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Thursday, April 29, 2010

AGBU Young Professionals of Los Angeles Raise Funds for Pan-YP
Environmental Project

Reported by Aleen L. Khanjian

Pasadena, CA - On March 16, 2010, the AGBU Young Professionals of Los
Angeles (YPLA) kicked off the year with its first event by hosting a
pre-St. Patrick's Day Mixer at Neomeze. Located in the heart of Old Town
Pasadena, Neomeze is a hip, Mediterranean-style bar and lounge that
served as the perfect venue for the more than 200 young professionals,
who met, mingled, and enjoyed the cool ambiance. The mixer was carried
out, all in the name of fundraising for a worldwide AGBU Pan-YP
Environmental Project in Khachik, Armenia.

Neomeze owner Hagop Giragossian, who opened his doors to the group, has
been a generous supporter of AGBU through the years. "We have partnered
on fundraising projects with YPLA in the past and are always open to
doing so in the future," stated Giragossian. As a token of this
partnership, Giragossian had promotional AGBU YPLA St. Patrick's Day
t-shirts made for attendees of the event.

AGBU YPLA Chairwoman Sevana Melikian was pleased with the turnout as
well as the funds raised for the pan-AGBU YP initiative. "In an effort
to go with a 'green' theme, we thought a St. Patrick's Day event would
be an appropriate way to raise funds for the environmental project that
will be taking place in Khachik this spring," said Melikian. "Our Vice
Chair Narine Zardarian did a great job in organizing this event. We had
a great turnout and look forward to planning more events like these
throughout the year." Having served as YPLA's former liaison on the
global Pan-AGBU YP Committee, Melikian was on hand to educate attendees
about the environmental work being carried out in Armenia.

Also in attendance was AGBU YP Liaison Kim Yacoubian from the AGBU
Central Office in New York. "I was thrilled to see the turnout and
mingle with a number of YPs in Los Angeles," stated Yacoubian. "YPLA's
fundraising efforts are to be commended as this project serves a noble
purpose. It is a crucial incentive for the young people of Khachik,
Armenia to remain in their village, rather than move to Yerevan or,
worse, emigrate. It is through projects like these that we can help
maintain Armenia's border villages and ensure the security and
sovereignty of its borders. YPLA has kicked off the fundraising for this
project in a profound way. I am glad I was here to see it all take

Khachik is a village consisting of 300 families in the Vayotz Dzor
region of Armenia, located approximately 2.5 hours from Yerevan.
Residents of Khachik live in very tight quarters, with nowhere to escape
from their daily hardships. AGBU YP Groups from around the world are
pooling their resources to raise money to build an environmentally
friendly "green space" in the village - a place where locals can take
their children for picnics and where youth can gather and feel like they
have a place to call their own. Additionally, the park-like "green
space" could also serve as a source of income where individuals and
families would be able to set up coffee and tea stands in order to sell
their local produce.

This spring, AGBU YP members of the Yerevan Chapter, along with locals
and the youth, will work toward turning this desolate area into a green
haven for the young, as well as the old. They will plant trees, design
green areas, install picnic tables and gazebos, and build a small
playground. Partner organizations on this project include Armenia's
Ministry of Environment and the Center for Agribusiness and Rural

YPLA is the Los Angeles Chapter of the AGBU Young Professionals - a
growing network of individuals between the ages of 22 and 40, who
individually and collectively mirror the AGBU's mission to preserve and
promote the Armenian identity and heritage by adding dimensions to the
lives of young professional Armenians through educational, cultural,
social and humanitarian programs. YPLA puts on monthly activities,
including social-networking and professional career-building events,
signature weekend getaways, hiking and camping trips, international
video-conferences, service-oriented activities targeted toward Armenian
youth, benefit events, as well as casual get-togethers, where young
Armenians can come together to exchange ideas and get to know each other
better. YPLA is always looking for individuals who would like to
volunteer their time either as a board member or on an event-by-event
basis. For more information on how to get involved with YPLA, please
contact: [email protected]

Established in 1906, AGBU ( is the world's largest
non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU
preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through
educational, cultural and humanitarian program, annually touching the
lives of some 400,000 Armenians around the world.