GLENDALE, CA–On April 18, 2010 community members from Glendale and surrounding cities came out in support of the Armenian National Committee – Glendale Chapter’s fifth annual blood drive in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. The event was hosted in the newly-built Krikor and Mariam Karamanoukian Glendale Youth Center and conducted in coordination with the City of Glendale’s Week of Remembrance Committee, Armenian Relief Society – Sepan Chapter and the American Red Cross.
In addition to the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, one of the goals of the event was to aid in the constant struggle of providing a stable blood supply for patients all across Glendale. Due to a lack of donors and an ever-increasing demand on a dwindling blood supply, the availability of blood in the southern California region has become limited and scarce to properly serve the needs of the region.
“ANC Glendale has been able to surpass its total blood donation goal for the past five years and this year was no different due to the large number of community members who came out in support,” stated Elen Asatryan, Executive Director of ANC Glendale. “These kinds of events play an instrumental role in reinforcing civic responsibility, as well as, expanding the community’s awareness of the critical need to donate blood and the mass killings that occurred during the Armenian Genocide of 1915,” added Asatryan.
“I was initially scared to donate blood because of my aversion to needles, but if all I have to do is temporarily sacrifice for the well-being of others and for the greater good of our community, why not,” stated Arthur Karadzhyan, a first time blood donor. “It is a small price to pay, to save people’s lives,” added Karadzhyan.
The first of a series of activities focused on raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide and reflecting upon man’s inhumanity to man, the blood drive initiated a week of remembrance, observation, and tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. The official “Week of Remembrance” concluded on April 23rd in an evening of reflection at the Alex Theatre, with special performances by Antranig Kizirian and Jivan Gasparian as well as speaker Robert Papazian and performances by the Glendale Philharmonic and the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance.
Known as the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide resulted in the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. April 24th, 2010 marked the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
The Armenian National Committee – Glendale Chapter advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.