PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Aramian Auditorium at Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church was filled to capacity for the Providence Homenetmen Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday evening. Upon entering the room, guests were struck by the elegant decor and table settings, along with plentiful mezze assortments and bottles of wine at each table. All of this was in the spirit of gratitude – gratitude to our soldiers in Armenia and Artsakh who have sacrificed so much and continue to serve our nation.
The evening was impeccably planned by the committee. Dinner was prepared by Hagop Donoyan and his team. While everyone was enjoying their meals, Homenetmen scouts encouraged participation in a raffle for several abundantly-filled gift baskets and generous gift certificates, all of which were donated to ensure that all funds raised would go to the soldiers.
Anahid Donoyan deftly served as the emcee for the evening, introducing several people who offered encouraging and impassioned comments.
Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, offered the opening prayer and table blessing and praised the Providence Homenetmen for organizing the evening for the benefit of the soldiers, especially during this season of Thanksgiving.
Homenetmen Providence Scout Council chairwoman Hasmik Arslanyan also paid tribute to Armenia’s brave servicemen and women. “We hope to all one day be dancing together in ‘shoorch bar’ on Mt. Ararat as our ancestors did years ago,” she concluded.
Homenetmen Eastern Region Executive member Chris Krikorian commended the chapter and scout council for their continuous support of the organization and the community.
In his emotional speech, Providence chapter vice-chair Sarkis Tarbinian reminded attendees to continue supporting our soldiers by staying involved in the community and its organizations and participating in the activities of the Armenian National Committee of America, particularly its initiatives to stop all military aid to Azerbaijan. He ended emphatically with, “Getseh Hayoutunuh, getseh mer zinvorneruh yev getzeh Hayastanuh (Long live the Armenian people, our soldiers and our nation).”
Several members of the Homenetmen added to the evening’s program with song, dance and recitations. There was a performance by the Hamazkayin Artsakh Dance Group of Providence under the direction of Shushan Avakian. The Providence scouts sang “Artyok Ovker en” with accompaniment by Tigranouhi Minassian. Entertainment was also provided by singers Taleen Donoyan (“Mardigi Yerkuh”), Rosdom Mkrtschjan (“Akhperus oo Yes”) and Diana Keshijian (“Tun im Hayreni”). Garo Tarbinian and Davit Khachatryan recited poems. Raffi Avakian played a piano medley, and a saxophone duet was provided by Nadia Keshijian and Armen Avagyan. Interspersed between the performances, a bounty of desserts was offered to guests along with their coffee.
The Providence Homenetmen will be heading to Armenia next July for the Pan-Homenetmen camp. While in the homeland, the scouts will personally deliver the much-needed financial assistance to soldiers who have been identified with the help of the Armenian Relief Society. Anyone who would like to make a donation toward this worthy endeavor may mail a check to the Providence Homenetmen, c/o Sts. Vartanantz Church, 7 Armenia St., Providence, RI 02909.