May 16, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Armen Carapetian
tel: (818) 500-1918

ARIZONA ARMENIANS DISPLAY STRONG SUPPORT FOR ANCA

From left to right, ANC-AZ activist Anto Nazikian, ANCA Board Member Raffi Hamparian, ANCA-WR Government Relations Director Armen Carapetian, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian, ANC-AZ Chairman Yeprem Tchaylian, and ANC-AZ activists Zarouhi Baltajian and Yervant Baltajian.

PHOENIX, AZ – The Armenian American community of the Grand Canyon State of Arizona displayed its pride and full support for the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) at a fundraising reception held on May 7, 2005. The gathering in Phoenix, organized by the Armenian National Committee of Arizona (ANC-AZ), drew a broad cross section of community members who donated their hard earned dollars to strengthen the advocacy efforts of the ANCA in Washington, DC. Event sponsors included longtime and well-respected Phoenix residents Mr. & Mrs. Greg and Emma Melikian and their extended family.

The featured speakers at the reception were ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian and ANCA Board Member Raffi Hamparian. Ken Hachikian expressed the organization’s appreciation for the warm welcome he received in Phoenix.

“The ANCA derives its strength from each of you – our grassroots,” Hachikian remarked. “Your activism here in Phoenix is part of a dynamic equation that makes the ANCA a powerful voice for our community in Congress. Simply put, we could not achieve our many successes without you,” he emphasized.

Following ANCA Chairman Hachikian’s remarks, a video of the organization’s ANCA Capital Gateway Program was shown. The video documents an ANCA initiative launched two years ago that brings Armenian American college graduates from around the nation to Washington, DC, pays for their housing, and helps them find public policy jobs, including jobs on Capitol Hill with Members of Congress. The ANCA Capital Gateway Program has placed over 20 candidates thus far.

“The State of Arizona is home to a number of very important public officials, including Senator and potential 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain and Congressman Jim Kolbe, who chairs the Congressional committee that appropriates U.S. foreign aid to Armenia,” stated ANC-AZ Chairman Yeprem Tchaylian. “I am very proud that the Arizona ANC can lead the way in educating the growing Armenian American community about the importance of being involved in the civic and political affairs of our state,” added Tchaylian.

On Sunday, May 8th, Raffi Hamparian, who also serves on the ANCA Western Region (WR) Board of Directors, led a training workshop with ANC-AZ leaders, including Tchaylian, and dedicated activists Yervant Baltajian, Zarouhi Baltajian, Anto Nazikian, and Anto Tchaylian, as part of the ANCA-WR’s ongoing effort to assist local ANC chapters in developing strategies and planning initiatives to reach out to local, state and federal government officials. The workshop built on a similar seminar held last year in Arizona by former ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian. “The Arizona ANC is a bright, up and coming star within our organization,” commented Raffi Hamparian. “I look forward to seeing the results of these efforts in growing communities across the country,” noted Hamparian.

The ANCA is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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