BOSTON, Mass.—The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Eastern USA has announced that it will honor ARS member, humanitarian and community leader Angele Manoogian with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Anniversary Banquet. The banquet is set to take place on Saturday, October 2, at the St. Stephen’s Armenian Church of Watertown.
“Our community and programs are filled with successes – and ungerouhi Angele’s handprints are all over them,” remarked ARS of Eastern USA chairperson Ani Attar. “Her passion, leadership, humility and generosity of time and talent is admired by all those who know and work with her and her undying love for her nation, community and homeland is an inspiration to all of us,” she continued.
Manoogian was born in Beirut, Lebanon to Louder and Nazelli Arakelian. Born into an ARF and ARS family, Manoogian inherited her drive and commitment from her parents who were both active members in these organizations. In 1961, she married Megerdich Manoogian in Germany; they moved to Detroit, Michigan a year later. Upon her arrival, Manoogian searched for the nearest Armenian church and community center and immersed herself in community life. In 1968, she joined the ranks of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) “Sebouh” Chapter (later renamed as the Azadamard Chapter) and the ARS “Sybille” Chapter and began her service to the Armenian Cause through these organizations.
Since her arrival in the United States, Manoogian has had an active and productive role in the ARS and ARF. She has served on the ARF Central Committee for two terms. During her tenure, she undertook several successful ventures that ensured continued financing of the organization by establishing the Armenian Heritage Cruise. Most notably, she played an influential role ensuring that the Detroit Armenian community had its own community center, which continues to serve as a gathering center for the community, especially the youth, until today. She served 14 years as the center’s committee chairperson and co-chair and was instrumental in the burning of the mortgage. Similarly, she co-chaired the committee that burned the mortgage of the Hairenik Building in Watertown, MA.
As an ARS member, Manoogian volunteered for many years as an Armenian school teacher at the local Saturday school. But it is her tenure serving in various ARS leadership positions that brought her the respect, admiration and gratitude of the ARS worldwide: ARS Mid-council chairlady for eight years; ARS Central Executive member for two terms (six years); and ARS Eastern USA Region chairlady for four terms (eight years). After the Spitak earthquake in 1988, Manoogian traveled to Armenia 28 times in eight years to oversee the ARS’ disaster relief efforts, which included the construction of 42 homes, a new kindergarten, the Nigol Aghpalian School and the prenatal clinic; she also helped oversee the distribution of food and milk, kerosene heaters, sewing and weaving equipment, baby layette sets, prosthetics for the handicapped, medical equipment, medication and funding for the Leninakan (currently, Gyumri) nurse and physician training project. During the Artsakh Liberation Movement, Manoogian traveled to Artsakh, often under siege, to deliver food and visit hospitals, bringing comfort to the maimed and consoling survivors. She also served as the fundraising chairperson for the renovation of the Soseh Kindergarten in Stepanakert.
Throughout the years, she has been formally recognized with awards and commendation for her lifetime work in helping the Armenian community. In 1996, Manoogian was decorated with the Maternal Gratitude Medal for special services in the struggle for the freedom of Artsakh. In 2001, she received an award in recognition of the United Nations “International Year of Volunteers” and in 2010 the “Agnouni” Award from the ARS of Eastern USA. In 2010, she received an award on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Armenian Community Center in Detroit. In 2014, Manoogian received a prestigious medal from the Artsakh Freedom Fighters Organization in tribute for her services rendered during the Artsakh conflict while providing ARS aid in that battle-scarred region during the 1990s.
In her free time, Manoogian enjoys spending time with her family. She gives her utmost love and care to her children Ara, Vrej and Armen, daughters-in-law Carolyn and Lilit, and tries to instill the love for our nation and lessons in serving the community to her grandchildren—Garen, Karina, Keri, Dveen, Varak, Alik and Vahakn.
The 2021 ARS of Eastern USA Anniversary Banquet will be held on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling Heather Krafian at (781) 856-7375.