Friends of FAR Committee members, from left, Alice Yigikurt, Anita Temiz, Elizabeth Bestepe, Margarita Hamparsoumian, Nadya Garipian (co-chair), Sylva TOrosian (co-chair), Papken Dzayrakooyn Vartabed Noushian, Garnig Nanagoulian, Kahajg Barsamian, Annette Choulfaian, Sirvart Hovnanian, Sonia Bekarian, Marylynda Bozian Cruickshank and Nivart Arslan. (Marylynda Bozian-Cruickshank Photo)

Going the Distance for FAR at Spring Benefit Luncheon

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LINCOLN HARBOR, N.J. — On June 1, the Friends of Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), held a Spring Benefit Luncheon at the Chart House. More than 150 attended the event, among them benefactors Sirvart Hovnanian, Suzanne Toufayan, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and Garnik A. Nanagoulian, executive director of FAR.

The purpose of the benefit was to support and raise funds for the expansion of the Art Studio/Center of Creativity and Healing project in Armenia. Many of the children coming to the FAR Children Center (FCC) are the victims of and witnesses to many physical and physiological traumas and art therapy is often used to help treat and heal those young survivors.

The event raised $16,000; as the board members of FAR will match the amount, the total raised will be $32,000.

Sylva Torosian, co-chair of the event, gave the opening remarks, and thanked all for attending the luncheon “to support the most vulnerable children in Armenia.”

Following a video presentation of the FAR children, Alynne Corrigan, soprano, performed three Gomidas songs, including Kele Kele and Hoy Nazan.

Corrigan, who is from Toms River, NJ, began singing in the Armenian Church when she was a child, and continues as a soloist at Saint Stepanos Armenian Church, Long Branch, NJ, and is a member of the Gomidas Choir.

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There were several vendors present at the luncheon, with a raffle offering many gifts.

There was also a touching display of the beautiful art work made by the FAR children ages 4-17 years old, which included traditional Armenian dance figurines, needlework and watercolor paintings.

The concluding words of the event were from the president of FAR, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) Khajag Barsamian, who stressed that “since the inception of FAR Children’s Center in 2000, it has helped over 10,000

in the motherland.” He stressed that representatives of more than 20 countries and organizations have visited the FAR center, including the United Nations’ International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

“These are the most defenseless of Armenia’s children, and we need to continue to stand, love and support them,” he concluded.

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