NEW YORK—Armenian Americans from throughout the Eastern U.S. gathered at the Ritz Carlton New York, Battery Park on Sun., Dec. 7, in a salute to expanded grassroots activism and to honor civic, political, and community leaders who have worked tirelessly to advance the Armenian Cause.
Honorees for the evening included renowned lawyer Robert Morgenthau and the Morgenthau family, who received this year’s prestigious Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern Region (ER) Freedom Award for their decades-long efforts to raise the public’s consciousness about the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide; and community leader and humanitarian Alice Movsesian, for her lifetime commitment to advancing the Armenian Cause in the U.S. and working tirelessly to assist victims of the 1988 Armenian earthquake.
Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chair Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. joined the attendees at the celebration and emphasized the importance of expanding Armenian-American civic participation in states across the U.S.
Community leader and humanitarian Dr. Garo Nazarian served as master of ceremonies for the evening. His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan opened the evening with a prayer and a message of faith. Very Reverend Father Gabriel Adde of the Syriac Orthodox Church delivered the benediction prayer.
During the course of the evening, world-renowned artist Kevork Mourad, together with the famous violinist Sami Merdinian, performed a live and exquisite “spontaneous painting” show at the banquet. Mourad showcased several of his pieces, including those he created live during the show, and the silent auction. He was joined by Berge Zobian of Gallery Z, who featured paintings by other famous Armenian artists, including Armen Vahramian, Eduard Kharpetian, and Alexander O. Grigorian.
Joining Morgethau and Movsesian in offering remarks during the evening were the Near East Foundation’s Shant Mardirossian, Esq., and Dr. Antranig Kasbarian, who introduced the evening’s honorees; James Sahakyan, who offered remarks on behalf of the ANCA Eastern Region; and Richard Sarajian, Esq., who spoke on behalf of the ARF Eastern Region Central Committee.
Armenia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, was among the honored guests joining prominent members of the Armenian community present at the gala.
Complete coverage of the ANCA-ER Banquet will be published in the Armenian Weekly in the upcoming days.