An anonymous Greek Australian donor writes history for the Estia Foundation and the Greek community in Australia
An unprecedented amount of $10 million was donated to Estia Foundation by a single donor, at its fundraising dinner last Friday.
In what will stay written in the history of Australia’s philanthropic organisations and Greek Australian community as the biggest single donation, a member of Greek Australian community who made a mammoth donation wished to stay anonymous.
An initiative of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, the Estia Foundation’s CEO Father Angelo Alifierakis, who is responsible for all of Estia’s operations and services in caring for children and young adults with disabilities, told Neos Kosmos that in the past, the Estia Foundation has seen donations reach $1 million, but the donation made on last Friday’s Biennial Fundraising Dinner at La Montage in Sydney is beyond compare.
“This is a unique moment in Australian history. Australian families have donated up to $50 million to hospitals, but the amount that has been donated to Estia on Friday is unrivalled when it comes to charitable organisations like ours, especially community organisations,” Father Angelo said.
The fact that only from their biennial fundraising dinner last Friday $500,000 was raised proves that the worthy Estia cause entered the hearts of many.
Around 1000 guests and supporters of Estia Foundation attended the event, alongside Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias, who represented the president and patron of Estia His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, NSW premier Barry O’ Farrell, the NSW Leader of opposition John Robertson, the Consul General of Greece in Sydney Stavros Kirimis and other government and community representatives.
The mammoth donation will help Estia fulfil their long time goals, Father Angelo told Neos Kosmos, to expand and establish two more permanent group homes for young adults with disabilities whose parents or primary carers can no longer care for them.
All proceeds from the fundraising dinner will go towards providing direct care to young people with intellectual and/ or physical disabilities, help with building new facilities in Kyle Bay and Gladsville, and maintenance of already established services.
“At the beginning of this year, Estia has been awarded a Supreme Court ruling to be granted 25,000 square meters waterfront land in Kyle Bay, on Georges River, following a successful submission in 2011.”
With the land secured, the Foundation will now be making initial steps to establish respite facilities and group homes on the land for children and young adults with disabilities, Father Angelo said.
In addition to this, Estia is due to commence building a complex of 10 apartments, permanently housing 10 young adults in Gladesville. The project is worth $3,5 million.
In order for the new project in Gladesville to start, the NSW government $1,16 million in recurrent funding to Estia, that was announced on 1 June, will help.
“However, the NSW Government does not cover all expenses to run the quality services which we pride ourselves upon. We rely on the financial generosity of the community to assist in meeting the shortfall. Building of this new, modern complex is due to commence shortly with the architectural design complete and plans submitted to Kogarah Council for approval,” Father Angelo said.
With the valued support of Greek community members and unprecedented donation of anonymous Estia supporter, young adults with disabilities that Estia cares about will now be given two more permanent group homes, that will provide them with more independency and life they would not have been able to have, if it wasn’t for Greek community and Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.