BURBANK–The Armenian National Committee of Burbank welcomed over 300 local friends, activists, and community leaders for its second Annual Banquet.
The annual event reviewed the organization’s achievements in the past year and introduced the Burbank ANC to the community. Hosted at the La Bella Banquet Hall in Burbank, the event also honored local leaders and Burbank ANC activists for their contributions to the community.
CA State Assembly Member, Paul Krekorian (D-43) – in whose district Burbank resides – as well as former CA State Assembly Member Carol Liu (D-44) were joined by Glendale City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian, Burbank Mayor Marsha Ramos, Burbank City Council members Dr. David Gordon, Gary Bric, Anja Reike, representing Congressman Brad Sherman Debabneh Matthew, representing Senator Jack Scott, Suzy Jacobs, Burbank Police Chief Thomas Heofel, Burbank Park, Recreation & Community Services Director Eric Hansen, Burbank Library Services Director, Sharon Cohen, Burbank Community Development Director Sue Georgino, Burbank City Clerk, Margarita Campos, BUSD Assistant Superintendent Human Resources, Dr. Gave Soumakian, Burbank School Board Vice President, Larry Applebaum, Burbank School Board Clerk, Dave Kemp, ARF Central Committee, Unger John Kossakian and Unger Nazo Apanian, ANCA Washington DC Executive Director Aram Hamparian, ANCA WR Chairperson Raffi Hamparian, ANCA WR Executive Director Antranig Kzirian, ANCA WR Community Relations Director, Haig Hovsepian, representatives of the Asbarez Newspaper and Horizon Television, representatives of local ARF, ANC, ARS & Homenetmen chapters, Western Prelacy Very Rev. Khoren Habeshian & Diocese, Western Diocese Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz. V. Yardemian, GUSD School Board member Nayiri Nahabedian, and ACF Trust Fund Executive Director Mourad Topalian.
Banquet committee chairwoman, Vicky Marashlian, opened the evening’s event, welcomed those gathered, and introduced the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies, Miss Sevana Zetlian. She also thanked the banquet committee of over a dozen volunteers who helped make the evening possible. Following the performance of the American and Armenian national anthems by Miss Lorie Bartamian, the Very Reverand Father Dajad Yardemian and Reverend Father Khoren Habeshian delivered the invocation.
Dinner was followed by the screening of this year’s “Burbank ANC: A Year in Review” video in which the organization and its activities were presented by Burbank ANC committee chairs and members of the community with which the organization had worked in the past year. Dr. Arbi Ohanian, Chairman of the Burbank ANC briefly reviewed the activities of the Armenian National Committee at the local, state, and federal levels. He emphasized the grassroots nature of the organization and how community members have worked with the Burbank ANC leadership to make a difference in Burbank schools, community organizations, and city government.
The sentimen’s were echoed by Honorary Banquet chairman, CA State Assemblymember Paul Krekorian (D-43). In his remarks, Krekorian, noted that though the issues for which the ANC advocates may be on a large scale, he remained impressed with and applauded the efforts of individual activists and Armenian Americans who make a difference.
The Burbank ANC presented its annual Levon Shant, William Saroyan, and Vahan Cardashian, awards. Burbank Police Chief, Thomas Hoefel was presented with the Levon Shant Award, given annually to an individual who provides exemplary service to the city of Burbank. Karo Ovasapian received the William Saroyan award which recognized remarkable contributions by individuals to the Armenian Cause in the context of their profession or specialization.
In a surprise move, Burbank ANC executive committee member Peter Musurlian was presented the Vahan Cardashian Award. Musurlian, who had been told he would be presenting the award was surprised to learn upon reaching the podium that he was, in fact, the honoree himself. Musurlian, a long-time Burbank ANC executive committee member and California native, was honored for being the Burbank ANC activist of the year. In addition to serving as station manager and senior producer of BTV6, Burbank’s government access channel, Musurlian also serves as host to the award-winning program Burbank Magazine and has chaired the Burbank ANC committee in the past. Musurlian received the award for this leadership and support of the Armenian American community.
The keynote address for the evening was delivered by ANCA Executive Director, Aram Hamparian. Hamparian detailed the accomplishments of the Armenian National Committee at the federal level and in Washington, D.C. during the past year. Touching on Ohanian’s and Krekorian’s earlier remarks Hamparian pointed out that the collective activism at the local level helped drive the issues in the nation’s capital.
The event also featured a traditional Armenian dance performance by the Lilian Dance Studio. In her closing remarks, Zetlian thanked the community for joining the Burbank ANC for the evening’s event and for their continued activism. She encouraged everyone to continue to support the efforts of the ANC to advocate on issues of concern to Armenian Americans and build a stronger community. This years event was extremely successful. This was a testament to the numerous volunteers that serve the community through the Burbank ANC. In particular this was an exemplary effort by the tireless work of the banquet committee, stated Ohanian.