MONTEBELLO, Calif.—On Thursday, January 11, the Armenian National Committee of America – San Gabriel Valley Chapter hosted its annual Armenian Christmas Dinner at the Montebello Armenian Center.
More than 100 hundred community leaders and 40 elected officials including state senate and assembly representatives, mayors, and council members of 12 cities within the San Gabriel Valley took part in the celebration that has become a cherished tradition throughout the years.
Speakers included California State Senate President Pro Tem and current U.S. Senate candidate Kevin De Leon, State Board of Equalization Member and California Treasurer candidate Fiona Ma, and San Gabriel Valley State Senator and Lt. Governor candidate Ed Hernandez.
The celebration was aimed at acquainting leaders of the San Gabriel Valley communities with the traditions of their Armenian constituents during the holiday season. The Center was overcome with holiday cheer as guests gathered to add new dimensions to age-old traditions. The ANCA San Gabriel Valley highlighted its past year which included a substantial increase in civic engagement through meetings, community town halls and unprecedented Armenian-American voter efforts within the San Gabriel Valley, including a special election in which Armenian-Americans voted at twice the rate of the previous such election.
“We are pleased to see such an overwhelming turnout of elected officials to celebrate Armenian Christmas and New Years with our community. The positive response is a testament to the important role ANCA-San Gabriel Valley plays in San Gabriel Valley politics”, stated Levon Kirakosian advisory board member to ANCA-WR . Following the program, a traditional “khtoom” dinner was served that featured a host of Armenian favorites. As with the rest of the program, the dinner was in observance of all Armenian holiday traditions. Continuing with the program’s emphasis on showcasing Armenian culture, a violin ensemble performed classical Armenian melodies.
“These events serve as bridge between our elected officials and the Armenian-American communities we represent. We are excited to continuously build upon our partnership with our representatives” stated Gev Iskajyan, Executive Director of the ANCA San Gabriel Valley.
The ANCA-SGV thanks and recognizes the following elected officials and community organizations for their continued support and friendship with the Armenian Community in the San Gabriel Valley: Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the Assembly, Kevin de León Senate President Pro Tempore , Dr. Ed Hernandez, O.D., State Senator, 22nd District, Fiona Ma, Board of Equalization, 2nd District, Linda Sánchez, Congresswoman, 38th District, Judy Chu Congresswoman, 27th District, Ian C. Calderon, Assembly Majority Leader, Cristina Garcia, Assemblymember, 58th District, Hilda Solis, LA County Supervisor, 1st District, Jim McDonnell, LA County Sheriff, Scott, J. Svonkin Board Member, LACCD ,Vanessa Delgado, Mayor, City of Montebello, Jack Hadjinian, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Montebello, Art Barajas, Councilmember, City of Montebello, Vivian Romero, Councilmember, City of Montebello, Ashod Mooradian, Treasurer, City of Montebello, Irma Bernal-Barajas, City Clerk, City of Montebello, Gustavo Camacho, Mayor, City of Pico Rivera, Bob Arculeta, Councilmember, City of Pico Rivera, David Armenta, Councilmember, City of Pico Rivera, Joe Vinatieri Mayor, City of Whittier, Oralia Y. Rebollo, Mayor, City of Commerce, Ivan Altamirano, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Commerce, John Soria Councilmember, City of Commerce, Luigi Vernola, Mayor, City of Norwalk, Margaret Clark, Councilmember, City of Rosemead, Sandra Armenta, Councilmember, City of Rosemead, Manuel Lozano, Mayor, City of Baldwin Park, Monica Garcia, Councilmember, City of Baldwin Park, Sean Ashton, Mayor, City of Downey, Victoria Martinez, Councilmember, City of El Monte, and Albert Robles Mayor, City of Carson.
The ANCA of San Gabriel Valley offered its gratitude to the following organizations: Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Relief Society Ani Chapter, Armenian Relief Society Nairy Chapter, Montebello Homenetmen, Armenian Youth Federation Vahan Cardashian Chapter, Montebello Holy Cross Cathedral, Armenian Mesrobian School, Montebello Chamber of Commerce, Montebello Police Foundation, Montebello Historical Society, Montebello Police Department and Montebello Fire Department.