GLENDALE—The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA Regional Christmas Party was once again well attended with almost 350 ARS volunteer and staff members and guests. This year, the party also served to give recognition to Louisa Gourjian, the ARS Social Services Fiscal Director, as she retired after a quarter century of service working for the Social Services Division. It was also a chance to reminisce days past as old photographs were shown on the screen in her honor.
The dinner program started with welcoming remarks by ARS Regional Executive Secretary Karine Barikian-Setian, who emceed the event on January 3, 2014, at the St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church Armenag Der Bedrossian Hall. Rev. Fr. Vazken Atmadjian of the same church delivered Prelate Arch. Moushegh Mardirossian’s greetings for the New Year and Christmas, and blessed the tables. Vicky Marashlian, Chairperson of the Central Executive, Rima Boghossian, Chairperson of the Prelacy Executive Council, were among the recognized ARS guests, along with St. Mary’s Church Board of Trustees and ARF Aharonian Committee representatives.
On behalf of the Regional Executive, Chairperson Lena Bozoyan provided a comprehensive view of the challenges and accomplishments of the past six months of her office. She acknowledged the ongoing fundraising to help the Armenians in Syria, the chapter anniversaries, and the upcoming 30th anniversary of the region. She noted that social services offices are operating in North Hollywood and Pasadena, as well as the fundraising to keep the Hollywood office open.
Bozoyan noted the ongoing public relations efforts, the 15 chapter Saturday schools with 750 students, the $30,000 that the region raised for the Armenia Fund telethon. She also noted the approaching Armenian Genocide Centennial. Bozoyan wished that the year 2014 would bring peace, joy and abundance to all individually and organizationally. She hoped that members continue their selfless work with conviction and confidence, ready to tackle barriers, for the sake of the upcoming generations.
Bozoyan also announced that Louisa Gourjian’s voluntary retirement as the Social Services Fiscal Director, recognizing her dedicated service for the last 25 years, and handed a plaque of recognition. Vicky Marashlian, ARS CEB, Regional Executive board members, and Social Services Director Sona Zinzalian, and other staff were on hand to congratulate the retiree. Gourjian thanked the board and members, whom she had the privilege to work with during the past decades, and noted that the ARS was a school, a home, as well as a purpose of her life during her tenure.
The ARS party continued with entertainment being provided by soloist Salpy Mayilian.