PROVIDENCE, R.I.—On Sun., Sept. 25, the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Rhode Island held its annual “Meet the Elected Officials” Picnic following services at Sts. Vartanantz Church. A crowd of 175 people gathered to meet and greet the officials who have fought for our causes and supported our issues, both locally in Rhode Island as well as nationally in Washington, D.C.
Elected officials present included U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Congressmen David Cicilline and James Langevin, Secretary of State of Rhode Island A. Ralph Mollis, State Representatives Hanna Gallo and Frank Ciccone, Mayor Allan Fung of Cranston, and School Committee Chair Andrea Iannazzi, also of Cranston. Also present were two of our own, the Honorable Aram Garabedian and Chief Judge of the Family Court Haiganush Bedrosian. Mayor Scott Avedisian of Warwick, who attends the event every year, was out of the country and unable to attend.
The program began with a prayer from Archpriest Gomidas Baghsarian, the spiritual leader of the Sts. Vartanantz Church community, followed by a message from the committee. The event concluded with words of encouragement to the ANC-RI to continue its “just cause,” and a closing prayer from Fr. Baghsarian.
Many in attendance had sponsored an Armenian flag at one of the 39 city and town halls, along with the State House, in April in memory of a loved one. This was the sixth year the committee organized the “Flags over RI” Program, and each year the number of sponsors has increased. Seventy individuals and organizations from the community served as 2011 flag sponsors.