GLENDALE–Glendale City Councilmember Gus Gomez and Glendale Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Alice Petrossian were among those honored at the Armenian National Committee Glendale Chapter Annual Banquet held on June 6. Close to 200 guests and ANC supporters gathered at Chattanooga Banquet Hall to take part in the presentation of the 2002 Community Service Awards and the 2002 Hai Tahd Youth Award.
The evening’s proceedings began with the US and Armenian national anthems performed by opera singer Anahid Nersessian. Fathers Ardak Demirdjian and Vazken Atmadjian of the St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church then offered the invocation for the evening.
The evening’s master of ceremonies Dr. Vahe Peroomian–an ANC Glendale Chapter Boardmember–began the program with welcoming remarks outlining some of the chapter’ accomplishmen’s in the past fiscal year. Among the projects and programs Peroomian mentioned was the Armenian Genocide Canvas Project. This recently completed project collected thousands of signatures from Armenia’s–residing in Glendale–who have been directly affected by the Armenian Genocide. The five canvas banners containing the signatures will be presented to the Glendale City Council and eventually be on permanent display at the Glendale Public Library. The MC also highlighted the citywide activities with which the ANC Glendale Chapter has been involved and spearheaded including the Week of Remembrance; voter registration; and constituent education regarding US political processes. Peroomian also noted that the ANC Glendale Chapter actively builds and maintains relationships with other stakeholders in the city.
Following dinner–Peroomian presented a brief biography of Elen Asatryan–the recipient of the 2002 Hai Tahd Youth Award. ANC Glendale Chapter Boardmember Yerado Abrahamian then joined the MC on stage to present Asatryan with the award. Asatryan thanked all those in attendance for their support and specifically acknowledged the contribution of her parents. The Hai Tahd Youth Award is offered to a college-aged individual in the community who has made significant contributions to the Armenian Community of Glendale as well as to the general population of the city. Asatryan–who will continue her education at UCLA in the fall–has dedicated invaluable time and effort to community activities and programs–as well as to local election campaigns.
After the first award presentation–Nersessian performed a couple of traditional Armenian arias. Throughout the evening–violin entertainment was provided by Alen Aghajanian. Also–Armenian folkloric music was performed by Rouben Haroutunian (duduk)–Norik Manoukian (duduk) and Henrik Avoyan (dhol).
Peroomian then proceeded to present a brief biography of GUSD Assistant Superintendent Alice Petrossian–recipient of a 2002 Community Service Award. ANC Glendale Chapter Boardmember Vahak Abcarians presented the award to Petrossian. In receipt of the award–Petrossian thanked the ANC for acknowledging her years-long commitment to the Armenian community of Glendale and a variety of local Armenian organizations. She said a special "thank you" to all those who tirelessly volunteer for this and other such Armenian organizations. Petrossian expressed her gratitude to her parents and in-laws who instilled in her the value of volunteerism–and thanked her husband and two sons for their endless support. The Assistant Superintendent also extended appreciation to her GUSD colleagues some of whom were in attendance. Having served under three California governors–Petrossian is an educational leader and policy maker. She was recognized for her leadership and achievemen’s in the field of education throughout California and–specifically–for her contributions and service to the Glendale Unified School District.
Following the presentation of a brief biography of Glendale City Councilmember Gus Gomez–he was presented with a 2002 Community Service Award by ANC Glendale Chapter Boardmember Dr. Berge Gureghian. Gomez expressed his surprise at receiving the award and touched briefly upon the challenges he faced during his tenure as Mayor of the City of Glendale in 2001. He described the position of mayor as one that takes the heat for all decisions made by a city council and offered words of encouragement to current Glendale City Mayor Rafi Manoukain. Gomez thanked the ANC for their support and encouragement throughout his membership of the Glendale City Council. As well–he extended words of gratitude to his wife and child. Community Service Awards are given to those individuals who have made significant contributions to the Armenian community of Glendale as well as to the general population of the city. Councilmember Gomez was recognized for his attention to issues of concern to the Armenian-American community throughout his tenure as Mayor of the City of Glendale.
Representing California Assemblymember Dario Frommer–Armond Aghakhani then presented Asatryan–Petrossian and Gomez with certificates of recognition.
Closing remarks were offered by ANC-Glendale Chapter Chairperson Artin Manoukian who stressed the significance of paying tribute to community activists and thanked them for being leaders in the community. Manoukian cited the award recipients as points of light for a future where all members of the community actively participate in the process to better the community. He underscored that the ANC Glendale Chapter is honored to be actively involved in the public affairs of the City of Glendale–emphasizing that the more the community works together the more positive the outcomes will be. He concluded by stating that it is an honor for the ANC Glendale Chapter to serve the City of Glendale to advance issues dear to the public and specifically to the Armenian American community.
Public officials and community figures in attendance included: Glendale City Mayor Rafi Manoukian; Glendale City Councilmembers Frank Quintero and Bob Yousefian; Glendale City Manager Jim Starbird; Glendale Police Chief Russ Siverling; Glendale Chief Christopher Gray; GUSD Board of Education President Chuck Sambar; GUSD Boardmembers Pam Ellis and Greg Krikorian; Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Appointee Zaven Sinanian; and representatives from the Armenian Cultural Foundation–Homenetmen Ararat Chapter–Armenian Relief Society Western Region–Armenian Relief Society Glendale Sipan Chapter–St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church Board of Trustees–Armenian Educational Foundation–California Armenian Students in Public Schools– Mariamian-Davidian Educational Foundation–Armenian Relief Center–Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region–ANC Burbank Chapter–and ANC La Crescenta Chapter.