Navasartian Games Closing Ceremonies Elevates Community to New Heights

The Homenetmen Marching Band enters the field during the Closing Cermonies Parade (photo by Berj Djamdjian)

VAN NUYS—Of the many events that surround Homenetmen’s Navasartian Games, the closing ceremony, held each year on the last day of the festival, represents the pinnacle of the achievements of Navasartian.

This year’s closing ceremony of the 37th Navasartian Games was held on Saturday, July 7 at Birmingham High School before thousands of Homenetmen members and supporters, who enjoyed a performance by singer Harout Hagopian prior to the start of the official ceremony.

At 7 p.m., members of the Regional Scouting and Athletic Councils led the procession, whereby His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Honorary President Mr. & Mrs. Gagik and Madine Gevorkian, 2012 Exemplary Homenetmen Member Maro Kechichian, the 35th Navasartian Games’ Honorary President George Jamgochian, and the Homenetmen Regional Executive, led by Chairperson Garnik Abrahamian, entered the field.

Homenetmen members Suzy Ohanian and Arman Kilijian addressed guests, highlighting the accomplishments that have filled the 37 years of Navasartian’s history. Sevag Garabedian, an active Homenetmen member who contributes to the organizing efforts of the Navasartian Games, served as Master of Ceremonies the closing ceremony. He invited guests to stand in a moment of silence to honor the memories of departed Homenetmen members and the late Rima Abedi-Sagherian of the Regional Executive, in particular.

Garabedian emphasized the spirit of volunteerism, which contributes to the success of the Navasartian Games year after year and expressed pride in its ability to draw together Armenian youth. “Homenetmen’s volunteers and a handful of employees have spent endless hours organizing 668 basketball games, 90 plus soccer games, volleyball, track, swimming, tennis, table tennis, and chess competitions; all the while 17 chapters worth of volunteers sell a variety of foods, along with 55 vendors, over a dozen entertainers and more,” stated Garabedian.

Following his remarks, attendees peered at the skies as four parachuters plummeted through the air bearing the American, Armenian, State of California, and Homenetmen flags.  Accompanied by the Homenetmen band, girl and boy scout flag bearers marched the field as the anthems played.

Thereafter, Regional Executive Chairperson Garnik Abrahamian took to the podium. First and foremost, he conveyed how fortunate Homenetmen is to have Mr. & Mrs. Gevorkian as this year’s Honorary President, as well as an Exemplary Homenetmen Member such as Maro Kechichian. Abrahamian affirmed the healthy and safe environment that Homenetmen offers and the rapid growth in its ranks and supporters. He paid special mention to all the parents, who continue to have faith and trust in the organization.

Homenetmen Central Executive member Hagop Tufenkjian delivered a message on behalf of the Board. He emphasized the organization’s ability to remain faithful to its mission, announcing the recent establishment of Homenetmen’s 103rd chapter in Beirut, Lebanon and participation in a competition organized by the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Diaspora during which Homenetmen placed in the first three categories.

Archbishop Mardirossian delivered his blessings and encouraging words, stating “May you continue on with the same dedication and resolve we have witnessed throughout the years, all the while staying true to the beautiful motto of Homenetmen, ‘elevate yourself and others with you,’ for the progress of Homenetmen, our community, and our people.”

Following remarks, the much-anticipated parade commenced with Armenian veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars marching at the forefront. A special plaque of recognition was presented to honor each veteran, including Robert Assadrian, Armen Babasloukian, Sarkis Boyajian, Garo Kritikashian, Hovig Margossian, John Mergorian, and Ara Tamamian.

Spectators looked on as athletes and scouts of the region’s 18 Homenetmen chapters marched and then collectively gathered on the field. This parade was surely a source of pride for all the onlookers. Once this procession ended and participants collectively gathered on the field, the championship trophies were presented to the victorious chapters with the help of  members of the Regional Athletic Council, as well as Honorary President Mr. & Mrs. Gevorkian, the exemplary member Maro Kechichian, Central Executive member Hagop Tufenkjian, Regional Executive Chairperson Garnik Abrahamian, Alec Araratian, Regional Executive liaison to the Athletic Council; and Vicken Dakessian, Regional Executive liaison to the Navasartian Organizing Committee.

The closing ceremonies’ official program concluded with the traditional presentation of the Navasartian flag to Honorary President Mr. & Mrs. Gevorkian by Taleen Hindoyan, Regional Scoutmaster General, as well as a performance by Karnig Sarkissian.

This year’s championship trophies were dedicated to the memory of Bedros Akpolat at the wishes of his wife Edna and son Alan.

After the end of the closing ceremonies, the festival continued on the grounds of Birmingham High School until midnight with entertainment and lively performances by Hayro Sarabian, Arsham, Sahag Sisslian, Aram Baghgedjian, Antoine Bezdjian, and Harout Pamboukjian.

Overall Rankings

TENNIS
1st Place: Glendale “Ararat” Chapter
2nd Place: Fresno “Sassoon” Chapter

TABLE TENNIS
1st Place: Glendale “Ararat” Chapter
2nd Place: Burbank “Sipan” Chapter
3rd Place: Fresno “Sassoon” Chapter

SWIMMING
1st Place: San Fernando Valley “Massis” Chapter
2nd Place: Burbank “Sipan” Chapter
3rd Place: Santa Clara “Ani” Chapter

TRACK & FIELD
1st Place: San Fernando Valley “Massis” Chapter
2nd Place: South Bay “Arakatz” Chapter
3rd Place: Pasadena “Azadamard” Chapter

VOLLEYBALL
1st Place: San Fernando Valley “Massis” Chapter
2nd Place: Glendale “Ararat” Chapter

SOCCER
1st Place: Los Angeles Chapter
2nd Place: San Fernando Valley “Massis” Chpater
3rd Place: San Francisco Chapter

BASKETBALL
1st Place: Glendale “Ararat” Chapter
2nd Place: Los Angeles Chapter
3rd Place: Pasadena “Azadamard” Chapter

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3 Comments

  1. Vanessa Kachadurian said:

    Congrats to everyone involved! Not so much about the winning but the participation. These festivities are fun but it is great to see such good talent in our next generation. The networking is fantastic with the kids, many make a trek to Armenia via the AYF, or the birthright Armenia program.
    Long lasting friendships are built here.

  2. Heghapokhagan said:

    Although it does Not mention here about mass gathering of that event…. I wonder if we broke record of mass gathering of Armenians in United States???

    In regard of ” Armenia’s Ministry of Diaspora ” I believe that “Scheming” Governmental organization should be ABOLISHED. Just One example, what Syrian Armenians that are facing.

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