ARS Fundraiser Brings Attention to Domestic Violence

GLENDALE, Calif.—On Sun., Aug. 14, the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western USA held its first fundraising event for an outreach program addressing domestic violence at its Regional Headquarters in Glendale. The well-attended and successful event helped raise over $15,000.

The ARS Shelter Committee

Aida Babayan, the chair of the Shelter Committee, presented a concise, compelling, and complete report of the various steps and work being done for this needed and worthwhile project; this includes establishing a telephone hotline service and coordinating with local organizations operating shelters, including Door of Hope and the YWCA. The keynote speaker was Prof. Osheen Keshishian who, through his extensive experience in the community and at Glendale Community College, brought into focus, through case studies and interviews with community offices, the plight of domestic violence. He cited cultural differences and expectations as potential causes, and emphasized that they neither justify nor absolve violence. He characterized the need for this outreach as essential.

Representing Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Very Rev. Ardak Demirjian conveyed his blessings and words of encouragement. During the dinner, Maestro Hovsep Torossian entertained at the keyboard and accompanied soprano Alice Haroutounian on a few Armenian favorites, to the enjoyment of all the guests.

On behalf of the ARS Regional Executive Board, Chairperson Dr. Nyree Derderian thanked the donors and guests for supporting such an important project. The community leaders present that evening included Anahid Stepanian, representing the ARF-CC; Apo Boghigian, editor of the Asbarez Daily Newspaper; Dr. Carol Ann Burton, chair of the YWCA; Paula Devine, chair of the Commission on the Status of Women of the City of Glendale; and Liz Mirzayan, chair of the Glendale Soroptimists.

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