WORCESTER — On Saturday, October 29, The Armenian Churches of Worcester County will hold the 5th Annual Benefit Dance at the Cultural Center of the Armenian Church of Our Saviour at 34 Boynton St., from 7 pm to midnight. The dance will be an inspiring and fun evening dedicated to raising funds for Syrian Armenian resettlement efforts in North America.
Live Armenian music will be played by local musical legends Mark DerMugrditchian (clarinet, dumbek); Richard Kazarian (clarinet); E
ddie Melikian (oud, vocals); Brad Perch (oud); Kevin Magarian (guitar); Mike Gregian (dumbek, vocals); Charlie Dermenjian (dumbek, vocals); and Henri Bahnan (vocals).
The entire host committee is humbled to come together for the fifth year in service and solidarity to support Syrian Armenians as they resettle in North America.
Since the start of the crisis in Syria in 2011, hundreds of Armenian families have fled to other countries to avoid the atrocities of the ongoing war. In most cases, these families have spent their finances for their travel to other countries and by the time they arrive in Montreal, they are left with hardly any financial resources. Churches like The First Armenian Evangelical Church of Montreal help those families who have no local relatives.
Everyone in the Greater Worcester Community and beyond is invited to the dance on Saturday, October 29. All proceeds will go to Syrian Armenian Resettlement Efforts in North America and into the numerous directives aimed at helping those who are resettling to lead fulfilling lives in their new communities.
There will include a cash bar, mezze of delicious Armenian and Middle Eastern delicacies, a raffle, and dancing to the live Armenian music by legendary local artists.
It all started five years ago when a group of individuals felt it in their hearts to help Armenians in need while at the same time, bring together members of the churches. The dance committee was formed from members of all of the five Armenian churches in the Worcester area. They voted on charities to donate to with all proceeds to be shared among the charities. Last year, in 2015, two organizations were chosen with Armenians in Syria being one. This year, in 2016, committee members voted to donate everything to Armenians leaving Syria and settling in North America.
In the words of two of the benefit dance committee members: “After watching recent events of the destruction of lives of fellow Armenians living in Syria, it is extremely sad to see what is happening to our brothers and sisters who are caught in this civil war. It can be said that there are many Armenian Americans residing locally who have relatives who are dying and suffering. For them, it is heartbreaking to see what is happening. It is unimaginable putting ourselves in these peoples’ life-altering positions. We can’t help but think back to our grandparents when many of them left our homeland fleeing war, death and destruction. They found hope and resilience decades ago. We know that today, Syrian Armenians can have bolstered hope and resilience when we stand in support and solidarity with them.”
“Now more than ever, these brothers and sisters need our help. If we can help just one family start a new life, not having to worry about bombs going off, having enough food and water, and restoring smiles on children’s faces, we have completed our objective. Our past efforts have been successful because of the support that we have received from the Worcester Community. We would hope and know that they would continue to support us again.”
For over 100 years, the Armenian Churches of Worcester County have been leaders and contributors for the advancement of the Greater Worcester community through their faith, fellowship and Armenian culture and values. They are The Armenian Church of the Martyrs, Armenian Church of Our Saviour, Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, and Soorp Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church.
The First Armenian Evangelical Church of Montreal is collaborating with the “Hay Doun” organization in conjunction with the Canadian Government to obtain immigration rights for Syrian refugees. To date, 800 families have arrived in Montreal and another 800 families are expected to arrive in the coming months at an approximate rate of 150 families per month. The Church welcomes the Syrian Armenian families who arrive in Montreal and offers moral, spiritual and psychological support; provides temporary housing in the Church complex or at homes of families within the Church and the Armenian community at large; pays for hotel rooms; orients the families to integrate in the city life, such as administrative support, transportation, schooling, learning the language, finding jobs, helps them to find affordable housing and in some cases provides the rent of initial months; and provides all kinds of basic furnishing and warm clothing. The Armenian Missionary Association of America is also assisting the Church financially to continue this ministry.
Volunteer and giving opportunities exist. For more information on purchasing tickets, volunteer and giving opportunities, or other ways to get involved in this effort, contact Jay Kapur at 508-740-4464 or [email protected]
Learn more about Resettlement Efforts:
The First Armenian Evangelical Church of Montreal: http://hayavedmontreal.com Hay Doun: http://www.haydoun.ca
Armenian Missionary Association of America: www.amaa.org
Learn more about the Armenian Churches of Greater Worcester County:
Armenian Church of the Martyrs: http://www.macucc.org
Armenian Church of Our Saviour: http://www.acoos.org
Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church: https://www.facebook.com/HTAAC
Soorp Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church: http://www.armenianchurchofwhit.org