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ARS Reception Honoring Donna Evans

armenia, armenian relief society, non profit, non profit organization, los angeles,

armenia, armenian relief society, non profit, non profit organization, los angeles,Glendale, CA.- The Armenian Relief Society of Western U.S.A. (ARS-WUSA), Regional Executive hosted a reception in honor of Donna Evans on November 19, 2010, at the regional headquarters in Glendale. The ARS members who attended the reception were provided with a valuable chance to learn from the honoree’s unique perspective, insights and experience.

Nyree Derderian, ARS-WUSA Regional Executive Vice Chair, who introduced Donna Evans, explained that this was a good opportunity to meet the wife of the former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, since she was accompanying him to attend various events. Making clear that “Behind every great man, there is a greater woman,” Derderian noted that Donna Evans has served in the Canadian Foreign Service and as President of the World Affairs Council.

The welcoming remarks were delivered by Arousyak Melkonian, who chairs the ARS-WUSA, Regional Executive board. She presented an overview about the ARS and the important philanthropic role it has in the Diaspora and Armenia, and added “I, among many, am a descendant of those saved Armenian orphans and consider myself incredibly privileged to be part of this organization, which not only continues to serve the Armenian people but also provides humanitarian relief to all those in need around the world.” She applauded Mrs. Evans and told her that her husband’s stance on the Genocide, during his service in Armenia as a U.S. Ambassador is greatly revered.

Donna Evans saluted the ARS members for their accomplishments on the ARS Centennial. She described what she loves about Armenia, what she misses, how she has surrounded herself with things Armenian around her home, and how she continues to expand her knowledge about Armenia. Although she had not had a chance to personally visit Nagorno Karabagh (Artsakh), she portrayed the women of Karabagh as unsung heroines for their survival and raising their families through death and destruction. She was impressed with Hrant Dink and his widow, Raquel, for her courage, grace and serenity following his assassination.

Based on her experience in Armenia, Evans provided her personal priorities noting the importance of total commitment to the goals of a project, by the recipients themselves: charity, health care, education and computer training for the young, investments in viable entrepreneurial projects, and communication. She made several suggestions on how to approach projects, including how to uplift spirits by sending cards or emails to the pensioners for the Christmas holiday. Evans concluded her remarks with words of praise for the ARS members and her willingness to answer their questions.

Following the Q&A session, Evans toured the ARS headquarters, including the social services offices. As much as Donna Evans portrayed the courage of Armenian women, it became evident that she was one courageous woman herself worthy of admiration.

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