On the Town: Armenian doctors honored at dinner

The World Children's Transplant Fund hosted a fundraising dinner on Aug. 11 in Pasadena's Café Santorini Rococo Room to welcome and honor Dr. Gegham Poghosyan, general surgeon, and Dr. David Dallakyan, pediatric surgeon. Both pediatricians are visiting from Armenia for six months of training in pediatric liver transplantation at USC University Hospital and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian escorted Poghosyan and Dallakyan to the restaurant and stepped in for some translation duties. According to Poghosyan, Armenian surgeons are not able to perform liver transplants for children or adults but are able to perform kidney transplants. The doctors work at Sourb Astvatsamayr Medical Center in Yerevan, Armenia. Also present was the medical center's director, Dr. Nikaolay Dallakyan, father of David Dallakyan.

"Taking limos and personal jets to visit other clinics," David Dallakyan said about his favorite impressions of Los Angeles.

Also speaking during the evening's presentation was Mark Kroeker, chairman and founder of the World Children's Transplant Fund; and Valerie McCaffrey, chairwoman of the Armenia Committee.

The fund is providing financial assistance for Poghosyan and Dallakyan to receive the highly specialized transplant training. The goal is to educate the visiting doctors on pediatric organ transplantation and management of transplant candidates and recipients. After their intensive training, the doctors will return to Yerevan and use their new knowledge for children in need of organ transplantation.


A Garden Dinner was held at the Kenneth Road home of Kathy and Kent Lee. A highlight of the evening Thursday was a recipe exchange between those who brought potluck salads and desserts.

Members and guests of the Glendale 2nd ward Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosting the event included Lorna St. Angel, daughter Robin Bautista and grandson Deacon Bautista.

The Relief Society has contributed hundreds of colorful, handmade quilts for young patients at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. The patients take their personal quilts home after their stay in the hospital.


Another potluck dinner, this one featuring chocolate, was held by Founder's Art and Chocolate in honor of Art Day in Glendale. On Friday, guests were encouraged to bring art, food and art supplies and small artwork for the Kids Art Hunt.

Artists displaying their work included Burbank resident Alice Asmar, recently recognized for her paintings by the National Honor Society in New York. Asmar has developed a national reputation for her depictions of Southwestern American Indians. "I'm attracted by their peacefulness and gentleness," Asmar said.

Art Day in Glendale, created by writer-artist Becky Mate, also present, was proclaimed by then-Glendale Mayor Dave Weaver in 2006.


Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) missed his own party. Forty-one "Women of the Year," dubbed as such by Schiff, celebrated their 13th anniversary reunion at the Gene Autry Museum on Aug. 10. But the congressman had to unexpectedly fly to Washington, D.C., on the same day to vote on a measure to give California $1.2 billion to save the jobs of 16,500 educators. Schiff was already on his way back to his home district, but knew he would miss the party by one hour. A welcome stand-in was wife Eve Schiff. She was hostess for the afternoon tea and desserts.

Since 1997, when Schiff had just been elected to the California Senate, he chose a "Woman of the Year" from each of nine cities within his district. Well-known to Glendale residents are Carol Liu named in 1998 (now a California state senator), Mary Boger from 2003 and Joylene Wagner from 2009. (Both are members of the Glendale Unified school board). Busy schedules kept all three from the reunion.

Among those "Women of the Year" present for the reunion were Annie Chin, an orthodontist from Alhambra. She was given "Woman of the Year" honors in 2003. A 2008 "Woman of the Year" was Valarie Gomez, who is chief executive of the West San Gabriel Valley YMCA. Gomez was there with proud mother Kathryn Berdin.

After the reunion, everyone was invited to attend the museum exhibit, "Home Lands: How Women Made the West." And they're still making it.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World