More than 240 guests attend gala to celebrate first anniversary of St. Sarkis Armenian Church


San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, District Attorney Summer Stephan, and U.S. Special Representative for Subnational Diplomacy Ambassador Nina Hachigian-Day joined His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and Parish Priest the Very Reverend Dz. V. Berjekian and over 240 guests on Feb. 4 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church in San Diego (located in Carmel Valley), according to a news release. The event took place in the ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in La Jolla.

The elegant gathering was a tremendous success for St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, with attendees making substantial contributions, raising $142,000. In addition to the contributions from the event, the continued kindness of the church’s Grand-Benefactors, David and Lois Butterfield, generously donated $200,000, according to the news release.

“I was honored to join the Armenian-American community to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their magnificent building here in San Diego. The Armenian community is a vibrant, productive part of San Diego’s multi-cultural population, and I congratulate them on realizing their goal of building a new sanctuary,” Gloria said in the news release.

The elegant, black-tie optional dinner and dance, organized by a committee chaired by Kathy Kassardjian and Melina Ounjian, featured the Allen G Orchestra from Los Angeles and was emceed by Zanni Kalaydjian. A choir led by Sona Baghdasaryan opened the program with the national anthems of the U.S and Armenia. Parish Priest, the Very Reverend Pakrad Berjekian, led the audience in prayer, followed by a lively live auction.

“All of the funds raised by the live and silent auction will go toward supporting the St. Sarkis Armenian Church. The church’s goal is to expand the church’s facilities and create a space for community and young people events. It was gratifying to see so many people rise to the challenge and give so generously,” co-chair Kathy Kassardjian stated in the news release.

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, shared a spiritual lesson and offered a prayer for the strength and support of Armenians locally and especially in Artsakh and Armenia during the current crisis.

The successful Saturday dinner was followed by another commemoration on Sunday. Archbishop Derderian led the Badarak at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, followed by a widely-attended luncheon, organized by the Parish Council.

The church is located at 13925 El Camino Real, San Diego, 92130. Visit for more information. — News release