Manoli receives Wrestling Living Legend Award. Manoli was a professional wrestler before he started his jewelry business. He was honored to accept the Wrestling Living Legend Award from the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame event in Kansas City in 2018.
Have Manoli’s Jewelers clean your jewelry for the holidays.
We don’t just dip your jewelry into a bowl of sudsy water. We put it into a basket and place it into a professional ultrasonic and the gently pulsating solution will clean it. Then we rinse your jewelry off and then steam it using a steamer that produces about 70 to 90 PSI of steam. So that adds the finishing touch to the cleaning. After all of this, we recheck your jewelry to make sure everything is as it should be.
We do this at no charge to you. Come in today and get all of your fine jewelry professionally cleaned .
Recipient of the 2007 President’s Award for Volunteer Service – Learn More
We received this because of the efforts that we put forth to help our son, Dino, who was serving in Iraq, in the Marines Weapons Co 3/24. One day he called us at the store and told his mother, Valerie, that they needed fire retardant underwear, so we started raising money for that. He then told us that they needed raincoats and we got those and then he told us that they needed spot lights for their humvees and we sent those to his unit.
We did this with the help of Debbie Fisher whose son, Travis, was in Iraq with our son, Dino.
And, of course,with all of the people who donated money to help us with this.
“Below is an excerpt from an email that I went to another father detailing what we had done”
My son Dino is a Marine and he just returned from his 7 months in Iraq and he came home in one piece. Due to the fact that he was hunting for ied’s and he was in the lead humvee and two of his guys were badly burned over 70 % of their bodies-he asked me to send him some Nomex underwear so I and a friend started e-mailing friends and family and raised about $17,000 and sent about 200 pairs of flame retardant underwear-we actually found a new type that was softer and supposed to be better than Nomex. Then he asked for 32 raincoats which we sent-we were able to find dark green finally. Then he asked for spot lights that they could put on heir humvees so they could see better at night and we sent a lot of those-I don’t remember how many plus extra bulbs. I feel very good knowing that we might have made someone feel more secure.
Another father of one of the Marines that served with our son heard the story and asked if it would be ok if he submitted our story for the award.
Manoli Savvenas can still remember smelling the Aegean Sea air as he tried to out-maneuver his friends kicking a soccer ball made from old rags.
“We didn’t have toys. But it was a very happy childhood. We’d get hungry from playing, so we’d go home and eat a slice of bread. We’d wet it with water and put a little sugar on it,” he says.
Growing up on the Greek island of Rhodes, Savvenas was aware of the ancient Roman and Byzantine artists, writers and philosophers who had called the island home.
“Believe me, we ate a lot of fish. And fresh vegetables like green beans and fresh tomatoes. And all the fruit you can imagine. We cut it from the trees ourselves,” he said.
There was no stove; his mother cooked with terra cotta pots over an open wood fire.
The son of a farmer, Savvenas remembers lighting the kerosene lamp at night to sit and do his homework.
“We didn’t have running water. Or electricity. We didn’t have a TV or radio. But we felt rich, because we relied on each other,” he said.
It was the postwar era, in which Greece, like other European nations, struggled to regain its economic footing. His mother could not read – “women didn’t go to school in her days” – but she saw the value in hard work and learning a trade. She wanted that for her seven children, all of whom shared a one-room house. All nine slept side by side every night.
“We didn’t even have a bathroom. You had to go outside,” Savvenas recalls.
His mother asked a neighbor to teach Savvenas the jewelry trade. He was 11 years old.
“Then when I was 12, we used to work late at night polishing jewelry just to make enough money to spend on something like a pair of socks. It was not hard labor — it was just a job. And appreciated the opportunity to learn,” Savvenas said.
Since the shop didn’t have electricity, Savvenas learned to melt silver and gold over glowing-hot coals.
“We made our own wire by hand. I can melt gold or silver down and make it as thin as your hair,” he said.
At 16, he started boxing. But his mother, a driving force in his life, begged him to stop. So he took up wrestling.
“It was like the Greco-Roman style of competition. I never thought I would become a professional wrestler. I wanted to compete, not perform,” Savvenas said.
But then, at 18, he left Greece in search of opportunity. After stops in Australia, Canada and Mexico, he found himself working as a professional wrestler in Madison Square Garden, New York.
“Now, [professional wrestling] is a monopoly. At that time, it was different. There were territories. My first one was the NWA, or North Wrestling Alliance out of St. Louis. And I wrestled for the WWF in New York,” he said.
“I wrestled Macho Man Randy Savage and Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase, and Bob Backlund,” he said. “My wrestling name was Mike Pappas.”
And so it went for nearly 12 years. He got married and had a son. He continued wrestling, trekking cross-country for events.
Our sign is up at Manoli’s Jewelers. We are still in the Brentwood North shopping center, and after 6 months of no sign and being in a construction cage, we are so happy to be visible again. Thank you for finding us during those six months. We hope you will come to us for all of your jewelry needs. We have a master goldsmith, a graduate gemologist and a cad designer to help you.
Manoli and Manoli’s Jewelers are feeling free again. The cages are down and a sign is up. After 5 months of this remodel , it is great to have our sign back up and the cages down. We really do feel free again. Thank you for finding us during the past 5 months. The remodel still has a way to go, but we feel great again.
Appraisal Charges by a Graduate Gemologist. Maybe you are wondering what we charge at Manoli’s Jewelers in Springfield, MO.
Currently, as of today:
The first item is usually $125.
Each additional item will range between $50 and $125 per item.
Occasionally, a piece of jewelry or a gemstone is very fine, rare or complicated and we will charge more.
Sometimes we will recommend sending it to the GIA for a report and that involves additional fees.
If you bring your jewelry in, Valerie will examine it and give you a price. Then you can decide if you want to have Manoli’s Jewelers do your jewelry appraisals.
You might want to call first and make sure that Valerie is in or make an appointment with her. 417-882-0394
Manoli “aka Mike Pappas” in another cage match, but this time it isn’t in a wrestling ring. It is during the remodel of Brentwood North shopping center where Manoli’s Jewelers in located in Springfield, MO. We could use your support now more than ever!
We are still in business-just a little harder to find us. Our “Manoli’s Jewelers” sign has been moved from above the store to a lower spot on the fencing.
We’ll keep you updated on this cage match/adventure.
Before we were Manoli’s Jewelers!
Andre the Giant in pictured with Manoli aka Mike Pappas the pro wrestler and his wife, Valerie.
Valerie cooked dinner for Andre and his manager and this picture was taken in 1977 in our home in Kansas City, MO.