WATERTOWN, Mass. – On September 24, supporters from throughout New England participated in the 11th annual Walk of Life of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR).
“We’re touched to again see many community organizations and individuals that have come together today to participate and collaborate for this walkathon,” said organizing committee member Shant Der Torossian during the opening ceremony held at the Charles Mosesian Center. “Some of you have been with us since day one. A big thank-you to those who assisted with promoting this event among their co-workers, friends and family. We couldn’t do this without you!”
Der Torossian conveyed the committee’s gratitude to St. James Armenian Apostolic Church, Pastor Arakel Aljalian and Yn. Natasha for hosting the commencement of this year’s walkathon. Der Torossian also acknowledged Arax Badalian and members of the Amaras Art Alliance as the recipients of the ABMDR New England Volunteer of the Year Award.
Prior to the start of the walkathon, participants held a moment of silence in honor of fallen soldiers in Armenia and Artsakh.
The walk concluded at Saltonstall Park, where participants celebrated the day’s achievements and enjoyed great music and food at the annual Faire on the Square festival.
During the closing ceremony, Tamar Minassian Melkonian of the walkathon’s organizing committee extended appreciation to the event’s sponsors for their continued support year after year and made a special announcement. “The Armenian Museum of America has graciously offered open admission to anyone wearing an ABMDR walkathon tee-shirt! So, after our closing ceremony, please take advantage of this offer and visit their one-of-a-kind exhibits and artifacts.”
Subsequently Alec Der Sirakian, Telo Ghazarians and Miganush Stepanians of PROMETRIKA, LLC were awarded the gold, silver and bronze fundraiser awards, respectively. For the tenth consecutive year, Armenia Tree Project will plant commemorative trees in Armenia in honor of the walkathon winners, as part of the Living Century Initiative.
Established in 1999, ABMDR helps Armenians and non-Armenians worldwide survive life-threatening blood-related illnesses by recruiting and matching donors to those requiring bone marrow stem cell transplants. To date, the registry has recruited over 33,500 donors in 44 countries across four continents, identified over 9,000 patients, and facilitated 39 bone marrow transplants.
“Funds raised through the walkathon and all other donations go a long way in ensuring that ABMDR is able to continue to fulfill its mission, by educating the public, recruiting donors and facilitating bone marrow stem cell transplants for patients throughout the world,” shared Der Torossian.