For the third year running, the International Women's Organization of Paros organized the now well-known Halloween Party on 31st October. This was the 5th IWOP benefit event for Paros.
As well as raising money for an important local cause, this is a chance for us to dress up and have some fun - anonymously if we want to disguise ourselves in masquerade costumes - which of course helps to dispel self-consciousness when we are selling raffle tickets and making official speeches.
Originally a Christian celebration, Halloween means "The Holy Eve" before the 1st of November - All Saints Day. We celebrate this "Night of the Lost Souls" in memory of our lost relatives and friends. And, as part of the international community on the island, this event also gives us an opportunity to bring a tradition from another culture to share with our Greek neighbours who have shared so much of their culture and tradition with us.
This year we chose a more central venue and held the party in Paroikia instead of in Naoussa as we did for the past two years. The Pandrossos Hotel provided us with warm hospitality, a beautiful environment and a delicious and lavish buffet supper.
Our guests at the party included the President of the Administrative Board of the Paros Health Centre - Mrs Stefania Kortsianou-Hatzopoulou and her husband, the Vice-President of AMEAI - Mr Markos Koveos and his wife (Markos made a short speech of thanks and told us how last year's donation from IWOP had purchased a special carpet for the Centre), Mr Stratis Pavlakis of the newly-elected Municipal Council, Mr Georgos Patsiotis and friends. IWOP would like to particularly thank these guests who showed their appreciation of our activities by participating in this event.
A total of 760 euro was raised that evening which will be equally divided and used to buy special equipment for the Paros Health Centre and for the Association of People with Special Needs/Abilities (AMEAI) in Naoussa.
Prizes for the best costumes were awarded in three categories as follows:
Best female costume: 100% handmade silver ring by Vangelis Skaramagkas, Paroikia - won by Mary Godfrey.
Best male costume: a bottle of whisky donated by Alekos & Assemina Tsigonias, Drios - won by Graham Saunders.
Best children's costume: an Intel Play-Sound Morph computer game from Computer House, Paroikia - won by Johannes Nordby.
We already have some new ideas for developing future benefit parties and hope that the spirit of Halloween will continue in the years to come.
Our special thanks to Marilyn and Len Rooks for their superb photographs - thanks to which the Halloween Party will always be in our memory - and to Xavier Charitou and his staff from the Pandrossos Hotel for hosting us.
Live Greek music was performed, like last year, by the talented group from Antiparos featuring: Kosmas Marinatos (bouzouki), Ilias Skiadas (guitar), George Marianos (percussion) and Sophia Pappa (percussion). Our thanks to them and also to DJ Damianos Viazis.
So very many willing helpers have been involved in ensuring the success of our three Halloween parties over the past two years: Inge Hassinger, Christa Nomikos, Loni Ikonomou, Maryanna Gossler, Christina St?rke, Bob & Karen Barratt, Rosemarie, Eleonore & baby Magnus Lubitz, Christianne Goebel, Susi Baumgarten, Mariele & Sarah Gubisch, Mary & Tanya Godfrey, Silvia Lubitz-Skaramagkas, Yvonne J?nsson, Nehama Weininger, Angelica Eder, Obdulia Lopez-Henriquez, Lornie Caplan, Britta Thelen, Dimitris Yorgaros, Sigi Kindt, Kristel Henauer, Marianna & Jolanda Sarri. These volunteers ran from one side of the island to the other to ask Parian businesses for donations for the raffle, provided us with materials and with the skills to prepare the decorations, helped give the party the right Halloween spirit, sold raffle tickets, provided us with delicious homemade sweets and otherwise helped in a thousand ways both large and small. And Elsa Sarri, Jean Polyzoides, Lornie Caplan, Yvonne J?nsson, Silvia Lubitz-Skaramagkas, Obdulia Lopez-Henriquez, Rosemarie Lubitz, Inge Hassinger and Mary Godfrey were this year's hardworking Halloween Committee.
Thanks also to our husbands, friends and families for their support in all kinds of ways and their patience during the frantic preparations. We honestly hope that we've not forgotten to mention anyone. The list is long!
Finally, our thanks go to the Parian businesses and individuals who once again donated more than 150 fabulous prizes for our raffle:
From PAROIKIA: Kochilia - Georgos Roussos & Anna Panou, Fuji Foto - Petros Kouroupis, Antigoni Vigla Pharmacy, Nikos Skiadas Hardware, Diakosmos, Artistiko Souvenirs, Agrotiki Enosi, Areti Daferera, Okeanis Jewellery, Pantelis Sifnaios Electrics, Stelios Aliprantis Bakery, Panda Clean - Nikos Grozos, Nikos Skiadas Gas Station, Cafe Kentrikon, Georgos Patziotis Hardware, Kalimera Giftshop, Agora - Nikos Kalabalikis, Polos Fabric Shop, Windmill Cafe, Avis Rent-a-car, Christos Taverna, Balloonland, Havana Club, Vangelis Skaramagkas OE Jewellery Workshop, Palaiopoleio - Yvonne von der Decken, Aladdin Giftshop, Eirini Thoma-Kontou Pharmacy, Kostas Skaramagkas Parfumerie, Maria Daferera, La Palma - Spiros Spiridis, Ghikas Bros., Paros Pet Shop - Tassos Triantafillos, Computer House - Angela Roditou, Charto Emborio - Andreas Karagonis & Georgos Fasianos, 299 Shop, Sconto Center, Norio's Restaurant. Also the Kodak Photoshop in Paroikia - Georgos & Manolis Skandalis developed the party photographs free of charge.
From NAOUSSA: Evangelia Barbarigou Hardware, Ioannis Katzibaros, Maria Giannakopoulou, Ilias Arkoulis Gas Station, Nikoforos Roussos Agrotiki, Joseph Kouyoutsoglou Cava, Giannis Koulianos Watches, Athanasis Chamiloforos Patisserie, Tango Casualware, P. Chamiloforos Minimarket, Anna Belentza Supermarket, Chroma sto Choma, Zacharias Aliprantis Fishing equipment, Kostas Roussos Electrics, Panagiotis Aiginitis Hardware, Anthi & Techni, Nikoletta Kypraiou Gas station, Sixt Rent-a-car, Philosophiki Lithos, Stella Stamatopalou, Fotini Kassalia Hairdressers, Spiros Anagiros Bike equipment, Marina Kortianou Giftshop, Athanassios Sipsas Pharmacy, Georgos Tavalas Cava, Aphroditi Seferli Jewellery, Nid D'Or Jewellery - Dimitris Meremetis, Anemos Jewellery - G. Ioannidisis, Roboras Jewellery, Antonis Sifnaios Taverna, Tantanis Art & Decor, Loukia Roussou Bookstore, Dionisio Tsavlidis Laundry, Konstantinos Sifnaios Agrotiki, Grigorias Gavras, Menegos Kalakonas, Olympia Bakatsia, Moraitis AE Cava, Batistas Bakery, Antonis Daveronas Butchers, Konstantinos Tsounakis Supermarket, Euroagora Supermarket, N. Georgos Chaniotis, Inge Hassinger Olive Oil Workshops, Yvonne Jonsson, Vangelis Economou Leatherware, Apollonia - Loni Economou, Fuji Foto Centre.
From DRIOS: Alekos & Assemina Tsigonias, Anchor Taverna, Supermarket Annousakis.