PARAMUS, N.J.—The 94th Annual Meeting Banquet and Concert of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) was held at the Westin Waltham-Boston Hotel, Waltham, Mass., on Saturday October 12, 2013. Over 165 guests attended the dinner and concert which featured Grace Kelly, a renowned saxophonist, singer, composer and lyricist.
The theme of the evening was Our Mission in Motion – Celebrating our Precious Children. Ken Kevorkian, AMAA Board Member and Co-Chair of the Development Committee, welcomed the guests and thanked all who participated in the success of the event. A group from the Watertown, Mass., Armenian Memorial Church Choir, under the leadership of Choir Director June Baboyan, sang the American and Armenian National Anthems with the participation from the attendees. Rev. Avedis Boynerian, Pastor of the Church, offered the Prayer of Invocation.
Master of Ceremonies Carol Ishkhanian welcomed the guests and introduced the program’s participants. The event was attended by Rev. Father Vasken Kouzouian, Holy Trinity Armenian Orthodox Church, Cambridge, Mass., Rev. Father Antranig Baljian and his wife Arpineh, St. Stephen’s Armenian Orthodox Church, Watertown, Mass., and Very Rev. Father Raphael Andonian, Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church, Belmont, Mass.
AMAA President Dr. Joseph Zeronian thanked the guests for their presence and support. He highlighted the major achievements of the AMAA during the year, which included the construction of the Bilezikian Elementary and Avedisian Middle and High Schools in Yerevan, Armenia, the opening of Shogh Day Centers in Yerevan and Vanadzor, and the strong and unprecedented financial status of the AMAA.
A video presentation was shown about the Precious Children of Armenia and how the AMAA with its supporters makes a significant change in the physical, social and spiritual needs of these children.
AMAA Board Member Anita Buchakjian introduced the Our Mission in Motion Brochure, highlighting the major construction projects and the AMAA’s day to day operation projects in 24 countries around the world.
Levon Filian, Executive Director of the AMAA, in recognition of Armenian cultural month, recited a poem “The Great,” by famous Armenian poet Rafael Badganian. Mr. Filian dedicated the poem to Armenians in Syria and challenged everyone to make a difference by praying and making a donation to help the community in Syria.
On this festive occasion, Mr. Filian recognized Lucienne Aynilian and Anita Buchakjian for their many years of dedicated service to the AMAA as Co-Chairs of the Banquet Coordinating and Public Affairs Committees; Tigran Melkonian (USA) and Christine Simonyan (Armenia) for their 10 years of faithful service to the AMAA’s Child Sponsorship Program; Lusine Ohanian, Coordinator of External Relations of the AMAA-Armenia, for her dedicated service to the Association; Louisa Janbazian, currently Associate Editor of the AMAA News and Coordinator of the Armenian version of “Our Daily Bread” (Zhatz Mer Hanabazort) which has been published since 1991, for her dedication and service to the AMAA since the early eighties which included the computerization of the AMAA News in the mid-1990s; and Harout Nercessian, AMAA’s Representative in Armenia, who has served the AMAA in various capacities for the past 17 years, such as heading the Christian Education department, as operations director and as the AMAA representative since 2011 .
The Dinner was followed with a musical program featuring Grace Kelly and her band. Grace mesmerized the audience with her vocal and musical talents offering a selection of Jazz pieces such as Bye Bye Black Bird and Summer Time with her improvisations, her own vocal and sax compositions, and Gospel Music featuring her version of Amazing Grace.
Individuals can support “Our Precious Children” by making a gift to the AMAA’s General Fund. A gift will help the AMAA continue to support various programs benefiting children, as well as other humanitarian programs throughout the world.