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Athens International Airport at ELPIDA's side

On Monday 18 November 2013, at noon, Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" CEO Mr. Yiannis Paraschis; AIA Chief Operations Officer Mr. Alexandros Aravanis; AIA CFO Mr. Basil Fondrier; AIA Communications and Marketing Director Mrs. Ioanna Papadopoulou; AIA Human Resources Director Mrs. Georgia Stergiopoulou; AIA Head of Public Relations Mrs. Chara Mitsotakis; AIA Head of the Press Office Mrs. Marina Papageorgiou; and AIA Public Relations Officer Mrs. Teta Petroula visited the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis – ELPIDA Children's Oncology Unit.

The purpose of their visit was to present ELPIDA with a check for 100,000 euros towards the expenses of the ELPIDA guesthouse.

The Chairwoman of the ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with Cancer , Mrs . Marianna V . Vardinoyannis , welcomed them warmly and said : " We are very pleased to welcome you to our Hospital , as your visit sets its seal on your great contribution and invaluable support of our work . We are honoured by the fact that Athens International Airport has chosen to support our Association as part of its corporate responsibility action by contributing so generously to the work that is carried out at our guesthouse, which is in effect a second home for those children suffering from cancer and coming to Athens to be treated. It is the place where families find refuge and warmth throughout their children's months-long treatment and are also offered psychological support. The Guesthouse's specialized staff and volunteers, as well as the other parents who are already staying there, prove important allies to the daily life of every family that is first entering into this battle. So far, the Guesthouse has offered a home to over 1,000 families from all over Greece and neighboring countries. The Guesthouse allows children to continue their schooling with teachers placed there by the Ministry of Education and to lead a life which is as normal as possible through special events, visits to museums, excursions and many other activities. Most of our actions are based on volunteerism. Volunteer work lies at the core of all that ELPIDA has accomplished...I would like to express my warmest thanks to Athens International Airport CEO Mr. Yiannis Paraschis for his valuable support of our work. Under his leadership , the Athens International Airport is added to the list of ELPIDA's friends, all of whom are invaluable "life allies" to hundreds of children who are suffering. I would also like to extend my warmest thank to Mr . Paraschis's associates, who visited the Guesthouse on numerous occasions, experienced up close the work that is carried out there, and embraced it."

Taking the floor and thanking Mrs . Vardinoyannis for her kind words , AIA CEO Mr . Yiannis Paraschis added : " Every day , our airport receives and sees off thousands of people coming from and traveling to every corner of the five continents. At the Marianna Vardinoyannis - ELPIDA Children's Oncology Unit, the young patients are welcomed by a smiling little girl, Elpida. Through her warm welcome and photographs from all over the world, Elpida wants to turn the children's stay at the hospital into a journey around the world – a metaphorical journey but also a real one, since the children's treatment at your hospital marks the beginning of a new and creative future which offers the chance to today's patients and tomorrow's healthy individuals to literally carry to the five continents their dreams and achievements. It was this analogy, this special relationship, if you will, between our airport and your Association, this affinity between the journey of life and the journeys of joy, experience and knowledge; between the "gate" to life and the future and the "gate" to the world that sensitized us even more and brought us here today, with our decision to offer 100,000 euros in financial aid towards the expenses of ELPIDA's guesthouse, thus contributing to the important work you carry out and bringing one more smile to the lips of our young friends. Our wish is that this will mark the beginning of a collaboration which will evolve through the years to come."

Mrs. Vardinoyannis offered Mr . Paraschis an ELPIDA honorary plaque and a commemorative gift of his visit to the Hospital.

Mr. Paraschis also offered Mrs . Vardinoyannis a commemorative gift and , in a moving gesture , the Guesthouse ' s children presented the AIA delegation with cards and a poster they made especially, in order to thank them for their kindness.

Mrs. Vardinoyannis and the Director of the Aghia Sophia Children ' s Hospital Mr . Emmanuel Papasavvas gave the visitors a tour of the Hospital , where they had the chance to talk with children who are being treated there , with parents and nursing staff .  

The event was also attended by ELPIDA Board members Mesdames Melina Daskalaki , Ino Kosnatntopoulou , Ekaterini Metaxotou , Eleftheria Moraitaki - Pikrou , Eleni Samara - Konstantakatou , Becky Stravelaki , Elli Tzanetatou , Christina Tsatsaki , Ketty Filippidou and Vicki Filippou ; and Guesthouse director Mrs . Anna Panagopoulou.