Glendale, California – The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) is pleased to announce the attendance of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a distinguished list of elected officials at the ANCA-WR Annual Banquet on November 12, 2006 at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown, Los Angeles. The 2006 Annual Banquet awards ceremony will be emceed by French Armenian actor Simon Abkarian, who is starring in the next James Bond movie "Casino Royal" to be released later this month. Bob Collins, Chief Instructional Officer for Secondary Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District, will receive the Man of the Year Award for his leading role in implementing the Armenian Genocide curriculum in the Los Angeles Unified School District and providing human rights and genocide education to thousands of high school students in Los Angeles. ANCA-WR Activists Khajag Sarkissian and Serge Samoniantz will be honored with the Vahan Cardashian Award for their years of hard work in advancing the Armenian Cause. Vahan Cardashian, after whom the award was named, was the pioneer for American Armenian political action during the early twentieth century and founded the American Committee for an Independent Armenia (ACIA), the predecessor to the ANCA. Attendees of the 2006 Annual Banquet will enjoy the presence of Mayor Villaraigosa, who will deliver special remarks during the evening’s program. Among other elected officials who have confirmed their attendance are Congressman Adam Schiff, California State Assembly members Cindy Montanez and Carol Liu, Los Angeles City Councilmember Alex Padilla, Los Angeles Unified School Board Members Jon Lauritzen, Mike Lansing, and Julie Korenstein, Glendale City Mayor Rafi Manoukian, Glendale Unified School District Board member Greg Krikorian, Burbank Unified School District Board member and Democratic candidate for the 43rd California Assembly District Paul Krekorian, and retired California Supreme Court Justice Armand Arabian. Additional state and local officials will be announced shortly. "The Annual Banquet will highlight the contributions made towards the advancement of the Armenian cause throughout the year. We are excited to honor those who have made 2006 a successful year for Hai Tahd," commented Banquet Chairwoman Aida Dimejian. The ANCA-WR Annual Banquet will be held at the Downtown Marriott Hotel located on 333 S. Figueroa St. in Los Angeles, California. The banquet will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour and silent auction, with the formal program beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the event are almost sold out. Community members should reserve their tickets immediately if they are interested in attending this special event. For more information or to reserve tickets, please call the ANCA-WR office at (818) 500-1918. The ANCA is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a broad range of issues.