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Christmas party at the "Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit

On Thursday 15 December 2011 the spirit of Christmas flooded the "MARIANNA V. VARDINOYANNIS-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit warming the years of children and grownups and giving joy and laughter to the children who are undergoing treatment there.

The "ELPIDA" Association of Friends of Children with Cancer saw to it the hospital's foyer was decorated in fairy-tale Christmas style, something that delighted the children, along with the delicious Christmas goodies while Father Christmas and the Penguin made the party atmosphere even more joyous with their presence.

With open arms, much love and many presents the President of the Association Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis arrived there early to celebrate with the children and, along with the Administrative Director of the "Aghia Sophia" Children's Hospital Dr. Emmanouil Papsavvas, to welcome the Messenger of "ELPIDA" pop star Sakis Rouvas, keeping the promise he made that he will never be absent from any of the children's parties.

Welcoming Sakis Rouvas, Mrs. Vardinoyannis noted: "Sakis Rouvas, the Messenger of "ELPIDA" whom we all love so much is with us to join us in welcoming the holy days of Christmas together, expressing, yet again, his sensitivity and love for the children of "ELPIDA".   When, about two and a half years ago, in March 2009, Sakis decided to undertake a more official and responsible role at our side as the Messenger of "ELPIDA", he conveyed to the whole world a message of involvement and commitment to sick children.   It was truly a great honor for us and the joy and strength he has given all of us has been enormous.   From that time until today Sakis has kept his promise and through his social activities has done so much for us.   Where to begin…

  •  The 2009 ArGOODaki campaign that succeeded in equipping 4 of our Oncology Hospital's outpatient units.
  •   The 2010 ArGOODaki campaign thanks to which we were able to implement a program of expansion and renovation of the "ELPIDA" Guest House in accordance with the most modern international specifications.
  •   The campaign for the Trident Senses Sakis Rouvas collectors' edition, a part of whose proceeds were made available to support the work of the ELPIDA Association.
  •   The song "There is hope (elpida)" that he dedicated to our children.
  •   His continued presence at important moments of our Association, such as the opening of our Oncology Hospital.
  •   His participation in our campaigns.
  •   His participation in our parties for the children.
  •   The fact that he is always on red alert when it comes to responding to the needs of sick children.

But all this is more or less well known by all of you.   What you may not know is that Sakis has been at the side of the children of ELPIDA for years before he became its messenger, in ways that he never wished to publicize.   Sakis was and is close to children who suffer, close to them in their sorrow and joy, making the difficult moments easier in his own unique way.   I will never forget that on one of his visits to the guest house he devoted endless hours to the children.   His associates urged him to leave because he had some other commitment but he didn't want to part from the children and stayed with them and sang and played with them with such love.

For all these reasons, a big thank you and an equally heartfelt "Bravo!" are very little compared to all Sakis has done and continues to do for us.

Sakis, we thank you from the bottom of our heart, we wish you and your family all the very best in the new year and as a token of our gratitude for your initiatives and your support, we are placing a star with your name in the "Children's Sky" and it will remain there for ever, carved in the hearts of us all and will remind everyone of your presence and your great contribution to our hospital and the work of our Association".

Sakis Rouvas thanked Mrs. Vardinoyannis for her kind words and, placing the star with his name in the Children's Sky, he said:   "This star is a great honor for me because it constitutes one more gesture by Mrs. Vardinogiannis to demonstrate to me that I too have contributed in this small way to her great work.   I came today to receive one more life lesson as my participation in the work of the Association has a great school for me.   I am learning from the children and their parents how to deal with life's difficulties and from Mrs. Vardinoyannis the meaning of steadfastness and dedication to a goal.   I feel very good each time I find myself among the children because I sense that my presence makes them forget where they are, even for a little while.   And I promise to continue to be close to them as often as possible."

Then Mrs. Vardinoyannis and Sakis Rouvas, along with the children, decorated the "Wishing Tree" - a Christmas tree whose branches are adorned with little handwritten notes with wishes instead of decorations.  Right after that they toured the wards to wish the small patients and their patients "Happy Holidays".  Needless to say Sakis Rouvas couldn't sign autographs fast enough for the children who were clamoring around him and wanted to be photographed with him 

Those present at the event included the deputy director of the hospital Dr. Irene Todoulou, Professor Stelios Grafakos, as well as the members of the "ELPIDA" Association Mrs. Irene Athanassiadou,   Mrs. Katy Voutsela, Mrs. Ioanna Gelestathi, Mrs. Mrs. Georgina Ellina, Mrs. Ekaterini Metaxotou, Mrs. Dina Pritsiveli, Mrs. Anna Panogopoulou, Mrs. Eleni Samara Konstantakatou, Mrs. Elli Tzanetatou, Mrs. Ketty Filippidou and Mrs. Vicki Filippou.