$175,000 Raised for Juvenile Diabetes Project in Armenia at AAMSC 25th Anniversary Gala

On Saturday May 1st, 2010, the Armenian American Medical Society of California (AAMSC) hosted its 25th Anniversary Gala at the Glendale Hilton, with all proceeds benefiting its Juvenile Diabetes Project in Armenia.  With over 600 guests in attendance, the AAMSC successfully raised $175,000.  The AAMSC would like to take this opportunity to respectfully thank all of you who made this event and the AAMSC’s vision possible through your tireless efforts, commitment and kind donations toward ensuring the preservation and sustainability of health services in Armenia.

The evening’s festivities began with hundreds of guests assembling for the cocktail reception in the halls outside the Glendale Hilton Ballroom, surrounding a beautiful Sejung White Upright Piano donated by Hollywood Piano Company. During this time, guests were able to network with fellow friends, colleagues and distinguished honorees. Guests had an opportunity to place bids in the silent auction that raised over $10,000 with all proceeds benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Project in Armenia. A few of this year’s auction items include: a personally autographed Duduk by both Jivan Gasparyan Sr., and Jr., an Amethyst diamond pendant, ladies stainless steel diamond bezel Swiss Army Alliance Watch, Persian rug and many other items. In addition, hor d’oeuvres for the cocktail reception was donated by local restaurants (Far Niente, Fresco, Minx) and a cake by Raffi’s Pastry.

The evening’s program commenced with an invocation presided by both Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America and the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. Then, the AAMSC’s current president, Dr. Vicken Sepilian, was introduced. Dr. Sepilian began by first welcoming the AAMSC Dignitaries, Founders, Past Presidents, Members, Sponsors, Supporters and Guests.  The Dignitaries present were State Senator Carol Liu, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Adam Schiff’s Representative Mary Hovaguimian, Michael Antonovich’s Representative Rita Hadjimanoukian, Sherriff of LA County Lee Baca, and four-time former Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian. In addition, the President of AAHPO, Dr. Lawrence Najarian flew in from New Jersey just for this event.

Dr. Sepilian continued by expressing the notable accomplishments of each of the AAMSC’s Founding Fathers, Drs. Misak Barsamian, Artin Sagherian(deceased) and Jean Momdjian, as well as AAMSC’s Past Presidents, Drs. T. Gregory Kirianoff, Bedros H. Kojian, Silva Karchikian, Misak H. Abdulian, David G. Davtyan, Armen J. Cherik, Boris Bagdasarian and Varoosh Alaverdian.  Dr. Sepilian emphasized the significance of this evening’s proceeds toward the AAMSC Juvenile Diabetes Project in Armenia, which was created under the leadership of Dr. Silva Karchikian, sustained through Dr. Mark Nazarian and supported by Dr. Sam Malayan, as well as AAMSC Members and Supporters. Dr. Sepilian congratulated the honorees and their loved ones for their “monumental sacrifices and achievements” in their vision, leadership and dedicated service to improving healthcare in Armenia and the Diaspora.  He went on to recognize and thank all the sponsors and supporters by saying: “I would like to thank all of you for your support.  By attending as members, supporters, sponsors and guests, you have shown your true benevolence towards mankind.”

Commendations to the AAMSC were also given from notable State Leaders, expressed through formal letters of introduction.  A California Senate Resolution was presented to AAMSC by Senator Joe Simitian and a California State Commendation was presented by Congresswoman Judy Chu.  California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, stated that he is “proud of the AAMSC for their generosity and compassion to others”; and the AAMSC has his “gratitude for outstanding efforts.” Congressman Adam Schiff of California’s 29th District stated that AAMSC’s “tireless efforts are admirable and offer a ray of hope to people in need of medical attention and support.” Further congratulatory wishes toward AAMSC and its Founding Fathers & Past Presidents were given by L.A. County District Attorney, Steve Cooley; L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich; and City of L.A. Councilmember, Paul Krekorian.

