Shield of Athena rocks the Rialto

From left, Shield of Athena board members Tatiana Londono and Litsa Pelonis, Shield of Athena president Chris Ann Nakis, Tsantali and Kir-yianni Greek wines sponsor Villy Fasoula and Shield of Athena executive director and founder Melpa Kamateros

The Shield of Athena’s annual membership drive underwent a major change this year as it changed venue from the downtown Mountain Street Baton Rouge to the Rialto, where a dozen acts entertained as part of the Swing into Spring fundraising event.

The Shield of Athena Family Services offers services and shelter to victims of family violence and engages in community outreach in 17 languages. The entertainment was organized by longtime Montreal impresario Sheldon Kagan. The MCs were CJAD’s Eramelinda Boquer and Global News’s Jamie Orchard.

Shield of Athena executive director and founder Melpa Kamateros told The Suburban the latest news on a second phase shelter for victims of domestic violence, for which funds are being raised. The residence and resource centre will provide longer term housing, and numerous services, for single women or mothers with children after they leave an emergency shelter.

“The Quebec government has said okay to the second step project, and it has been approved for this year — the land has been bought,” she said. “We’re in the midst of launching the capital costs campaign. Right now, we have everything but $450,000 for the $2.5 million project.”

Shield of Athena president Chris Ann Nakis said she loves the different setting and format of the event this year.

“And the fact Sheldon Kagan wanted to do this for us is très touchant (very touching),” she added.

The entertainment was very diverse — the band Made in Canada provided a mini-history of Canadian rock from the 1950s to today, and other entertainers were 1980s star Nancy Martinez, longtime Quebec entertainer Pierre Perpall, comedians Mike Paterson and Pantelis; crooner Matt Mardini, originally from Aleppo, Syria; several groups of dancers, and Cavelle-Nell Romeo, who provided a preview of her June 17 Whitney Houston tribute show at Théatre St. Denis.

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