ARS Takes to the Seas to Assist Javakhk Armenians

NEWPORT BEACH–In an effort to help alleviate the dire humanitarian conditions in Javakhk–the Armenian Relief Society of Western US (ARS-WR) Regional Executive’s Javakhk Fund Committee organized a dinner reception onboard the "MV Majestic" on March 6–raising $50,000 during the event.

Western United State Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian–ARF Bureau member Viken Hovsepian–ARF Central Committee representatives–ARS Central–Regional–and Chapter Executive members were among the 250 individuals who boarded the Majestic harboring at Lido Marina Village. The participants–who came as far away as San Francisco–enjoyed the tour around Newport Harbor in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere on the three floors and decks of the Majestic.

His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian urged all the attendees to respond to calls for help from Javakhk with their moral and financial support. Javakhk Fund Committee Chair Haigoush Kohler said that during the past five years–the committee has provided desperately needed humanitarian assistance to Javakhk’s native Armenian population–adding that the conditions have deteriorated in the region and pose serious threats to the future existence of the indigenous population.

Committee member and ARS-WR General Accountant/Auditor Jasik Jarahian presented eyewitness accounts of the desperate conditions of health facilities–schools–and poverty in Javakhk. As she announced donations–Jarahian urged all to not spare assistance to Javakhk and keep the donations flowing.

The accounts of unavailable beds in hospitals–children writing on the floors in schools–leaking school roofs–treacherous roadways–and poverty provided powerful incentives to those who were generous with their donations.

ARS-WR Regional Executive Chair–Angela Savoian welcomed everyone and noted–"All the work that we do–whether it is for Javakhk–Artsakh–Armenia or for any of the western region areas–can’t be done without your support and help." Savoian recognized some of the volunteers for their work and dedication including–Houri Melkonian–for donating and giving from the heart; and Haigoush Kohler–whom she knew for over 40 years–"for mentoring so many of us–working night and day focused on serving the Armenian people." The Regional Executive Chair reiterated her appreciation of everyone–and added–"I hope that when we come for other projects–you won’t be tired of us."

Armenian National Committee of Glendale Executive Director Alina Azizian was on hand to introduce the ANC-endorsed candidates who were also present–Armineh Hacopian–for Glendale College Board of Trustees–and Anahid Oshagan–for Glendale City Council.

The ARS Javakhk Fund Committee has various fundraising projects underway. Armenian day schools and ARS Saturday schools distributed piggy banks to students to help raise funds and awareness among the young about Javakhk. The committee also issued a 2005 wall calendar with beautiful pictures of Javakhk.

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