George Dunaians

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Annual DSA Benefit Gala Honors Founders George and Flora Dunaians

LOS ANGELES - The Developmental Services for Armenia (DSA) will honor founders George and Flora Dunaians at its Annual Benefit Dinner to be held on March 13, at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. The event is aptly titled 'DSA Salutes the Visionaries," in recognition of the Dunaians strong compassion for humanitarian causes and for their accomplishments, leadership and selfless dedication to the Armenian community, both in the U.A. and Armenia. In 1993 they founded and organized DSA with a group of friends sharing the same vision to help the children of Armenia by facilitating projects for schools and orphanages. The organization can look back with pride on the approximately $1 million that has been raised and directed to improving the lives, health and education of children in the homeland.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a Silent Auction and Mini-Vernisage during the reception, featuring jewelry, wines, sporting event tickets, restaurant certificates and many other unique items; followed by dinner at 6:00 p.m.

Larry Zarian, former Mayor of Glendale and a dear friend, will serve as Master of Ceremonies and guests will be entertained by the Zvardnotz Dance Ensemble, winner of the 2004 International Folk Festival in Malta, choreographed by noted Artistic Directors Vartan and Armine Aghajanyan. Special guests include the former First Lady Lucia Ter Petrossian, one of the key organizers of DSA and administrator of many projects in Armenia; Dr. Harutyun Balasanian, Director of Kharberd Orphanage, who will be recognized for the tremendous achievements he has made in improving the lives of the children since assuming this position in 1999.

The evening will also celebrate the accomplishments of the past 10 years and reflect on the improvements in the Erebuni College of Nursing; the Center for Rehabilitation at Oshagan; the Vanadzor Home for Abandoned Children, the Harberd Orphanage for physically and mentally handicapped children; the Nubarashen Orphanage and School; the renovation of School 154; and the shipment of medical and educational supplies, and nine ambulances.

In October of 2004, Board members visited Armenia to review projects and to participate in ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the Kharberd Orphanage for the new DSA wing with a family living quarters and Dental Clinic; School #154 for the installation of a new heating system; and the A. Ter Grigoryan school in Ljashen Village the region near Lake Seven, with 700 students, for the completion of the boiler room and its new heating system. Proceeds from the evening's gala will benefit ongoing projects in Armenia.

Members are presently reviewing requests for 2005 from hospitals, orphanages and schools which include ambulances, computers, microscopes for biology and chemistry classes; and heating systems for additional schools. Sponsorships for the Annual Benefit Dinner range from $10,000 to $500. Individual tickets are $125. DSA is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization.