WATERBURY, Vt.—The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Eastern USA is proud to announce the establishment of the ARS “Noor” Chapter of Vermont.
ARS Regional Executive board member Seda Aghamianz officiated the oath for five new members on Saturday during a chapter meeting held at a local pizza parlor. The founding members of the ARS “Noor” Chapter of Vermont are Naira Hagopian, Inessa Manuelyan, Violetta Ayrapetova, Caroline Teague and Talin Teague. ARS legacy member Pearl Bargamian Teague proudly pinned each new member.
“We are excited to join the ARS family and contribute to the ongoing humanitarian initiatives of the organization,” said Ayrapetova, the newly-elected chairperson of the chapter. “Even though we are in a state with a small Armenian community, we are determined to have a great impact on the programs and projects carried out by the ARS,” she continued.
In her efforts to lead a more meaningful and purposeful life, Bargamian Teague, a member of the ARS “Lousintak” Chapter of Lowell, had pledged to spend more time with her family in Vermont and increase her involvement in organizations that “feed the life of the Armenian nation,” namely the ARS. “The road trip to and from Middlebury, Vermont to Lowell, Massachusetts gives one plenty of time to dream about creating and expanding the same Armenian community life in Vermont,” she stated. While slicing onions and tomatoes for the Lowell Folk Festival over the summer, she began sharing these dreams with her fellow members. She was re-energized after serving as a delegate during the region’s 101st convention held in North Carolina in August. Then, at the AYF Olympics in Worcester, she planted more seeds and sought potential recruits for an ARS chapter in Vermont, as well as a future AYF chapter. She was also instrumental in helping re-activate the Green Mountain State’s Armenian National Committee (ANC) chapter.
“I am especially proud to have started this chapter carrying the legacy of my great-great-grandmother, Zeida Khimatian, a founding member of an ARS chapter,” shared Bargamian Teague.
The newly-established chapter carries the uplifting name of an Armenian pomegranate, a symbol of abundance and good fortune. “We were looking for an iconic Armenian symbol that was nestled in all of our hearts and easy for all to embrace,” described Bargamian Teague of the name “Noor.”
In her congratulatory remarks, Aghamianz said, “We are excited that a new community will have an ARS chapter in its area to give an opportunity for its members to diligently work to serve the humanitarian mission of the organization on a local, regional and global level and connect with their Armenian roots and heritage.”
The new ARS members are already busy planning for their first major fundraiser to be held in the new year on Armenian Christmas. Funds raised from this dinner event will support solar panels in Artsakh.
“We are excited to welcome our new members and chapter into the big ARS family and are excited to work with them on our humanitarian initiatives in the community and around the world,” said ARS of Eastern USA board chair Caroline Chamavonian.
The ARS “Noor” Chapter is the 33rd in the region, following the establishment of the North Carolina “Nayiri” Chapter last summer. There are now 14 states and Washington, DC with active chapters in the ARS Eastern Region.