Four Bay Area women have found a way to stick together and meet at the same time every month for the past 20 years, and it’s something different every time.
In 2002, the four women got together one night for a Golden State Warriors game and hit it off.
“A lot of women and a lot of people say that, but we actually stuck to it,” said Kim Bardakian.
Bardakian, Annette Kevranian, Katherine Sarafian and Nicole Vasgerdsian all met at the St. Vartan Armenian Church in Oakland.
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After they attended the Warriors game, the group then decided to have a "girls night out" or "GNO" the second Monday of every month.
“The main thing is doing an activity that stretches your [boundaries],” Bardakian added.
The women are all working professionals but they swore to make it work.
“Our challenge to ourselves is we never repeat the same activity twice,” Kevranian said.
The group said their gatherings have to cost under $20 a piece. But they said it’s doable in the Bay Area.
This past week marked GNO’s anniversary of 20 straight years…which means they had 240 gatherings.
"We’ve done lessons and tours and went to a gun range. All types of dancing lessons, Irish jig, pole dancing, batting cage," Bardakian said.
“Tonight, we just did some new acrylic pour art. Whatever the person coordinates, that’s what we have to do,” Kevranian said.
Over that time, three of the women have lost fathers, they have also changed jobs and launched businesses. Three of them got married and the fourth will get married later this year.
They all have four children between them. But the group said that one thing hasn’t changed.
“There’s taxes and there's GNO. It’s always there. When it started, I hadn’t counted on wanting or needing,” Sarafian said.
The group is now considering starting a blog and they hope to inspire others to do the same.
“It’s always been about the activity. The learning, the growth and pushing our boundaries and just saying 'yes,'” Vasgerdsian said.
As many emerge from the pandemic, the group wants to show how important it is to put in the work on friendships and embrace the human connection.
“We never thought leaving that Warriors game that this is what it would turn into. It’s been wonderful. We hope that other women and men, that this might inspire them to do something on their own,” Bardakian said.