What: The 22nd Hellenic Professionals’ Gala
Where: The Ritz Carlton Hotel, 181 Wellington St. W.
When: Saturday, February 29, 2020
More than 440 guests dropped by the Ritz Carlton Hotel last month to celebrate the 22nd annual Hellenic Professionals’ Gala.
The event is both a networking opportunity for Hellenic lawyers, physicians and dentists, as well as a fundraiser for student scholarships. The gala is run jointly by three Hellenic organizations: the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers’ Association (HCLA), the Hippocrates Hellenic Canadian Medical Association and the Asclepius Dental Society. “I am constantly impressed and humbled by the ongoing support and enthusiasm of the Hellenic Canadian lawyers’ community,” says Francesca Smirnakis, the president of the HCLA and senior counsel at RBC Wealth Management. “Their commitment to the HCLA makes events like these possible so we can help our students with their increasing tuition.”
Every year, the organizations award scholarships to students in their respective disciplines. At this year’s event, three law students received scholarships. Anastasia Grigoriou, a law student at the University of Toronto, won the new Hellenic Professionals’ Scholarship. Ellie Minchopoulous at the University of Toronto and Angelique Merakos at the University of Ottawa, meanwhile, were awarded the Justice Karakatsanis Scholarship.
“Receiving the Justice Andromache Karakatsanis Award was a very special moment for my family and me,” says Minchopoulous. “My grandparents came to this country with nothing to build a better life than the one they left behind. As I do not have any lawyers in my family, the HCLA has been an important source of community and mentorship for me.”
Justice Andromache Karakatsanis was the first Greek Canadian to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada. She co-founded the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers’ Association in 1990.
The HCLA also announced a new First Year Law Student Scholarship at the gala, which will go to a student of Hellenic descent starting law school in the fall of 2020.
To find out more about the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association, visit their website.