GLENDALE–The Armenian Relief Society Western Region (ARS-WR) annual Christmas party took on a special celebratory mood on January 4–not only because 350 ARS members from San Diego to the San Fernando Valley–representing three generations–gathered to celebrate–but also because one of its finest members was honored.
ARS social services worker Annig Sarkissian was honored for her dedicated volunteer work throughout the years. As Santa escorted Sarkissian–who was a little shy–from her seat to the stage–ARS members were ready to speak of her efforts and present a commemorative plaque.
Explaining that volunteer work lies at the heart of the ARS–ARS-WR Social Services Director Sona Zinzalian explained Sarkissian’s work as incomparable. Zinzalian described her as the kind of volunteer who does not stop when her work is done–but asks if other committees need help. ARS-WR Regional Executive Chair Angela Savoian expressed the Regional Executive’s appreciation of Sarkissian’s presence within the office saying–"We are so happy that we have someone like you among us." In her turn–the honoree–who is in her eighties–promised to volunteer until she turns 100.
Members of the ARS Central Executive (CE) and ARF Central Committee representative were among the attendees. An east coast transplant–Yeretzgin Habeshian–officiated the prayers. Speaking on behalf of the ARS-CE–Anahid Meymarian urged the membership to stay physically and mentally healthy in order to carry on the name and reputation of the ARS–an organization which will celebrate its centennial in 5 years.
Savoian invited the Regional Executive members to join her for a toast–expressing her appreciation for being surrounded by like-minded board members who make the meetings an enjoyable place to discuss serious issues for the ARS. She also announced the start of a campaign to assist the tsunami victims. On January 15–the ARS-WR Regional headquarters were open to accept donations.
ARS General Accountant Jassik Jarahian–party coordinator–had arranging for performances by Razmig Mansourian and Alen Aghajanian–as well as a cappuccino service–and a uniquely decorated fruit table donated by Arthur Hamedi.
For a brief few hours–the ARS enjoyed the company of fellow members in a happy and carefree atmosphere–only to return to their chapters and continue working for their communities.