La Cañada High School’s Armenian Club Earns ‘Club of the Year’ Award

Club members joining with 80,000 others at Armenian Genocide March for Justice on April 24

The Award was Granted to the Armenian Club for the First Time Ever

LA CAÑADA, Calif.The Armenian Club began this school year with newfound vigor and enthusiasm, as 48 students attended the first meeting of the Fall 2016 semester in the classroom of long-time faculty advisor Mr. Valassidis. With his support, as well as that of the club parents and the community, the Armenian Club has accomplished much this year.

The executive board – Haig Manoukian, President; Tatiana Safarian and Lynette Aslanian, Co-Vice Presidents; Armand Manoukian, Secretary; Arsen Tujian, Treasurer; Melody Sagarian, Parent Liaison and Sophomore Rep; and Noy Chatoyan and Alec Tujian, Freshman Reps – dedicated over 12 hours outside of school time to planning the club’s projects and activities, including the creation of the club T-shirt and logo (with Andrew Aghadjanian’s artwork).  

The club’s 10 lunchtime meetings included lunch provided with the support of the parents, and featured speakers from the community, such as: Mr. Gevorkian, a LCHS dad and career consultant, who spoke in December on Armenian cultural and social history; and Mrs. Gourdikian of the Armenian Lighthouse Charitable Foundation who explained its wide range of service opportunities, which then motivated club members to set aside a Saturday in March to collect medical equipment and daily necessities for underprivileged families and then transport them to the Lighthouse Foundation warehouse in Long Beach.

The Armenian Club implemented a number of other projects. In late December, members worked on the Rose Parade float of the Armenian-American Rose Float Association.  

More recently, about 20 members got together to see the movie “The Promise” along with several of their LCHS teachers.

During the month of April, the club marked the 102nd annual remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in several ways. Members attended a workshop where they viewed a documentary film by Dr. Kay Mouradian about her mother’s survival of the genocide, and they met the filmmaker herself. In addition, the club students used giant maps of historic Armenia and of the world to mark, with their own photos, the birthplaces of their great-grandparents and to show their families’ migration routes all the way to La Cañada. The members then displayed these maps during the week of April 24-28 at a school exhibit table with other reference materials, and were thus able to explain to the LCHS community the far-reaching implications of the Armenian genocide. A reporter from the La Cañada Outlook newspaper interviewed and quoted Alec Tujian and Haig Manoukian for a featured article which appeared in the May 4th issue. Finally, on April 24th, 30 Armenian club members, with the support of the LCHS parents, participated with 80,000 others in the Los Angeles “March for Justice” calling for recognition and remembrance of the genocide. To finish the school year, the LCHS Armenian Club had an Armenian family cultural gathering on May 21.

This year’s LCHS Armenian Club has surpassed all of its expectations, having given the students of LCHS, whether they happen to be Armenian or not, the ability to socialize, bond, and expand their cultural horizons through food, music, and education.

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