WATERTOWN, Mass.,—In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, more than 450 supporters attended ABMDR New England’s Comedy Night. The benefit event, held on May 11 at the Keljik Hall of St. James Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown, featured the Demq Show, a renowned ensemble of stand-up comedians; and the acclaimed stand-up comedian Antic.
Produced by Gor Kirakosian, the Demq Show kept the laughs coming throughout the first half of the event, as comedians Armen, Levon, Davo, and Artak performed a wealth of anecdotes and skits, delivered in both Eastern- and Western-Armenian with some sprinkles of English. An equally hilarious performance was on tap during the second part of the show, as Antic enthralled the audience with his fast-paced quips and jokes. The comedy was paired with appetizers and cocktails.
As he thanked the Demq Show, Antic, and supporters of the event, Master of Ceremonies Michael Demirchain said, “The money you helped raise tonight will directly aid in the funding of ABMDR’s donor tissue-typing process.” He added, “None of this would be possible without many generous contributions, most notably from Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian and Yn. Natasha, who provided the beautiful facilities at St. James Armenian Apostolic Church for the event; and local businesses and organizations which made in-kind donations.”
ABMDR Board member Alvart Badalian commended the Comedy Night Committee’s co-chairs, Michael Demirchian and Lori Yeterian, for their leadership; and the committee members for their hard work and dedication. “I am delighted to see so many young volunteers passionate about the Registry and working hard to advance our mission,” Badalian said. She also thanked East Coast Recruitment Officer Maral Der Torossian, under whose leadership ABMDR’s youthful Recruitment and Outreach Committee has held scores of events and recruited over 60 potential bone marrow stem cell donors last year, she said.
Subsequently Talin Abrimian, the co-chair of the Recruitment and Outreach Committee, made a brief presentation on the mission and activities of ABMDR. “When a patient is diagnosed with a life-threatening blood-related illness such as leukemia, only 25 percent of the time will they find a donor match within their family,” she said. “That’s why this registry is so important, because 75 percent of the time, we need it to find a match.”
In his closing remarks, Michael Demirchian congratulated the Comedy Night Committee, including co-chair Lori Yeterian and members Alvart Badalian, Maral Der Torossian, Rubina Varjabedian, Ardemis Minassian, Tatoul Badalian, Arax Badalian, Rebecca Shahverdian, Shant Der Torossian, Lori Yogurtian, Tamar Melkonian, Talin Abrimian, Ojen Kavlakian, Tatiana Nalbandian, and Karnee Berejiklian, for their efforts in ensuring the success of the event.
Demirchian concluded, “ABMDR New England is proud to have had this opportunity to bring the community together to benefit this exceptional cause, and is thankful to all who contributed to this successful event.”
ABMDR New England is encouraging community members to join the team. Interested readers can send an email.
ABMDR New England’s next annual Walk of Life is set for September 28. For more information, visit their website, Facebook, or Instagram.
About the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry: Established in 1999, ABMDR, a nonprofit organization, helps Armenians and non-Armenians worldwide survive life-threatening blood-related illnesses by recruiting and matching donors to those requiring bone marrow stem cell transplants. To date, the registry has recruited over 30,000 donors in 31 countries across four continents, identified over 9,000 patients, and facilitated 32 bone marrow transplants. For more information, call (323) 663-3609 or visit the website.