News 2013 and Before

SOAR-LA Another successful Casino Night

SOAR-LA wants to extend its deepest gratitude to all its supporters who took the time out of their busy holiday schedule to come and support our 4th Annual Casino Night Fundraising event! It was a huge success. Big thanks to all our supporters!! Special Thanks to Araksya Karapetyan for her involvement and support. Thank you Pandora Restaurant for generously hosting our event. Happy Holidays from us all!

SOAR-Paris Fills Sea Container for Our Lady of Armenia Center (September 2013):

In September 2013, SOAR-Paris filled a sea container valued at more than $96,000 of new clothes, new linens, new shoes, new hand towels, new mattresses, new mattress covers, new furniture, new hardware, and an array of large appliances for the Our Lady of Armenia Center Summer Camp in Tsaghgadzor. The camp hosts approximately 800 children annually ages 8 to 15 throughout the summer, in four 16-day sessions. The Camp provides nutritious food, physical rest, recreational activities, and religious-educational experiences both to institutionalized children and to other needy boys and girls.

SOAR-LA: Successful Gala

SOAR-LA held another successful annual gala on July 27th at the beautiful and picturesque Pasadena Mansions and Gardens. The set up was magical with elegant dining, open bar, desert bar and a complimentary copy of the book: “Mistrial” by famed attorneys; Mark Geragos and Pat Harris. The event was sold out and was attended by SOAR-LA’s long term supporters, families and friends. The MC was the beautiful and talented Fox 11 News Anchor, Araksya Karapetyan whose speech moved and motivated the crowd about the need to support and help the Armenian orphans. The guests of the evening were entertained by the world renowned violinist, Yelena Yegoryan in a trio string performance, who performed at the champagne and open bar reception. The Brazilian fire dancers entertained the guests with fire and carnival dancing. Ara Basil brought much laughter to the evening’s program with his hilarious comedy and jokes. A representative from SOAR national board, Raffi Jihanian, presented SOAR-LA chapter board with a letter of recognition for their support of a health care project at the GSCC orphanage in Armenia. We extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to Araksya for her effort, generosity and kindness! Thank you Araksya!!! We also thank our sponsors, silent auction and service donors for their commitment to support SOAR. We also thank our volunteers and board members for their unwavering commitment and effort in improving the lives of the Armenian orphans in Armenia, Javakh, Artsakh, Lebanon and Syria.

LA Gala

SOAR-LA: Prelate Highly Commends Humanitarian Work of SOAR

February, 2013: SOAR-Los Angeles co-presidents, Kohar Mardirossian Pelter and Tamar G. Arminak visited the Prelacy, to meet with H. E. the Archbishop, Moushegh Mardirossian seeking guidance in establishing connections with Birds’ Nest orphanage in Lebanon. SOAR-LA expresses its deepest gratitude to the Archbishop for his benevolent reception and for his blessings in support of SOAR’s work with the orphans. Following the visit, an official press release was done by the Prelacy in the following media: You can watch the Prelacy TV program on You Tube (March 17th program) and read about it on
Prelacy website in the NEWS section.

Prelacy’s Press Release:


The Prelacy received word from Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR) West Coast Regional Director Mrs. Kohar Mardirossian-Pelter that the organization recently established ties with the Birds' Nest School in Jbeil, Lebanon which serves under the auspices of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, and has already begun offering assistance to the children.

In February of 2013, Mrs. Mardirossian-Pelter and SOAR-Los Angeles Chapter Co-President Ms. Tamar Arminak met with H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and reported that SOAR is a non-profit organization established in 2006 which offers humanitarian relief to orphaned Armenian children in Armenia, Artsakh, and around the world, including Lebanon. They wished however to establish communication and ties in Jbeil to meet the needs specifically of the children at the Bird's Nest, and had come to the Prelacy for the Prelate's blessings and guidance on how to proceed.

The Prelate highly commended the humanitarian work of SOAR and their initiative to provide assistance to the children of the Birds' Nest. His Eminence brought this matter to the attention of His Holiness, by whose advice SOAR established communication with the directors of the Bird's Nest, and recently announced that the humanitarian relief has begun. The Prelate expressed his appreciation for this most recent benevolence.

