|By Michelle Hagopian, ANCA Eastern Region Executive Director
We’re just over a month away from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern Region’s 6th Annual Banquet, which will be held in Mahwah, N.J., on Dec. 1. The hype is building, and rightfully so: This is a major event for our region because of the amount of support we receive leading up to and on the day of the event.
Every year, the banquet draws hundreds of supporters from the region and beyond, including people who have supported the ANCA for years, or those who have just recently started donating to our cause.
Some of the calls I’ve received over the past few weeks have been from new friends who are curious about what the ANCA does. All of these people are valuable to us, and all of them will be in attendance on Dec. 1.
What is the banquet exactly? It’s an evening full of wonderful things, from an elegant silent auction and cocktail reception (beginning at 6:30 p.m.) to a full dinner and program (at 8 p.m.). It’s an opportunity for the ANCA Eastern Region to recognize individuals who have long fought for or represented Armenian-Americans. This year, we will honor Baroness Caroline Cox with the ANCA Freedom Award and Richard Hovannisian with the Vahan Cardashian Award. Both have contributed to the Armenian cause in significant ways, and the region will tip our hats off to them in this small gesture.
The banquet also showcases all that the ANCA has done in the region. You’ll see and hear of successful political ventures, such as helping the D.C. office identify politicians who are friends of the Armenian cause. Maybe you know of an ANCA activist who has volunteered for a campaign this election season or who has helped pass an Armenian Genocide resolution in her home state. The Eastern Region sent a few students to D.C. this summer to participate in the Leo Sarkisian Internship Program, which has been possible thanks to our supporters.
Our Eastern Region office here in Watertown has been working with a few area college students who want to help out. They’ve been creating databases, collecting articles of interest to us in American newspapers, and sharing their ideas about how to reach out to young people. Wouldn’t it be great to see more young faces at the banquet?
The ANCA thrives because of its volunteers and activists, but we are sustainable because of your support. A grassroots effort doesn’t manifest itself from some bigwig CEOs of a Fortune 500 company. We have relied on the generosity of our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues.
As the banquet approaches, I ask you to consider how you want your views to be represented. The ANCA will always put the values and issues of the Armenian-American community before any political or financial allegiances.
Your donation will go a long way in helping our goals come to fruition, whether at the local, state, federal, or international level.
Please consider donating to the ANCA and attending the banquet on Dec. 1. You can make reservations by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the office at (617) 923-1918. Or you can mail your contribution to ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund, 80 Bigelow Ave., Watertown, MA 02472.
On behalf of the ANCA Eastern Region, thank you in advance for your support. If you want to get involved with ANCA, please contact me directly by e-mailing email@example.com.