LOS ANGELES—More than 500 community leaders, supporters, and generous donors attended the Armenian Educational Foundation’s 70th Anniversary Gala.
The momentous event was held on January 26.at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel. The gala opened at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.
The evening kicked off with a performance of the American and Armenian national anthems sung by Talia Avedissian and Araz Arabian, students from Mesrobian School and Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School, respectively. Both schools were co-founded by the AEF as pillars of education for Armenian students in America.
Opening remarks were made by AEF President Peter Baghdassarian, who welcomed guests and thanked committee members for making the sold-out event a big success.
Afterwards, Baghdassarian introduced Armine Haroyan, AEF’s administrator in Yerevan, who herself was an AEF scholarship recipient.
Haroyan shared with the audience the impact of AEF’s generosity on her life and the lives of hundreds of other scholarship recipients in Armenia.
AEF Vice President Dr. Aida Rechdouni then introduced Vahik Petrossian, the recipient of AEF’s Lifetime Service Award for his decades of service to the organization. This recognition prompted an anonymous donation of $50,000 in honor of Petrossian.
Following remarks made by Dr. Rechdouni, Committee Chair Al Cabraloff introduced AEF’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Sam and Silva Simonian. The Simonians were honored for their pioneering work in bringing technical education to Armenia by funding and establishing TUMO Center for Creative Technologies.
Mr. and Mrs. Simonian were also honored by Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia, as the couple was awarded the prestigious Mesrob Mashdotz Medal, which was presented to them by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian.
The AEF Gala Banquet is held to help raise funds for AEF’s charitable programs, including computer engineering labs in village schools, university scholarship awards, school renovation projects, and other education related programs.
To learn more about AEF or to become a member, scholarship sponsor or donor please call the AEF office at 818.242.4154, or visit AEF’s website.