Society: Armenian National Committee honors community leaders

More than 250 members and supporters of the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Burbank were joined by local dignitaries to honor the organization's work that has included the establishment of an endowment fund for civic and educational support, at the ANC's annual gala this past Friday evening.

Held at the Arbat Banquet Hall, guests were welcomed by Silva Kechichian, who serves as the chairwoman of the board of the ANC's local chapter; and by Souzy Ohanian, who headed up the event committee, and Nanneh Chehras, who served as the evening's mistress of ceremonies.

Among the special guests in attendance was Rep. Adam Schiff (D – Burbank), who was the evening's keynote speaker. “We are honored to have Rep. Schiff join us this year in marking our progress in advancing our local community concerns,” said Kechichian. “This (is) a great opportunity for supporters, active in all spheres of community life, to join together and renew our collective commitment to a vibrant Armenian American civic presence in Burbank.”

Along with Schiff, other elected and appointed officials in attendance included Mayor Dave Golonski, Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Councilmembers David Gordon and Jess Talamantes, school board members Ted Bunch, Dave Kemp, Roberta Reynolds and Larry Applebaum, Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Board Member Garen Yegparian and Police Chief Scott LaChasse.

This event honors annually individuals who have made significant contributions in government, business, community activism and youth issues. This year's honorees were Sarkis Nikogosian, the owner of Arbat Banquet Hall, as Businessman of the Year, Talar Kossakian as Youth Activist of the Year, Zareh Sinanyan as Community Leader of the Year, and retiring Burbank City Clerk Margarita Campos who was named the ANC's Legislator of the Year.

Among those who made the evening both possible and a success by the their support and presence were Annette Kargodorian, Houri Tavitian, Joseph Hovanessian, Maral Yessayan, Mike Melkonian, Vahe Shahnian, Tro Tchekijian, Nayirie Balian, Elizabeth Chouldjian, Ara and Aline Tchaghiassian, Vicken and Vania Babikian, Viken and Nora Hovepian, Maro Kechichian, Harout and Vicky Marashlian, Raffi Ohanian, Sarkis and Nune Sepetjian, Houri Tavitian, Gaidzag and Dzovig Zetlain, Vahaken Arslanian and Avo, Susan, Harout and Betty Donoyan.

Others who enjoyed the evening that included a dance performance by the Lilia Dance Studio under the direction of Lilia Margaryan included Hovig Abrahamyan, Zareh and Annie Chalian, Hovig and Aida Dimejian, Vahe and Suzy Donoyan, Haigouhi Hagopian, Haidi Kasamanian, Ardashess and Courtney Kassakhian, Emma Kurdian, Armen and Sona Mard, Shant Parseghian, Rafik and Seda Shadkamyan, Stepan and Vana Boyajian, Berj and Mar Karapetian, Mary Hovagimian and Armond Aghakhanian.

Proceeds raised at the annual event benefit the organization's endowment care fund along with civic and intern programs.

DAVID LAURELL can be reached by email or (818) 563-1007.

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