BOCA RATON, Fla.—On March 19, the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) “Sosseh” Chapter of Florida held a Gala Banquet at St. David Armenian Church’s Mardigian Hall in Boca Raton, for the benefit of the ARS Soseh Kindergarten Project in Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh).
It was a memorable night filled with goodwill, generosity, energy, and fun. What was striking—apart from the 245 people in attendance—was the presence of young, vibrant, and uniquely beautiful girls and boys, who brought joy and happiness to the event.
Mary Andonian, chairwoman of the “Sosseh” chapter, served as mistress of ceremonies. She extended a warm welcome and thanked those present for supporting the ARS building project. Rev. Fr. Paren Galtsyan offered a prayer and blessed the tables. Then the fun began with entertainment provided by Elie Berberian and his band from Canada, who performed admirably and brought delightful energy to the event.
A video presentation was shown about the ARS Soseh Kindergarten Project, which was established in 1998 in Stepanakert to meet the needs of children whose fathers were soldiers in the Artsakh War. The project quickly expanded to 12 such facilities throughout Karabagh.
The original building (constructed in 1954) had fallen into disrepair and had to be replaced. That is when the ARS Central Executive Board proposed, decided, and embarked on the building of a new state-of-the art facility, which is estimated to cost $850,000. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in October 2015, and the project is slated for completion by the end of 2017.
Angele Manoogian, chairwoman of the fundraising committee for the Soseh Kindergarten, presented the goals and achievements of the program. She made a passionate plea to encourage and inspire those present to support this worthwhile endeavor. The fundraising was successful and included several generous donations.
It was a beautiful night, full of Armenian soul, that saw a large contribution to a worthy cause that will make a difference in the lives of our sisters and brothers in Artsakh.