Armenian Relief Society marks 30 years in UK

ARS celebration cake in London.
ARS celebration cake in London.

London – A special function was organized in London’s “Navasardian” Center, celebrating ARS Great Britain’s 30th Anniversary on October 14.

Chairperson of ARS Central Executive Board Mrs. Vicky Marashlian arrived in London on October 12, for a visit to the ARS chapter in Great Britain. Among the invitees, were the representative of the local ARF Gomideh, Mr. George Hovhannesian, and Attaché to the Armenian Diplomatic Mission in the UK, Mr. A Markaryan, both of whom addressed the gathering, congratulating the Chapter’s Executive and all ARS members on the auspicious occasion of the ARS Great Britain’s 30th Anniversary.

Next, the Pastor of the St. Yeghishe Church, Father N. Arch-Priest Nersesian congratulated the ARS and its members, whose humanitarian assistance reaches the needy, wherever they are found. ARS Great Britain’s Chairlady, Mrs. Jannette Mardirossian offered a brief description of the chapter’s activities and thanked each and every member for her dedication to the humanitarian goals of the organization.

Invited to address this Anniversary gathering – attended by representatives of several organizations, including the Chairman of the Armenian Community Council, Mr. A Palamoudian, and a large number of ARS members and their families – Mrs. Vicky Marashlian aptly depicted the past and present world-wide operations of the centenarian Armenian Relief Society, putting the emphasis on its orphan assistance programs carried on over the decades in various forms. The Chairlady highly praised the ARS chapter in Great Britain for not only supporting the local community but for also participating in all pan-Armenian efforts of the Armenian Relief Society, covering the homeland to Armenian communities in the Middle East and elsewhere. Mrs. Vicky Marashlian’s presentation was enhanced by an informative audiovisual piece bringing to life the 100-year service of the Society.

The very next day, on October 15, Mrs. Marashlian participated in a special general membership meeting held in the “Navasard” Center, where the Chapter-at-Large Chairperson, Mrs. Jeannette Mardirosian introduced the ARS Chairperson to the membership, inviting Mrs. Marashlian to convey the Central Executive Board’s message to the gathering. After congratulating the Chapter on its 30th Anniversary and three decades of service to the community and the Homeland, the Chairlady answered questions elucidating certain issues concerning the Society. Her remarks were concluded by the awarding of a beautifully framed appreciation plaque by the ARS Central Executive Board to ARS Great Britain for 20 years of devoted support to the Society’s Sponsor-A-Child Program. That same evening, two veteran ARS members, Jaqueline Karanfilian and Satenig Andonian were awarded with special 25-Year Service breast pins.

It is worth noting that on October 16, Mrs. Marashlian, accompanied by the Chapter’s Executive Members, paid a visit to two ailing veteran ARS members, Roubina Boghosian and Hasmik Gasparian.

ARS-Western U.S. co-sponsors domestic violence awareness film screening
The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western USA and the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) partnered to feature a screening of the short film “Loves Me, Loves Me Not” at the Glendale Central Library on October 25. The 28-minute film brings awareness to the issue of domestic violence by focusing on a violent relationship between a couple.

The program began with moderator Christine B. Powers, staff liaison to the CSW, inviting Denise Miller, Chairperson of the CSW, and Lena Bozoyan, Chairperson of the ARS of Western USA, Regional Executive, for remarks to the audience. Both Miller and Bozoyan focused on the efforts of their respective organizations, including raising awareness of important social issues, such as domestic violence.

After viewers attentively watched the film, Powers introduced a 4-member panel to address the audience during a question and answer period. The panel included Dr. Levon Jernazian, a psychologist and co-founder of the ARS Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center; Detective Steve Corrigan of the Glendale Police Department; Raquel Ortiz, Domestic Violence Program Manager at the YWCA of Glendale; and Heather Poole, a private immigration attorney who volunteers for the Domestic Violence Project of the LA County Bar Association.

Audience members were able to raise questions surrounding the film and domestic violence, in general, and received feedback from each of the panelists in their respective fields of expertise. As such, information was exchanged from the legal perspective, where to seek support and resources, how the police department handles domestic violence cases, restraining orders, as well as the psychology of the victim and offender.

The ARS of Western USA, established in 1984 and with regional headquarters in Glendale, CA, has 27 chapters and more than 1,500 members in five western states. The ARS-WUSA operates a Social Services Division, a Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center, and funds numerous youth programs, scholarships and relief efforts. For further information, please visit www.arswestusa.org or call 818-500-1343.

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