AYF N.Y. ‘Hyortik’ and St. Sarkis Armenian Church Raise More Than $12,000 for Artsakh Soldiers

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DOUGLASTON, N.Y. (A.W.)—The Saint Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church of Douglaston and the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF-YOARF) “Hyortik” Junior and Senior chapters hosted an event on March 18, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Artsakh Liberation Movement and in support of the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund.

Event participants stand proudly with the flags of Armenia and Artsakh (Photo: AYF-YOARF “Hyortik”)

After the event’s opening with the Armenian National Anthem, Mer Hayrenik, Danny Megerian, an executive member of the AYF-YOARF “Hyortik” Senior chapter and the event’s Master of Ceremonies, welcomed parishioners and supporters, who had packed the church hall.  Megerian introduced a fellow AYF member, 11-year-old “Hyortik” Junior chapter executive member Aris Bedros Givelekian, who played a piece on the piano dedicated to Artsakh soldiers.

After Aris’ moving performance, Razmig Arzoumanian, co-founder of the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund (co-founded with Chris Petrossian) and board member, made a moving and inspiration presentation about Armenian soldiers in Artsakh.  He discussed the the importance of sending funds to the troops in order to purchase lifesaving kits, provide training for the soldiers on how to use the kits, and to invest in the rehabilitation for our wounded soldiers.

Razmig Arzoumanian addresses the crowd (Photo: AYF-YOARF “Hyortik”)

Although some of the footage shared was heart wrenching, the young AYF members present appreciated the sheer bravery and resilience of the young Armenian soldiers. One of the soldiers, Sargis Stepanyan, who lost both his legs and one arm during a rescue mission for one of his fellow soldiers, did not let his disability stop him.  He went on to win the World Cup Championship in Arm-wrestling in 2017, and continues to inspire Armenian youth with his spirit and determination.

Aris Bedros Givelekian plays a song dedicated to Artsakh soldiers (Photo: AYF-YOARF “Hyortik”)

The event was organized under the Auspices of His Excellency Mr. Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, the permanent representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations, who addressed the crowd.  Mnatsakanyan provided historical details, especially regarding the last 30 years in Artsakh, since the beginning of the liberation movement. He noted that regardless of the enemy’s attempts, the Armenian soldiers remain strong and determined not to give up even an inch of land.

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, the permanent representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations addresses the crowd (Photo: AYF-YOARF “Hyortik”)

Saint Sarkis Church’s very own Father Nareg Terterian then took the podium and delivered a moving speech about the importance of supporting our troops. He also noted that whatever happens in Artsakh and Armenia will always affect and impact the lives of the Diaspora Armenians, and stressed the importance of Diasporan Armenian communities doing their part to show moral and financial support.

The parish was also able to raise over $12,000 in a few hours, thanks to the generosity of parishioners and the auxiliary bodies of Saint Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church.  One of the touching moments was when a 10-year-old AYF member named Ani Fiesel raised her hand to donate $10 out of her piggy bank.  Not only was this a memorable event, which raised funds for Artsakh soldiers, but it also raised awareness—especially among the youth. The event concluded with the singing of Giligia.

AYF “HYortik” executive members with Ambassador Mnatsakanyan (center), Arzoumanian (second from right) and Father (far right) (Photo: AYF-YOARF “Hyortik”)

The event proved to be an important collaboration between Father Nareg Terterian, who made the event possible; the Sunday School Church volunteers, who prepared a beautiful mezza table for the parishioners; and the AYF-YOARF “Hyortik” chapter members, who put the program together.

When communities and sister organizations come together for a common cause, it is amazing what wonderful things can happen…

The post AYF N.Y. ‘Hyortik’ and St. Sarkis Armenian Church Raise More Than $12,000 for Artsakh Soldiers appeared first on The Armenian Weekly.

Source: Armenian Weekly
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