The Oakland Chapter was founded on March 9, 1935 with Karekin Njdeh’s initiative and Siranoush Guileserian’s assistance. In 1986, the chapter adopted a name and became the Oakland Erepouni Chapter.
The first chapter executive officers were the following:
- Vartouhi Nazarian, Chairperson
- Zabel Mouradian, Secretary
- Yevkine Shahoyan, Treasurer
During 1946 to 1950, new Armenian families arrived in Oakland, and the chapter membership expanded. As families moved to the newly developed East Bay of San Francisco, the chapter’s region shifted. The chapter provided assistance to poor and refugees Armenian families, schools and orphanages in Palestine and other parts of the Middle East. In 1950, the chapter’s focus shifted to aid the victims and displaced persons (DPs) in Europe due to World War II. The chapter sponsored orphaned children from the 1988 earthquake in Armenia and the liberation struggle for Artsakh through the ARS Sponsor-A-Child program.
In 1992, the Erepouni Chapter established a Friday School with 48 students and Lucine Israelian as the volunteer principal. The school continues to educate children in five class groups. Some graduates have returned to the school as volunteer class aides. Each Friday afternoon, volunteers help welcome the children and prepare their dinner. The school has a tradition of teaching the children a giving spirit, and has provided assistance to the special needs Number 8 School in Armenia. The school has relocated to the facility at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Creek, California. The chapter organizes tea parties and picnics, coordinates holiday boutiques, prepares Lent food for Mid-Lent, and other fundraiser and social programs. The chapter participates in organizing the Bay Area regional seminars and occasionally fundraises jointly with the Garin and Agnouni chapters, also in the Bay area.
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Saturday School Information
ARS Erepouni Chapter – Oakland, CA
School Schedule: Every Friday
School reopens on September 11, 2015; Hours: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Principal: Shaghig Minassian Walker – (510) 882-3726, firstname.lastname@example.org
Trinity Lutheran Church, 2317 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek, CA 94597