Pinellas News

"Greek Wedding" star wows crowd

TARPON SPRINGS - Nia Vardalos didn't disappoint Saturday night, leading a humorous, light-hearted affair in front of a sold-out Tarpon Springs crowd.Fans of the actress, famous for writing and starring in 2002's "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," filled up the Spanos-Pappas Community Center to hear her speak while promoting her new book, "Instant Mom."The book chronicles Vardalos' circuitous path to motherhood via adoption and the journeys throughout."All I wanted to do was write a 'how to adopt' book because when I was trying to become a parent it was really difficult to find out exactly how to adopt," she said, adding that from there it began incorporating other interwoven life events as well.While discussing the adoption of her daughter, Ilaria, Vardalos entertained the crowd with stories of her Greek heritage and family and beginnings as an actress and writer.Along with promoting "Instant Mom," Saturday night also functioned as a benefit to The Children's Home in Tampa and as a way to raise general awareness to adoption and foster care. The Children's Home is a 121-year-old organization that strives to care for struggling families and foster children."By being here tonight, by paying for the ticket, by having a delicious dinner, you have got this book and the proceeds are being donated to all the places that helped me become a mom and to The Children's Home," Vardalos said. Guests paid a $60 donation per person to attend and each received a personally autographed copy of "Instant Mom."Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie was in attendance Saturday night, welcoming and warming up the crowd prior to Vardalos taking the microphone.Following the on-stage speaking, Vardalos sat for meet-and-greets and book signings with guests.Ron and the Classics provided the musical backdrop to the evening as the dance portion of Saturday's dinner-dance began.According to Vardalos' Facebook page, the Tarpon Springs book tour stop was the final one until this fall so that she could return home and spend more time with her daughter and 815-1071
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