WATERTOWN, Mass.—Hundreds of local Armenians and non-Armenians alike spent part of their weekend supporting Armenian Memorial Church at its Annual Fair on Friday and Saturday.
The largest fundraiser of the year, the two-day event featured traditional Armenian food, dessert and gourmet items all prepared by dedicated volunteers and longtime members of the church. A visit to the kitchen just under the sanctuary and one could hear the ladies uplifting each other in song, singing “Hallelujah” as they chopped salad and cut up fruit for Saturday’s lunch rush. At the helm was the minister’s spirited wife, Dr. Arpi Boynerian. A few feet away, two young girls were busy generously frosting large homemade cupcakes for the tented bake sale table.
“It’s a small church, but we help each other,” said Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian, who will be celebrating sixteen years as minister of the 104 year-old church this year.
“The love that we share…it’s wonderful,” said 99 year-old Rachel Dohanian, a lifelong, faithful member whose parents Nathan and Makrouhi Koumrian were two of the original founders of the church. “We found it very important to be good to each other.”
Donald Koundakjian’s grandfather was also involved in the early beginnings of the church. “It’s a group of families that always stayed together,” he recalled while furnishing meal tickets with his wife Erin.
In the spirit of giving back, Armenian Memorial Church has pledged to send ten-percent of its weekend proceeds to the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church in Aleppo, Syria, which is still rebuilding after getting shelled during the Syrian War several years ago. “There is a lot of work to support the community there. Thank God they survived after the war in Syria,” said Arpi Boynerian. This is an especially sentimental cause for the Boynerians, who were wed in that church back in 1988. “We give it, because the Lord said if you give, you will get it back.”