Banquet to Honor Dedication of Two Greats in Helping Armenian Homeless


Exciting plans are underway for a very special Memorial Banquet to honor two remarkable benefactors–George Mardikian and Souren Saroyan for their dedication to the Armenian Community through the ANCHA (American National Committee to Aid Homeless Armenia’s). The Banquet will be held on Sunday–November 14–2004–at the Los Angeles Police Academy.

The ANCHA was established at the end of World War II to aid in the relocation of displaced Russian Armenia’s from German concentration camps. During the Cold War–the ANCHA was instrumental in helping thousands of Armenian refugees who migrated to the United States from Eastern Block countries–and later from Egypt–Iraq–and Soviet Armenia.

The Armenian people are forever indebted to the memory of these two Great Philanthropists whose vision was to see that Armenia’s living in the United States have solid opportunities. They succeeded. Their dream was realized in helping thousands of Armenia’s who came to the United States starting in the 1940s–and came successful and exemplary citizens.

A committee–with chair Louise Mardirossian-Gill–and vice-chair Baidsar Thomassian–will work diligently to organize a special program and to prepare a booklet for this event.

Everyone is invited to partake in the commemoration honoring the these two great legends.

Proceeds from the event will go to the newly established Mardikian/Saroyan Endowment Scholarship Fund to assist needy students with high grade-point averages–to attend Armenian parochial schools in Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.

For further information–or for donations and tickets–contact Medy Mardirossian at (323) 662-9259 or Louise Mardirossian-Gill at (818) 335-2101.

SUREN SAROYAN On October 3–1965–President Lyndon B. Johnson presented his pen to Suren Saroyan after signing the landmark Immigration Act at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Saroyan was a distinguished San Francisco lawyer whose efforts to resettle thousands of Armenian immigran’s had come to the presidents attention. Saroyan co-founded and headed the ANCHA. He passed away on March 28–1995. GEORGE MARDIKIAN George Mardikian’s interest in the welfare of the American soldier led him to volunteer his time and energy in an effort to improve the food service for combat troops in Korea. For his "selfless devotion to his mission and his singular accomplishmen’s "to the success of the Armed Forces–Mardikian was awarded the Medal of Freedom–the country’s highest civilian award. Mardikian would accept no pay for his services. Imprisoned in Turkey at age 15–he escaped–sailing to America at age 18. He soon began working as a dishwasher in a San Francisco speakeasy–and eventually bought the place and built it into the renowned Omar Khayyam restaurant. "I was born on November 7–but I celebrate my birthday on July 24" he said. "That’s the day I began to live–the day I saw the Statue of Liberty." He co-founded the ANCHA.


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