ARMENIAN ASSEMBLY OF AMERICA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 4, 2018
Contact: Danielle Saroyan
Telephone: (202) 393-3434
SOLD OUT ARMENIAN ASSEMBLY
PHILADELPHIA CELEBRATION HONORS PETER AND IRENE VOSBIKIAN
Highlights September Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.
D.C. – Philadelphia Community members, former interns, and friends – young and
young at heart representing a diverse cross section of the community – attended
the Armenian Assembly of America’s (Assembly) sold out Philadelphia Celebration
honoring Life Trustees Peter and Irene Vosbikian, who were awarded with the
Global Humanitarian Award.
The Celebration took place on Saturday, April 28 in
Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center overlooking Independence Hall
and the Liberty Bell, the birthplace of our nation’s democracy. Guests traveled from across the country,
including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and
Washington, D.C., for the event.
Host Committee Chairman and Assembly Board Member
Alex Karapetian welcomed guests and thanked the Host Committee – comprised of
fellow Board Member Bianka Kadian Dodov and the Philadelphia trifecta: Celeste
Ayjian, Jake Der Hagopian, and Silva Santerian – as well as the Assembly staff,
sponsors, and donors for helping to make it an unforgettable evening.
Karapetian shared his experience during the
Assembly’s summer internship in Washington, D.C. and applauded the intern
alumni in attendance. The Honorary Host Committee, which was mostly comprised
of former alumni, includes Ani Acopian ('14), Adam Azarian ('09), Alexander
Azarian ('14), Michael Azarian ('05), Cissy Der Hagopian (’79), Mark
Hoplamazian ('83), Edele Hovnanian ('80), Leslie Azarian Karapetian ('02),
Julia Mirak Kew ('87), Raffi Manoukian ('97), Mark Momjian ('79 & '80),
Melineh Momjian ('85), Paul Sookiasian ('05), Erika Hajatian Torosian ('05),
and Linda Yepoyan ('81). Former Assembly Board Chairman Michael Haratunian and
former Assembly Board Member Harry S. Cherken, Jr. were also part of the
Honorary Host Committee, alongside their former Board colleagues Edele
Hovnanian and Mark Momjian.
During his speech, Karapetian stated: “Tonight, we
are not only celebrating the 41st anniversary of the Assembly’s summer
internship program but we are also honoring two of its most devoted stewards
and staunch pillars of the Philly community, Peter and Irene Vosbikian, with
the Global Humanitarian Award. Congratulations to both of you and thank you for
all that you have done and continue to do for the Assembly.”
Karapetian also encouraged everyone to participate
in the Assembly’s upcoming National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.,
which will take place on September 23-25, 2018. “We cannot sit on the sidelines
and expect others to act on our behalf. If you want to see change, you need to be
an advocate. Every single person who is here tonight is already an advocate…It’s
because of you that the Assembly can continue to grow and make positive change
for Armenia on the Hill,” he said.
The guests of honor, Peter and Irene Vosbikian,
invited everyone as well to join the Armenian Assembly at its National Advocacy
Conference in September.
“When I served as Chairman of the Assembly 16 years
ago, Turkey’s lobbying efforts in the U.S. were in their infancy. Today, they are spending millions to whitewash
their tarnished past,” Peter Vosbikian said. Peter, noting that the Armenian Assembly
serves as the voice for Armenians in our nation’s capital, urged everyone to
come to Washington, D.C. “Let’s walk up
the Hill together!” he concluded.
Assembly Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van
Krikorian praised Peter and Irene Vosbikian for their passion, tireless support,
and vigilant commitment to the Armenian American community.
“Peter and Irene are the perfect example of activism
and leadership, as well as a
role model for the global Armenian community, which is why they are so deserving of the Armenian
Assembly’s Global Humanitarian Award. Their commitment to advocacy and
philanthropy is what sets them apart, and their ongoing efforts are admirable
and inspiring. We are proud to have them part of our organization,” Assembly
Co-Chairs Barsamian and Krikorian said.
Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian
Apostolic Church of America Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan gave the Invocation for
the evening, and Diocesan Legate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
Archbishop Vicken Aykazian provided the Benediction. Also in attendance were clergy
from the Philadelphia region, including Rev. Fr. Nerses Manoogian of St.
Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church in Philadelphia, Very Rev.
Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian of Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church in Wynnewood, Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan at Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic
Church in Cheltenham, Hieromonk Fr. Raphael Stontsitskyy at St. Mark's Armenian
Catholic Church in Wynnewood, and Sisters Emma Moussayan and Narine Simonian of
Armenian Sisters Academy in Radnor.
Celebration featured the vibrant and eclectic culture of Philadelphia, known
for its rich history. As guests were entering the National Constitution Center,
they were greeted with Philadelphia-native impersonators, Rocky Balboa and
Benjamin Franklin. Those in attendance were also surprised with a live
performance of the Aqua String Band, consisting of the traditional Mummers
known for their elaborate costumes. The evening concluded with special musical
guest Kevork Artinian and
His Band, who reside, and are well known, in the Philadelphia region.
“We would also like to extend our appreciation for
the Host Committee, under the enthusiastic leadership of Alex Karapetian, for
their hard work and dedication planning this event alongside the Armenian
Assembly’s staff,” Co-Chairs Barsamian and Krikorian stated. “We are now
planning a third major advocacy conference to take place in Washington, D.C.
this September around Armenian Independence day to bring the Armenian American
community and leadership in large numbers to meet with Washington policymakers
to make a bigger difference together.”
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.
Photo Caption 1: Peter
and Irene Vosbikian with Armenian Assembly Board Members, Host Committee,
Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, and Archbishop Vicken Aykazian
Photo Caption 2:
Armenian Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian, Armenian Assembly President
Carolyn Mugar, Peter and Irene Vosbikian, and Armenian Assembly Co-Chair Van
Photo Caption 3: Armenian
Assembly Board Member and Host Committee Chairman Alex Karapetian
Photo Caption 4: Peter
and Irene Vosbikian's grandchildren
Photo Caption 5: Ben
Franklin Impersonator, Peter and Irene Vosbikian, and Rocky Balboa Impersonator
Photo Caption 6: Kevork
Artinian and Steve Vosbikian
Photo Caption 7: Aqua
String Band (Mummers)
Available online: http://bit.ly/2IexV2X
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