WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) and its Capital Region Council hosted its Annual Holiday Reception last month at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia. The standing room only event honored long-time Co-Chairs of its Capital Region Council, Mrs. Clara Andonian and Mrs. Doris George, for their decades of hard work, “In Appreciation of Extraordinary Commitment & Unwavering Support.”
“We greatly appreciate the tireless dedication and commitment of Clara Andonian and Doris George – two wonderful individuals who have given generously of their time and talent to help the Armenian Assembly achieve its mission and goals. Clara and Doris are both one-of-a-kind members, and we are grateful for their support and leadership,” stated Assembly Board Member Annie Simonian Totah.
Clara Andonian has been involved with the Armenian Assembly for over 42 years, serving in areas of advocacy for the affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. One of her highlights with the Armenian Assembly was being part of its 2004 Mission Trip to Armenia, led by Totah. As one of the pillars of the Armenian community in Washington, Clara chaired the St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church Women’s Guild, sang in the choir, and taught Sunday School for six years. She is a member of the Ararat Avak Senior Society, as well as an active member of the Daughters of Vartan, where she served as Grand Matron on occasion.
In 1973, Doris George and her husband Robert joined the Armenian Assembly, and, over the years, Doris served the organization in different capacities. Doris was a member of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), served on the Board of the Armenian Rights Council of America, and was Chairwoman of the Daughters of Vartan. She also serves on the Board of the Armenian American Cultural Association.
After 20 years of working together, Mrs. Andonian and Mrs. George completed their terms as Co-Chairs of the Assembly Capital Region Council handing over the reins to the new incoming Co-Chairs Louisa Baghdasarian and Marguerite Satian.
Also at the Reception, Yeretskin Anahid Kalayjian was awarded the Armenian Assembly’s “Volunteer of the Year” for her efforts in supporting and recruiting new members for the organization.
Armenian National Institute (ANI) Director Dr. Rouben Adalian was the Master of Ceremonies, and introduced the guest speakers for the evening, including the Republic of Armenia’s Embassy to the United States Deputy Chief of Mission, Ara Margarian, and The Honorable Aram Bakshian, Jr., who spoke about “Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”
The evening continued with a special musical tribute to the late Charles Aznavour, with performances by Edita Kalayjian, who sang “Armenian Waltz” by Den Gharibian and “Ave Maria” by Charles Aznavour; she was accompanied by Christine Kharazian on violin and Duff Davis on acoustic guitar. Victoria Petrosyan sang “Hayastan” by Armen Smbatyan, accompanied by Naira Babayan. Her daughter, Karine Mikayelyan, sang Charles Anzavour’s “Pour Toi, Armenie” in the Armenian translated version of “Qez Hamar, Hayastan.”
Following the musical performances, Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny briefed the audience on the Assembly’s activities and accomplishments this past year as well as the challenges ahead in the 116th Congress. He also highlighted the Assembly’s successful National Advocacy Conference and the need to continue our efforts to make our voices heard on Capitol Hill. Both Ardouny and Totah encouraged the audience to contact their Representatives, especially the incoming freshman Members, to educate them on the importance of strengthening U.S.-Armenia and other key issues.
Photos from the Annual Holiday Reception can be found on the Armenian Assembly of America’s Facebook Page.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.