GLENDALE — The first fundraiser by the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund (SARF) was held on September 19, 2012, at the Phoenicia Restaurant in Glendale. Over 100 people attended the event, including representatives of the leadership of the organizations, which make up the coalition.
Sona Madarian, the SARF Executive Committee Secretary, made her welcoming remarks as the MC and reaffirmed the Armenians’ will to survive, recalling how Armenian Genocide survivors arrived in Syria, and rebuilt their lives. She invited the clergy, representing the Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical denominations to bless the food. Throughout the program, each of the church leaders, Rev. Fr. Krikor Chahinian, representing the Armenian Catholic Eparchy in North America, Arch. Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, Rev. Joseph Matossian, representing the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America and Arch. Moushegh Mardirossian, representing the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, urged those present to do their part to help the Syrian-Armenians, during their time of need.
Entertainment was provided by the duo “Yergnayin Dagher” (Heavenly Chants), flutist Sossy and harpist Salpy, who played moving musical selections.
Zaven Khanjian, SARF Executive Committee Chairperson, thanked everyone who made the event possible, and remarked, “You are here tonight because you care, you are a responsible person and whether you are able or not, you sure are willing to sacrifice, give of yourself, reach out, extend a hand to a community that has been devastated and because you realize and believe that the preservation of that community experiencing a calamity is of the highest national interest and priority.” The Evangelical community representative recalled his involvement in the assistance to help the Armenians in Lebanon during the 1970s, and provided information on what the local Syrian-Armenian emergency committees are doing. He said that the motto, “Poloren Polorin” (from everyone to everyone) fits how the various organizations have come together to help the Syrian-Armenian community, which provided invaluable and immeasurable contributions to the Diaspora. Khanjian appealed to extend a helping hand, provide hope, and inspire them to persevere. He ended his appeal with a question, “Did you contribute to the Syrian-Armenians?”
Meher Der Ohanessian, SARF Executive Committee Treasurer, praised all the contributors and reported the donations by the SARF-member organizations, alumni associations and the individual donors during the program, as well as through the mailed checks and on-line donations. The total reached $147 thousand.