PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Armenian National Committee of RI (ANC-RI) hosted a fundraiser for David P. Tikoian last Wednesday. Tikoian is running for the District 22 RI state senate seat representing Smithfield/Lincoln/North Providence.
The evening began with Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church offering a blessing for both the candidate and the evening’s refreshments. A large crowd gathered at The Jake at Ladder 133 on Douglas Avenue, a historically Armenian neighborhood that was home to many Genocide survivors, to show support for a man who has brought honor and pride to the community his entire life.
“David will serve his constituents well and is very proud of his heritage,” said ANC-RI co-chair Steve Elmasian.
Tikoian served 23 years in the RI State Police rising to the rank of major. He was the first Armenian member of the State Police Command Staff. Serving three years as the police chief in the town of North Providence, Tikoian was the first Armenian to hold the position of police chief in the state. Tikoian is a member of the Smithfield Town Council, the first Armenian to be elected to the council. He also currently works as the deputy general manager at the Providence Water Supply Board.
Prior to the fundraiser, Tikoian was asked who served as his inspiration. “Without question, my grandparents, Garabed and Tarviz Topalian, who were survivors of the Armenian Genocide,” he replied. “Both of my grandparents came to America as orphans, their entire families killed during the massacre. Whenever I am faced with a difficult or challenging situation, I think about what my grandparents endured and by the grace of God, what they survived. Had my grandparents not survived the Genocide, I would not be here,” he concluded.
Tikoian praised the ANC-RI for their work every day advocating for Armenia and Armenian causes during his remarks at the event. “I think everyday about how proud I am to be Armenian and the positions I’ve been privileged to hold,” he said, “and I could not do it without all of your support.”