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Chris P. Tomaras Receives First Ariston Foundation Award

Chris P. Tomaras, Chairman of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation was the distinguished guest of honor at the First Annual Ariston Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at the John Evans Alumni Center on Northwestern University's Evanston campus.  The intimate gathering of supporters marked the first anniversary of the founding of the Ariston Foundation. 


“We founded the Ariston Foundation on Greek Independence Day March 25, 2011, to celebrate and promote the Hellenic language and culture through small scholarships, projects and special events,” said Anthe Mitrakos, cofounder of the Ariston Foundation. “The ancient Hellenes laid the foundation for achieving one's best. That is why we honor our heritage by naming the Foundation “Ariston,” continued Anthe. 


“It is also why we chose Mr. Chris P. Tomaras to be our very first recipient of the Ariston Hellene Award,” said Vasiliki Mitrakos, cofounder and President of the Ariston Foundation.  “His many accomplishments in business and his philanthropic spirit, especially in establishing the scholarship and educational programs of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, reflect the principle of excellence upon which the Ariston Foundation was founded. We present this award to him in recognition of his efforts to support the education of Greek American college students across the United States,” explained Vasiliki.


        Left to Right: Vasiliki Mitrakos, Chris P. Tomaras, Neil Menelaos Vranis, Anthe Mitrakos


"With much enthusiasm I accept the Ariston Hellenes Award.  It is a great honor for me to be named the first recipient.  I am very proud that you have established the Ariston Foundation.  In doing so, you have truly embraced the mission of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation.  You have made it your own through your love of education and your ethnicity,” expressed Mr. Tomaras in his acceptance of the award.  Honoring the many members of the audience from Greece, Mr. Tomaras expressed in Greek his passion for education and stated “Morfosis (education) is the most significant ingredient of the human existence which, together with the values instilled in our students by their families, delivers leaders and significant contributors to society.”


Following in the footsteps of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, the members of the Ariston Foundation awarded two scholarships to outstanding students whose high academic achievement is an inspiration to all Greek American students. The first Ariston Award Scholarship recipients were Neil Menealos Vranis, who has graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Neuroscience and minor in Entrepreneurism and Management and Maryann Vlahos who has graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Biology and a minor in Modern Greek Studies.


“We are delighted to acknowledge the achievements of Hellenes worthy of honor and praise,” said Anthe Mitrakos.  “Neil, Maryann and Mr. Tomaras have each set admirable examples and we are happy to congratulate them for their success,” she said. Neil Vranis, who was able to attend the event, expressed his gratitude to the members of the Ariston Foundation for the award. He also thanked his parents who have supported him in his quest to be a neuroscience physician as well as instilling in him the values of Hellenism.


College students of Hellenic descent are encouraged to apply for the 2013 Ariston Foundation Merit Scholarship. Applications will become available in January. For more information on the scholarships and special Ariston Foundation events please inquire at


Mr. Chris P. Tomaras, Chairman and the Board of Directors of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation salute the Ariston Foundation and wish it continued success.