$780,000 Raised for Burbank Youth Center During Inaugural Event

BURBANK—The Armenian community of Burbank turned out with excitement on Sunday, February 21 for the unveiling of the new Youth Center, during an inaugural event, which kicked off the community’s effort to acquire the building and during which $780,000 was raised.

On the same day at 3:30 in the afternoon, Burbank and surrounding area community members had the opportunity to walk through the new facility at a cocktail reception hosted by the Burbank chapter of the Armenian Cultural Foundation.

Western Prelate, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, was joined by community organizational representatives and members to tour the facility and see, first hand, the opportunities this facility will provide for the future growth of the community.

The tour was followed by a banquet at the nearby Arbat Restaurant, where guests received a complete accounting of ACF activities for the acquisition and future plans of the center.

Master of Ceremonies Mark Geragos welcomed the crowd and after a few words of encouragement handed the reins of the evening to Mistress of Ceremonies Lara Yeretsian, who welcomed the representatives of community organizations.

Yeretsian recognized Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee chairman Avedik Izmirlian, Armenian Relief Society Central Executive chairwoman Vicky Marashlian, ARS Javakhk Fund president Haigoush Keghinian-Kohler, Homenetmen Regional Executive chairman Steve Artinian, Hamazkayin Regional Executive representative Ohan Ohanian, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, Glendale Unified School District Board member and a candidate for the 43rd Assembly district Nayiri Nahabedian.

After the blessing prayer by Glendale’s St. Mary’s Armenian Church pastor Rev. Gomidas Totosian, a brief video chronicling the activities of the Burbank community and the outlook for the center was presented.

Youth Center committee member Vahag Thomassian, who is the architect for the building presented an overview of plans for the center construction and described the facilities that will be included in the 14,400-square foot building in the heart of Burbank.

Also speaking at the event were ARF Central Committee member Hovan Tashjian, Homenetmen Burbank Chapter representative Silvana Aboulian and Burbank ACF chairman Hrant Dostoumian, each of whom encouraged the community to look at the center as their new home and hope for the growth and strengthening of the community.

The program booklet that was provided to the banquet attendees listed the names of the donors who had initially contributed to the Center Fund. Missing from the list was the name of the $500,000 donor, who had asked to remain anonymous. One hundred community members donated $1,000 to the fund. The donations announced at the event included: $75,000 from Monarch Reality; $30,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Ara and Alin Ghaghlasarian; $25,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Harout and Vicky Marashlian; $20,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Papken and Kohar Ismailian; $10,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Berdj and Mary Karapetian; $5,000 from the ARS Araz chapter; $3,000 from the Tashdjian brothers and $2,500 from Boyadjian family.

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4 Comments

  1. Pingback: $780000 Raised for Burbank Youth Center During Inaugural Event … | armeniatoday

  2. Norin Radd said:

    While the building and founding of such a center is a nice gesture by those involved, Armenians in the Diaspora need to seriously start considering the fact that they are not immortals, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds.

    Each decade that passes, more and more Armenians succumb to the centrifugal effects of assimilation while those that have not yet succumbed ignorantly believe that their “hyerenasirotyoon” will prevent them or their children from also succumbing. This is a delusion of grandeur at best because the notion of assimilation is an inevitability, it may happen more slowly for some, but it will happen for EVERYONE given enough time.

    Projects such as the one above are nothing more than a vain attempt to slow down the said inevitability. The question Armenian community leaders need to begin asking themselves in earnest is, “will my children or perhaps even my children’s children retain enough of their ethnic identity to even make use of such a facility?” If such questions are seriously posed and considered, many Armenians will find the answer grim in terms of their descendants retaining their ethnic identity as Armenians in the future.

    As such, the more than three quarter million dollars that was wasted on this project could have been made far better use of in areas of Armenia or more importantly, Artsakh where there are still Armenian children that do not have functional playgrounds to play on or classrooms to learn in. Erecting yet another “church, gymnasium, or cultural center” is not something the Diaspora needs nor is it something that will indefinitely be used by Armenians down the road.

    When the inevitability of assimilation has run its course and the last ethnic diaspora Armenian looks back at all the church spires, gymnasiums, and community centers our “leaders” erected on foreign soils, maybe only then, will there be a realization that the Diaspora’s best chance of survival was to re-establish its roots in Armenia or Arstakh, rather than strengthening more ties to foreign soils in order to guarantee their children’s or grandchildren’s destruction.

    But then again, ignorance, stupidity, and being stubborn has always been tenants of many of our leaders in the Diaspora . . .

    • jacque said:

      First I would like to congradulate the Armenians of Burbank and wish them the best.
      Norin, I do understand your point and no one can deny the fact that a white genocide is underway as we speek. As the father of three boys and as an activist in my comunity I will tell you that as much as the homeland is importent to keep us from extinction the diaspora is as much importent to keep the fight alive. Do you sudgest that we give up on 7000.000 Armenians arround the globe? Ofcource the Churches and centers wont keep us Armenians for ever in the diaspora, I don’t disagree with that, but even if it we can dellay the process by 20 years, just imagine how much as a collective group we can help the homeland. Besides the stronger we are in the diaspora the stroger will Armenia be. On a politacle ground whoe do you think is working all over the world to get the recognition of the Genocide? Armenia? no my friend, and as historical refrence Armenia today would have not existed if the Armenians from the diaspora didn’t migrate back in 1946.
      In conclusion, yes these Centers, Churches, Schools, Organisations wont protect us for ever but they will buy us much needed time. To add to your coment I would like to say, we as Armenians should always be prepared if and when time comes to be ready to go back where we belong our homeland ARMENIA, are you?

  3. Sevak said:

    It will turn into another banquet hall for the fake weddings and such and of course the endless empty ego meetings .. instead so called leadership should enhance media like Horizon TV , counter turkey congress initiatives, Armenia , culture and language propaganda so the future kids in diaspora feel that they are part of something bigger…

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