On the Town: Event raises funds for Armenian health

November 19, 2013|By Ruth Sowby
  • Makeovers That Matter CEO Michael John Derricott and hair stylists, from left, Janet Barajas, Quinn Garcia and Heather Andrews put the finishing touch on women veterans before their re-entry into the workforce.
Makeovers That Matter CEO Michael John Derricott and… (Photo by Ruth Sowby )

Nobody can throw a Thanksgiving Luncheon like the women in the Ladies Auxiliary of the Armenian American Medical Society, made up primarily of doctors’ wives.

The Brandview Banquet Hall on Harvard Street was the sparkling setting for lunch and honors this past Saturday. Volunteer extraordinaire Sonia Nersissian received the group’s Spirit of Life Award in front of 250 women who gave this dynamo a standing ovation.

Among Nersissian’s accomplishments was raising money for a laptop and van so that a doctor could go to Armenian villages and take care of poor children with epilepsy.

Event chair Ramella Markian guided the action with aplomb. News flash! Markian has just been promoted to associate vice president of business development at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. This lady knows what she’s doing. Markian introduced her event vice chairperson Vany Cherik, who, in turn, introduced good friend and honoree Nersissian.

Cherik described some of Nersissian’s volunteer work and life story. In 1987, Nersissian and her family moved from Iran to the United States. Once here, she began her volunteer work with the Armenian Society of Iran.


In 1991, Nersissian was invited into the Armenian American Medical Society Ladies Auxiliary. She became the group’s president in 2002. Nersissian later handed the gavel to her successor, Markian.

One of Nersissian’s hobbies is dress design. Lavish gowns designed by this woman of all trades were on display in the banquet hall.

Also included on the program was a presentation by Dr. Christopher K. Kaypekian on “The Truth About Pain.” His wife, Natalie, introduced him. The doctor had the room buzzing over his use of a relatively new treatment for migraine headaches — botox.

The afternoon ended with music and shopping. A boutique made it easy to load up on Christmas gifts. A favorite booth was that of jewelry designer Vahe Karapetyan.

Event proceeds will benefit Glendale Healthy Women and the Children’s Diabetic Camp in Armenia. Also benefiting will be the ladies auxiliary’s free mammogram screenings program. Since 2010, some 700 free mammograms have been provided to women in need.


In the United States, there are more than 2 million female veterans and active duty members, and the highest concentration is in California.

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