Mark Your Calendars for the ANCA-ER Banquet in Philly

Save the date! The 7th annual ANCA Eastern Region (ER) Banquet is going to be hosted in Philadelphia on Sat., Oct. 12, at the Hilton Doubletree Philadelphia hotel. This year’s banquet is sure to be an exciting event in center-city Philly, just 10 months after an exceptional 2012 banquet held in Mahwah, N.J.

If you’ve never heard of the banquet, here’s what you should know: It’s a chance for ANCA-ER activists and friends of our cause to gather in one place to learn about the ANCA’s activities and celebrate a night of recognition, elegance, and memories. It’s also a significant fundraiser for the ANCA-ER as we continue to fight for our just cause—one that requires time, money, and the efforts of our friends.

The ANCA relentlessly works for our cause. There’s always something to work on, something to improve. The ANCA-ER banquet gives us one night a year to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and what still lies ahead. It’s a wonderful event and I encourage you to attend (the fact that the event is black tie optional should make it entertaining).

In all seriousness, you don’t want to miss this event. The Philly banquet committee has been hard at work for months to ensure the weekend of Oct. 12 is one you’ll remember. Besides a celebration of the region’s activities, the banquet gives us an opportunity to honor individuals who dedicate their time (sometimes even careers) to fighting for or defending the Armenian people.

Every year, we honor an individual with the ANCA Freedom Award for making outstanding contributions toward the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and for pursuing other issues of importance to our community. Last year, that honor went to Baroness Caroline Cox, who has long been a champion for Armenians and who has visited Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh nearly 80 times.

Other past recipients of the ANCA Freedom Award include former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John M. Evans, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, former U.S. Senator Robert Dole, and former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole.

We will also present the Vahan Cardashian Award to an Armenian-American activist who has exemplified the ideals and dedication to promote Armenian issues and work toward Hai Tahd goals. At the 2012 ANCA-ER banquet, Prof. Richard Hovannisian received the award for dedicating his career to Armenian studies in the American higher education system.

Past recipients of the Vahan Cardashian Award include longtime ANCA activist Vahe Amirian of New Jersey, ANCA benefactor Martha Aramian of Rhode Island, ANCA activists Bedros Bandazian of Virginia and Melanie Kerneklian of Richmond, Va., Tatul Sonentz-Papazian of Boston, Stephen Dulgarian of Lowell, Mass., and Ruth Thomasian, the director of the Project Save Armenian Photograph Archives.

The recipients of this year’s awards will be announced in the coming months, which means all the more reason for you to keep your eye on the news and follow along with banquet developments!

If none of that does it for you, how about the cocktail reception and silent auction that precedes the banquet? There will be a variety of fantastic and unique items to bid on as you enjoy drinks among friends. The night begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. at the Hilton Doubletree hotel, located at 237 S. Broad St. in Philadelphia.

Please go to to purchase your tickets now and get the latest details about the schedule of events, which includes a Friday night kickoff event on Oct. 11. As the event draws near, check back here for more information and interesting history pertaining to the banquet.

The ANCA-ER appreciates its activists and friends. Join us to celebrate that at this year’s banquet.

Michelle Hagopian

Michelle Hagopian

Michelle Hagopian is the chairwoman of AYF-YOARF Central Executive. She has served as the executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region.

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