AIWA Los Angeles Executive Committee with Fox 11 News Anchor, Araksya Karapetyan, front center

LOS ANGELES –– The Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) Los Angeles Affiliate hosted a memorable luncheon on August 25, 2023, to honor and celebrate the lives of three esteemed members who recently passed away. The event, held at the elegant California Club, brought together 200 guests to remember and pay tribute to Lily Ring Balian, Flora Dunaians, and Savey Tufenkian.

Flora Dunaians and Savey Tufenkian, both founding members of the AIWA Los Angeles Affiliate Chapter were instrumental in shaping the organization’s growth and mission. Lily Ring Balian was an early member and past president of the organization. Their dedication to AIWA’s values and their tireless efforts to support Armenian women and communities left a profound impact that continues to inspire.

The event was a reflection of the grace and strength that these remarkable women embodied throughout their lives. Beautiful floral arrangements adorned the venue, setting a lovely and uplifting atmosphere. The See’s Candy favors, a love that all three honorees shared, reflected the sweet memories they created together.

The program included heartfelt speeches and tributes by prominent individuals who knew and admired the honorees. Emmy Award winning Fox 11 news anchor, Araksya Karapetyan, and AIWA-LA past president, Cindy Norian, shared moving stories about the life and legacy of Lily Ring Balian. Talar Bilemjian, Flora Dunaians’ granddaughter, spoke with admiration about her grandmother and the importance of keeping
Armenian traditions alive, while AIWA – LA co-founder, Hermine Janoyan eloquently conveyed the profound impact of work with dear friend Flora on so many projects. Savey’s granddaughter, Sarah Cipolla, and AIWA, LA co-founder Elizabeth Agbabian paid a meaningful tribute to Savey whose dedication to AIWA and many other causes will forever be remembered. Beautiful music was provided by Greg Hosharian on piano and Angela Amirian on violin who performed interludes featuring songs that were favored by the honorees.

The AIWA Los Angeles Affiliate extends its deepest gratitude to all who attended this special event which served as a testament to the enduring influence and spirit of these three beloved women. Their contributions to AIWA and the Armenian community will forever be cherished and celebrated.

For more information about AIWA and its ongoing initiatives, including details about the upcoming conference, Local to Global – Uniting for Change, in Armenia, October 5th – 7th please visit

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