June 28, 2022
The AGBU LA Special Events Committee held a fundraising event on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at the Manoogian-Demirdjian School’s Nazarian Center in Canoga Park, California to benefit AGBU Camp Nairi.
Created in 2021 to serve the children of fallen and injured soldiers from Artsakh, Camp Nairi is located in Hankavan in Armenia’s Kotayk province, offering scenic views and wide outdoor spaces as well as interior facilities to accommodate 200 campers over two 2-week sessions. Now in its second year, the camp features an array of outdoor and indoor recreational activities and learning opportunities with options to participate in hiking, sports, arts and crafts, theatre, discovery expeditions, and much more.
Most notably, there are activities specifically designed to address the trauma and loss these children suffered as a result of the Second Artsakh War. By connecting with peers who have undergone similar experiences, these children can begin the process of healing—developing meaningful friendships and feeling safe to express their emotions with staff and professionals trained in childhood trauma and therapy.
The fundraiser was hosted by Hovig Antabian as master of ceremonies. The national anthems were performed by Varant Avanessyan and the Invocation conducted on behalf of the Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian by Father Kevork Abyan. Asdghig Dadourian, AGBU LA Special Events Committee Chair, made opening remarks and recited poetry of Kevork Emin.
Anna Baronian, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, was the special guest of the evening. Last year, Baronian spent countless hours at Camp Nairi, volunteering to provide therapy to the campers. She plans to return this year to serve the needs of the children, many of whom will be returning as well.
Live entertainment was provided by Daniel Sarafian, Tavit Samuelian and Aram Lepedjian. At the conclusion, the results of Silent Auction were presented by Janine Soukiasian, Esq. and Tina Mamian.
Many thanks to all who supported the Committee, attended the event, and donated to this inspired cause focused on children of war. A special thanks to the AGBU Asbeds, AGBU LA Veterans, Ani Sarkissian, the Organization of Istanbul Armenians, and the Compatriotic Union of Hadjin for their generosity. Their support will make it possible for these children to be enriched by the summer camp experience in a nurturing and peaceful setting.