AMAA Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Orphan, Child Care Program


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The Beverly Hills Hotel was the beautiful setting of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) Orphan and Child Care luncheon and children’s fashion show celebrating its 20th anniversary. A sold-out crowd of more than 500 guests and supporters of AMAA’s Orphan and Child Care programs were welcomed by the luncheon chairs, Sandy Bedrosian and Maro Yacoubian, who welcomed the crowd. The co-chairs of this event worked for months to make every aspect of the luncheon enjoyable for all the guests.

Henry Segel, 13, grandson of Joyce Stein, advisor and national co-chair of the Orphan and Child Care Committee, gave a moving devotional about charity and asked the audience to “not turn a blind eye to the poor” and reminded everyone that it is “our responsibility to fund and nurture those less fortunate” by being generous in caring for Armenia’s needy children. Segel offered a prayer asking God to keep “us charitable, so that we may continue to put shoes on these children’s feet, to put food on their plates and to give them beds to sleep in.”

Stein’s interview with Nellie Soames, 9, captured everyone’s attention. She explained that she donated $250 of her own money for the needy children in Armenia.

Levon Filian, the executive director of the AMAA, thanked everyone for attending and for their continued support of the AMAA programs and projects, specifically, the orphan and child care projects.

This year’s record-breaking silent auction was especially spectacular — there were many items to bid on. Christina Jabarian, the silent auction chair, with the help of many committee members, especially Sandy Bedrosian, helped procure items which made the auction a tremendous success. Each of the guests received a pearl cross donated by Christina and Harout Jabarian.

During lunch, Nar Gulvartian, son of Lucy Gulvartian, presented a moving video describing the poor and substandard conditions in which many of Armenia’s children live. Maro Yacoubian and her son, Vahe Yacoubian, 12, encouraged everyone to sponsor a child.

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After dessert, the children’s fashion show was introduced by Marilyn Bezdikian and Ani Zakari, who coordinated this year’s show. The show was sponsored and produced by Nordstrom Glendale. Sabrina Agbabian, the 14-year-old granddaughter of Elizabeth Agbabian, shared her memories of being an AMAA child/orphan care model since the age of 3. She said, “Every person in this room has made a difference, and with all of our generosity, love and kindness combined, we can have a large impact on many children in Armenia.”

The finance and reservations chair, Sandra Kalemkiarian, who works tirelessly every year for the success of this event, was joined by her daughter, Sara Kalemkiarian who incorporated new technology and programs to efficiently close out the auction. Diane Cabraloff and her daughter, Anush, worked to help with the close out as well.

The guests left the event with a bag full of goodies, including products donated by Jessica Vartoughian of Jessica Nails, and raisins donated by LindaKay Abdulian. The gift bags with the AMAA logo were created and donated by Arsi Seraydarian.

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