ARS Eastern USA Sponsors ‘Have a Heart’ Soseh Kindergarten Fundraiser

Every organization pours its heart and soul into its projects, hoping to achieve success and make a difference. So it was on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, for the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Eastern USA, and its “Have a Heart for the Children of Stepanakert” Soseh Kindergarten project fundraiser. Hosted by Willard B. Taylor and Virginia Davies, in their beautiful Manhattan penthouse, and serenaded by violinist Diana Vasilian, this special event was a lovely way to spend Valentine’s Day, surrounded by enthusiastic and caring supporters who truly wanted to make a difference.

UN Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discusses Nagarno-Karabagh

The ARS Soseh Kindergarten was established in 1998, in Stepanakert, the capital of the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR/Artsakh) to meet the needs of the children whose fathers were soldiers in the Artsakh War. It quickly became the model for 12 such facilities throughout Karabagh. The original building was constructed in 1954 and had subsequently fallen into disrepair. The NKR Seismic Service found the building to be hazardous, and ordered the closure of the kindergarten. With that, the ARS Central Executive Board proposed a new building, complete with a technology center and underground bunker to serve as a shelter in the event of bombing. The old building was taken down last year and a groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new building in October 2015. The project is slated for completion by 2017. This new state-of-the-art facility is a welcome project in Stepanakert, as it will serve as a kindergarten and daycare center for children aged 3 to 6 years old. Students will receive their nursery school education, along with two hot meals daily, in this loving environment.

Talin Daghlian welcomes attendees

Guests were welcomed by Suzanne Azarian, Fundraising Committee liaison. ARS Eastern Region chairwoman Talin Daghlian thanked those present for “having a heart,” for being there on a special holiday, and for supporting the ARS building project. She gave a brief history of the ARS, explained the purpose of the Soseh Kindergarten, how it began, and the ways in which the ARS will take it into the future. Very Reverend Father Zareh Sarkissian represented Prelate Srpazan Choloyan and blessed the table.

Armenia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, was the guest speaker. He spoke of having visited the area, and how appreciative the soldiers—who provide safety and security—were that he visited them. In this dangerous post, every soldier risks his life for the love of country, to defend the land, and to secure the future of Karabagh and our heritage there. In his capacity at the United Nations, Mnatsakanyan shared his challenge of keeping Artsakh and Armenia in the eyes of the world community, which, in turn, will garner partnerships to help solve problems, both economic and social, and ensure the safety and integrity of the borders.

Fundraising Chairwoman Angele Manoogian and UN Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

Fundraising chairwoman Angele Manoogian presented the goals and achievements of the Soseh Kindergarten program and inspired those present to continue to support this worthwhile endeavor. She explained how well-cared for these children are in the kindergartens, and how necessary the daycare center is to the economy, as it enables mothers to work, especially in single-income homes. Manoogian proudly announced the donors and their contributions to this fundraising event, including several very generous donations, and thanked everyone for their part in making the building a reality. After covering the cost of the building itself, the ARS hopes to create an Endowment Fund to maintain the kindergarten, so that it will be self-sufficient and continue to provide the social, economic, and educational services needed in Stepanakert.

One of the donors present, Dennis Tarzian, shared the pictures he took when he visited the kindergarten two years ago—a visit that inspired him to support the new project. Later, Linda Tarzian thanked Ambassador Mnatsakanyan for his efforts, and invited him to include the ARS as partners on the ground at a grassroots level.

The ARS was established in 1910 to meet the humanitarian needs of Armenians in crisis and continues to provide aid, seeking to preserve the Armenian culture through education and scholarships. Today, ARS, Inc. has more than 18,000 members worldwide. The ARS of Eastern USA is one such region, with 1,200 members and 32 chapters located in states east of the Mississippi River.

ARS, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) charitable, tax-exempt organization. A special “Evergreen Tree” was created to determine sponsorship levels. Those wishing to support the Soseh Kindergarten building project in Stepanakert may contribute $200 per Tree Leaf, $1,500 per Tree Branch, and $5,000 per Tree Root. Paver Stones in the playground are available for naming at $500 per paver. In addition, rooms will be named with a plaque for each classroom ($25,000) and hall ($50,000).

Hostess Virginia Davies welcomes attendees

Valentin Berberian, Linda Tarzian, Hilda Haroutunian, and Suzanne Azarian

Saro Haroutunian, Dennis Tarzian, Peter Bonjuklian, and Michael Azarian

Angele Manoogian and Dennis Tarzian review the project

Hayr Sourp and Councelor Mikayel Sarukhanyan

Angele Manoogian presents donations

Edna Gallo and Houry Geudelekian

ARS Eastern region Chairwoman Talin Daghlian and Margie Babikian Medina

Violinist Diana Vasilian

Bagrad Isakanian and Sue Aramian

Attendees enjoying the conservatory

Attendees enjoy the buffet

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: ARS Eastern USA Sponsors ‘Have a Heart’ Soseh Kindergarten Fundraiser

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