Wine and Cheese Garden Party to Support the AMAA’s Work with Armenian Children in Lebanon and Syria

On Saturday October 22, the Friends of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) Peninsula Chapter held a Wine and

Committee Members of AMAA Peninsula chapter

Cheese Garden Party to raise funds for the AMAA’s ongoing work supporting the educational needs of Armenian children in Lebanon and Syria.  Co-chaired by Kris Gulesserian of Los Altos and Nina Tashjian of Saratoga, this inaugural event was held on a beautiful California evening at the home of Ike and Kris Gulesserian.  The Indian summer evening enabled guests to gather outdoors as they enjoyed an array of domestic and imported gourmet cheeses, specialty hors d’oeuvres, and a selection of California wines. Complementing the wonderful food and wine was the beautiful décor, reminiscent of a California vineyard.

“We are thrilled to have the support of so many members of the Bay Area Armenian community for the important work of the AMAA,” said
Peninsula Chapter co-chairs Kris Gulesserian and Nina Tashjian.  “Our chapter has successfully supported the educational needs of a number of Armenian youth in Beirut and Syria for many years.  Education is so critical for these young Armenians – and we are pleased and humbled to be able to help make a difference in their lives.”

Some of the guests at the party

Mr. Levon Filian, the Executive Director of the AMAA, was able to attend the event and show his support for the work of the Peninsula
Chapter.  In his remarks at the party, Mr. Filian, a beneficiary of the AMAA himself, spoke about the worldwide mission of the AMAA and the dual purpose that the AMAA served in his life – both educational and spiritual.  No stranger to the Bay Area, Mr. Filian spent many years as an active member of the community in Northern California, serving as as a deacon, elder, and moderator at Calvary Armenian Church in San Francisco.

Mr. Filian’s son Ari Jon attended the fundraiser as well. Ari Jon recently spent some time interning with the AMAA in Armenia. During the
event, Ari Jon shared his experiences from Armenia with the guests, speaking eloquently about the resilience of the Armenian people and the inspiration he drew from his time in the country.

The Wine and Cheese Garden Party was successful in educating new audiences about the work of the AMAA Peninsula Chapter and in attracting new supporters to the cause.

The Friends of the AMAA Peninsula Chapter will also hold its annual Christmas Luncheon in December in Hillsborough, CA.  Members of the AMAA Peninsula Chapter’s Committee include Alina Balabanian, Nora Balabanian, Anahid Gulesserian, Kris Gulesserian, Margo Gulesserian, Arpi Haleblian, Lara Khoury, Aline Richards, and Nina Tashjian.

To learn more about the AMAA, including how you can support its work, please visit

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