BY YASMIN ALPAY
PASADEAN, CA – On Thursday December 16th, 2010 members of the Pasadena Armenian Police Advisory Council gathered at the Pasadena Police Department, bearing toys for families in need.
Thousands of toys were collected on behalf of the Armenian Community by PAPAC members and distributed to various non-profit agencies just in time for the Christmas holidays.
Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez thanked and commended PAPAC for its generosity and continued efforts in making the holidays a little brighter for fellow community members. This was the fifteenth consecutive toy drive organized by PAPAC.
Founded in 1996, PAPAC is a collaboration of Pasadena Community Members of Armenian descent who represent area church groups, businesses and non-profit organizations.
This group of civic-minded community leaders believed in the importance of building bridges and forming a strong partnership that would lead to improved communication between the Armenian community of Pasadena and the Police Department. Since its inception, PAPAC has grown into a full-fledged philanthropic, non-profit community based organization that provides educational services and support for police programs as well as giving back to the community.
The toys collected were earmarked for several Pasadena community agencies including the Pasadena Salvation Army, Huntington Hospital Pediatrics Unit and the Harambee Center.
The Christmas spirit truly came alive when the award winning Pasadena High School Student A Cappella Choir, lead by Kathy White, performed Christmas carols.
Later that evening, PAPAC hosted a Christmas Dinner Gala Reception in honor of Chief Sanchez at the Pasadena Armenian Center on Washington. The Chief and his wife were in attendance along with members of the Armenian Community and the Pasadena Police Department. Over three hundred guests enjoyed the evening and celebrated over a delicious Armenian dinner, and were entertained by live musical and Armenian dance performances.
Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian, special liaison to PAPAC, was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Chief Sanchez also took the podium and spoke about the importance of the Armenian Community’s support of the Police Department and the strategic partnership it has formed with PAPAC, an alliance that has improved communication, increased trust and fostered understanding between the respective communities.
For more information on PAPAC and its mission, please contact PAPAC President, Hovan Sarkissian at 626-792-9597.