WATERTOWN — On Saturday, November 19, the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) held its 40th Annual Luncheon/Auction at the Oakley Country Club. The gorgeous day filled the venue with sunshine that made the updated event even more enjoyable for the nearly 200 attendees who turned out to support the AWWA.
The members of the committee included Annie Youssoufian, JoAnn Janjigian, Nora Aroyan, Susan Deranian, Melanie Khederian and Louise Chobanian. Funds raised will be used to support the association’s mission and initiatives, including the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC) in Jamaica Plain, Mass., and the Elderly Project of the Hanganak Clinic in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh.
A live auction offered tickets to the Boston Bruins, accommodations at local hotels and inns, a Thanksgiving basket, and a gold, diamond and ruby Armenian Cross crafted by jeweler, Chris Kebadjian. Middlesex County Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian and State Rep. David Muradian, Jr. (9th Worcester district, R) were the auctioneers who kept the bidding high and lively.
The event also included a raffle featuring a Louis Vuitton pocketbook and small bags. To commemorate the 40th year, the committee also introduced a new event, “The Forty Prizes for Forty Years,” a specially-curated selection of donated gifts which were wrapped in ruby/red and raffled to guests. The 40 prizes, valued from $50 to $100 each, included restaurant gift certificates, fine wines from Karas of Armenia and Sakonnet Vineyard of Rhode Island, spa gift cards, paintings and more.
The first AWWA luncheon/auction began in 1976 with a luncheon in the lower level of the ANRC (at that time the Armenian Nursing Home) with member Cynthia Kazanjian acting as chef du jour, cooking Chicken Divan, that was served to 150 guests. Funds raised at that event were used to construct an elevator in the nursing home in Jamaica Plain. Some other early auctions were held at the Fantasia Restaurant in Cambridge and the Sydney Hill Country Club in Brookline.
Friends/Volunteers and members continued over the last 40 years to hold the Luncheon/Auction for the purpose of supporting the ongoing initiatives of the AWWA. The group thanks all supporters and volunteers over the years.