SOAR-LA: Sorority Sisterhood of the Armenian Student Association, Alpha Gamma Alpha, holds its First Annual Fashion Show, "Imagine: Runway to Relief"

February 9, 2013: SOAR-Los Angeles is proud to announce that the sorority sisterhood of the Armenian Student Association, Alpha Gamma Alpha, held their first annual fashion show, "Imagine: Runway to Relief" at CSUN. The event was a huge success, much to the credit of the hard work of the sorority represented by the USC, UCSD, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UCLA and CSUN chapters. All proceeds will go to a health care project GSCC orphanage in Armenia as well as humanitarian relief to S. O. Kach orphans in Syria and Trchnotz Pouyn orphans in Lebanon. Our special thanks to AGA Philanthropy chair, Marine Piliposyan and the AGA senate for their support of SOAR-LA and the orphans. Also, special thanks to Violet Kanian and Ron Sarian for hosting the event and Yerevan Magazine for their coverage of the event. Special thanks to all the entertainers and designers who donated their talent and fashion designs for the fundraising efforts. Great job, AGA!!!!



SOAR-Northern California Sea Container Shipped To Armenia

March 6th, 2013 - The SOAR -Northern California chapter is pleased to announce that it has just shipped a large sea container with 81 mattresses to the Community Development and Social Support Center in Armenia. Thanks to the immense generosity of Hyatt Hotels which graciously donated full size mattresses and their spring boxes to benefit the children. Special thanks to the AMBERT Logistics, LLC who provided a deeply discounted cost for the sea container. Thank you Hyatt Hotels and Ambert Logistics!!!

The Bay Area chapter president, Linda Gozurian McMahon oversaw the packing and shipment of the container.

Congratulations to SOAR-Bay Area Chapter for this great effort!

SOAR-LA: Shipped Container of Goods to Armenia

SOAR-LA is so proud to announce that on November 28th, 2012 it successfully loaded a very large 44 ft sea container with humanitarian relief goods to benefit Armenian orphans and shipped it to Armenia!!! Thanks to very generous donations by numerous donors this became a huge humanitarian relief for the orphans and a big endeavor that we undertook with great success! Our deepest gratitude goes to all of SOAR-LA’s Board Members and Volunteers who spent many months collecting donations, packing, organizing and loading for shipment.



SOAR LA: Brunch Fundraiser with Michael Aram

SOAR-LA wants to thank everyone who came to the brunch with Michael Aram fundraiser event at Bloomingdales, Costa Mesa and huge thanks to Michael for his continued support!

SOAR LA: Casino Night

SOAR-LA held its 3rd annual Casino Royale event on November 10, 2012 at the Hilton Hotel in Glendale, CA. About 300 guests attended the event and enjoyed an evening of fantastic ambiance, fun games, great prizes and laughter with Ara Basil. A huge thank you to all SOAR-LA supporters, celebrities, sponsors and volunteers for making this event a big success! We raised enough funds to complete computer labs project and start working on the new projects as well as provide the orphanages with items much needed for cold winters and upcoming holidays. Thank you all for all your support and dedication!




SOAR Chicago: December 11, 2012

SOAR Chicago partnered with Bloomingdale’s Old Orchard and Michael Aram for a 3 hour personal signing and Charity shop. Michael and Bloomingdales donated 10% of the sales generated back to SOAR Chicago. $900.00 was raised was raised for The Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief!

SOAR LA: 2012 Distributions

Following its annual successful fundraiser, Wish Upon a Star, SOAR-LA has made the following Mid-Year distributions for 2012 to the orphanages it supports:

· 3 computer labs for Gavar, Nubarashen and Vardashen orphanages.
· Earmarked donations by philanthropists and SOAR-LA donors :
   - Humanitarian relief for Tsaghgadzor summer camp run by Sister Arousiag
   - Gifts for Kharpert orphans and Khor Virab trip for Zadig orphanage children
   - Renovation of a room at Kharpert Orphanage
· More distributions by SOAR-LA for projects at the orphanages:
   - Kharpert orphanage project
   - 3 orphanages in Lebanon: Ainjar, Bsomar and Aghajanian orphanages
   - Humanitarian relief to Artsakh’s (N-K) orphanages

The completion of 3 more computer labs, leaves ONLY ONE to be completed-the Houys orphanage’s computer lab. We hope that by the end of the year we will be able to complete that as well -thus fulfilling our EDUCATIONAL GOAL of establishing computer labs in all of the orphanages in Armenia!!!!! What an achievement everyone!! We did it!!

