ARS “Mayr” Chapter celebrates International Women’s Day

ARS 25-plus year members and dignitaries

NEW YORK, NY — The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of New York “Mayr” Chapter celebrated International Women’s Day with a luncheon at St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral’s Pashalian Hall on Sunday, March 5th. In attendance were His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Very Reverend Father Mesrob Lakissian, Yeretsgin Ojen Lakissian, ARS Eastern US board member Margaret Babikian, ARS members and guest speakers Valentine Berberian and Sossi Boladian, along with members of the AYF, ARS and guests.  

The program focused on the celebration and importance of women in history and in the present day. ARS “Mayr” Chapter chairperson and emcee Maria Ebrimian and vice-chair Talene Nigdelian welcomed guests in Armenian and English, respectively. Soloist Cindy Ohanian-Aledjian led the Armenian and American national anthems followed by the ARS anthem. 

Archbishop Tanielian explained the importance of the Armenian woman, wife and mother in his heartfelt remarks before offering his blessings. In addition, His Eminence presented the “Mayr” Chapter with a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Armenian Prelacy. 

His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian

A beautiful table full of homemade savory and sweet selections was set for guests by the ARS “Mayr” Chapter members. While guests mingled and enjoyed their meal, members of the AYF assisted in selling raffle tickets for wonderful prizes.

ARS Eastern US board member Margaret Babikian

The program continued with a presentation by Berberian titled “Armenian Women: Rights and Role Throughout History.” Four young adults who previously interned at the United Nations through the ARS assisted Berberian. The five-part journey included “Armenian Women in Ancient Times” narrated by Talene Nigdelian; “Armenian Women’s Rights before the First Republic of Armenia” by Nory Boiatchian; “Women’s Role in Armenian Traditional Family” by Talar Hovsepian; “Social Activism and Education” by Arev Ebrimian; concluding with “Armenian Women in Soviet Times and Modern Evolution” by Berberian. 

ARS member Valentine Berberian (3rd from left) and her co-presenters

The second half of the program included a presentation by ARS member Sossi Boladian of the National Commission of Lebanese Women on the importance of gender equality around the world. Afterwards, the audience was mesmerized by Ohanian-Aledjian, who performed “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady and “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof. 

ARS member Sossi Boladian of the National Commission of Lebanese Women

The most significant portion of the luncheon was the ceremony to honor those members who have devoted 25-plus years of service to the ARS “Mayr” Chapter. Ebrimian and Babikian presented plaques to 11 members; a lovely cake was cut in their honor. 

ARS Mayr Chapter chairperson Maria Ebrimian

The luncheon concluded with a few words by Very Reverend Father Lakissian, who himself is an honorary ARS member, praising the “Mayr” Chapter for its continued work and dedication and expressing his support for the organization. All proceeds from the luncheon will be donated to Armenians who have been affected by the deadly earthquakes in Syria.   

Very Reverend Father Mesrob Lakissian
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Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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