Mourad Topalian–Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America–visited Fresno Sept. 26-28–kicking off his three-day stay in Central California with a press conference at the Asbarez Armenian Center where he spoke to members of the local press on the ANCA.
Topalian focused on the Ellis Island photo exhibit issue–which has since been resolved–and on securing more US aid for Armenia. Topalian also spoke of increased tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh–and fielded questions from the media–which included every major outlet in the area along with four television stations and the Fresno Bee–which ran an in-depth article and photo the next day.
During his visit–Topalian was the special guest at a fundraiser reception sponsored by the ANC Central California chapter held at the home of Vatche Soghomonian and Dr. Jane Kardashian. Longtime community supporter Sarkis Boghosian acted as Honorary Chairman of the event.
Fresno ANC member Paul Jamushian was Master of Ceremonies at the event–which included such guests as Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson and Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamante–who presented Topalian with an Assembly resolution commending the ANCA and its work on behalf of the Armenian community.
Following musical entertainment by renown opera singer Edna Garabedian–Topalian delivered the evening’s keynote address–speaking on such issues as Capitol Hill and the Armenian-American community–Karabakh–and the oil lobby’s increasing influence in Washington.
Steve Samuelian–District Director to Congressman George Radanovich–ARF Western Region Central Committee member Viken Yepremian and ARF Tehlirian Committee Chairman Meher Checkerdemian–all of Fresno–were invited guests as well.
"This event is a tribute to our strong ANC chapter here in Fresno," said ANC Central California Chairman Apo Saghdejian. "The amount of support both financially and otherwise–shows that the Fresno Armenian community supports the ANC."
The ANCA received several key financial pledges at the Sept. 26 gala event–including contributions from Manas Saghdejian of Fresno ($3,000)–the ARF Tehlirian Committee ($3,000)–Dr. Ara Soghomonian of Fresno ($2,000) and Haig Sahatdjian of Fresno ($1,500).
Boghosian also made a $3,000 contribution to the ANCA himself–bringing the evening’s total to $25,000 raised for the Washington office of the ANCA. The evening’s Reception Committee was composed of Abraham Saghdejian–Steve Samuelian–Alik Hovsepian–Rose Saghdejian–Houry Chaderjian–Corrine Ohanessian and Susie Saghdejian.
The reception was also covered by the Fresno affiliate of Horizon Television–which airs every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in Fresno–Madera and Clovis on Media One Channel 42.