ANC Glendale Celebrates Unparalleled Year of Grassroots Activism

GLENDALE–The Armenian National Committee -Glendale Chapter held its Annual ANCG Banquet at Brandview Collection in Glendale on Thursday, June 5. The evening celebrated the dynamic role of ANC Glendale, its new programs, its collaborative efforts and honored individuals and organizations which through their leadership, have contributed to the Armenian-American Community in the City of Glendale.

The list of honorees featured ANCG Leadership Award Recipient Mr. Alec Baghdasaryan, ANCG Friend of Hai Tahd Award Recipient Ms. Zizette Ayad, ANCG Community Service Award Recipient Officer John Balian, Organization of the Year Recipient Davidian & Mariamian Educational Foundation, and Ms. Henrietta Movsessian, who received the ANCG Youth Activist of the Year Award. The Honorable CA State Senator Jack Scott delivered the keynote speech, while Mr. Willam Bairamian acted as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

Attracting over three hundred supporters and activists, the Banquet gave community members and public officials the opportunity to learn of ANCG’s major accomplishmen’s and allowed for individuals to show their support and appreciation. The annual event also featured a DVD presentation, a silent auction as well as the spring 2008 ANCG Internship Program participants, Ara Karamian and Tamar Thomassian.

During the event, the Keynote Speaker, Senator Jack Scott, spoke of his visit to Armenia, discussed the Armenian Genocide resolution and applauded the Armenian National Committee "for the political efforts you have undertaken and for the fact that you"ve recognized that in a land like America, the way you make an impact is through grassroots activism."

Alec Baghdasaryan thanked ANCG for honoring him with the ANCG Leadership Award and gave a poignant address to a brimming banquet hall of ANCG annual sponsors, supporters, and activists. During his speech he also thanked all the organizations that allowed him to grow as an individual. Whereas Zizette Ayad stated,
"I am truly honored I have been given a wonderful opportunity to work with the Armenian-American community. Thank you for my bosses for giving me the opportunity to work with the Armenian community, especially the Armenian National Committee. I hope I will live up to this award for the rest of my career in the City of Glendale."

After receiving the Community Service Award, Officer John Balian humbly expressed that, "as a police officer, you do not perform your duties with the expectation to hear a thank you;It is particularly special to be honored by the Armenian National Committee, not because I am Armenian, as well that is part of it, but because the ANC has always worked to better the lives of Armenian-Americans to protect their rights and their voice when have not had one." While D&M Educational Foundation Chairman, Vahik Zadoorian expressed his gratitude to the ANC and the various organizations who have stood shoulder to should with them throughout the years and noted,"We have done this for the last 21 years and never expected to receive such a valuable award from your organization.’

Glendale Mayor John Drayman asked those in attendance to give a round of applause to ANC and stated, "By honoring these exceptional individuals and organizations this evening, you bring us close together as a terrific city and a terrific community."

Following the Mayor’s Statement, Chair of the ANCG Board of Directors Artin Manoukian highlighted the important milestones in Armenian American advocacy. Manoukian also praised the honorees for their outstanding leadership on issues of concern to Armenian-Americans and noted that " To succeed, we must make sure local people, regardless of their race, sex, ethnic origin, or date of arrival, are equal partners and drivers for change. When we create that environment, then cultural diversity becomes an asset and not a liability. And that’s the heart of neighboring. It involves building on the real assets of a community to create more tightly knit communities with residents who have the commitment and capacity to better their lives. That’s a tall order."

Officials in attendance included CA State Senator Jack Scott, CA State Assembly member Paul Krekorian, Mayor John Drayman, Councilmember Ara Najarian, City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian, City Manager Jim Starbird, City Attorney Scott Howard, Members of various city commissions, GUSD Superintendent Dr. Michael Escalante, GUSD Board of Education President Joylene Wagner, GUSD Board of Education Members Greg Krikorian and Nayiri Nahabedian, , GCC President Audrey Levy, GCC Board of Trustees President Mr. Victor King, GCC Board of Trustees members Dr. Armine Hacopian, Dr. Vahe Peroomian, and Mr. Tony Tartaglia. Also present were representatives and members of the Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian National Committee Western Region, Homenetmen Glendale “Ararat” Chapter, the Armenian Relief Society ‘s Sepan Chapter, St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church of Glendale, Neighborhood Legal Services, Armenian Educational Foundation, the Glendale-Burbank Chapter of the League of Women Voters, the Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools (CASPS), and many other distinguished guests.

Major sponsors of the event included Mr. & Mrs. Sam and Evlin Manoukian, ACF-Glendale Chapter, ARS-Sepan Chapter, St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church of Glendale, Assembly member Paul Krekorian and others.

The Armenian National Committee-Glendale Chapter advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels. It is the voice of this vibrant community, which seeks to advance and enrich Glendale.

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