Building 50 Years of Memories
The Dragas Companies turned 50 this year and we are very excited to be celebrating our golden anniversary by giving back to Hampton Roads’ communities through various philanthropic efforts throughout the year! As a kickoff contribution, The Dragas Companies was the lead, $50,000 sponsor of local nonprofit ForKids’ Annual Art Auction on Saturday, April 14, and the Dragas family has pledged $500,000 to help build ForKids’ new regional headquarters and family shelter complex in Chesapeake. “ForKids delivers life-changing impacts for children and families in Hampton Roads who experience homelessness,” said Thaler McCormick, CEO of ForKids. “It’s critical that we have partners in the community to help us help others, and Dragas’ abiding passion for making sure every child has safe housing and quality educational opportunities mirrors our own.” Dragas will launch monthly charitable contributions and projects throughout the year to build on Dragas’ long-established commitment to Hampton Roads. In 2007, Dragas funded $1.5 million for Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk to improve regional response to a growing problem of family homelessness. 2018 marks Dragas’ fifth year as title sponsor of the ForKids Art Auction. In addition, the Dragas’ have been longtime supporters of efforts to improve access to higher education and philanthropists to both public and private schools, colleges and universities as well as the arts and other civic projects. “We build Hampton Roads communities, but first and foremost, we are members ourselves. As a business founded by first generation Americans who faced uncertainty, housing instability, and hunger, we know firsthand that having a stable place to call home and access to a good education are the fundamental equalizers of opportunity,” said Helen Dragas, President and CEO of The Dragas Companies. “We can think of no better way to celebrate 50 years in business in Hampton Roads than giving back to our neighbors. It’s our responsibility to the community that has welcomed us and helped our company thrive for 50 years.” The Dragas Companies’ 50-year legacy began when founder George Dragas opened its doors as Dragas Mortgage Company in 1968. A son of Greek immigrants, he believed owning a home was part of the American Dream. He was soon joined by his brother Mark, and the company began creating neighborhoods and welcoming families into new homes. Fifty years later, Hampton Roads is home to more than 50 award-winning properties in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, and more than 7,000 homeowners live in a Dragas-built home. Today, Helen Dragas is President and CEO and continues the company’s commitment to responsible development and civic engagement. Under her leadership, creating lifestyle communities of enduring beauty and sustainable quality has been a hallmark of Dragas’ work in Hampton Roads. As a result, the company was named “America’s Best Builder” by Builder Magazine and the National Association of Homebuilders in 2009 and won the national Lee Evans Award for Building Management Excellence in 1999 and again in 2009.