The Najarian family organized a reception to honor their son Councilman Ara Najarian’s campaign for reelection on Sunday, March 8, 2009. Over 150 supporters attended this festive occasion, held at beautiful Renaissance Banquet Hall in Glendale.
Ara Najarian’s brother, Dr. Raffi Najarian, a lt. colonel in the U.S. Air Force and an Iraqi war veteran, was master of ceremonies. After warm welcoming remarks, he said, “I take pride in such a brother, who has great accomplishmen’s. Along with all his involvement in civic service, he has been an exemplary individual: a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a friend. It is a happy day to come together to support my brother.” He then told several anecdotes related to their childhood.
Former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Armand Arabian, a close friend of the Najarian family, lightened the afternoon event with humor. He then said, “Ara is a man of integrity. In addition, he never has forgotten his Armenian heritage. I support Ara in his reelection campaign.”
At this point, Ara’s cousin, Karo Mardirossian, presented Ara as fun loving, a close friend and as his classmate at Ferahian High School. Then he concluded by saying that he is very proud of his cousin’s achievemen’s. Ara graduated from Occidental College, the same college our newly elected President Obama attended. “Today, I am sure if my cousin is running for office, it is just to make a difference,” Mardirossian said.
Mary Najarian addressed the audience, saying, “It is especially gratifying to see so many of our true supporters of the reelection of my son, Councilman Ara Najarian. As Director of Medical Outreach, we worked hard, and my son Ara tirelessly helped us to provide assistance to Armenia and Artsakh.”
The event continued with Rafi Manoukian’s remarks. He said, “I am running for the Glendale Treasurer position, and Ara is running for reelection as city councilman. I would like to say only three words: I support Ara. He has to be reelected.”
Dr. Artin Sagherin, a close friend of Vartkes Najarian and his classmate at American University in Beirut, praised the Najarian family. He spoke about Dr. Vartkes and Mary Najarian, their dedication to Armenia and his long friendship with the family.
The keynote speaker of the event, the Hon. Larry Zarian, addressed the audience with his passionate remarks, saying, “It is a wonderful opportunity to see a full house. The reason I’m here is not just for Ara. I strongly urge all of you to go out and vote in this city election.” He emphasized that Ara has to be reelected to keep his upcoming chairmanship of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. “He can do a great deal of good for the city. He has proven himself to be a great asset on the city council, and the city needs him now more than ever.” He asked that everyone who can vote go to the polls and make sure to cast a vote for Ara.
Zankou Armenian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of Glendale, offered his remarks, saying, “Thank you for giving this opportunity to me. I know Ara Najarian has what it takes to be reelected councilman of Glendale. I have no doubt that he cares about the entire city, and bringing the community together. We need leadership with experience. I would like to announce that Ara will be at the top of our endorsemen’s,” he said.
Ara Najarian closed the afternoon event, thanking everyone for coming. He said, “Running for this reelection indeed allows me to work on a variety of issues, including public safety and law enforcement. I care about Glendale, and I want to keep Glendale one of the safest cities in Southern California. I have served as councilmember and as mayor with pride and joy. I promise to do my best for Glendale, which I love.”
The reception was provided by Ara’s brother-in-law and sister, Dr. Stephan and Maro Yacoubian.
Writer’s Note: I consider it an honor for me to participate in writing about this event. I also join with Ara’s family and friends in supporting Ara Najarian for upcoming reelection.