Lioness Of The Armenian Cause: Ashkhen Pilavjian Celebrates 80th Bd.

A Lioness Of The Armenian Cause: Ashkhen Pilavjian Celebrates 80th Birthday

Friday, December 14th, 2012 | Posted by Contributor

Ashkhen Pilavjian with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during the 2008
ANCA-WR banquet


As U.S. Senator Robert Menendez turned a corner in the Santa Monica,
California home of longtime Armenian National Committee of America
supporter Ashkhen Pilvajian several years ago, he paused. The Senator,
who serves on the powerful U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
was face to face with a wall of Republican memorabilia, including
thank you notes from President George H.W. Bush and awards from the
Republican National Committee. Had the Senator come to the wrong
home? The answer of course was no, but he had come into the special
home of longtime ANCA supporter Ashkhen Pilavjian, who will be marking
her 80th birthday this month.

For Ashkhen Pilavjian, a stalwart GOP supporter, having a prominent
Democratic Senator over her home made sense for one simple reason.
Senator Menendez has consistently earned an A+ grade from the ANCA and
has been a fearless proponent of ending Turkey’s denial of the
Armenian Genocide. For Ashkhen, the Armenian Cause has always been
more important than her affinity for a particular political party. For
this and her generous philanthropic support for the Armenian Cause,
Ashkhen was honored by the ANCA with a prestigious Legacy Award at the
organization’s annual banquet held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential
Library in Simi Valley in October of 2008.

`Ashkhen Pilavjian is a great Armenian American,’ shared William
Bairamian, the ANCA-Western Region’s Executive Director. As we
celebrate her 80th birthday we can confidently share that she is, in
so many ways, a shining example of a model Armenian American. She is
both giving and kind, both smart and understanding. And for the ANCA,
her generous financial support has made much of what we do for the
community possible. We cannot thank Ashkhen Pilvajian enough,’
Bairamian emphasized.

Ashkhen Pilavjian has long been an active member of the Armenian
American community, as was her late husband Alexan Pilavjian. Her
husband Alexan was very involved with Homenetmen and was a respected
member of many other community organizations both in Beirut, Lebanon
and later in the United States. Over the years Ashkhen has directed
her philanthropic efforts in support of several prominent Armenian
organizations and institutions, including the Western Prelacy of the
Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian
National Committee of America, Homenetmen, Armenian Relief Society as
well as many Armenian schools.

`I encourage all young Armenian Americans to get involved in the
ANCA,’ shared Pilavjian in a recent interview. `Each and every one of
us has to do our share in preserving the Armenian American community
in the United States. If every individual contributes some time and
energy we can go very far. I believe that everybody should lend a
hand to support the great work of the ANCA,’ she added.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western salutes Ashkhen
Pilavjian on the occasion of her 80th birthday and wishes her
continued health and happiness in the years to come.