NEWPORT BEACH—Supporters of the ARS Javakhk Fund gathered in Newport Beach, California aboard the yacht Eternity on Sunday, May 15 in benefit of ARS programs and youth centers in Javakhk. The ARS Javakhk Fund Committee organizes fundraisers annually to support its ongoing efforts in the highly Armenian population region.
The evening’s program began with an invocation by Very Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian, representing His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian of the Western Prelacy.
Committee member Christine Hovnanian presented welcoming remarks, stressing the importance of both moral and financial support to Javakhk Armenians. Among guests in attendance were ACF Central Committee representative Vahe Bozoyan and ARS Central Executive Board members Maral Matossian and Rita Hintlian.
Following a video presentation displaying the challenges of Armenians in Javakhk and detailing the vast accomplishments of the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee, Lena Bozoyan, Committee Chairperson, delivered her remarks. Bozoyan discussed the struggles of Armenians in Javakhk, citing high unemployment rates, inadequate access to healthcare in rural villages, limited instruction in Armenian language and history, and religious discrimination. She further explained how the ARS Javakhk Fund strives to alleviate these difficult circumstances by sponsoring year-round educational, cultural, and social programs at the youth centers.
She then introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, John Kossakian. “Annually, the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee collects funds to support youth educational programs and youth centers in Javakhk where a majority of community activities are centered,” explained Kossakian. Drawing on the impact that ARS programs have had on Javakhk, he attested, “It is evident that, through our support, Armenians in Javakhk have become empowered and are now raising a significant amount of funds for our compatriots in Artsakh.” He also explained the importance of Javakhk for Armenia and all Armenians living in the Caucasus region.
The ARS Javakhk Fund Committee used this occasion to also recognize individuals, who have lent their unwavering support to advancing the welfare of Javkahk Armenians. This included Vehik Gabrielian, Director of Holy Martyrs ARS Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool, which organized a clothing drive that collected winter essential items to help children in Javakhk brave harsh weather conditions, and John Kossakian, whose research and educational presentations have been instrumental in raising awareness about Javakhk.
Special recognition was also given to Jasik Jarahian, General Manager of the ARS Regional Headquarters, for her solidarity to the ARS Javakhk Fund’s efforts.
The ARS Regional Executive Board’s remarks were delivered by Chairperson Rebecca Berberian, who stressed that the Armenian Relief Society is always prepared to assist Armenians in need wherever they may be located.
The event came to a close with well-known singer Koko Hayitian entertaining guests with traditional and Armenian folk songs.