NORTH HILLS, Calif.—The Armenian Relief Society of Western US, Regional Executive established the 27th chapter in the region on March 17 with members residing in the Northern San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. Seventeen new members took their oath to collectively establish the latest chapter and called it “Lori”, after a northern province in Armenia located between Shirag and Davoush provinces.
ARS-WUSA Regional Executive chair, Arousyak Melkonian, officiated the oath ceremony of the new ARS chapter. ARS Central Executive Board Chair, Vicky Marashlian, Regional and chapter executive members, members from neighboring chapters, as well as ARF Arshavir Shiragian Committee members were present during the moving ceremony, which was followed by the first general meeting of chapter, whereby a 7-member chapter executive was elected.
ARS-WUSA Vice Chair, Dr. Nyree Derderian, presented the opening remarks of the program held at the Holy Martyrs Marie Cabayan Elementary School (the Pathenia campus of Ferrahian). The new members, beaming with excitement, lined up holding candles and recited the ARS oath per their godmother’s, Arousyak Melkonian’s, instructions. Their audience of over 50 ARS and ARF members, included their mothers, aunts, cousins and even husbands.
Melkonian delivered her message of pride and responsibility to the founding members of the new chapter, noting the importance of the moment of giving their oath as a decisive action to serve the humanitarian and philanthropic aims of the ARS for the good of their communities in the Diaspora and Armenia. She called their noble act as pledges to the “holy work of the ARS”, and welcomed them to the greater ARS family.
Following Melkonian’s remarks and Vicky Marashlian’s donation, ARS Anahid (San Fernando Valley) Chapter Executive Chair Mimi (Armenouhi) Thomassian, ARS Araz Chapter Executive Chair Ani Chalian, ARS Sepan Chapter Executive Chair Christine Hovnanian and ARF Arshavir Shiragian Committee Chair Vatche Donoyan made congratulatory remarks and presented donations to the new chapter.
Following the presentations, the new chapter members collectively cut the cake reaching out together, and the reception provided by the ARF Shiragian committee followed. The chapter is expected to attract new and transfer members in the future.