Benefit Event Raises Funds to Rebuild ARS Stepanakert Soseh Kindergarten

Event Organizing Committee member Vicky Marashlian presenting floral bouquet to designer, Lilit Margaryan

UNIVERSARL CITY, Calf.—A deserving ARS cause and high fashion drew in a capacity crowd of over 600 individuals at the Universal Hilton on Sunday, June 12. Fashion show proceeds benefited the ARS Soseh Kindergarten Rebuilding Project in Stepanakert, Artsakh. Featured for the first time in Los Angeles, the Gallery 100 collection of renowned Armenian designer Lilit Margaryan was showcased.

After a cocktail hour, guests eagerly took their seats to enjoy the evening’s much-anticipated show. ARS emblems illuminated the Grand Ballroom as the program began with the singing of the American, Armenian, and ARS anthems by Raffi Kerbabian.

The evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies, Arshaluys Darbinyan, took to the stage and emphatically proclaimed, “We are Artsakh,” a sentiment that resonated with guests and echoed as a theme throughout the entire evening. She recognized distinguished guests in attendance, including NKR Deputy Prime Minister Artur Aghabekyan, Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles representative Armella Shakaryan, ARS Central Exeutive members Nyree Derderian, Rita Hintlian, and Maral Matossian, ARS Regional Executive Board members, Glendale City Mayor Paula Devine and Glendale City Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan.

Maral Matossian addressed attendees on behalf of the ARS Central Executive, stating that the ARS is always at the forefront in aiding and supporting Artsakh, as well as upholding a significant role in the region. She emphasized that working to make border villages sustainable and educating the next generation of Armenians, who will become Artsakh’s future leaders, remains a priority for the ARS. Matossisan announced that the ARS has sent a total of $135,471 in assistance to Artsakh after the 4-day war in April. In addition, a total of $428,000 has been raised worldwide for the ARS Soseh Kindergarten Rebuilding Project, $150,000 of which has been collected thus far by the ARS of Western USA. There is also a sum of more than $200,000 in pledges.

Immediately following, Seda Khojayan presented remarks on behalf of the ARS Soseh Kindergarten Rebuilding Project Committee, thanking all those who joined this cause and stating, “Our efforts will extend beyond today, until the completion of this project, which will see firsthand the development of our nation’s future heroes, educators, cultivators, innovators, and leaders.”

When the fashion show commenced, guests were captivated by the collection of pieces that took to the runway. Dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial, Margaryan’s source of inspiration is the works of 20th century Armenian painters, including Kalents, Martiros Saryan, and Arshile Gorky to name a few. The show pays tribute to the Armenian woman, who despite having endured the atrocity of genocide, has overcome all struggles and raised new generations of resilient Armenians. An assortment of modern pieces debuted first, followed by a seamless transition representing the Armenian woman during the Genocide and their rebirth thereafter. The show then featured, a stunning selection of formalwear bearing vibrant colors, keeping the undivided interest of guests.

The show’s finale saw an appearance by the designer Lilit Margaryan, who extended her gratitude to the ARS and her honor to be involved in an event benefiting the ARS Stepanakert Soseh Kindergarten Rebuilding Project.

Special recognition was given to the ARS of Western USA’s representatives to the rebuilding project committee, which include Vicky Marshlian, Seta Khojayan, and Jasik Jarahian. They took to the stage, followed by the event organizing committee members, whose tireless efforts contributed to the success of the event. In appreciation by the committee, Vicky Marashlian presented Lilit Margaryan with a floral bouquet. Jasik Jarahian expressed appreciation to the event production team and event organizing committee members. She went on to state, “Our work was carried out collectively and in unity to benefit one cause, in benefit of Artsakh.”

It was an honor to have NKR Deputy Prime Minister Artur Aghabekyan present at the event and address the audience. “Each of my encounters with the ARS reassures me that I will witness a successful completion of any given project,” said Aghabekyan and extended special thanks to the ARS, which has always been in support of Arstakh, since the early days of the Artsakh War. He explained that the ARS took on the most important task of establishing kindergartens in Artsakh, during the period when there were no public schools established yet by the government. Aghabekyan added that there are currently near 100 kindergartens throughout the Artsakh; however, it was the ARS that initially established ARS Soseh Kindergartens first in Stepanakert, Taghlar, Aganapert, and eight other regions in Artsakh. At its advent, the children of fallen soldiers attended the schools. Motivated by the work of the ARS, the government of Artsakh sought to establish kindergartens in every region. Aghabekyan also commended the initiative of the ARS, particularly the ARS of Western USA, and assured that the project will be complete in the first half of 2017 as anticipated by the ARS Central Executive.

The evening continued with special performances by prominent artists, including Garo Sarafyan, Harout Pamboukjian, Johnny Garabetyan, Armenchik, Andre, Ani Christy, and Artur Hakobyan (Mister X). At the conclusion of the event, guests were updated on the progress of the ARS Soseh Kindergarten Rebuilding project with an informative video.

The ARS of Western USA continues its efforts in support of the ARS Stepanakert Soseh Kindergarten. To inquire more about sponsorship opportunities for the rebuilding project, contact Jasik Jarahian, General Manager of the ARS Regional Headquarters, at (818)500-1343 or office@arswestusa.org.

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