GLENDALE—The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA (ARS) Regional Executive presented a look back and a look ahead to the ARS membership on the West Coast starting with a presentation to members from more than a dozen Los Angeles area chapters on Jan. 15 at the Pasadena Armenian Center. The ARS Sosse Chapter of Pasadena, Calif., hosted members from across Los Angeles, from the Anahid and Lori Chapters in the San Fernando Valley to the Arpi Chapter in Diamond Bar.
On Jan. 24, members of the Regional Executive spent a day with the Bay Area chapters, starting with a meeting with the Chapter Executives of the Agnouni, Erepouni and Garin Chapters, hosted by the latter. The general membership joined them for presentations.
Another stop was Fresno, where members of the 100-year old Mayr Chapter along with the Sophia Chapter met with the Regional Executive at the newly established offices of the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Armenia in the downtown area. Honorary Consul General Berj Apkarian took the time to explain the official functions of the office. At the Fresno Asbarez Center, an additional presentation took place.
The Regional Executive’s last stop was in Laguna Niguel, in Orange County, Calif., on January 31. Members from the Sevan Chapter of Orange County, Nairy Chapter of Montebello and Roubina Chapter in San Diego attended the presentation, which was hosted by the Karni Chapter.
The objectives of the mid-term gatherings were to share main activities of the region, inform members of accomplishments, successes, challenges and upcoming programs, as well as learn from each other.
Co-chairperson Maral Matossian made opening remarks, covered chapter developments, and reported on educational and Armenian Genocide Centennial programs. Co-chairperson Rebecca Berberian presented updates on social and counseling services, Armenia-Artsakh, Javakhk and Syria relief programs. Satenig Ghazarian spokes about the ARS’ fund-raising programs, the upcoming L.A. 5K run/walk and Marathon (March 14 & 15) and the annual gala (May 15). Rita Hintlian reported on the ARS’ public relations and social media initiatives. Aida Babayan-AlRayes presented a financial report on the first two quarters.
Of the 9 members on the Regional Executive board, 6 of them, including Nanik Kopelian, took part in the tour while the other members, Judy Jingirian, Adrine Postoyan and Araxy Aykanian, attended the presentations held in their own towns. Hosting chapter executive chairs made welcoming remarks: Karine Barikian Setian, Hourig Aintablian, Jane Lanas and Lina Tufenkjian.
As much as use of technology augments connections between members, the personal visits are much more effective in starting and renewing friendships, especially when people are united by their same vision.
The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA, established in 1984 and with regional headquarters in Glendale, Calif., has 26 chapters and more than 1,200 members in four western states. The ARS operates a Social Services Division and Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center, and funds numerous youth programs, scholarships, and relief efforts. For further information, please visit www.arswestusa.org or call (818) 500-1343.