The ARS Nairy Chapter was established in 1968 in Montebello, California, when twenty-one young women joined the ARS. The chapter held its first Fashion Show in 1969, which was an innovation at the time. It continues to be the main fundraiser for the chapter and has included Armenian costumes, vintage fashions, and children’s fashions. The chapter has held other fundraisers such as tea parties, art exhibits with cheese and wine tasting, Armenian classical musicals, and festivals, in addition to celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter Eve and Ascension Day (Hampartsum).
Public service participation have included the Armenian Heritage Exhibit in the Montebello Public Library, and cooperation with the American Red Cross to conduct blood drives, and to assist with translations and other shelter activities. During the period around 1970 to 1980 decades, in cooperation with the Montebello Unified School District, adult Armenian classes were held. The chapter established a Saturday School in 1981, providing the opportunity for young Armenians to learn their language, history and culture. The classes are held at Mesrobian Armenian School in Pico Rivera, previously classes were held at the Holy Cross Cathedral complex. The chapter had provided $10,000 to Holy Cross Cathedral for the construction of those classrooms.
The chapter has been supportive of Mesrobian Armenian School and has donated over $300,000 over the four decades for tuition assistance, new lockers, chemistry laboratory and audiovisual equipment. The chapter provided funding for new Armenian language textbooks being published by the Western Prelacy. The chapter was one of the first to issue awards to deserving Armenian students graduating from public high schools. The chapter assisted in establishing the ARS Social Services office in Montebello in 1982 to meet the needs of the new immigrants. In the past, the chapter has provided funding to children being housed at the ARS Shelter in Alleppo, Syria, and Bird’s Nest (Terchnots Pooyn) in Lebanon. Following the devastating earthquake in Armenia in 1988, the chapter donated $11,700, and continued to provide assistance to orphaned children through the ARS Sponsor-A-Child program. Additionally, the chapter provided funds for the ARS Javakhk Fund.
The chapter established a day care pre-school in Montebello on July 1, 1998. The early childhood education and care is provided year-round for children ages 2 to 5 for all races and national origins. The school grounds were renovated to meet the LAUP requirements, whereby 4 year-old children receive half a day of instruction free of charge supported by LAUP funds.
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Saturday School Information
ARS Nairy Chapter – Montebello, CA
School Schedule: Every Saturday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Principal: Naira Ouzounian – (323) 715-4055
Mesrobian Armenian School
8420 Beverly Rd.
Pico Rivera, CA 90660
NAIRY CHAPTER FYI
- Sona Fundukian, Chairperson
- Heghine Harboyan, Vice Chairperson
- Takouhi Simonian, Corresponding Secretary
- Angela Savoian, Recording Secretary
- Lillian Moloian, Treasurer
- Vivian Frederickson, Assistant Treasurer
- Seta Gharibian, Preschool Treasurer