ARS of Western USA, Inc.
Regional Office
517 W. Glenoaks Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91202
Tel: 818-500-1343
Fax: 818-242-3732
E-Mail: [email protected]

Armenian Relief Society of Western U.S.A., Regional Executive

ARS Calls to Action in Assistance of Armenians in Syria

Amidst the conflict and civil strife that continues to plague Syria
and its residents, the ARS of Western USA calls upon community members
from near and far to join its efforts in support and camaraderie of
Armenians in Syria, who are painstakingly affected by the ongoing
turmoil in the country.

At this crucial time, the ARS Western USA Region has committed to a
full force humanitarian response effort to raise funds in aid of
Armenians in Syria. Support in this effort knows no bounds and a
donation in any amount to the `Fund for Assistance to Syrian Armenian
Schools' will undeniably demonstrate a united undertaking to fulfill
our moral duty in coming to the aid of fellow Armenians in distress.

New Challenges Set for the ARS During the Regional Convention

The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western U.S.A., 92nd Annual
Regional Convention was held on July 27-29, 2012, at the new Pasadena
Armenian Center in Pasadena, California, to assess the activities of
the past year and plan for the upcoming year.

Delegates and guests from 23 chapters arrived from the San Francisco
Bay area and as far away as Phoenix, Arizona, and made their way to
the foyer, where the ARS-WUSA Regional Executive and Sosse Chapter
(Pasadena) members welcomed them.

Dr. Nyree Derderian, Regional Executive Chairperson, called the
convention to order in the converted gym of the center. Following
anthems, officer elections were held. Khatoune Pakradouni and Sossie
Djabrayan were elected as co-chairs, and Mayda Chahinian and Rita
Hintlian as Secretaries. Following the presentation by the Credentials
Committee, Maggie Yahyayan and Victoria Markarian joined as second
secretaries for Armenian and English respectively.

During the first session, which was attended by the ARS Central
Executive Board (CEB) Chairperson, Vicky Marashlian, CEB's
Representative Annie Kechichian delivered her board's message. Looking
forward to the future with great expectations, she noted that the ARS
is at the forefront of a new era and the convention will determine the
path to follow, as a demonstration of the will of its members. She
stated that free Armenia struggles with societal shortcomings,
victorious Artsakh continues to be threatened, Javakhk continues to
struggle with worsening socio-economic conditions, while different
Diaspora regions face difficult economic and safety conditions.

She said that the CEB would like to see this meeting advance in
spirited, yet practical; brave, yet well thought out ways'so that not
only ARS members will gather around the region, but also the community
as a whole, and particularly the youth. Kechichian also read the CEB
report of their activities since the 70th International Convention
held in October 2011 in Athens, Greece.

Dr. Vicken Yacoubian, delivered the ARF-WR Central Committee's
message, challenging the ARS to accomplish philanthropy driven by
activism; to connect to the people by understanding their needs; to
carry the heavy burden of meeting those needs. He wished that the
convention's decisions would bring new vigor to the ARS, and renew its
ranks with youth.

Arch. Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the
Armenian Apostolic Church of America, was accompanied by the Executive
Council Chairperson, Rima Boghossian. The Prelate delivered his
message and blessings for strength and vigor to persevere for the
delegates, and wished for divine wisdom and guidance. His Eminence
remarked that the ARS has nurtured and cared for the needs of the
Armenian people, just as a doting mother would, and has been
instrumental in the progress and prosperity of our homeland through
the efforts and selfless service of its dedicated and devoted members,
who humbly serve to carry out its noble humanitarian mission.

The officers appointed Annie Chalian as Parliamentarian, Rita Hintlian
as Reporter, and Arshalouys Kiledjian and Alice Shekherdemian as

Annie Chalian and Sossie Poladian were Regional guests, while Satenig
Ghazarian, Helen Keosian, Anahid Meymarian and Asdghig Tejirian, were
guests elected by the convention to provide their valuable input. The
convention continued with the election of committees, presentations
and assessment of regional programs.

