Philadelphia `Ani’ ARS Honors Past, Promotes Future

Philadelphia `Ani’ ARS Honors Past, Promotes Future

Fri, Jul 1 2011

By Silva Santerian

The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) `Ani’ Chapter hosted a Centennial
Celebration Luncheon on Sun., May 22, at Saint Gregory Armenian
Apostolic Church. The event, which welcomed nearly 200 ARS members,
family, and friends, was held in the newly completed and beautifully
adorned Founders Hall.

A scene from the Centennial Celebration Luncheon.
Photos of past members adorned the entrance to the luncheon, reminding
guests of the ungerouhis who served before. The luncheon was dedicated
to the blessed memory of Virginia Tourigian, a lifelong member of the

Shnohik Karakelian, the chairperson of the ARS `Ani’ Chapter, welcomed
the audience and remembered the past members of the chapter. Guests
stood as each ungerouhi and unger was remembered. Silva Kouyoumjian,
the chairperson of the Board of Regional Directors, and Caroline
Chamavonian, addressed the crowd as representatives of the Regional

Among the guests were Der Nerces and Yr. Nectar Manoogian, as well as
Sister Hripsime Cheftalian of the Armenian Sisters’ Academy of Radnor,
Pa., and Mother General Keshishian of the Sisters of Immaculate
Conception in Rome.

The day was both a tribute to those who have passed as well as a
celebration of new members who were inducted into the chapter at the
luncheon. Current Ani Chapter ungerouhis passed lit candles decorated
with blue ribbons to the new members as they prepared to take their
oath. Fifteen new members became ungerouhis: Ashkhen Setrakian, Karen
Kludjian, Silva Santerian, Nora Babaian, Sossi Avrigian, Nora
Sarkahian, Mari Degirmenci, Verjeen Kazanjian, Haigoush Karakelian,
Nelly Handian, Diane Vosbikian, and Talene Aboshian. Unable to attend
that day were new members Kristen Martha, Dori Keshgegian, and Zovig

Following a delicious buffet, guests were treated to a spectacular
dance performance by the AghTamar Dance Ensemble. Members of the
ensemble had traveled from New Jersey and wowed the crowd with their
captivating performance. The finale, which featured the entire group
unraveling the Armenian flag, launched all into a flurry of applause
and cheers.

The day was a celebration that honored the past while promoting the
future. The Armenian Relief Society works tirelessly to aid those who
need it most. The organization is exemplary in its relief efforts and,
with the inspiration of those ungerouhis who have passed coupled with
the wisdom and dedication of the current members, there is no doubt
that this wonderful organization will continue to thrive.

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