Armenian youth group raises funds

Local Armenian Youth Federation members were busy chopping onions and stirring boiling mamounia Sunday morning as a part of a fundraiser for an orphanage in Ghapan, Armenia.

A joint effort between the Glendale and South Bay chapters, Sunday's breakfast at the Armenian Cultural Foundation's Glendale Youth Center was the second year the groups joined together to help Glendale's sister city.

Last year's breakfast raised around $1,000, according to Chair of the Armenian Youth Federation's South Bay Chapter Armen Karapetyan.

"They were able to use the money to buy a much-needed car to transport the children to the hospital and for other necessities," the 23-year-old said.

This year the 20 volunteers fed 50 community members, including other organization members, parents and church patrons from next door.

The $500 raised Sunday will be a general fundraiser for the same orphanage until the group finds a specific item or program to earmark it for, Karapetyan said.

The volunteers in the room ranged in age from 17 to their early 20s, and all had been involved with Armenian Youth Federation in some fashion for the last several years.

Both groups used the social-networking website Facebook to invite their friends to the breakfast.

"It's such a good cause for the children that we wanted to do a joint fundraiser, and we had 60 to 70 people RSVP online," Karapetyan said.

The breakfast is the first fundraiser the Glendale chapter of the new year. Other events this year will include another joint fundraiser with other Armenian Youth Federation chapters for an annual concert, and to raise money for its triannual publication Haytoug, said Social Committee Chair Arpa Hatzbanian.

After finishing breakfast, Hatzbanian was looking for local shelters to donate the leftover food.

"The food was great, and everyone loved it," said the 18-year-old Glendale Community College student. "Now we get to give back to our community here, too."

FOR THE RECORD: This version corrects an earlier version that incorrectly spelled Hatzbanian's last name.

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