Community: Armenian society recognizes 60

May 15, 2012|By Joyce Rudolph
  • Sona Zinzalian, left, Armenian Relief Society Social Services executive director, and Nyree Derderian, Armenian Relief Society Regional executive chairperson at the Western USA's Gala at the Glendale Hilton Hotel.
Sona Zinzalian, left, Armenian Relief Society Social… (Photo courtesy…)

The entrance of 60 Armenian Relief Society honorees clad in tricolor ribbons into the Glendale Hilton Hotel's Grand Ballroom inspired a standing ovation by the more than 500 guests attending the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA's Gala 2012 on April 27.

Honorees were selected by their respective chapters in the society's Western USA region to be recognized for their excellence in service in categories including longtime member, financially supportive member and exemplary member.

Masters of Ceremony Grigor Ogaryan and Talar Aintablian introduced the guests, including His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, the society's Central Executive Chairwoman Vicky Marashlian and board member Rosie Bedrossian, ACF Representative Anahit Aprahamian, Asbarez Editor Apo Boghigian, Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti and Glendale Unified school board member Greg Krikorian.

Tenor Raffi Kerbabian sang the national and society's anthems, accompanied by pianist Hovsep Torossian. Guests watched a video message from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), then mingled and had dinner. Entertainment was provided by an Armenian folklore music group directed by Ruben Haroutunyan.


Nyree Derderian, chairman of the society's regional executive board, delivered remarks and mentioned the April 24 commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Derderian also touched on the local and international programs of the Armenian Relief Society of the Western USA and congratulated the region's 28th anniversary.

“We celebrate our members, who through their dedicated years of service have always risen to the call of action. To be honored by your peers is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a person,” she said.

Derderian introduced the keynote speaker, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Houry Sanderson, an active member of Fresno's Sophia Chapter. His topic covered “The Volunteer and the Code of Conduct of the Volunteer.”

Sona Zinzalian, the society's social services executive director, was honored for her 30 years of service.

Also, Sevag Saghdejian and Nayeri Saghdejian-Kassajikian of Specialty Car Craft presented a check for $25,000 to the society. The funds were raised at the first Memorial Run on the occasion of April 24. Proceeds benefit the society's Armenia-Artsakh Orphans' Fund.

Jasik Jarahian, general manager of the Armenian Relief Society Regional Headquarters, headed the organizing committee.

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