The program was followed by announcing the establishment of the Norick Bogossian Scholarship Fund, in memory of Dr. Norick Bogossian—renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon who believed that “Education pioneers a prosperous future.” Dr. Bogossian’s wife, Mrs. Hilda Bogossian & three children, Lara, Alec and Armand, thanked the AAMSC for helping establish this Fund which will help other students reach their lifelong academic goals.

The program continued with dinner and special performances by Ara Martirosyan and Jivan Gasparyan Jr. Shortly thereafter, a Tribute to the Founding Fathers and Past Presidents was presented by Dr. Vicken Sepilian. The honorees’ speeches all consistently praised the achievements and progression of the AAMSC over the past 25 years, through their growth in membership, initiatives and continued commitment to improve the lives in Armenia and the Diaspora. Dr. Momdjian stated that he is “proud to see how the AAMSC has been a driving force toward advancing humanitarian initiatives.” Dr. Barsamian states that “AAMSC has achieved and grown in leaps and bounds.” Dr. Alaverdian was notably “proud of the continued success of the Juvenile Diabetes Project.” Dr. Bagdasarian commends AAMSC’s “exponential growth”. Dr. Abdulian believes “AAMSC’s camaraderie is exceptionally admirable.” Dr. Cherik believes that “the Armenian community will continue to play a critical role in the health care system.” Jonathan Sagherian, son of Dr. Artin Sagherian (deceased), thanked the AAMSC for this recognition on his father’s behalf, stating that his father “served with devotion for his medical practice and for his Armenian ancestry”. Dr. Kojian thanks the Founders for “their foresight in seeing the importance of establishing AAMSC and Dr. Vicken Sepilian for his commitment to uphold AAMSC’s mission. Dr. Karchikian gives her “heartfelt gratitude” for AAMSC’s vision and believes that through “vision, passion, integrity and dedication, we can grow and adapt to meet the challenges of the 21st century…she hopes we all do well while doing good to humanity.” Dr. Davtyan is pleased that many bright and young professionals joining and eager to see the amazing projects for the next 25 years.

Commendations were presented to AAMSC Supporters by Dr. Vicken Sepilian & Dr. Serineh Voskanian Melidonian. This year’s Patron Sponsor was Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center.  The Platinum Sponsors: AAMSC Ladies Auxiliary, Dr. & Mrs. Boris & Karine Bagdasarian, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale MRI Institute, CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, Dr. Jean & Mrs. Sona Momdjian, and Drs. Raffi & Jenia Papazian.  Our Bronze Sponsors include, Dr. & Mrs. Peter & Tamara Ashjian, Mr. & Dr. Hrag & Serineh Melidonian, and, Wells Fargo Bank. Media sponsors were USArmenia and Yerevan Magazine.

Dr. Armen Cherik, on a special note, made a toast for “a prosperous Armenia, continued success for the AAMSC, and for Dr. Vicken Sepilian for respecting the AAMSC Founders and Past Presidents just as a son/grandson respects his father/grandfather.”

The evening culminated with the presentation of a grandiose tiered cake illuminated with bright fire candles donated by Raffi’s Pastry. With closing remarks by Ms. Tatevik Ekezian, the evening culminated with a night full of dancing with entertainment provided by Patrick and his band.

The AAMSC would like to again thank all who participated to make this event possible. As Dr. Sepilian emphasized, “the AAMSC will continue to work in a collaborative manner toward all accomplishments, with an acknowledged respect for history, and a renewed and energized hope for the future.”

This year’s AAMSC Gala Committee included: Dr. Vicken Sepilian, Dr. Mireille Hamparian, Hasmik Keyribarian, Raffi Kendirjian, Angela Parseghian, Sandy Bedrosian, Naz Atikian, Arpi Kestenian, Gerard V. Kassabian, Tatevik Ekezian, Vany Cherik and Ramella Markarian.

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