Total Funds raised by SOAR-LA from January to June, 2012: Over $ 66,000.00

Total Mid-Year, 2012 Distribution from SOAR-LA: $49,000

c. We are also preparing a SEA CONTAINER to be shipped to Armenia by fall, 2012, thanks to a fantastic donation by ROAR,inc and other generous and loyal donors.

The donations are valued at $ 220,000.00.

Total SOAR-LA distribution YTD to the orphanages it supports: $269,000.00.

SOAR-LA Thanks SOAR partners in Armenia: Sr. Arousiag, Siranoush Hovhanissian, and members of Yerevan SOAR chapter: Davit, Vahan and Andranik for their continued support to SOAR-LA in establishing the computer labs, projects and the distribution of the humanitarian relief to the orphanages of Armenia, Artsakh and Javakh.

SOAR Chicago: Balik-Jan Project

These ladies of Illinois from Saint Gregory’s Armenian Church in Chicago and Saint James Armenian Church in Evanston, love meeting and working to help the orphans for SOAR!! They are big fans of our organization and good friends. They meet bi-monthly and get together to knit and crochet items for the orphans. We have boxes going out filled with scarves , hats and blankets to Armenia thanks to their tremendous hearts, In picture shown From left to right Mary Kazarian, Pat Antaramian, Charlotte Bader, Annette Abajian.

SOAR Chicago: June 30, 2012

On June 30, 2012, the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR) Chicago Chapter hosted its 2nd annual rooftop fundraiser in downtown Chicago. Dr. Kevin and Deana Bargamian hosted the event on their rooftop overlooking Navy Pier on Lakeshore Drive. The guest speaker was George Yacoubian from Philadelphia, the National President and Founder of SOAR. George touched on the growth of SOAR as well as the many projects funded since 2006. SOAR recently updated its mission to include Armenian orphanages in Nagorno-Karabakh and Lebanon and an orphaned Armenian summer camp in Javakh.

SOAR-Chicago raised more than $8,000 to fund a computer lab at Nork Orphanage as well as provide financial support to the Our Lady of Armenia Summer Camp. "This event would not be possible without the many generous donations of the local community," stated Anne Galovich, President of the Chicago chapter. "It is so gratifying to receive such kind support from so many people. These donations helped us raise important funds that will be put to a much needed use in Armenia." The Chicago Chapter also produced an inspiring video that featured the progress and development of orphanages in Armenia. The beautiful evening ended with rainbow of fireworks overlooking the Navy Pier and with wonderful auction prizes enjoyed by many happy guests.


SOAR LA: June 16, 2012

Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief -LA chapter held their annual banquet fundraiser on June 16th in Pasadena, on the breathtaking grounds of Ambassador Mansions and Gardens. This was a beautiful event, that drew over 200 supporters and raised funds to complete building computer labs in three Armenian orphanages. Guests enjoyed sensational performance by the world renown violinist, Yelena Yegorian, beautiful tango dance show and an unforgettable comedy act by Ara Basil, all this followed by fine dinner with refreshments and dancing. Silent auction featuring one of a kind pieces by Michael Aram, fine jewlery, sports collectables and many other items was a great success and helped raise additional funds for this great cause. Guests marveled at the works of art by Sharm, who generously offered part of the sale proceeds to SOAR. Master of Ceremonies Mark Geragos shared his commitment to the cause and encouraged the guests to show their support for SOAR and Armenian orphans. Other celebrity guests included Shavo from System of a Down who also came with his family to support SOAR. Event was covered by Yerevan Magazine, which also offered free subscription to all guests as a thank you gift. SOAR wants to express sincere gratitude to all the donors, sponsors, guests and members who made this event such a huge success!

