ARS Western Region Concludes Centennial Celebration

GLENDALE—Armenian Relief Society members, supporters, and donors filled the Regional Headquarters in Glendale on Sunday, January 16, 2011 for a reception in anticipation of the ARS Centennial Album’s presentation and unveiling of the names of the Centennial Fund’s major sponsors.

The Centennial Album includes a synopsis of 100 years of ARS history and accounts the history of the Western Region as well. Moreover, it includes special messages by political figures, as well as Armenian and non-Armenian organizations, recognizing the ARS Centennial. Serving as a memorable keepsake, pages bear wishes and messages for the ARS and loved ones, including historical and present-day photographs. The final section of the album is dedicated to highlighting the Centennial Fund donors.

With the presence of Vicky Marashlian, ARS Central Executive Chairperson, and Nova Hindoyan, Central Executive board member, the afternoon program commenced with the singing of the American, Armenian, and ARS anthems by Garen Gharibian, Principal of the Daniel Ghazarian Music School in Shushi, Artsakh. Karine Barikian-Setian, Vice-Chair of the ARS of Western USA Centennial Fund Committee, delivered the opening remarks, welcomed guests and announced the fund’s major sponsors, whose names are now set in plaques on the outside wall of the headquarters’ second floor plaza area.

Western Prelacy Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian accompanied by Rev. Father Ardag Demirdjian, blessed the donor wall and, thereafter, guests were welcomed inside the hall of the headquarters where Mako Mgrdichian, Chair of the ARS of Western USA Centennial Fund Committee, delivered the remarks on behalf of the committee. Mgrdichian stressed the importance of entrusting in the ARS and concluded by thanking ARS members, chapters, donors, and all those who continue to support the ARS and its efforts.

ARS Regional Executive Chairperson Arousyak Melkonian conveyed the Board’s message with great focus on the importance of unity and stated, “Be it in any corner of the world, ARS members and supporters strive for the attainment of the same goals, for the fulfillment of the same dreams, and the belief in the same principles. We share the same concerns and, like-mindedly, seek the best means to improving the quality of life of every individual, Armenian and non-Armenian, in need.”

Melkonian specifically recognized the valuable patronage of members, supporters, and donors who collectively participated in the Centennial Fund’s efforts through kind-hearted contributions, citing as an example ARS member Nevart Der Ohannessian, who would humbly collect one dollar from known and unknown persons and thereby raised thousands of dollars for the fund. She concluded, “With our centennial year concluded and now at the forefront of our next century of service, we stand confident that this same unity will continue to invoke hope and promise, faith and spirit, in all future endeavors the ARS embarks upon, which benefit our people wherever they may be found, be they throughout the Diaspora, in Armenia, Artsakh, or Javakhk.”

The blessing of the Centennial Album was also performed by Archbishop Mardirossian, who concluded the program with his encouraging and heartfelt remarks, which recalled his own mother’s service as an ARS member in Lebanon and extended wishes of happiness and well-being for the ARS.

This reception represented the concluding ARS Centennial event in the Western Region.


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