Members of the Heritage Committee

St. John Armenian Church of Southfield, Michigan Women’s Guild 85th Anniversary and Armenian Heritage Collection 50th Anniversary Gala


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — The St. John Armenian Church Women’s Guild 85th Anniversary and the Armenian Heritage Collection 50th Anniversary Gala was held on Saturday, October 28 with the participation of 200 guests who enjoyed mouthwatering Armenian appetizers while Armenian music played in the background as they were welcomed into the newly renovated banquet hall.

In honor of the Women’s Guild Anniversary, 20 past chairpersons (dating back to 1962) of the church’s 85-year-old organization were honored. One by one, each honoree lit candles on the anniversary cake as they were introduced by current Women’s Guild Chairman Sara Andonian and Women’s Guild Anniversary Chair Jacqueline ElChemmas, followed by a toast to their years of service.

Those honored were: Rose Shahinian, Angela Banerian, Mary Keoleian, Isabelle Vahratian, Alice Terzian, Nina Sarkisian, Rose Mardigian, Mary Demir, Lora Kazanjian, Jane Hovsepian, Jacqueline ElChemmas, Marianne Dardarian, Linda Assarian, Linda Tiffany, Joyce Obenhoff, Dawn Karagosian, Linda Stamboulian, Yerchanig Joy Callan,  Barbara Rupas, Lisa Derderian, Denise Karakshian, Denise Boyagian, Carol Cholmakjian and Sara Andonian.

Members of the Women’s Guild Anniversary Committee

Following dinner, the second half of the evening began – the Armenian Heritage Costume Collection Program. Since 1977, when the collection was first performed at St. John Armenian Church, it has enriched audiences all over the United States and Canada. Under the guidance of the Armenian Heritage Collection Chairman Paulette Apkarian, this 50-year-old legacy was brought to life. The following 26 models had the honor of participating in the program: Shahan Ashkarian, Armen Arslanian, Michael Baghdasarian, Sona Baldwin, Stella Baldwin, Melanie Boskovich, Vartuhi Dilakian, Nazelie Doghramadjian, Patricia Fantazian, Hiyk Ghazarian, Sevag Ghazarian, Gayane Hovhannisyan, Isabelle Kazarian, Marissa Kazarian, Adam Krikorian, Mona Kurjian, Madisen Lundquist, Areg Mailian, Sevana Mailian, Madeline Mardigian, Nayiri Ourlian, Maria Palaian, Lindsay Sahakian, Christine Santourian, Jennifer Scappaticci and Olivia Thomas.

The Gala committee worked diligently for the past six months under the guidance of Jacqueline ElChemmas. The Armenian Heritage Collection chair was Paulette Apkarian, and her committee for ensuring the theatrical production of the collection performance was flawless.

Women’s Guild Committee consisted of Jacqueline ElChemmas – Chair,  Sara Andonian, Paulette Apkarian, Sara Sarkisian Bell, Carol Cholmakjian, Marilyn Dadian and Diane Ekizian. The Armenian Heritage Collection Committee consisted of Paulette Apkarian – Chair, Patricia Kezelian, Terry Palaian, Marilyn Sarkesian, Nyree Giragosian, Denise Karakashian, Yn. Roberta Kochakian, Dolly Matoian, Anna Svirid Sarkisian and Linda Tiffany.

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