SAN JOSE, CA–The City of Campbell, a suburb of San Jose, in Northern California, was the scene of the establishment of a new Armenian Relief Society of Western U.S.A. chapter. This was a memorable and joyous occasion for the Bay Area, where the last new chapter, “Erepouni” of Oakland, was established 76 years ago.
On June 12, 2010, ARS of Western USA Regional Executive board members met with twelve individuals, who were entrusted to continue a tradition of a century of service by the ARS in the San Jose area. Also on hand to offer encouragement and support were chapter executive members of the ARS “Erepouni” Chapter of Oakland and “Anahid” Chapter of San Fernando Valley.
Sossie Poladian, Chairperson of the ARS of Western USA, Regional Executive delivered the opening and congratulatory remarks, conveying her hopes that the new chapter will diligently serve the humanitarian mission of the organization. Great insight and words of support were offered by six other Regional Executive board members from Northern, Central and Southern California present.
During the oath ceremony, with Poladian as godmother, the new members took their oaths holding candles and promising to be faithful to the ARS. An ARS flag was provided for the newly-formed chapter and the new members were presented with ARS Centennial memorabilia.
100 Years after E. Agnouni helped to establish the ARS in New York, the new chapter, formed on the onset of the 2nd Century of the ARS was unanimously voted to be named the “Agnouni” Chapter.
Although there had been interest in prior years to establish a new chapter in the San Jose area, the initial steps toward this direction were taken on May 8, 2010 when four Regional Executive board members visited the community and met with the interested individuals in a discussion regarding the ARS mission, structure, and programs.
Poladian concluded the event by remarking, “We hope that the San Jose area community will rally around this fledging ARS chapter, so that they will be able to make great strides in service of the community.”