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On the Town: Agape Circle supports nonprofits in Glendale and Armenia

On the Town: Agape Circle supports nonprofits in Glendale and Armenia
Agape Circle Chair Alice Chakrian, from left, Jasik Boniatian Jarahian, Thomas C. Lee, M.D., Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Glendale Mayor Vartan Gharpetian and YWCA Glendale Executive Director Tara Peterson. (Joyce Rudolph / Glendale News-Press)

I was recently introduced to the women’s charitable group the Agape Circle of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, which raises funds to benefit nonprofits here and in Armenia.

Agape takes its name from the Greek word meaning universal, selfless, unconditional love that transcends and serves regardless of circumstances.

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Members consider their group as a bridge for the Western Diocese to offer loving support to organizations and programs that benefit the collective community.

A recent luncheon benefited Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the YWCA of Glendale’s domestic violence program.

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Special guest attending was Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of North America. Under the archbishop’s leadership, the Western Diocese became a founding member of the Armenian Ambassadors of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in 2015.

Alice Chakrian, chair of the Agape Circle, serves on the Armenian Ambassadors Leadership Council, representing Archbishop Derderian. The council is made up of community members, organizations and businesses that support a healthy future for all children.

The Agape Circle has raised and donated $100,000 to such Children’s Hospital programs as the vision center, Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and others.

The women’s group also supports the projects of Dr. Thomas C. Lee, director of the Retina Institute in the Vision Center. Lee provides innovative noninvasive and surgical treatment to children in Armenia suffering from retinal diseases, retinopathy of prematurity and pediatric ophthalmological issues.

Representing the YWCA Glendale are, from left, Seda Khojayan, Suzonne Slaughter, Carol Ann Burton, Executive Director Tara Peterson, Sylvia Chinn and Jane Karageorge.
Representing the YWCA Glendale are, from left, Seda Khojayan, Suzonne Slaughter, Carol Ann Burton, Executive Director Tara Peterson, Sylvia Chinn and Jane Karageorge. (Joyce Rudolph / Glendale News-Press)

For the YWCA of Glendale’s domestic violence shelter, the Agape Circle did a warm and inviting makeover of the computer lab. The shelter’s clients use the computers to search for jobs, housing and other resources to help them gain their independence.

The software is provided in English as well as ESL instruction to help those who speak Spanish or Armenian.

Receiving recognition at the luncheon was Glendale resident Jasik Boniatian Jarahian, general manager of the Armenian Relief Society. She handles the financial services of the society including orphan sponsorships, needy families and homelessness programs, coordinates local assistance programs and donations as well as programs in towns and villages of Armenia.

Entertainment was provided by the newly established Meghety Ladies Chamber Choir, directed by Nora Roumian Bairamian. The choir’s mission is to present Armenian folk songs transformed into a more contemporary genre for all audiences to enjoy.

Bras for a Cause still sparkles in its 15th year

Soroptimist International of Glendale has a dual celebration this year. It’s the 15th year for its major fundraiser titled Bras for a Cause and the 75th anniversary of the Glendale organization that strives to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

Members will celebrate both achievements at a dinner gala on Feb. 24 at the Chevy Chase Country Club in Glendale.

Community “supporters” will be decorating bras under the theme “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

They will be judged in such categories as Most Beautiful, Most Humorous, Best Depiction of the Theme and People’s Choice.

Tickets are $125, and reservation deadline is Feb. 15.

For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, call co-chair Laurie Leask at (323) 707-7357.

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