The ARF “Armen Karo” Gomideh invited its sister organizations in Orange County to a community wide meeting to discuss plans for the upcoming fiscal year.
More than 50 executive members attended and actively participated as the ARF outlined its agenda and expectations for the coming months. Representatives from the following executive boards were present: ANCA-OC, ARS “Karni,” ARS “Sevan,” AYF “Ashod Yergat,” Forty Martyrs Church, Ari Guiragos Minassian (AGM) School, Hamazkayin “Siamanto,” and Homenetmen “Srdarabad.” Also present were AGM School Principal, AYF Advisors, and ARF “Serop Aghpiur” Badanegan Advisor.
The meeting began with welcoming remarks by the ARF “Armen Karo” Chairman, after which each representative introduced themselves and their organization. The ARF explained its agenda for the continued reorganization and strengthening of its community structures in order to more effectively continue our national struggle. The Gomideh stressed the importance of being inclusive and reaching out to all segments of the Armenian American community in Orange County, to actively engage, serve, and include them in community life and to secure their participation on national issues. Within this context, the ARF explained that the main focus will be to support and encourage the youth to take on more responsibilities and eventually become the leaders of the community. Initially this will involve the AYF, Badanees, and ANC, and will branch out to other organizations such as the UCI ASA, other youth groups, and Armenian youth in general.
Also discussed were the methods of communication between and amongst the organizations, coordination of efforts and scheduling events via a master calendar, as well as the creation of an all encompassing mailing list which will be available to all.
The ARF “Armen Karo” Gomideh also announced the creation of the Armenian Community Center Management, which will include a representative from ARS “Karni,” ARS “Sevan,” AYF “Ashod Yergat.” Hamazkayin “Siamanto,” and Homenetmen “Sardarabad” chapters.
Finally, the Gomideh addressed two important national issues. First, it emphasized the importance of securing aid for the Armenian community in Syria during the ongoing crisis there, and explained that the ARS has taken the lead on this project, and all should contribute and support. Secondly, it explained the need to increase the number of registered voters to make our collective voice heard on issues of importance to Armenian Americans, and to have an impact during elections. Talar Malakian, Chair of ANCA-OC, presented information about the “Hye Votes” campaign organized by the ANCA Western Region to do just that, and enlisted the participation of the organizations.
Each organization also gave a brief presentation regarding their ongoing projects and plans for the coming months.
The attendees thanked the ARF “Armen Karo” Gomideh for organizing the meeting and making sure that the community is all on the same page and working together. They expressed that they now truly feel like they are an important part of the larger ARF family in Orange County, and asked for future meetings.
The Gomideh stated that a second meeting will take place in early 2013, during which there will be a presentation on Turkish and Azeri organizations working in Orange County, and a discussion topic on increasing youth involvement in the community. Invites will also be sent to other segments of the Armenian American community in OC, including but not limited to St. Mary Armenian Church, UCI ASA, AGBU, and OCAPS.
Coming Events in Orange County
Every Friday Night: Family Dinner at Armenian Center
September 9, 2012: Hamazkayin Ani Dance Group at Huntington Beach High School 5 p.m., organized by Armenian Center & Sister Organizations, and Asbarez.
September 16, 2012: Luncheon at Armenian Center after Church to benefit Armenian Community in Syria, organized by ARS “Sevan”
September 22, 2012: Casino Night at Armenian Center, organized by Homenetmen “Sardarabad”
October 14, 2012: Book Fair at Armenian Center after Church, organized by AGM
October 21, 2012: Anjar Dinner at Armenian Center 5 PM, organized by Hamazkayin