A series of fundraisers for orphans and needy children in Greece organised by members of the Greek community – driven by an initiative of the ESTIA: Hellenic Women’s Cultural Association Melbourne – has managed to raise much-needed funds for an orphanage in Thessaloniki. Members of ESTIA, Ms Driva and Ms Gounari, as well as Paul Mavroudis, travelled to Greece – on their own expense – and visited Thessaloniki to present the funds raised for the orphanage. The members all thanked the tireless efforts and donations of the diaspora, the Greek Cultural Council Association – ENOSI, the Pontian Community of Melbourne and Victoria and the AHEPA. ESTIA has said that a full report on the amount of money raised and how they are going to distribute the aid will be released. But as it stands they have released details of funds raised by various members of the community including: a musical concert organised by AHEPA which raised $11,250; a dinner dance organised by the Pontian Community of Melbourne and Victoria in collaboration with the Greek Cultural Council ‘ESTIA’ raised $ 9,500; and The Bank of Cyprus, through the account “Assist the children in Greece” raised 29,887 euros. So far they have delivered 13,000 euros to the Parents Association in Eastern Thessaloniki giving each child a cheese pie and a drink each day. The Chief Education Officer of Eastern Thessaloniki Michael Kalograia and directors of the school were present when members of ESTIA presented their donation. Sprinder gift certificates were presented to children of the orphanages Melissa’s and Papafeiou – located in Eastern Thessaloniki to purchase clothes, shoes and school supplies. Melissa’s received 200 gift certificates at a total of 4,800 euros and Papafeiou received 200 gift certificates at a total of 7,400 euros. They also managed to negotiate with Sprinder to receive an additional 30 per cent discount and this was presented to the children in the form of 200 euros that they can spend in the shop. The orphanages also received 3,600 euros for Greek supermarket Vasilopoulos to be used for food for the orphanage. Papafeiou received 1,000 euros for bathroom renovations. In total 29,800 euros was given. The remainder was retained by the bank for cashing checks. Meanwhile, members of ESTIA will continue their work in fundraising to ensure breakfast is supplied every morning to these children for the rest of the year, in addition to 85 working days. ESTIA Hellenic Women’s Cultural Association Melbourne thanked all the sponsors and everyone who supported their efforts with their presence. They also encourage the organisations and the community to continue to support this important project. Donate direct to the Bank of Cyprus account “Assist the children in Greece” – BSB: 941304 and Account number: 202120002. To get in touch with ESTIA email estia.greekwomen@gmail.com