750 Attend Prelate’s Christmas Banquet

Mr. & Mrs. John and Asdghig Bedrosian donate $100,000 to Prelacy

Mr. & Mrs. Richard and Tina Carolan donate $50,000

Mr. & Mrs. Garbis and Mayda Bezdjian donate $25,000

Mr. & Mrs. Ralph & Savy Tufenkian donate $10,000

MONTEBELLO–More than 750 community members attended this year’s annual Christmas Banquet hosted by Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian. The event took place on Armenian Christmas Day at Montebello’s Baghramian Hall and was organized by the Prelacy’s Ladies Auxiliary Guild.

This unprecedented event also generated more than $180,000 for the Western Prelacy and its myriad activities to promote spiritual and cultural activities in the community.

Led by Bishop Mardirossian–the flock of clerics entered Baghramian hall and officially inaugurated the commencement of the banquet. San Francisco pastor Right Rev. Papken Charian made welcoming statemen’s–following which Arch. Sempat Lepedjian blessed the tables and officiated the traditional Armenian Christmas ceremony.

Welcoming remarks were also presented by Ladies Auxiliary Guild chairwoman Silva Sayabalian who also invited Master of Ceremonies Charlie Ghalian to lead the program. Before the official program–the attendees were treated to a special video Christmas message from His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia.

In his remarks–Ghalian presented an overview of the history of the Armenian people–including the trials and tribulations which faced the nation during the 20th century. He–then–wished all a happy new year and a merry Christmas and introduced the evening’s cultural program which included a performance of traditional and religious hymns by the Western Prelacy-sponsored "Lousavorich" choir–a grouping of members of Prelacy church choirs under the direction of Gomidas Keshishian. The choir has been especially formed on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity as a state religion. The cultural program also included performances by the Ara and Lilia Dance Studio.

Following the rich cultural program–Ghalian invited Prelate Mardirossian to address the crowd.

In his remarks–the Prelate thanked the Ladies Auxiliary Guild for the success of the banquet. He especially thanked the attendees for their continued support of Prelacy activities.

After presenting his Christmas message–Prelate Mardirossian made emphasized the role of community members who have–throughout the years–supported and contributed to Prelacy activities. Special mention was made of Mr. & Mrs. John and Asdghig Bedrosian–who in continuing their family tradition–donated $100,000 to the Prelacy. The Prelate explained that the generous contributors had wished that $25,000 of the amount be allocated toward Prelacy’s New Year activities–while the remaining $75,000 be added to the Prelacy’s new headquarters fund.

Also receiving special mention were noted benefactor Mr. & Mrs. Richard and Tina Carolan–whose recent donation of $50,000 to the Prelacy Building Fund was announced by Prelate Mardirossian. The Prelate explained that the Carolans were unable to attend the gathering–but their continued support was greatly appreciated.

Prelate Mardirossian also acknowledged a $25,000 donation from Mr. & Mrs. Garbis and Mayda Bezdjian for Prelacy activities–as well as a contribution of $10,000 by Mr. & Mrs. Ralph and Savy Tufenkian–made in memory of their son Richard Tufenkian who passed away 10 years ago.

In conclusion of his remarks–the Prelate announced that the Executive Council had already decided to undertake the construction of the new Prelacy headquarters and said that the year 2000 will be the year to realize the new Prelacy building.

Following a benediction–the banquet concluded with the singing of Cilicia.

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