GLENDALE—The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA places great focus and attention on the region of Javakhk and the population of Armenians living there in challenging and difficult conditions.
Special emphasis is made on the youth of the region and the importance of advancing their education and social welfare. To this end, the ARS of Western USA sponsors three youth centers in the region. Guided by the principle that Javakhk is part of Armenia and it is the responsibility of every Armenian to contribute substantially to the well-being of Javakhk Armenians and to encourage them to remain rooted to our ancestral land, the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee works tirelessly year-round to advance their aims.
Alongside the sponsorships of youth centers, the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee works on educating communities regarding the historical importance of Javakhk and its preservation. The Committee’s dedicated members publish materials and publications, as well as organize public gatherings and educationals to bring attention to the region and the plight of Javakhk Armenians. This year, on March 15, 2018, a public forum was held at Glendale Community College exploring Javakhk’s complex history, current affairs, and ARS Javakhk Fund programs. On May 1, 2018, another public forum was held at the Glendale Adult Recreation Center featuring Professor Ashot Melkonyan, a native of Javakhk, presenting on the topic of “The State of Javakhk During the First Republic of Armenia.”
In an effort to secure funds for the maintenance and expenses of the youth centers mentioned above, the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee annually organizes fundraising events. This year, the Committee’s annual event will be held on Friday, May 11, 2018 starting at 7 p.m. at Legacy Ballroom (6410 San Fernando Rd., Glendale, CA 91201). Tickets are $100 per person.
The ARS of Western USA, Regional Executive Board has decided to honor Haigoush Keghinian Kohler with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the event. Kohler, a community benefactor, founder and current chairperson of the ARS Long Beach “Zovinar” Chapter, has headed the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee in the past and continues to contribute morally and financially to the region’s advancement. More recently, on March 1, 2018, Kohler made a generous contribution of $100,000 to benefit the renovation of the Akhaltskha Youth Center.
“The ARS Regional Executive Board recognizes the importance of strengthening Javakhk and supporting Armenians living in the region. In this sense, the ARS continues to implement numerous programs, which draw the support of ARS members, donors, and supporters. We are grateful to all, and especially to Haigoush Keghinian Kohler, who continues to demonstrate patronage to the region to meet the needs of Javakhk Armenians,” stated ARS Regional Executive Chairperson Silva Poladian.
The ARS Javakhk Fund Committee anticipates the support of community members at its annual fundraising event on May 11. For tickets and additional information, contact the ARS Regional Headquarters at (818) 500-1343 or [email protected]
Haigoush Keghinian Kohler was born in Kharkov, Ukraine. Her parents were Bedros and Manoushag Keghinian, who were from the Tsitogh village in Erzurum. Prior to World War II, the family immigrated to Iraq. There, she attended the Tarkmanchatz Co-Ed Secondary and, later, took evening classes at a government-funded, all-girls public high school in Baghdad.
By way of correspondence, she has completed programs and received certification in Commercial Business and English Language through Pitman shorthand and Oxford advanced-level classes. She has held responsible positions in British, American, and Iraqi oil ministries (El-Dora Refinery). She has always brought her active participation to community life by becoming a member of various organizations and committees, including an Armenian youth organization in Baghdad. Following her studies, she joined the ranks of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
In 1964, Haigoush immigrated to the United States and established residence in San Francisco, California. She transferred to the local ARF “Nigol Aghpalian” Gomideh, continued to actively work with the Armenian National Committee, and become a member of the ARS “Garin” Chapter. For a period of time, she also worked at the office of Mr. George Mardikian as a bilingual executive secretary, as well as other companies.
In 1970, she met retired Navy Lieutenant Elmer Bud Kohler. They married in 1971 and moved to Long Beach, California in 1973. The two were blessed with a daughter, Christina Maral. Mr. Kohler supported Haigoush’s community and organizational work and helped her in all her charity work and philanthropy.
In 1986, Haigoush Kohler founded the ARS Long Beach “Zovinar” Chapter and currently serves as its chairperson. In 1991, she was elected to the ARS of Western USA’s, Regional Executive Board as Vice-Chairperson. Two years later, in 1993, she was elected to the ARS Central Executive Board as Secretary. She has served on numerous committees, pursuing the Armenian Relief Society’s goals and mission and providing humanitarian assistance to Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk, and the Diaspora. In 1988, when the devastating earthquake hit Armenia, she used her husband’s connections to immediately have humanitarian and medical supplies sent from an American military base in Germany to Armenia by way of air and containerized cargo.
Haigoush pursued her higher education and, in 1997 graduated from the Los Angeles Mkhitarian Educational Foundation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the California State University, Long Beach.
She has sponsored highly-acclaimed books and publications. Moreover, she has brought her active participation to non-Armenian organizations in the Long Beach area, including:
• Long Beach Chamber of Commerce – Women’s Council
• Long Beach Symphony Guild
• Long Beach International Committee Council
• Member of Assistance League of Long Beach Chapter
• Various Long Beach school PTA’s
Kohler has continuously demonstrated her moral and financial support towards her community and homeland. She has been bestowed with the Mesrob Mashdots medal and encyclical by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian on behalf of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. She has also received recognitions by ARS Regional Executive Boards.
For over 15 years, she has served as the Chairperson of the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee and helps provide socio-economic and humanitarian assistance to Armenians in the region.
She is an active member of the Armenian Educational Foundation, supporting and providing educational needs in Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk and the United States, and has sponsored the renovation of two schools in Armenia. She serves as the CEO and President of C&O Enterprises and Development, a real estate/investment corporation.
She is a proud grandmother of two grandchildren, James and Emma.
Haigoush Keghinian Kohler serves as a prime example of an individual dedicated to humanitarian service.