San Francisco – Over 200 Armenian Young Professionals from around the globe gathered in San Francisco, California for the 10th Winter Gala Getaway Weekend on February 20, 2009. The annual affair, organized by AGBU Young Professionals of Northern California (AGBU-YPNC), raised $6,000 for scholarships at the AGBU-funded American University of Armenia (AUA), an American-accredited university.
The Winter Gala is an opportunity for friends, new and old, to network with fellow professionals of Armenian descent in a friendly social setting. The weekend began at Cossu, a San Francisco hotspot, where DJ Raffy spun his international beats all night long.
On Saturday, guests took advantage of the unusually sunny and warm weather to plan city tours, visit landmarks and shop in Union Square.
After a day of relaxation and exploration, guests traveled to the city’s SOMA district for the Gala Evening at San Francisco’s 111 Minna Art Gallery against a backdrop of breathtaking skyline and Minna’s edgy, contemporary artwork. Rev. Father Nercess Balabanyan of the Armenian Calvary Church gave a heartfelt blessing, followed by a warm welcome from Gala Chairpersons Steven Cherezian and Arsineh Ghazarian.
"The Winter Gala is, hands down, the most incredible Armenian event I have ever attended," Ghazarian said. "It brings Armenians from around the world together for an amazing weekend and unites them under a shared purpose — support of an Armenian cause."
On behalf of the AGBU Central Board of Directors, AGBU YP Liaison Kim Yacoubian from New York presented a special award to the AGBU Young Professionals of Northern California Chairwoman Emily Kluczynski and former Chairman Edward Minasian to mark the group’s 10-year anniversary and a decade of extraordinary service to the Armenian community and to AGBU. As one of AGBU’s first YP Groups established in 1998, AGBU YP Northern California has matured into a formidable presence serving the YP community in the Bay area as well as the AGBU family.
Back by popular request, Khatchig Jingirian and his band provided the musical entertainment for the evening and the party continued with a post-dance event at the world-renowned nightclub Ruby Skye. Weekend festivities officially concluded with a private brunch at Rouge and Blanc Wine Bar, which was catered by the chef at the neighboring Café De La Presse.
"There is real joy in bringing Armenians together in our gorgeous city for a really great cause," exclaimed Gala committee member, Alison Ekizian. "It’s exciting to draw our community together and twice as rewarding to do it in the spirit of philanthropy."
The AGBU-YPNC chose the AUA as this year’s recipient for their annual philanthropy. The funds will go towards providing scholarships for outstanding AUA students. "Education is one of the best ways we can give back to Armenia," says AGBU-YPNC Chair Emily Kluczynski. "Helping the students of today helps the Armenia of tomorrow."
Filed under: AGBU Press Office |