ALMA’s Annual Volunteer Luncheon Celebrates Hard Work

ALMA Board members Arakel Almasian, Mary Goudsouzian, Dr. Byron Hartunian, Elisabeth Kenosian, and Dr. Barbara Merguerian with ALMA volunteers and staff.

WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) held a holiday Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Jan. 9 to thank its team of volunteers for their hard work and to pay special tribute to a retiring volunteer, Dash Nahabedian. Members of ALMA’s Board of Trustees joined the staff in acknowledging the volunteers for their dedication.

More than 50 volunteers enjoyed a delicious spread of Armenian mezza, roasted chicken, assorted side dishes, and desserts generously provided by Whole Foods, Sevan Bakery, Not Your Average Joes, Dunkin Donuts, Stop and Shop, and other donors from the local community.

“ALMA’s volunteers have helped us build and sustain the organization over the decades,” said ALMA executive director Mariam Stepanyan during the luncheon. “Our exhibits, programs, promotional mailings, receptions, registration, and general administration would not be possible without you.”

Guest of honor Dash Nahabedian was then recognized for his contributions to ALMA’s Mesrop Boyajian Library, where he volunteered every week from 2006 until his recent move to Rhode Island. Cataloging, shelving, sorting, and assisting with special library projects were all a part of his weekly duties. No matter how big the project or pile, Nahabedian got it done.

ALMA curator Gary Lind-Sinanian recalled the days when he was so busy with curatorial work and archival projects that he didn’t have a chance to stop at the library and check in with Nahabedian.

“When I’d finally have the time to go to the library, whatever mounds of paperwork, book shelving, and unfinished work I left there would be gone,” said Lind-Sinanian. “It was like magic.”

ALMA’s volunteers are an integral part of our organization and, like its collections, are quite diverse. Their ages range from 13 to 85 and whether a student, retiree, stay-at-home mother, lawyer, business owner, or educator, they always bring enthusiasm and expertise to the exhibits, projects, and programs they work on. ALMA’s volunteers are, in many ways, the backbone of the organization and a leg its staff can stand on.

ALMA welcomes new volunteers to assist its curatorial, archival, public relations, and library departments. Volunteers will be preserving the Armenian heritage while having fun working with like-minded people to promote the Armenian culture through exhibits, events, and programs that highlight the richness of the Armenian heritage and community.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities, call Christie Hardiman at (617) 926-2562 ext. 4 or visit

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