ANCA Eastern Region Banquet Only One Week Away!

Are you ready? Do you have your tickets reserved and your hotel room booked? The 7th annual ANCA Eastern Region Banquet is rapidly approaching and we can’t wait to welcome you to the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, on Oct. 12.

A scene from the banquet last year.
A scene from the banquet last year.

This is a night you don’t want to miss. The ANCA-ER Banquet is a wonderful night of recognition and reflection. We gather in one place to fill the room with Hai Tahd activism, and this year will be no exception. It’s going to be a star-studded evening, so to speak.

We’re welcoming former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell as a distinguished guest this year. He’s also the former mayor of Philadelphia and has a long track record as an elected official. In addition, we’ll be joined by Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach and Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA-7).

Perhaps the best part of the banquet is the recognition of our honorees—one for the prestigious ANCA Freedom Award and one for the Vahan Cardashian Award. This year, we’ll be honoring New York Times best-selling author Chris Bohjalian with the Freedom Award, and Hai Tahd activist Zohrab Tazian with the Cardashian Award.

Both men have tremendously helped the Armenian-American community. Bohjalian has done so by educating millions about the Armenian Genocide through his bestseller The Sandcastle Girls. Tazian has dedicated his life to the Armenian cause in more ways than one, whether by fostering political connections or lobbying locally in Indiana or in Washington, D.C.

And we’ll have a young, charismatic master of ceremonies in Antranig Garibian, a native of Philadelphia and an active leader in the Pennsylvania Armenian community.

If that’s not enough to persuade you to come, there will also be a silent auction and cocktail reception to kick the evening off starting at 6:30 p.m., at the DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia. It’s a great chance to catch up with old friends, or meet new ones, before the dinner and program begin.

Speaking of catching up, the entire banquet weekend kicks off with a bar night at Hip Philly in downtown Philadelphia. You can buy your tickets for the Friday night (Oct. 11) party and the banquet itself at

The banquet is a chance to realize how our efforts accelerate us forward. It’s not showy in any way, but rather it allows us to see how far we’ve come and how much more there is still to do. Whether this is your first banquet or your seventh, we really appreciate your contributions and your participation on this day and all days.

If you’ve never heard of the ANCA or the ANCA Eastern Region, now’s the time to learn. You don’t have to be a regular activist or donor to attend or to start getting involved in our work. Hai Tahd is, by all accounts, the cause for all Armenians of all creeds. We need the support of every Armenian, regardless of education, background, family history, income, or what have you.

This is just one night to take in what the past year has meant for us. I encourage you to buy your tickets and read more at

But I also encourage you to sit down and read this column or something else ANCA-related, be it a press release, Action Alert, or article. Because when you see that the issues we work on are only improved by the quantity and quality of the people we have on our side, you’ll see that you are the difference in creating change.

We’re only as good as our representation. Come join the Hai Tahd movement today and we’ll see you on Oct. 12 at the ANCA-ER 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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