May 08, 2007
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Young Professionals of Northern California "Winter Gala Getaway Weekend" Overwhelming Success

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    Guests of AGBU YP Northern California's 8th Annual Winter Ga
    Guests of AGBU YP Northern California's 8th Annual Winter Gala Getaway, which raised $12,000 for AGBU Soup Kitchens, stand in front of San Francisco's St. John Armenian Apostolic Church with Rev. Fr. Sarkis Petoyan (center).

$12,000 Raised for AGBU Soup Kitchens in Armenia

San Francisco, CA - The AGBU Young Professionals of Northern California (YPNC) hosted the 8th annual Winter Gala Getaway Weekend during Presidents Day Weekend, from Friday, February 16 through Monday, February 19, 2007. This fundraising weekend, which drew over 300 young professionals from across the United States and Canada, raised an impressive $12,000 for this year's designated charity, the AGBU Soup Kitchens in Armenia.

The weekend's festivities began Friday night with a poolside welcome mixer at the colorful 1960s-era landmark host hotel, The Phoenix, and continued at a hip city lounge, Mr. Smiths'. Guests spent all day Saturday strolling around the city, riding in the city's distinctive cable cars, shopping in Union Square and heading over the Golden Gate Bridge to enjoy the impressive views from neighboring Sausalito.

On Saturday night, guests boarded the famous Hornblower Cruise line, docked at Pier 3, for a cruise around San Francisco Bay. On Sunday morning, a large group of guests attended church services at San Francisco's St. John Armenian Apostolic Church. After services and over a light lunch, Fr. Sarkis Petoyan, the parish priest, made everyone feel welcomed, along with the rest of the church parishioners.

The highlight of the fundraiser weekend was held at the Green Room, inside the War Memorial Building, which was a spectacular backdrop for the elegant Winter Gala dinner dance. Fr. Mesrob Sarafian, pastor of St. Vartan Armenian Church of Oakland, offered his blessing to the weekend guests.

Chairperson Alison Ekizian welcomed the guests with warm remarks. A touching slide presentation was given showing guests the history of AGBU and its various programs. After the Gala, at which dancing followed the dinner and program, guests headed back to the Phoenix Hotel for an after party, which continued on until the early hours of the morning.

The weekend's festivities concluded on Monday with a private brunch held at Farmerbrowns, a elegant restaurant in downtown San Francisco.

AGBU YPNC is dedicated to preserving and promoting the Armenian heritage and identity through humanitarian, educational and cultural programs. For more information on YPNC, email To view pictures of this year's Winter Gala, past YPNC events, or to learn more about the organization, please visit

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