LOS ANGELES — The American Armenian Rose Float Association (AARFA) announced that it has elected its 2016 Board of Directors. The new, expanded Board consists of Noubar Derbedrosian (president), Stepan Partamian (treasurer), Johnny Kanounji (secretary), Hagop Parseghian (vice president), Areg Jerahian, Mgo Panossian, Reneh Simonian, and Arthur Kokozian, as well as newly elected members Mary Der-Parseghian, Esq., Mikayel Israyelyan, Oganes Jay (Hovik) Chimayan, Carmen Libaridian, and Eddie Zaratsian.
“This is a group of highly dedicated individuals noted for their years of community service and spirit of volunteerism,” said outgoing Board president Stepan Partamian and added, “I am confident that our new Board will do a great job in rallying support for the construction of the third Armenian rose float and its participation in the next Pasadena Tournament of Roses.”
Commenting on the Board’s plans for the coming months, Noubar Derbedrosian stated, “We’ve already begun considering some wonderful ideas for the newest Armenian rose float, and share the enthusiasm of our hundreds of volunteers and supporters who look forward to creating the most beautiful Armenian rose float yet.” A native of Baghdad, Iraq, Derbedrosian is a prominent Southern California entrepreneur whose volunteer work encompasses several community organizations, including the Armenian Youth Association of California. Currently he also serves on the Board of the Armenian Sisters Academy.
The mission of the AARFA is to raise funds annually for the design and construction of the Armenian rose float and its participation in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. This year, the association needs to raise $300,000 in donations and corporate sponsorships to cover the costs of the project. Toward this goal, the AARFA has launched the Armenian Rose Float Ambassador Program, whereby volunteers can become city-specific ambassadors of the Armenian rose float to raise at least $3,000 from their respective communities.
“By taking part in the next Tournament of Roses, the Armenian rose float will be seen by close to 1 billion people across the planet,” Partamian said. “So it comes down to this: as a community, as a culture, we’ll be spending a mere $300,000 on the third Armenian rose float, yet be able to secure the kind of global exposure that would otherwise require millions of dollars.”
Since the establishment of the Armenian Rose Float Ambassador Program last year, seven individuals have become ambassadors. They are: Garbis Der-Yeghiayan (representing La Verne, California), Carmen Libaridian (Hollywood Hills, California), Flora Dunaians (Pasadena, California – south of 210 Freeway), Margaret Mgrubian (Pasadena, California – north of 210 Freeway), Tony Melconian (La Crescenta, California), Hratch Kozibeyokian (Shadow Hills, California), and Greg Tufenkian (Glendale). Currently the AARFA is seeking to enlist additional ambassadors to represent cities across the US. Those who are interested can email the association at [email protected].
Parallel to working to expand the Ambassador Program, the AARFA is appealing for broad grassroots support of the Armenian rose float initiative. Tax-deductible donations can be made securely through the AARFA site (at aarfa.org) or by mailing a check to: AARFA, P. O. Box 60005, Pasadena, CA 91116.