GLENDLAE—The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA held its first fundraising event for an outreach program addressing domestic violence on Sunday, August 14, 2011 at its Regional Headquarters in Glendale, California. The well-attended and successful event helped raise over $15,000.
Aida Babayan, Shelter Committee Chairperson, presented a concise, compelling, and complete report of the various steps and work done for this needed and worthwhile project, which includes the establishment of a telephone hotline service and coordination with local organizations operating shelters, including Door of Hope and the YWCA. The keynote speaker was Prof. Osheen Keshishian, who through his extensive experience in the community, and at Glendale Community College, brought into focus, through actual case studies and interviews with community offices, the plight of domestic violence. He cited the potential causes, such as cultural differences and expectations. He emphasized that these do not justify, nor absolve the actual situations and further stressed the specific need for this outreach as essential.
Representing Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Very Rev. Ardak Demirjian conveyed his blessings and words of encouragement. During the dinner, Maestro Hovsep Torossian entertained at the keyboard, and he accompanied soprano Alice Haroutounian, with a few Armenian favorites, to the enjoyment of all the guests.
On behalf of the ARS Regional Executive Board, Chairperson Dr. Nyree Derderian thanked the donors and attending guests for supporting such an important project.
The community leaders present that evening included Anahid Stepanian representing the ARF-CC; Apo Boghigian, editor of the Asbarez Daily Newspaper; Dr. Carol Ann Burton, Chair of the YWCA; Paula Devine, Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women of the City of Glendale; and Liz Mirzayan, Chair of the Glendale Soroptimists.
All who attended left with a clearer understanding for the need and urgency of this outreach project.