Ararat Veterans Raise $100,000 for ARS Orphans Fund

GLENDALE–Each year the Ararat of Tehran Veterans organize an event to get together and raise funds to a worthy cause. The Veterans are the early members of the Ararat organization in Iran, who were the athletes and scouts of their generation, and helped to establish the Homenetmen Ararat Chapter in Glendale. This year, they selected the Armenian Relief Society Armenia and Karabakh Orphans Fund to be the recipient of their fundraising effort. The event held at the Homenetmen Ararat Chapter Grand Hall on May 12, raised $100,000 for the ARS orphans programs in Armenia and Karabakh. Among the 440 attendees were Nova Hindoyan, ARS Central Executive Board member; Sonia Peltekian, ARS of Western US, Regional Executive Chair; Khachig Khalatian, Homenetmen Western US Regional Executive Board member; Helik Isaghoulian, Homenetmen Ararat Chapter Executive, and from Iran, Edward Babakhanian, Chair of the Ararat Organization in Tehran. Many ARS Regional Executive and other members were also present. Jasik Jarahian, the chairlady of the organizing committee, welcomed everyone and introduced the MC of the event, Dr. Alina Dorian, who is the daughter of an Ararat veteran. Dr. Dorian is a professor of public health at UCLA and is a Senior Program Manager at the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters. She has taken many trips to Karabakh to rebuild and modernize the health care system since 1994. She serves as a Public Health Consultant for USAID in Karabakh. Her efforts have resulted in the renovation of many health clinics in towns and villages, and retraining of their staff. Jarahian hoped that other women will take Dr. Dorians example to leave their comfortable lives to serve their people in the homeland. Dr. Dorians next trip, in a few days, was to Javakhk, where the health system is in dire need of help and she plans to accomplish what she was able to do in Karabakh. Another ARS fund, the ARS Javakhk Fund provides help in alleviating the needs of the Armenian population. Dr. Dorian, who was born in the U.S., but was raised with stories of the Ararat Organization in Tehran, expressed her admiration and privilege in knowing about an organization that instilled such values in its membership that so many years later and so many miles away, its veteran members continue get together to celebrate and contribute to their organization and worthy causes. Applauding the Ararat Veterans for teaming up with the ARS to help the orphans in Armenia and Karabakh, she noted the many projects that the ARS has in Armenia and Karabakh, including the Sosse Kindergartens and orphan sponsorships. Dr. Dorian relayed her eyewitness account of seeing the sorrow and grief in the lives of the Karabakh people, who endure tremendous losses but continue to hold on to hope. She noted the psychological effects of losing parents, and the immense difference a little help can make to brighten up their lives. She appealed to those present to do what is right, by collectively helping our collective cause, by helping the orphans who are the future. Following her presentation, Dr. Dorian, invited the organizing committee to present a bouquet to Jasik Jarahian, as the recent recipient of the Woman of the Year award by Congressman Adam Schiff. Jarahian credited the Ararat Organization for its influence during her formative years, and the ARS for showing her the needs that invoke charity. Throughout the party, Jarahian continued to announce new donations. Sonia Peltekian, ARS of Western U.S.A., Regional Executive Chair, called helping the orphans as one of the noblest of causes. She described the impetus for the creation of the ARS Armenia and Karabakh Orphans Fund, the 1988 earthquake in Armenia and the liberation struggle in Karabakh. On the Eve of Mothers Day, Peltekian recited poetry by Jack Hagopian dedicated to mothers. She highlighted the role of mothers in shaping our national character and the needs of orphans for motherhood and guidance to be productive members of our society. She noted the ARS almost a century of service and called for supporting ARS programs. On behalf of the ARS Regional Executive, she commended the Ararat Veterans, and invited Amour Mooradian, the groups representative, to accept a plaque of appreciation. The Ararat Veterans had transformed the Homenetmen Ararat Chapter hall into a hospitable party venue. They partied and continued to pour donations, raising $100,000. This was a tremendous accomplishment for the ARS Armenia and Karabakh Orphans Fund, thanks to the numerous sponsors, who consistently continue to help the ARS.

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