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Gala Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of St. SarkisArmenian Apostolic Church in San Diego

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, District Attorney Summer Stephan, and U.S. Special Representative for Subnational Diplomacy Ambassador Nina Hachigian-Day joined His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and Parish Priest the Very Reverend Dz. V. Berjekian and over 240 guests on February 4 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church in San Diego. The event took place in the ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in La Jolla.

The elegant gathering was a tremendous success for St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, with attendees making substantial contributions, raising $142,000. In addition to the contributions from the event, the continued kindness of the church’s Grand-Benefactors, Mr. and Mrs. David and Lois Butterfield, generously donated $200,000.

“I was honored to join the Armenian-American community to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their magnificent building here in San Diego. The Armenian community is a vibrant, productive part of San Diego's multi-cultural population, and I congratulate them on realizing their goal of building a new sanctuary,” Mayor Gloria remarked.

The elegant, black-tie optional dinner and dance, organized by a committee chaired by Kathy Kassardjian and Melina Ounjian, featured the Allen G Orchestra from Los Angeles and was MC’ed by Zanni Kalaydjian. A choir led by Sona Baghdasaryan opened the program with the national anthems of the U.S and Armenia. Parish Priest, the Very Reverend Pakrad Berjekian, led the audience in prayer, followed by a lively live auction that succeeded in auctioning stays at Mexican Riviera and Californian coastal resorts, tickets to the American Music Awards, a dinner package from Phil’s BBQ, a catering gift, and valuable art.

“All of the funds raised by the live and silent auction will go toward supporting the St. Sarkis Armenian Church. The Church’s goal is to expand the church’s facilities and create a space for community and young people events. It was gratifying to see so many people rise to the challenge and give so generously,” co-chair Kathy Kassardjian stated.

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, shared a spiritual lesson and offered a prayer for the strength and support of Armenians locally and especially in Artsakh and Armenia during the current crisis.

The successful Saturday dinner was followed by another commemoration on Sunday. Archbishop Derderian led the Badarak at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, followed by a widely-attended luncheon, organized by the Parish Council.

“They were awesome, well-organized events with a positive outcome celebration the past two days. I strongly believe that God will provide! Your input for the benefit and blossoming of our church community has been visible and many appreciated the work done! For such a small community this kind of work and quality is rare to see elsewhere! God bless you all and look forward to many more successful events,” Father Pakrad stated to the Gala Committee.


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