LOS ANGELES–CA–The Armenian National Committee of America–Western Region (ANCA-WR) played host to a maximum capacity audience at its annual banquet on September 18–2005 at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. Over 600 supporters of the ANCA-WR attended the annual banquet–including dozens of federal–state–and local legislators–and community leaders. The event raised over $200,000 to help the ANCA-WR advance issues of concern to Armenian American community. Banquet benefactors Khachik and Elo Mouradian were joined by Frank and Houri Melkonian–Ashken Pilavjian–John and Asdghik Bedrosian–and Sarkis and Noune Sepetjian in cosponsoring the event.
The ANCA-WR presented California State Senator Jackie Kanchelian-Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) with the 2005 ANCA-WR Woman of the Year Award and the ANCA’s own Elizabeth Chouldjian with the 2005 ANCA-WR Vahan Cardashian Award for her dedication and tenacity in advancing the Armenian Cause. Congressman George Radanovich (R-CA)–by video–joined Congressman Adam Schiff (D-29) in praising the ANCA-WR’s efforts in helping the Armenian Genocide resolutions pass through the House International Relations Committee last week. Newly elected Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave special remarks during the evening’s program where he expressed his appreciation for the support that the ANCA-WR and the Armenian American community have given him during his tenure as a legislator. The Mayor also used the opportunity to announce appointmen’s of Armenian Americans to his administration.
In her acceptance speech–Senator Speier told the attendees about her Armenian roots–reaffirmed her commitment to the Armenian American community–and praised the ANCA for its activism within the American political sphere. "The Armenian National Committee of America has gone beyond the call of duty in pushing Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide–and I applaud them," said Senator Speier.
The ANCA-WR Annual Banquet is the largest event of its kind and helps raise funds to operate the nation’s largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots and political advocacy organization. Through these funds–the ANCA-WR is able to educate the general public about the Armenian Genocide–the Republic of Armenia–Mountainous Karabagh–and other vital issues of concern to the Armenian American community.
"I’m inspired by your generosity–by your continued commitment to support this organization to support this community’s voice in public affairs and to continue to demand that we get the Armenian voice heard by public officials–by policy makers–and law makers," said ANCA-WR Board Chairman Steve Dadaian in his remarks that closed the evening’s program.