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Zoulgarelis named Palmetto Patriot

Posted: November 26, 2010 11:22 a.m.
Updated: November 29, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer hands Zoulgarelis the Palmetto Patriot award.

Local restaurateur Demetrios Zoulgarelis was recently awarded the Palmetto Patriot award from Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, the highest civilian honor awarded by South Carolina’s lieutenant governor, given to an individual who has shown outstanding commitment to public service within the state and the community.

“I am honored. It was really a shock for me, I had no idea I was going to receive this,” said Zoulgarelis.

For decades, Zoulgarelis has been active with the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a national organization with branches across the country devoted to promoting Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence. It was through AHEPA Zoulgarelis met Bauer.

Zoulgarelis said he doesn’t like to receive attention for community service, referencing a Greek saying that translates in English as, “Do Good and then throw it in the ocean.”

“I was always just taught to help people and not expect anything in return,” said Zoulgarelis. “Helping people doesn’t mean as much if you do it for something in return.”

Additionally, when running a restaurant in Chapin, S.C., Zoulgarelis said he used to hold free buffets to feed approximately 20 poor families in the area each Sunday for nearly a decade.

“I said to Andre, ‘you know, I don’t know if I deserve this honor. He said, ‘yes, believe me, you do,’” Zoulgarelis said.


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