SOAR-LA thanks Kristina Gukasyan and all the staff of Yerevan Magazine for their outstanding coverage of our Wish Upon a Star event on June 16th and for their continued support of our cause!








SOAR LA: May 17, 2012

On May 17, 2012, SOAR-LA’s long time sponsors and supporters, Mr. & Mrs. Arthur and Lily Seredian, visited Kharpert and Zadig orphanages accompanied by SOAR partners; Sr. Arousiag and Mrs. Siranoush Hovhannissian. They were welcomed by the directors, staff and children, who presented beautiful performances in appreciation of their visit. The Seredians were very impressed by the quality of care, love and magnitude of the attention that these children were receiving and the difference SOAR makes in the lives of the orphans through its partners in Armenia. They gave the children gifts of hats and gloves and sponsored a field trip to Khor Virab and Madenataran.

We are grateful to the Seredians for their unwavering support and love of the children and thank them for taking the time to visit the orphanages. They loved it!

SOAR LA: June 2012

California Assemblyman Mike Gatto awards SOAR-LA with a letter of recognition for excellence!

Letter From Assemblyman Gatto

SOAR National: April 2012

SOAR was happy to provide Gyumri Social Childcare Center (GSCC) with funds for their Easter celebration. Kuhreestos harryav ee merrelotz - ornyal eh harrootyunuhn Kuhreestosee!


SOAR LA: March 16, 2012

Congratulations to Nayiri Khatchadourian for a very successful book drive on March 16th to benefit SOAR-LA. Over 1500 books and school supplies have been collected so far. The Book Drive continues through Thank you Nayiri for a job well done!

SOAR LA: 2011

SOAR-LA is proud to announce that 2011 has been a very successful year in fundraising. Thanks to the strong commitment of our donors, supporters, board members and volunteers, the LA chapter has raised close to $250,000 towards installation of 7 computer labs (OLA, Zadig, Vandzor, Trchoonian Home & SOS supported centers in 3 villages), medical supplies (Kharpert, Gavar) and humanitarian relief to Artsakh’s 2 orphanages ($10K) and to Javakh’s children ($5K) who live in extreme poverty in Georgia.

Let’s all not forget the abandoned and helpless Armenian children whose lives and future depend on us. Your continued support will help us fulfill our promise to make a difference in their lives and make them feel that they are not forgotten!

Make the Holidays special by donating to SOAR-LA , PO Box 69361, Los Angeles, CA 90069 to give an orphan the gift of love and knowledge.

We Thank Yerevan Magazine with great gratitude for their in-depth coverage of our event. Thank you Azzie!!!

SOAR LA: Dec 2011

Yerevan Magazine highlights Casino Royale event with this amazing article “ SOAR Goes All In for the Kids”. Thank you Yerevan Magazine for a terrific coverage!

SOAR LA: Dec 3, 2011

SOAR-LA celebrates another successful fundraiser which took place on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at the Fine Arts Building, Downtown, LA. The Casino Royale event, sponsored by famed attorney Mark Geragos, Arthur & Lily Seredian & Yerevan Magazine, featured many celebrity guests and sponsors, including talented actor, Hrach Titizian & Family, John & Hasmik Foundation trustees, and three time Emmy Award winning film producer, Bared Maronian.

From the venue (which was stunning), to the food, to the small details (red carpet), to the music, and everything in between, the evening was meticulously planned and exquisitely delivered. We owe much of our success to Mark Geragos and all of his Law firm staff who unconditionally support us in a BIG way! They are UNBELIEVABLE! That includes the fantastic food provided by Burger Continental. We can't thank Gary Hindoyan enough for his immense generosity in providing the food and drinks. THANK YOU MARK!

We also thank Azzie, Kristina, Armen and the entire Yerevan Magazine's staff who did an amazing job in media coverage of the event!

