foundation’s core mission. Launched after the first Gabby Awards in 2009, the fund has already provided three full-semester scholarships for students to study at the American College of Greece in Athens. This provides each student with a stable academic environment, with the city of Athens and the entire nation of Greece available for the students to explore. The goal is to create an endowment fund that will send up to 50 students abroad each academic year.