NEW YORK–The Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region (ANCA-ER), has announced plans to hold its first annual regional banquet, which will take place on September 22 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, with honored guest Ambassador John Evans. The event’s themeBuilding the Foundation for a Secure Futurewill highlight the organization’s accomplishmen’s and current activities. The evening will also include an awards portion, as Ambassador Evans will receive the ANCA-ER Freedom Award, given to those showing extraordinary courage and devotion to freedom and justice. Past recipients include Senator Bob Dole, Professor Roger Smith, and Governor Tom Kean. Evans was prematurely recalled from his post as US Ambassador to Armenia because of remarks he made in 2005 openly acknowledging the Armenian Genocide. The banquet will be the centerpiece of a full day of activities, which will include forums and break-out sessions, including ANCA activists and supporters from around the region. With over 16 chapters encompassing over thirty states, the ANCA – Eastern Region covers areas with longstanding Armenian communities, as well as other areas that do not. During the past year, the ANCA-ER has had opportunities to meet with new activists in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and other areas. Several of these activists were in attendance at a two-day advocacy day hosted by the ANCA and Genocide Intervention Network in Washington, DC, and others are in regular contact by the ANCA-ER board. "This is a very exciting time for the ANCA – Eastern Region. We are working with a growing variety of activists who want to get involved with Armenian issues. The ability for us to expand to these new areas is vital in securing our future, and in building upon our grassroots strength," commented Karine Birazian, ANCA-ER Executive Director. "The banquet will be a wonderful opportunity to continue this outreach."