During the three days, the convention discussed the services, which
were provided by the region. Five social services offices, and the
Child, Youth and Family Guidance Center served the needy, elderly and
those with counseling needs. Chapters operated one-day or Saturday
Schools for those children who lack access to Armenian day schools,
along with one day care.

The region continued to support two youth centers in Javakhk, two ARS
Sosse Kindergartens in Artsakh, 123 orphans through the
Sponsor-A-Child program and the Educational program for former
orphans, who live mostly in Hadroud, Askaran and Mardouni. A video of
photos of major events, during the past year, entertained and excited
the delegates and observers.

Vicky Marashlian, ARS CEB Chairperson, congratulated the convention
for its smooth performance and the newly elected board members. The
ARF Central Committee representative, Dr. Vicken Yacoubian, reminded
the members that he was the Secretary staffer of the ARS Regional
Executive, while he was attending the university. He congratulated the
newly elected board members, wished the whole ARS family success in
their endeavors, promising support and assistance to collectively
achieve the goals of our people.

In closing statements, Khatoune Pakradouni, Convention Co-Chair,
remarked on how the ARS had reinvented and revitalized itself through
several generations, how her generation felt about accomplishing their
duty, and how satisfied they felt by realizing their dreams and
witnessing the new generation joining the ranks to accomplish new

The ARS continues to weave dreams for the Diaspora and the Homeland,
with the financial assistance and support of the community members.

The convention commended good planning and carrying out of innovative
programs, assessed where improvements were needed, and decided to
boost certain programs, within the guidelines of the Strategic Plan
already in effect for the last two years. The convention highly
commended the Regional Executive for continuing programs during a
challenging fiscal environment.

The convention split up into break-out sessions to develop new ideas,
before they were brought to the convention floor. Sheltering, Saturday
School Education Fund, and assistance to Armenian schools in Syria
were allocated more funding, due to the increased concern for the
status of children. Other resolutions were regarding sustainable
funding, promoting the ARS through Public Relations, and membership

One of the guests commented on how the delegates endured long-lasting
sessions with outmost diligence. The hosting Pasadena Sosse Chapter
members catered to the needs of the attendees during the 3-days, by
providing good nutritious foods throughout the day and entertainment
in the evening. The chapter members even brought `mas' (holy bread)
from the Sunday services.

Following a report by ARS CEB Representative, Annie Kechichian, the
convention decided and formed an ad hoc committee to raise funds for
the Armenians in Syria, in addition to collecting payments and pledges
amounting to $18,050 from the floor, as a kick off of the campaign.

Four members of the Regional Executive had completed their 2-year
terms: Nyree Derderian, Kristine Keshishian, Carmen Libaridian and
Seta Hagopian-Soghomonian. The Convention elected Lena Bozoyan,
Christina Khanjian, Carmen Libaridian, and Karine Barikian-Setian.

The 2012-2013 Regional Executive board elected its officers as
follows: Lena Bozoyan, Chairperson; Carmen Libaridian,
Vice-Chairperson; Armenounhi (Mimi) Tomassian, Secretary; Liza
Santikian, Treasurer; andChristina Khanjian, Zharmen Mirzakhanyan,
Judy Jingirian, Angele Ohannessian, and Karine Barikian-Setian

The Paros Program on ARTN Featured New Regional Executive Chairperson
Lena Bozoyan on August 5, 2012, along with footage from the


Support the Armenian school children in Syria.Donate by credit card or
PayPal at

Or mail your check to: ARS of Western U.S.A., Regional Executive, 517
W. Glenoaks Blvd. Glendale, CA 91202-2812

517 W. Glenoaks Blvd. | Glendale, CA 91202-2812 US
Phone: (818) 500-1343 | Fax: (818) 242-3732
Email: [email protected]

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress