Let’s Rock & Roll in Cleveland….Cretan Style

Located on the banks of Lake Erie, near the valley of the Cuyahoga River, stands the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, where you can see and hear America’s modern music from the last 70 years.  Not too far away (about 10-minute drive) you can hear another kind of music echoing across the neighborhoods of Cleveland, they are the strains of the Cretan Λύρα and Λαούτο.

The music is coming from the Cretan Leski, compliments of the George Varouh Cretan Club of Cleveland located in an ethnic neighborhood called Kamm’s Corners.

The Cretan Mutual Benefit of Cleveland (founded name) was established in 1929 and was kicked off by our first picnic even before the creation of the Pancretan Association of America. Since then, our chapter has evolved to become one of the leading cultural organizations in Cleveland.
In 2000, the club purchased its building and began renovations transforming it from an office building into a 200-seat party center. Since celebrating its Grand Opening in 2007, we have hosted many events including District 3 Conferences and PAA National Board Meetings. Just recently, we hosted the 2019 PYA Winter Conference after forming its own PYA Chapter.
2010 - Today
Over the past decade the clubs’ main fundraising event has been the Kamm’s Corners Greek Festival This annual event is hosted over four days every Labor Day Weekend. We close the streets, erect tents, hire a band and roast lambs, γύρος and σουβλάκια. Our community is eager to have the entire PAA community visit our Κρητικό Σπίτι and to offer some long overdue Cleveland Φιλοξενία.

Meet the Team

John G. Elliott,
PAA 2023 Convention Co-Chair

I embraced my Cretan heritage at the age of 11 at the 1976 Convention in Pittsburgh where I performed Cretan dances for the first time in front of a large crowd. For the first time in my life I was able to fully feel the passion it is to be Cretan. I continued my life to share that feeling with my community. As GVCC president for the last ten years, my mission is to perpetuate the warmth of our culture by allowing others to feel the way I did as a young boy whose life was transformed by a convention.

Maria Kalikas,
PAA 2023 Convention Co-Chair

I was born in Greece. I was longing to find a community that felt like home. In 2019, I felt called to continuing this beautiful legacy by sewing it into my life's purpose. I thought, "If not me, who? If not now, when?" It became a moral obligation to be a role model for my generation so that our culture lives forever. That was when I found the Cleveland PYA. My life's mission is to deliver community experiences so that everyone can be introduced to the love and hospitality of our heritage. This convention is my life's mission.