FRESNO—The diverse sounds of Armenian Public Radio filled St. Paul Armenian Church’s Berberian Hall, as the Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School hosted its 38th annual banquet. The band highlighted the evening program celebrating the school’s recent achievements and saluting its patrons.
Mistress of Ceremonies, the Honorable Judge Houry Sanderson of the Fresno County Superior Court, welcomed the more than 150 community members in attendance and introduced the CKACS Student Council who led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Armenian national anthem, Mer Hairenik. Fr. Yessai Bedros, Pastor of the St. Paul Armenian Church, gave the invocation.
Following a delicious meal, CKACS Board Chairman Marshall D. Moushigian took the podium to discuss the school’s condition and outlook.
“As we approach our 40th year, ‘Focus on 40’ is our theme. One aspect of this theme is a permanent building in which to educate and prepare our students for the world – these kids deserve it!”
Composed of Mher Ajamian, Saro Koujakian, and Ryan Demirjian, Armenian Public Radio treated the audience to an innovative blend of traditional Armenian folk lyrics put to contemporary music. The guitar trio’s influences from Latin melodies and American groups like Simon and Garfunkel are very apparent in their modern interpretation of village songs.
The event’s entertainment also included a performance by the 6th grade class of Hovaness Toumanian’s comedic story Gigosee Mahuh (The Death of Gigos) and a power point presentation showing the school’s numerous activities, as well as the many improvements made to the campus since the CKACS moved to its Clovis location in 2008.
This year the CKACS Board gave its Annual Appreciation Award to Grace Kazarian, recognizing the patronage of the Armena, Marguerite and Grace Kazarian Family Foundation, in memory of their mother, Agavni Kazarian.
The CKACS Women’s League in conjunction with the Reach for the Stars program presented a check to the school board for $30,000, raised from the recent Fabulous 50’s and Swinging 60’s car show and nostalgia night. Under the leadership of Ron and Barbara Mortanian, Reach for the Stars has organized several events that have greatly benefited the CKACS.
The audience had the chance to view the beautiful individual art work recently created by each class for Armenian Cultural Month. Made from numerous media and focusing on a variety of themes, the pieces were auctioned off to raise funds for the school.
Principal Zaroohi Der Mugrdechian introduced the school’s staff and expressed her appreciation to the school’s donors and parents for ensuring the continued success of the CKACS.
“We are pleased to have a close working relationship with members of our community who support the school’s mission to prepare students to become successful members of the global community.”
Judge Sanderson and Fr. Bedros concluded the evening by thanking all in attendance and stressing the importance of the school to the Fresno community.