California Assemblymember Chris Holden Secures $2 Million in State Funding for the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Camp

August 2, 2023

VALYERMO, CA – California Assemblymember Chris Holden has secured $2,000,000 in the California State Budget for the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Camp, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). The funds will be allocated for much-needed safety improvement, infrastructure upgrades, and expansion, as well as programmatic funding for the AYF’s two campgrounds in Big Pines and Twin Valley near Wrightwood.

“I have long stood beside the Armenian community here in our district and abroad, and it is my honor to be able to assist the youth in this community. The success of our future depends on our young people having the resources, support, and representation that they need to be the best that they can be, and these camps serve as a space for mentorship and comradery. It will be a pleasure to see this funding aid in important renovations and reinforce the value that these camps bring to our district,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden.

“On behalf of the ANCA I would like to express our profound gratitude for Assemblymember Holden’s work in securing this vital financial support for AYF Camp,” remarked ANCA National Board member Aida Dimejian. “AYF Camp has served as a cultural and educational bedrock for the Armenian-American community of Southern California for generations and continues to play an integral role in cultivating the next generation of our community’s leaders. With this support, AYF Camp will be able to not only continue this invaluable work – but expand its programs to uplift and empower our community’s youth.”

Assemblymember Chris Holden represents the 41st Assembly District, which is anchored in Pasadena and includes the San Gabriel Mountains and foothill communities. Assemblymember Holden has been a long-time friend and ally of the Armenian-American community, working closely with the ANCA Pasadena Chapter to ensure the needs of the local community are met.

“ANCA Pasadena thanks Assemblymember Holden for his long-standing commitment to representing his Armenian constituents,” remarked ANCA Pasadena Chair Shoghig Yepremian. “Support for our community’s programs, institutions and infrastructure is critical to promoting the growth and prosperity of the Armenian-American community. We’re grateful to call Assemblymember Holden a friend and ally, and we look forward to working with him to advance our community’s collective voice.”

Established in 1977, AYF Camp is a California non-profit organization that offers a wide range of educational, recreational, cultural, and leadership programs catering to the diverse interests and needs of the Armenian-American community’s youth during its Summer and Winter programs – as well as hosting other community and faith-based organizations during other times throughout the year. AYF Camp recently acquired the Twin Valleys Camp in order to expand its offerings.

“We are incredibly thankful for the partnership with Assemblymember Holden, and his monumental efforts to secure this level of funding for our Camp,” said Serop Chalian, Chairman of the AYF Camp Management Board. “Not only will this allow us to make renovations to our camps, but it also reinforces the value that our camp brings to the Armenian Community in California. This is a huge moment for our entire AYF Camp family. We know our strength lies in our youth and our unity. Together, our volunteers and supporters have worked hard to build a positive and fun environment for our youth to enjoy. With the events taking place in Armenia and the blockade in Artsakh, it’s important to have spaces where our youth can cultivate culture, share ideas, and become leaders. This news will ensure continued growth in the years to come.”

Assemblymember Holden has demonstrated consistent leadership on issues of importance to the Armenian-American community. Earlier this year, he led a joint resolution in the State of California which was adopted with overwhelming support that condemned Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh and urged the United States to take immediate action to hold Azerbaijan’s brutal regime accountable for its policy of ethnic cleansing.

Last year, Assemblymember Holden successfully led efforts to establish a sister-state relationship between the State of California and the Armenian province of Syunik. The measure came amidst Azerbaijan’s escalating territorial claims against the region and its constant recourse to terrorizing the region’s residents – culminating in its military assault and occupation of significant portions of Syunik’s territory in September 2022, which displaced several thousand residents and saw horrific human rights abuses perpetrated against prisoners of war. The passage of the ACR 105 resolution by the California State Legislature on the establishment of a sister state relationship between the State of California and the Syunik province of Armenia was a milestone step in empowering the region’s population amidst Azerbaijan’s brazen threats.

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Alex Galitsky
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street NW Washington, DC 20036 | | @anca_dc
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