(Click the picture above to see the full gallery)

Special Thanks to Tamar and all the board members, volunteers, family and friends who worked so hard in making this event a great success! We also appreciate George Yacoubian (national president) flying out to LA in support of our efforts!

Our heartfelt thanks & gratitude to our supporters: Arthur & Lily Seredian, Drs Raffi & Myrna Mesrobian, Yerevan Magazine, Dr. Raffi Hovsepian, John & Hasmik Foundation, Dr. Armen Kassabian and many others, who value what we stand for and what we work hard for and that was reflective in the number of people who attended the event. We hope to continue to earn their trust and support in achieving our humanitarian goals.

At the end, when we have such successful fundraisers, we forget all the aches and pain of hard work and long hours in putting an event together because we know we have reached out to help a helpless and abandoned child in Armenia, Artsakh and Javakh.

Thank you ALL: sponsors, donors and supporters for a terrific year of successful fundraising! Proud to announce that SOAR-LA alone has distributed over $250,000 this year alone in projects, medical supplies and humanitarian relief for the orphanages of Armenia, Artsakh and Javakh!

Happy Holidays

Kohar Mardiros Pelter

Photo courtesy Yerevan Magazine

SOAR National: Nov/Dec 2011

SOAR was featured in the November/December 2011 issue of Yerevan Magazine! Click here to read the article!

SOAR-LA: June, 2011

Four orphanages in Armenia: Zadig, Hadug Tibi (HT), Vanadzor and Our Lady of Armenia Center(OLA) open the doors of their new computer labs funded by SOAR-LA in June 2011.

OLA’s computer lab opening took place on October 16, 2011 with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Mr. Papken Megerian, Siranoush Hovhannissian and the Board members of Yerevan chapter represented SOAR-LA at this heartwarming ceremony. Sr. Arousiag and staff expressed their sincere appreciation of the donation by a dedication plaque to SOAR-LA Board and volunteers.

We thank them all for their hard work and unwavering commitment for the children. Special thanks to Siranoush Hovhannissian who coordinated the entire computer project. We are glad that we are able to make a difference in the lives of the children. It is our pleasure to see them have the gift of knowledge.

SOAR-LA: September 20, 2011

SOAR-LA is proud to announce that a sizeable donation of medical supplies was successfully delivered to the Kharpert Orphanage in Yerevan, Armenia. The donation was made by Dr. R. Mokhtarian and Dr. Sorin Kazanjian (Glendale, CA) to SOAR-LA in January of 2011. After several months of packing and preparation, the 44 foot trailer was loaded with the help of Edward Mokhtarian (son of Dr. Mokhtarian) and many of SOAR-LA board members and volunteers. The donation included general medical supplies, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, scooters and other medical supplies which Dr. Balasanyan (the director of the orphanage) and his staff received early September of 2011!!! Representatives of Minister of Labor and Social Issues of Armenia: Mr. Artashes Kirakosyan (assistant to the minister of Labor and Social Issues) and Mrs. Lala Ghazaryan (head of the Family, Women and Children’s Issues) visited Kharpert Orphanage and expressed appreciation of the donation.

SOAR-LA greatly appreciates Edward Mokhtarian’s commitment and generosity as well as all SOAR-LA board members and volunteers who helped fulfill this task with unwavering commitment. Our special thanks to United Armenia Fund (UAF) and SOAR partners in Armenia for facilitating the shipment.This medical supply and equipment shipment is a significant donation which will aid the disabled and handicapped children of the Kharpert orphanage. We thank Dr. Mokhtarian and Dr. Kazanjian for their very generous gift to those children.

SOAR-LA: June 11, 2011

On June 11th SOAR-LA hosted a successful comedy, dinner and dance at the Hilton Hotel in Glendale. In a mesmerizing and exquisite setting, provided by the Hilton Hotel , the banquet hall looked magical . White ivory long stem orchid center pieces (donated by David Z florist) adorned the room. Friends, families and supporters of SOAR-LA- almost 300 guests in total- received an elegant reception with music played by a professional string trio; Gherman Markosian, Garik Terzian , and Alexander Kalman. Yerevan magazine photographer Armen and editor Ani Garibyan welcomed the guests in an exclusive red carpet style coverage!!!

