ANCA Burbank Hosts Annual Armenian Christmas Gathering

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ANCA- Christmas- New Years Program (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Armenian National Committee of America Burbank hosted its Annual Armenian Christmas Gathering at the Armenian Cultural Foundation Beshir Mardirossian Burbank Youth Center on Monday, January 9.

The occasion celebrates the efforts of ANCA Burbank and its allies in addressing issues related to the Armenian people of Burbank, as well as broader issues throughout the city. Over 60 people were in attendance, including members of ANCA Burbank, elected officials, police and fire personnel, city employees, and other community leaders who support the organization. Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Burbank Vice Mayor Nick Schultz, Burbank City Councilmembers Zizette Mullins and Nikki Perez, Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Matt Hill, Burbank Police Chief Michael Albanese, Burbank Fire Chief Eric Garcia, and representatives of Senator Anthony Portantino, Rep. Adam Schiff, and Assemblymember Laura Friedman were among those present. 

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

ANCA Burbank Chair Sarkis Simonian began the event by wishing everyone a happy new year and acknowledging the elected officials and their representatives who appeared at the get-together while the crowd was served homemade Armenian food and desserts. Next, Barger gave a speech, and ACF Burbank Chair Antranik Charjafjian spoke about how the blockade of the Lachin corridor is impacting 120,000 people in Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

For Simonian, a highlight of the event was “talking to friends from all walks of life/organizations in the city in a relaxed, open, and friendly environment while enjoying good food and drinks,” he says. In addition, he states that the ANCA Burbank Christmas ceremony represents the harmonious relationship between the organization and many impactful contributors to Burbank. Simonian believes gatherings like this one convey to the Armenian community that there is a group that is dedicated to “looking after them” locally. 

“It symbolized the mutual respect and cooperation between ANCA and elected officials, the city and community leaders and assures the Armenian population in Burbank that there’s an organization that is looking after them and Armenian causes in the city,” Simonian said of the celebration.

In 2023, Simonian and other members of ANCA Burbank intend to continue collaborating with other local organizations. They also plan on presenting the BUSD with the idea of a possible Armenian dual immersion program. Furthermore, Simonian says ANCA Burbank is organizing a citywide health and wellness fair for underserved communities in the coming months, which is to be funded through a grant from Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center. Moving forward, The ANCA Burbank team remains passionate about assisting all of the people who make up Burbank. 

“It’s always a pleasure to see the community join together for an event and especially this one, since it’s a celebration of the community!” Simonian said. “We look at the city as one large community regardless of ethnicity, and we understand that if one part suffers, the rest suffers too, and we work diligently to support all communities.”

To learn more about ANCA Burbank, visit their Facebook page here.