Tolis Vardakis (center) accepts a check for $2,260 that will be donated in his name to Rotaplast. Vardakis was honored by the Rotary Club of Chestnut Hill during its annual lobster dinner on Saturday, July 25. Rotary club members raised the money as a going away present for Vardakis, who is leaving soon for North Carolina. With him are Rotaplast board member Don Heebner (left) and Carol Schwartz Gallery owner Eliot Schwartz. (Photo by Pete Mazzaccaro)

Tolis Vardakis (center) accepts a check for $2,260 that will be donated in his name to Rotaplast. Vardakis was honored by the Rotary Club of Chestnut Hill during its annual lobster dinner on Saturday, July 25. Rotary club members raised the money as a going away present for Vardakis, who is leaving soon for North Carolina. With him are Rotaplast board member Don Heebner (left) and Carol Schwartz Gallery owner Eliot Schwartz. (Photo by Pete Mazzaccaro)

by Pete Mazzaccaro

Long time Hiller and former Chestnut Hill Community Association president Tolis Vardakis was honored by the Chestnut Hill Rotary Club on Saturday, July 25, for his work in raising money for Rotaplast, a rotary funded organization that raises funds for cleft palate surgeries for poor children around the world, particularly in South and Central America.

Vardakis was called a “champion” by organization board member Don Heebner.

“There’s always one person in a Rotary Cub that steps forward and says, ‘We can do this,’” Heebner said. “That person is a champion. And the champion in Chestnut Hill is Tolis.”

Vardakis, who is moving from Chestnut Hill soon to live closer to family in North Carolina, prompted the Rotary Club to raise $2,260 to donate to Rotaplast in Vardakis’ name. He was also given print of a painting of Valley Green by local painter Howard Watson.

The money would fund two surgeries for children in New Delhi, Heebner said.

“Thanks for being a wonderful Rotarian, Tolis,” fellow Rotary member and Carol Schwartz Gallery owner Eliot Schwartz said while presenting Vardakis with the check.

“I’m very happy that I had the chance to work on this and I thank the Chestnut Hill Rotary Club for this donation,” Vardakis said.

He was certain, he said, that Hill Rotarians would continue to work for the organization.

“There are many champions in Chestnut Hill Rotary,” he said.

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