FRANKLIN, Mass.—At the end of the 2020 camping season, the AYF Camp Haiastan Board of Directors put out a call for help to improve the Camp’s aging kitchen. Operating in the same condition for over 30 years, the kitchen had been managed each year by great staff working to feed over 400 kids every summer. Over the years, these numbers added up to a lot of wear and tear!
The Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA (ARS of EUSA) answered the Camp’s call. At its 2021 regional convention, the ARS of EUSA passed a resolution to raise funds for the kitchen project.
In the year that followed, the 35 chapters of the ARS rallied to raise $100,000 for the Camp Haiastan kitchen renovation project – all while continuing to work for their ongoing humanitarian programs and projects aimed at helping Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk, Lebanon and Syria.
“The ARS has been a staunch supporter of AYF Camp Haiastan since the Camp was purchased back in 1941. Throughout the years, we have answered the call for assistance from Camp Haiastan. Our commitment remains as strong as ever,” stated Caroline Chamavonian, chair of the ARS of EUSA Regional Board.
The swift response from ARS chapter members and their executive bodies to the community’s needs ensured that the Camp kitchen will be fully operational with largely new and updated equipment for the start of the 2023 summer season. The new appliances include an industrial oven with six burners, along with a grill, mixer, salad bar, beverage dispensers, warming rack and serving station.
“The nutrition team is extremely thankful for those who made the new kitchen equipment possible. We are very excited to start using it to bring delicious and nutritious meals to the campers and staff of Camp Haiastan,” enthused head chef Thomas Houle.
The Camp board, executive director, staff and all current and future campers extend their deepest gratitude to the ARS of Eastern USA for always offering unconditional support and for being an example of what is possible when a community comes together.