By Dianne Chilingerian
BOSTON – A perfect evening in early May enticed over 100 guests to the 2019 Armenian Missionary Association of America’s Boston Orphan and Child Care event “Changing Children’s Lives 30 Years and Counting” held at the Wellesley Country Club, Wellesley, MA.
This year’s gala honored the Co-Founder of the AMAA’s National Orphan and Child Care Committee and longtime advocate for Armenian causes Michèle Simourian for her magnificent work to inspire and spearhead not only the National but also the Boston Orphan and Child Care Committee for more than 30 years.
The evening featured a cocktail reception and a walk and talk buffet style dinner that fostered new connections and mirrored the amazing love, enthusiasm and energy of the evening’s honoree. Committee Co-Chairs Susan Covo and Phyllis Dohanian opened the evening by welcoming guests, and Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian, Pastor of the Armenian Memorial Church of Watertown, MA, offered a gratifying prayer of thanks.
Following a delicious dinner, AMAA representative Sona Khanjian presided over a special presentation acknowledging Michèle Simourian for her loyalty and faithfulness to the mission of helping children in need, and ending with words from scripture felt deeply by all in attendance, “…Whatever you did for the least of these…, you did it for Me.” (Matthew 25:40). True to form, Michèle was humbled and overwhelmed, yet nonetheless sure in her expression of thanks to the original co-founding members—Joanne DeAngelis, Nancy Eskandarian, Joyce Janjigian, Sheila Palandjian and Jacquie Stepanian—as well as the many contributing members over the years.
Christine Kutlu and Jeanmarie Papelian presented a touching video that went to the heart of the need, and magically garnered over 30 new Sponsors for children in Armenia. Peter Covo, special guest Auctioneer, brought the laughter during coffee and dessert, as well as the bids on fabulous auction items such as a trip to Paris, Red Sox/Yankees box seats and SRO Boston Pops tickets.
At the end of the evening, silent auction winners were announced over bursts of joy, followed by expressions of warmth and love that seemed to coalesce over the crowd and permeate the long goodbyes.
Founded in 1918 in Worcester, MA and incorporated in New York in 1920, the AMAA is a nonsectarian and a nonprofit Christian charitable organization that serves the religious, educational and social needs of Armenian communities in 24 countries around the world. For additional information, visit www.amaa.org.