History of the Greek Division

Vivian Harris and Niki Sideris

The Greek Division of Ronald McDonald House® New York was established in 1979 with the partnership of two friends who shared a dream: to support children and families suffering through the trials of pediatric cancer treatment.

President Emerita* Vivian Harris met the late Niki Sideris through Mrs. Sideris’ volunteer work as a translator for European families receiving medical treatment through New York Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In little time, a bond was formed. 

A native of Greece, Mrs. Sideris’ efforts had a direct impact on many, including over 10,000 Greek families. In 1988, Mrs. Sideris was named Chairman of the Greek Division of Ronald McDonald House New York. During her tenure, her accomplishments include raising money to help fund the construction of our current location on East 73rd Street. 

Mrs. Sideris’ introduction of the House and its many services to Greek and Cyprian families abroad has had a profound effect on the lives of those children and families desperate for hope. To date, more than 10,000 Greek families have received some form of assistance through the Greek Division. 

Niki’s enthusiasm and commitment to Ronald McDonald House New York was incalculable. 2009 marked the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Greek Division of Ronald McDonald House New York and over 20 years as the Division’s Chairman. In 2008, both Niki Sideris and Mrs. Harris became inaugural recipients of the Ronald McDonald House New York Hope Awards, an honor which recognizes four individuals each year who have gone above and beyond to inspire hope in the lives of children and families battling pediatric cancer.

We all know in our hearts that she wanted her work to continue to grow and advance beyond her earthly days; in that spirit a special committee has been convened to perpetuate her vision.

*deceased

 

For more information please contact Spiridoula Katechis at 212-639-0218, or skatechis@rmh-newyork.org.