Rotary hosts big fat Greek celebration for Hospice

The culture, food, music and dance of Greece will be celebrated at a fundraiser for Harbour Hospice on November 3.

For the second year running, the Rotary Satellite Club of Orewa-Millwater is hosting a Greek Extravaganza, but this time in a bigger venue – the Orewa Events Centre.

Rotary member and organiser Theo Simeonidis says last year’s extravaganza sold out six weeks before the event so he hopes the bigger venue will mean less disappointed patrons.

“I was born in New Zealand, but both my parents were Greek,” Theo says. “I couldn’t even speak English when I started school in Christchurch.

“My childhood was steeped in Greek culture and heritage, and I also ran Theo’s Greek Taverna in Wellington for many years.”

Theo says he tries to capture this authenticity at the extravaganza.

Guests will be treated to a full three-course Greek dinner starting with traditional dishes such as tzatziki and pastries, and finishing with baklava and other Mediterranean delights. Beer, wine and spirits, including ouzo, will also be Greek.

The Athena Dance Group from Tauranga will return by popular demand, and Theo and wife Cristina, who perform as the Sounds of Greece, will also be in the entertainment line-up.

Last year, the event raised $7500, but this year the target is $20,000.

The money will be spent on the upgrade of the in-patient unit at Hibiscus Hospice, which will include new beds.

Hospice marketing coordinator Bex Argar says the latest patient beds are state of the art, much safer and secure, and more comfortable for the patients.

“They have memory foam mattresses and are a larger size (king single) so that patients and their families can be more relaxed and spend more time together when they are they are in the unit,” she says.

Theo says the whole idea of the evening is to have fun, but also to do something good for the community. He thanked all the sponsors for their support.

The extravaganza is one of two major Rotary fundraising events held on the Coast each year, with the other being the swimathon in May.

Tickets are $65 per person and are available by phoning 09 421 9180 or visit