The Antonakos Foundation


On July 7th, 2013, tragedy struck the Greenville community. Many were shocked and overwhelmed with emotions when news spread that there had been a plane crash that killed two families from Greenville. The Antonakos and McManus families were killed during takeoff while vacationing in Alaska.
Ashley Underwood, sister of Kim Antonakos, wanted to do something to honor her lost family members. A year and a half after the plane crash, she established the Antonakos Foundation with a group of close friends of the family to provide scholarships in honor of Melet, Kim, Olivia, Mills, and Ana.
In order to raise funds for these scholarships, two events were scheduled. The two events included a Polar Plunge for the kids and a Silent Auction night for the adults.
The Polar Plunge took place on February 7th at the home of a close family friend of the Antonakos family. Each participant raised at least twenty five dollars in the weeks leading up to the plunge and jumped into the icy water at a designated time. The event was extremely successful, with about 150 students in attendance raising over eleven thousand dollars.
The adults had a warmer event to raise money for the Antonakos Foundation. On February 20th, there was a party at Embassy Suites. The event raised over ninety thousand dollars in one night which brought the total to over ninety three thousand dollars. The event featured food, wine, beer, and Retro Vertigo, as well as a silent auction.
When asked to talk about the event, Beth Henry, a close friend of the Antonakos family, said, “The Antonakos Foundation board and committee were thrilled with the outcome of the adult community celebration. The evening far exceeded our expectations. There were over 450 guests in attendance. Our dream has become a reality. No one would be more proud of the community’s efforts than Melet, Kim, Olivia, Mills, and Ana.”
The first scholarship announced will be to honor Olivia and will be open to current JL Mann seniors this year and in future years will be open to all Greenville County students.
This foundation gives hope and peace to family and friends that the Antonakos legacy will live on.