Fourth Annual Theophany Charity Ball
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Once again the Serbian American Cultural Center in Weirton, WV was the setting for the 4th annual IOCC Charity Ball. To more accurately reflect Orthodox theology related to Holy Trinity’s presence at Christ’s Baptism, this year’s Charity Ball was renamed the Theophany Charity Ball. Despite the wintery weather, the event drew 175 people from the tri-state area (WV, OH and PA). The event was sponsored by the Holy Resurrection Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church of Steubenville, OH and the IOCC Pittsburgh Metropolitan Committee. Vespers were held at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and then the event moved to the Cultural Center for hors d’oeuvres and an elaborate 5-course meal. Prior to the meal, Tsar Lazar Men’s Choir from Pittsburgh, PA performed several beautiful and moving Serbian hymns.
Speakers included: Mr. Nicholas Chakos, master of ceremonies and IOCC Staff Representative, Pittsburgh, PA; Mark Zatezalo, Parish Council President of Holy Resurrection Church; Nicholas Terezis, Chairman of IOCC Pittsburgh Metropolitan Committee; and our special guest speaker Alexander Machaskee, IOCC Chairman of the Board from Baltimore, MD. Mr. Machaskee gave an inspiring overview of the many efforts of IOCC. Also, Dr. Bill Wusylko gave a brief overview of his experience helping build homes in Louisiana in connection with IOCC Katrina response. The closing prayer was offered by Very Rev. Fr. Rade Merick, priest of the host parish. We were also honored to have His Grace Dr. MITROPHAN of the Serbian Orthodox Church in USA–Diocese of Eastern America offer very heart-felt words about IOCC. After dinner and speeches, Greek and Serbian music provided festive dance music. We offer our sincere thanks to the Randy Lugares and Justin Greenwalt Serbian Band and Arian DJ George Yamalias.
Chinese and silent auctions were held for numerous gift baskets and sports memorabilia thanks to the efforts of Barbara Matey, Nicole Balakos and Kevin Reck. Overall, the net proceeds to benefit IOCC for the evening was a record, nearly $17,000! The Committee extends its sincere thanks to Nino Karas director and staff of Serbian American Cultural Center, Nick & Pearl Tranto, Georgia Anetakis, and Irene Anetakis who made the delicious Baklava, and all those involved with the 2009 Theophany Ball.