Guests enjoyed delicious appetizers by Burger Continental, and an exclusive silent auction of art work (by Stephanie’s art gallery) as well as pieces of Lalique crystal, and Lladro statues (by Regali Preciozo). A Tahitian Island exotic cruise (by Paul Gauguin cruises) and Leela Hotel Stays in India, Carousel restaurant VIP gift certificates and Bloomingdale’s Glam makeover VIP packages and many other silent auction items also adorned the tables.

Among the distinguished celebrities and guests were Professor Hrayr Dekmejian, Sourpazan Vache Hovsepian and the Kassabian and Geragos family and friends. George Yacoubian, Sr. flew in from Philadelphia to represent SOAR national board in support of the evening. The event began with the legendary comedian Krikor Satamian bringing so much laughter and entertainment followed by distinguished attorney, Mark Geragos, MC of the event who presented honorees of the evening with awards of appreciation for their generous support. The honorees included Mr. & Mrs. Arthur and Lily Seredian, Drs. Robert Mokhtarian, Sorin Kazanjian (awards received by Edward Mokhtarian) and Mrs. Paulette Kassabian Geragos were honored for their generous donations and support of SOAR –LA.

The dinner, enjoyed by all, included mezzas and kebabs by Burger Continental, complimentary wine donated by Remedy Liquor, cake and baklava bar donated by Vrej pastry, and aromatic espresso/cappuccino bar by Café Epoque and Bradford coffee company. The guests danced and were entertained till 2 am with singer Harut Jekelian and his band’s fantastic songs and music.

SOAR-LA board and volunteers wish to express our gratitude to Mark and Paulette Geragos for their continued support of SOAR and its humanitarian mission.. We also thank Joe Titizian, the general manager of Hilton Hotel in Glendale, Kristina Gukasyan, and the entire team of Yerevan Magazine for their coverage of the event. And, above all, our deepest appreciation goes to all of our donors, sponsors, friends, families and supporters attended the event whose kind and generous donations are helping to fund the reconstruction of the Zadik orphanage’s farming village in Arzni, Armenia.

SOAR-LA: April 29, 2011

On April 29, 2011, Michael Aram made a personal appearance at Bloomingdale’s in Century Mall (Los Angeles, CA). A large crowd came to meet Michael in person and purchase many of his rare and elegant houseware pieces. SOAR-LA extends its gratitude to Michael for his remarkable generosity and kindness in donating 10% of these proceeds to SOAR-LA. We also wish to thank the Bloomingdale’s staff and management for their hospitality. SOAR-LA looks forward to a long-term partnership with Michael as we continue to assist orphaned Armenian children living in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Javakh.

SOAR-LA: April 8, 2011

SOAR-LA is proud to announce that Kharpert orphanage held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of its Medical Care Clinic facilities on April 8th, 2011. The complete renovation and refurnishing of the clinic was completed in February of 2011 and was sponsored fully by SOAR’s Los Angeles Chapter. Representatives from the Board of trustees and Yerevan chapter were present at the ceremony. In 2010, the board of SOAR Los Angeles inspired to renovate the outpatient treatment center at the Kharpert orphanage in Armenia, after assessing its serious deteriorating conditions and need for renovation. This treatment center is an important area for medical care where 300+ physically and mentally disabled children receive care and treatment. Infestations of mold and rust have led to completely deteriorating conditions which in turn made it impossible for the children to receive adequate and humane care. By December 2010, SOAR-LA Board members¾ with the support of many of its volunteers, loyal donors, and supporters¾ were able to successfully raise $35,000 to completely renovate and furnish the treatment center. SOAR –LA expresses its special thanks to George Yacoubian (national president & founder), Dr. Balasanyan (director of the orphanage) and Ms. Siranoush Hovhannissian (SOAR representative in Armenia) for leading the project to completion. Our sincere gratitude goes to Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Seredian and Mark and Paulette Geragos, board members and volunteers for their unwavering dedication to the orphans. Ultimately, we want to thank all of our supporters without whom such accomplishments could not have happened.