GLENDALE, CA — The hard work of over a dozen ANC chapters from across the Western United States was recognized at the first annual ANCA-WR Grassroots Awards Event on February 29 in Glendale, California.
On the same night that Hollywood was honoring its best across town at the Oscars, ANC leaders and supporters from throughout the Western Region gathered in Glendale to acknowledge each other’s hard work, and celebrate individual and collective dedication and commitment to the Armenian Cause. Activists from Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, and many others, came together for this unique event.
“The 2004 ANCA-WR Grassroots Awards event acknowledged chapters and activists who comprise the core of the ANC, making it the largest, most effective, and efficient Armenian-American grassroots public affairs organization,” said ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian.
Not only was one Grassroots Activist from each ANC chapter given special recognition, but awards were also handed to chapters for best website, most innovative project, media outreach, voter outreach, up-and-coming chapter, as well as others.
“The dedication and strength of our ANC chapters is a tribute to the democratic principles of America’s founding fathers and the pioneers of the Armenian Cause,” commented ANCA-WR Chairman Raffi Hamparian after the event. “On a daily basis, ANC members encourage Armenian Americans to vote and to participate in the political life of our nation. I am very proud of each and every ANC chapter and activist who was honored at our Awards Event.”
The Master of Ceremonies at the ANC Awards Event was longtime community activist and former Burbank ANC Chair Stepan Boyadjian. With a good dose of humor, Boyadjian kept the audience laughing as he moved the program along. Assisting Boyadjian was ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian who thanked everyone in attendance for their dedication and support.
“What makes the Armenian National Committee such a unique organization is the simple fact that this organization doesn’t function with merely the work of one or two individual staffers, but through the constant effort of thousands and thousands of individuals who do their part every day of ever week of every year,” said Kassakhian. “We owe our supporters a big thank you.”
The highlight of the evening came with an awards presentation in a variety of categories, including individual honors.
In order to recognize the impact the dedication of certain individuals has had, each chapter nominated one member who had made an exceptional contribution to their respective chapter.
Presenting ANC Chapter Awards were ANCA-WR Board Members Aida Dimejian and Garo Ispendjian. In a creative display of solidarity, the Burbank ANC nominated the Burbank ANC Chapter Activist as their individual honoree. The selfless nomination served as the closing theme for the evening as Burbank received the 2004 ANCA-WR Grassroots Activist of the Year award for the entire Western Region of the United States.
Other individual chapter awards:
Crescenta Valley — Saro Senekerinian
Fresno Central California — Ara Kachadourian and Rich Sanikian
Sacramento — Hovannes Boghossian
Glendale — Milene Apanian
Pasadena — Susan Berberian
San Diego — Dr. Robert Deranian
San Francisco — Raffi Momjian
Montebello San Gabriel Valley — Serge Samoniantz
East San Fernando Valley — Vahe Shahinian
West San Fernando Valley — Nichan Kulukian
Chapters were also recognized for their outstanding work throughout 2003 in the following categories:
2004 ANCA-WR Rising Star–Crescenta Valley ANC for outstanding work in establishing a relationship with the local community and involving a wide cross section of the community in ANC activities
2004 Best ANCA-WR Local Website –Central California/Fresno ANC for their www.ancfresno.org website
2004 ANCA-WR Best Local Voter Outreach Campaign–San Francisco /Bay Area ANC for regularly emailing and updating Bay Area Armenians on local, state, and federal elections in 2002-2003 with special recognition for the ANC San Francisco Mayoral Debate
2004 ANCA-WR Best Local Voter Outreach Campaign–Montebello/San Gabriel Valley ANC for their voter outreach and registration drive and being the deciding factor in their local municipal election with special recognition for the “Honoring the Montebello City Council” event
2004 ANCA-WR Most Outstanding Initiative by a Local Chapter–San Francisco/Bay Area ANC for their Genocide Education Campaign with special recognition for the www.TeachGenocide.org project
2004 ANCA-WR Best Media Outreach Campaign–Pasadena ANC for press coverage in the Pasadena Star News on the Policeman’s Appreciation Luncheon and the Person of the Year Event.
ANCA-WR Chair Raffi Hamparian thanked each chapter and the ANCA-WR office staff for their hard work, and encouraged all to strive for greatness in the coming year in pursuit of ANC’s goals.
Among officials present at the event were Congressman Adam Schiff, California State Senator Jack Scott, California State Assemblyman Paul Koretz, former ANC Chairmen Jack Messerlian, Armand Keosian, Dr. Sahag Baghdasarian and Steven Dadaian. Glendale School Board Member Greg Krikorian, Burbank School Board Member Paul Krekorian and Glendale Community College Board Member Ara Najarian were also in attendance.