Providence AYF Chapter hosts Annual “Varantian” Ball

Providence AYF members dancing their celebratory Hey Djan (Photo: GVK Images)

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Last Saturday, January 20, over 250 community members came together at the Egavian Hall to celebrate the annual “Varantian” Ball hosted by the Providence AYF Chapter. The “V-Ball,” as it is nicknamed, has been organized every year in Providence for over eight decades to celebrate the success of the local AYF-YOARF chapter.

The evening’s emcee, Giovany Aktchian, a recent AYF alumnus, began the program by introducing the singing of the national and organizational anthems. Following the anthems, Aktchian called for a moment of silence for recently deceased AYF alumni and community members. A delicious dinner catered by Sonia’s Near East Market & Deli was served following opening prayers by Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church and Rev. Fr. Shnork Souin of Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church.

The program continued with the announcement of the chapter’s honorary member, an annual tradition to honor and recognize those alumni who have devoted their lives to the AYF-YOARF and its goals and mission.

2023 Providence AYF Honorary Member Ken Bogosian pictured with AYF Advisor Ani Megerdichian Arakelian(Photo: GVK Images)

Before introducing this year’s honorary member, Ani Megerdichian Arakelian, ARF advisor to the Providence AYF, paid tribute to the brave families of Artsakh. “The men put all their responsibilities aside to defend their land first. The women provided for their families day after day regardless of the obstacles they faced. The children were full of so much love and passion for their homeland,” she said. “Although December 31 marked the final day of Artsakh as we know it, you can count on the AYF to keep the spirit of Artsakh alive and well.” 

Arakelian went on to honor Ken Bogosian, who has been involved with the AYF since his early days, serving as the treasurer for multiple terms. Bogosian is the son of the late unger Zakar and Arousiag (Bessie) Bogosian. He has been married to Sandra Najarian Bogosian for 60 years. They have two children Kendra (Joe) Marasco and David (Diane) Bogosian and four grandchildren, Matthew, Jessica, Michael and Eliana.

Ken and Sandra served as treasurers for several Providence AYF Olympics Steering Committees, no easy assignment as funds come in from all directions for several days throughout the Olympics weekend. Bogosian is a member of the Ararat Association, a charitable organization that distributes the proceeds from their annual golf tournament to numerous Armenian churches, groups and organizations including the AYF Juniors and Seniors. To date, that tournament has raised and given away close to $600,000. Bogosian is a dedicated member of Sts. Vartanantz Church, attending every Sunday with Sandra by his side. In his professional life, Bogosian had the corner office in the downtown tower overlooking Kennedy Plaza where he was a stockbroker for Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter and then Wells Fargo for 45 years. As Arakelian shared, Ken joins “a list of people in this community who have made it what it is.”

The chapter is fortunate to have role models like Bogosian who inspire its Junior and Senior members and would like to extend its sincere congratulations to him on a lifetime of achievement and dedication to the “Varantian” chapter. Ken offered heartfelt remarks of gratitude to the Providence “Varantian” Chapter for the recognition, as well as words of encouragement to current and prospective AYF members, specifically regarding fraternalism and Hai Tahd. 

Graduating Providence AYF members Eric Pjojian, Alyssa Bailey and Giovany Aktchian with 2023 Honorary Member Ken Bogosian (Photo: GVK Images)

Outgoing Junior and Senior presidents Garo Tarbinian and Rosdom Mkrtchjan spoke of the Providence chapter’s activities over the past year, including the many fundraisers organized and donations made, as well as a repeat AYF Olympics softball championship in 2023. The Providence chapter graduated many outstanding Seniors in 2023, three of whom were present and recognized: Giovany Aktchian, Eric Pjojian and Alyssa Bailey. These members have served the chapter for many years and were thanked for their countless hours of service to the organization.

The Juniors held their annual fundraising raffle during the evening. All of the proceeds from the raffle are used to help offset the costs of the Juniors’ bus trip to AYF Junior Seminar in Pennsylvania. After the Junior chapter members tirelessly sold tickets to generous attendees throughout the hall, they successfully raised over $500 for their chapter.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the conclusion of the proceedings, all the current Providence AYF “Varantians” gathered on the dance floor to kick off the dance, as talented and popular musicians Shant Massoyan, Aram Hovagimian, Mal Barsamian and Dave Hoplamazian played the Providence AYF’s celebratory song, Hey Djan. AYF members, former and current, local and out of town, continued to dance and celebrate together through the night.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Providence AYF “Varantian” Chapter would like to extend its gratitude to all alumni, supporters and the extended AYF-YOARF family for their continued support throughout the years. The chapter would also like to thank Rev. Fr. Shnork Souin and Marc Janigian from Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church for being gracious hosts in their Egavian Hall.

AYF Providence "Varantian" Chapter

AYF Providence "Varantian" Chapter

Founded in 1934, the Providence "Varantian" Chapter works to unite Armenian youth and organize activities in the Providence, Rhode Island area. The chapter has a Senior and Junior chapter. The Providence "Varantian" Chapter sets out to achieve its goals and objectives throughout the year through events such as the Varantian Ball, Junior Seminar fundraisers, flag raisings on April 24 and support for the Cranston Sports Card Show. The AYF-YOARF's five pillars (athletic, cultural, educational, political, social) guide this chapter and help keep its membership active and at the forefront of the Armenian Cause at all times.


  1. Providence Varantian Chapter,

    Could someone provide me with the origin/choice of the name “Varantian”?

    Thank You.

  2. The V-Ball has stood the test of time. In one form or another this event has been going on for so many decades, I’m not sure there are many people alive who know when it started. Job well done Providence “Varantian” juniors and seniors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.