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Washington D.C., April 4, 2019
On April 3, the Prime Minister’s spouse, Chairman of City of Smile Charitable Foundation Anna Hakobyan, accompanied by Ambassador of Armenia to US Varuzhan Nersesyan and Executive Director of City of Smile Foundation Ester Demirchyan, attended a charity gala dinner in Washington DC, initiated and organized by “Meduni”, a partner charity foundation. There were more than 250 guests during the event. Among them there were Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General of the United States, with his spouse Mrs. Lisa Barsoomian-Rosenstein, Annie Totah, Georgetown University professor, world-renowned oncologist Samir Khleif, AGBU Central Committee member, Middle East and Armenia Programs’ Officer Vasken Yacoubian, other well-known doctors, intellectuals and public figures. The Gala Dinner started with national anthems of Armenia and the United States. Armenian Ambassador to US Varuzhan Nersesyan and Director of “Meduni” Foundation Vahagn Martirosyan delivered speeches. Father Vigen Archbishop Aykazian (US Eastern Diocese) also blessed the event and thanked the organizers for the opportunity to become a part of charity, provided to many people.
Anna Hakobyan, an honorary guest of the event, also delivered a speech.
Welcoming the charity event aimed at supporting children with cancer, the Prime Minister’s spouse emphasized that the purpose of the meeting was to help children who were currently fighting cancer.
“We are here to stand by and support them through this difficult journey. Have you ever seen a child who has overcome cancer? They are the strongest people in the world. Their tiny bodies have so much power and so much energy. Their smiles are so beautiful and deep. When people ask me what “City of Smile” does, I reply that “City of Smile” returns smiles to children and young adults with cancer, returns a smile to their families and their homes. Cancer is an illness, we should not take it as a verdict, we must overcome cancer. Maybe it’s a little odd to say what I have to say, but cancer has something positive: cancer has united us. When we see a child with cancer, regardless of his/her religious or national belonging, we want to help and to show our support. At those moments, we are united. In Armenia, 9,000 cancer cases are registered every year, and one hundred of them are children. While we are talking here, another child in Armenia is being diagnosed with cancer. And it is our responsibility, our duty to stand by them, stand by our friends and not let them die. And that is exactly why we’re all here and that is why City of Smile is here. We are here to change someone’s life”, said Anna Hakobyan.