December 21, 2016
On December 16, AGBU Western District hosted its Volunteer Appreciation Night at the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Center. Boyajian Hall was decorated with festive colors to welcome over 140 special guests. The volunteers trickled into the hall as Christmas songs played in the background. The room quickly filled up and holiday cheer infused the air. The Saxophonist serenaded the audience while they indulged in the delicious dinner. The program officially started when Western District Vice Chair, Hagop Sepetjian, took the stage. He welcomed the guests by highlighting all of the groups who committed their time to the organization in 2016. He recapped the year by enumerating major special events hosted by the committees and thanked everyone for their dedication to the AGBU. Sepetjian then invited WD Chair, Talin Yacoubian, who shared her gratitude with the audience of volunteers. During her speech, she touched on the difficulties the Armenian community faced throughout the year including the tragedies in Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh, and shared her wish for a safer and happier New Year.
The Western District had planned a surprise for a very special staff member. Yacoubian introduced AGBU Central Board Vice President, Sinan Sinanian, to help present the award. Yacoubian introduced the staff member by stating “This person has devoted over 30 years to the Western District, knows who everyone is, and is the person we all turn to anytime we have a question or need a phone number. Does everyone know who I’m talking about?” The volunteers responded enthusiastically in concert with one another “Shake!” Yacoubian confirmed their guess and invited Shake Toumayan to the stage. Sepetjian escorted her to the front of the room and the two of them joined Yacoubian and Sinanian on stage. Toumayan was presented the award, as the three board members thanked her for her devotion to the organization and her tireless efforts for the Western District.
A slideshow of memories projected in the hall as the official closing of the program for the evening, the volunteers were then invited to trim the tree. The scouts initiated the tree trimming ceremony by hanging the first few ornaments. Soon after all of the guests picked out their favorite ornament and merrily decorated the tree bringing the evening to an end.