BEVERLY HILLS—Supporters, benefactors and friends of the Armenian Cultural Foundation came together on February 26 at the Montage Hotel to reaffirm their commitment to the future of the Armenian Cause and to celebrate the accomplishments of the venerable community organization.
The future generation was the highlight of the evening, as Armenian Youth Federation members Niree Kodaverdian and Saro Haroun welcomed the more than 300 guests to the event, but pledging that a new, vibrant, generation of Armenians is ready and committed to carry the torch of the Armenian Cause.
In his keynote address, ACF chairman Avedik Izmirlian touched on the important role of the youth and emphasized the mission of the organization, which for decades has supported and granted fund “for educational, cultural, youth and media projects dedicated for the preservation of Armenian identity and national heritage in the United States and around the world.”
He also stressed to the donors and benefactors gathered that “Your support to the ACF is your support to that higher dream.”
“On a different note,” Izmirlian said, “let’s imagine that instead of being seated at separate tables we are gathered around a single huge table, in which we share an excellent dinner with those who are part of our large family, and because we are like a family, we can talk about all the good things that make us happy, but we can also talk about those things that are not so good, and we should feel comfortable by doing that.”
“In other words, what I want to say is that you have to excuse us if we are not pleasant all the time, because you really know that we will always say the truth, even if you don’t like to hear it,” said Izmirlian. “And it is by telling the truth that we can be responsible, and we can make the right judgment of all the matters that are of our mutual concern. It is by being sincere and honest that we can make a difference, so when we criticize the government or we do the same with our community, it is not for the sake of criticizing. It is because we want to excel, because we want the best for our people, we want the best for our Nation. And we do the same with ourselves, just because along with the good things we do we also make mistakes, because those who work hard and do something make mistakes, while those who don’t do anything never make them.”
“We want to also assure you that we multiply every penny we receive by ten if we measure the work that it’s been accomplished compared to the donations we receive. Because when it comes down to dedication, to passionate and extreme work, our organization has and will always be on the front line, second to none, and has always captivated and attracted young and not so young volunteers that have joined us in a continuous basis. The combination of our principles, with the dedication and the spirit of sacrifice is what has kept our organization forever young,” added Izmirlian.
Following the welcoming remarks by Kodaverdian and Haroun, the National Anthems were performed by Lori Partamian and Tenor, Suren Mkrtchyan.
Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian delivered the evening’s invocation and thanked the ACF for its tireless efforts and committed mission.
A video presentation, entitled “ACF: The Trailblazer of Armenian National Aspirations,” chronicles the impact of the organization not just on the Western Region community, but its reach worldwide to make a difference in the advancement of the Armenian nation.
On behalf of the organizing committee, Pattyl Aposhian-Kasbarian thanked the tireless efforts of the committee, but paused to express her gratitude to all the guests who were in attendance and made the evening a special celebration and reflection of the ACF’s true mission.
The evening also featured a rich cultural program. The Vahagni ensemble entertained the guests during dinner, while a special performance by Ani Christy dazzled the audience.
Noted Armenian artist Vahe Berberian was on hand with his unique and comedic monologue, as the guest celebrated the evening through laughter.
Various musical selections were also performed throughout the evening by the Cilicia String Quartet.