Posted on December 7, 2019
Posted By: oiaCategories: All News
16TH ANNUAL DIOCESAN CHRISTMAS BALL
Published – 20 December 2019 – WD
A revered Diocesan tradition, the 16th Annual Christmas Ball attracted over 300 guests on December 7th at the Diocesan Complex in Burbank. The theme of this annual event, “Blessed” reflected the leadership and vision of the seven distinguished professionals who were honored for their successful careers and devoted service to both the Armenian and American communities.
The festive celebration began with the traditional lighting of the Christmas Tree in the Turpanjian Plaza. Guests then gathered for a reception in the Paul Brothers Galleria for the pleasure of visiting with His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate; Diocesan Clergy; dignitaries and most of all the opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate the honorees.
Guests were then seated in the beautifully decorated Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall to enjoy the evening’s festivities. The program began with welcoming remarks by Raffi Kendirjian, Chair of the Christmas Ball Committee, expressing his thanks and appreciation for their attendance and support of the honorees.
Diocesan Council Chair the Hon. Judge Adrienne Krikorian congratulated the seven honorees on their achievements and extended her gratitude to the members of the organizing committee for their relentless efforts, year after year, in putting together a successful event.
A video was shown with remarks by each of the honorees reflecting on their careers, accomplishments and future goals. The seven honorees recognized this evening were: Armen Akaragian, Esq.; Barkev Hamalian; Mark M. Kosker D.C.; Hrag Ohannesian; Andre Panossian, M.D.; Lena Simonian; and Harry Sinanian. Following the video, honorees from previous years, introduced each of the honorees as they came forward to receive their awards from His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian.
His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian in his remarks congratulated the honorees for their dedication and diligence in their professional lives; that through their achievements they serve as an inspiration for future generations and bring pride and recognition to the Armenian community. “Year after year, we have been honoring individuals who have shown excellence in their service to God and the community. My dear honorees, tonight we extend to you our gratitude. You become the symbol of excellence in the life of the community and your role model turns to be the legacy for your children and the members of the community which I would consider as the most precious gift,” stated His Eminence. The Primate also commended the unrelenting dedication of the Christmas Ball Committee chaired by Raffi Kendirjian. “I admire their dedication and love for the Diocese and on your behalf I extend to them my deepest gratitude and appreciation. Their diligence and love for the Armenian Church is truly commendable,” stated the Primate.
As each of the honorees walked up to the podium to accept their awards, they were greeted by applause and cheers from their family members and friends. The honorees also received Certificates of Commendation from Congressman Adam Schiff who extended his personal congratulations to the honorees and wished those present a joyous Christmas season. Mr. Schiff has been a regular participant at each of our annual Christmas Ball celebrations.
Raffi Kendirjian, Chair, expressed his sincere appreciation to the members of the Christmas Ball Organizing Committee, for their continued service and hard work in the planning and preparation of this traditional event. He introduced and invited each member of the committee to stand and be recognized for their efforts.
Another highlight of the evening was the opportunity to celebrate the birthday and to express love and best wishes to our beloved Primate, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian. The celebration included a decorated birthday cake and a cheerful “Happy Birthday” sung by the guests.
Guests received a booklet containing biographies of the honorees as well as congratulatory messages from families and friends to commemorate this occasion. The booklet contained pictures and memories from the 15th Annual Christmas Ball, as well as pictures of the 2019 year in review featuring the many events and activities of the Western Diocese and its various committees.
Guests filled the dance floor and truly danced all night to the music provided by Maestro Greg Hosharian and the Hosharian Brothers band.
The Annual Christmas Ball has become an exciting and remembered event for the honorees and guests.
MARK M. KOSKER
Dr. Mark M. Kosker, is a well-known chiropractor and Naturopath, practicing full time since 1990 in Toluca Lake.
Dr. Kosker was born and baptized at St. Gregory Church as Krikor Lusoveric in Kayseri. He was one of eight children from a father who survived as an orphan as a result of the Ottoman Turkish Massacre in Sivas. He grew up listening to sad, unjustified atrocities to innocent Armenians during the Genocide.
He attended the Surp Hac Tibrevank Boarding School (The Holy Cross Boarding School) in Uskudar, Istanbul, which was established by a great humanitarian Patriarch of Turkey, Karekin Khachadourian. He was fortunate to be accepted to this great school at no cost to his family with the help of two great Armenians, Fr. Krikor Mardirian and Patriarch Shnork Kaloustian. He humbly shared classrooms with the Archbishops of Germany: Karekin Bekciyan, Khajag Barsamian and Viken Aykazian, who are known around the world today as leaders of the Armenian Church.
Dr. Kosker came to the United States in 1975 and graduated from the Cleveland Chiropractic School in 1988. He has served the Organization of Istanbul Armenians for over 25 years and now serves as its current President of the Executive Committee.
He has served as a council member and treasurer of the St. Leon Armenian Cathedral Parish, along with serving on the first Christmas Ball Committee, chaired by Joseph Kanimian. He has also served on the Fundraising Committee and is an active member of the Parish.
Dr. Kosker married Annette Terzibasyan in 1993 and they are blessed with two children, a son Alexander who is also studying to be a chiropractor and Melanie who is a senior at Rose and Alex Pilibos.
Dr. Kosker expressed his thanks and appreciation to his fellow Organization of Istanbul Armenians Board members, the Annual Christmas Ball Committee, and Archbishop Hovnan Derderian for being bestowed upon with this honor