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ARS of Western USA’s 94th Regional Convention Concluded

10Hollywood, Calif. (July 23, 2014).- The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western USA, convened its 94th Annual Regional Convention on July 18-20, 2014 at the Hollywood Armenian Center, hosted by the local ARS “Mayr” Hollywood Chapter.

Opening remarks were made by Regional Executive Chairperson Lena Bozoyan, who was eager to see a younger generation of delegates, along with the experienced ones. After the American, Armenian, and ARS anthems, meeting participants dedicated a moment of silence to the memory of departed ARS members, who passed away during the previous year.

Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian performed the invocation, blessed the dedicated members of the service organization and prayed for goodness in thoughts, speech and deeds. On behalf of the ARF Central Committee, Dr. Vicken Yacoubian congratulated the ARS for making a difference and taking on the challenges of adapting to the new societal structures. On behalf of the ARS Central Executive Board (CEB), Annie Kechichian advised the delegates that the convention as an opportunity to bring forth constructive ideas and use them to promote the ARS mission and objectives.

Sossie Poladian and Lara Kazandjian were elected convention co-chairpersons, and Hasmig Ourfalian and Maral Poladian were elected Armenian secretaries, and Rita Hintlian and Sandy Tomassian were elected English secretaries.

ARS Central Executive Chairperson, Vicky Marashlian attended the convention, along with the Regional Executive’s guests Hasmig Derderian, Sossie Djabrayan and Eva Dervishian-Berberian (from Greece). The convention elected additional guests: Emma Garabedian, Sona Kizirian, Silva Poladian, Alice Filhanessian and Vivian Taslakian. Sara Motossian visiting from ARS-Syria was invited to sit with the guests.

After election of committees, meeting participants discussed and evaluated the activities and finances of the outgoing Regional Executive, and its Social Services and the Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center programs. The convention highly commended the Regional Executive’s year-long work.

The ARS Central Executive’s Annual Report about the activities and serious challenges of the ARS in 25 countries by almost 15 thousand members was also presented by ARS CEB liaison Annie Kechichian.

Thereafter, delegates split up into groups to evaluate resolutions presented by chapters, in regards to internal organizational matters including education, public relations, fundraising, and membership, as well as community activities, and Armenia, Artsakh, and Javakhk relief programs. Personal suggestions were also made. After careful evaluations, resolutions were adopted, followed by the presentation and approval of the proposed budget to match the adopted programs.

The convention decided to start a campaign to raise funds, with the ARS chapters, for the purchase of an investment property.

The following were elected as new members of the Regional Executive: Rebecca Berberian, Satenig Ghazarian, Aida Babayan-Alrayes, and Rita Hintlian.

Following elections, retiring members of the Regional Executive Lena Bozoyan, Carmen Libaridian, Karine Barikian-Setian, and Christina Khanjian were commended with commemorative plaques. Before the convention adjourned, as a last item of the agenda, congratulatory remarks were made by the ARF Central Committee and ARS Central Executive representatives, delegates, and officers.

After the Convention, the Regional Executive convened its first plenary meeting during which the officers of the Executive were elected as follows:

  • Co-Chairpersons: Maral Matossian and Rebecca Berberian
  • Secretary: Rita Hintlian
  • Treasurer: Aida Babayan-Alrayes
  • Accountant: Judy Jingirian (San Francisco)
  • Advisors: Nanik Kupelian, Araxy Aykanian, Satenig Ghazarian, Adrine Postoyan (Fresno).

Thus the ARS embarked on a new year on the West Coast.

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The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA, established in 1984 and with regional headquarters in Glendale, CA, has 26 chapters and more than 1,200 members in four western states. The ARS-WUSA operates a Social Services Division and Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center, and funds numerous youth programs, scholarships, and relief efforts. For further information, please visit www.arswestusa.org or call (818) 500-1343.

Photographs

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