STUDIO CITY–The Homenetmen 25th Navasartian Victory Ball took place Saturday at the Universal Hilton with Homenetmen members young and old gathering to mark the organization’s success as a venue to educate and raise generations of Armenian youth and families.
The Victory Ball came a day after the impressive inaugural of the five-day closing ceremonies weekend Friday night–which featured a festival–performances by well-known singers and an opportunity for the community to come together. Thousands of community members flocked to Birmingham High School in Van Nuys to witness the opening of the Navasartian weekend.
At the Victory Ball–the mood was equally upbeat–with more than 800 Homenetmen members–leaders and community activists on hand to mark the 25th Navasartian Games.
Present at the Ball were Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian; Armenia’s Consul General to Los Angeles Armen Melkonian and his wife Yevgeny; Homenetmen Central Executive member Koko Balian–Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee representative Mardig Gaboudian and his wife–Lisa; Republican nominee for the 43rd Assembly district Craig Missakian; the honorary president of the 23rd Navasartian Games Dikran Der-Ghazarian; and this year’s honorary president Ashkhen Pilavjian–who was accompanied by her sons Vahridj and Peklar.
The welcoming remarks by Victory Ball committee chairwoman Jasik Jarahian–set the tone for the upbeat celebratory evening. She praised the Homenetmen for adhering to its mission of serving the community and the Armenian nation.
Master of Ceremonies Charlie Ghalian praised the organizing committee and the Homenetmen Regional Executive for mounting the effort to ensure that the 25th Navasartian Games are a success. He then invited Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian for the invocations and his blessing.
In his remarks–the Prelate made special mention of Ashkhen Pilavjian–who along with her late husband Alexan–have been staunch supporters of the Homenetmen.
The official program began with Ghalian briefly outlining the important role of the Homenetmen in preserving the Armenian Cause and ensuring that generations are raised with the understanding that until the injustices against the Armenian people are not resolved–the Armenian people will continue their struggle.
In his remarks on behalf of the Homenetmen Western Regional Executive–vice-chairman Haig Hovsepian underscored the importance of Homenetmen’s activities in providing a safe haven for the youth in the Armenian community.
Hovsepian then focused his attention to the unwavering moral and financial contribution of the Pilavjian family–praising them for their dedication to the Homenetmen.
Hovsepian’s remarks were followed by the moving presentation of the Exemplary Homenetmen member award to veteran member Shant Haytayan.
In his presentation–Western Regional Executive chairman Manuel Marselian praised Haytayan’s continued activism within the Homenetmen and the Armenian community–as well as his enduring leadership in the various facets of organizational life.
Haytayan thanked the Regional Executive for bestowing this coveted honor upon him–saying that his accomplishmen’s in the organization would not have been possible without the work and cooperative spirit of his fellow Homenetmen members and friends.
He especially thanked Ashkhen Pilavjian and her family for agreeing to become the 2000 Honorary president. He also thanked his family for its support in his volunteerism in the Homenetmen.
"I would like to share this honor with my fellow Homenetmen member Zareh Derdulanian–who–recently passed away," concluded Haytayan.
Following the Exemplary Homenetmen member award–Marselian thanked all the sponsors of the Navasartian Games–with special mention to the major sponsors of the games Sunrise Jewelry–Downtown LA Motors and the Gas Company.
Following a video presentation about the activities and mission of the Homenetmen–the highlight of the evening was the honoring of this year’s Navasardian president Ashkhen Pilavjian.
Accompanied by her sons Vahridj and Peklar–Ashkhen Pilavjian was escorted onto the stage and was presented the tri-color medal symbolizing the independent Armenian homeland. Ashkhen Pilavjian was cheered by standing ovations from audience–who expressed its honor to the 25th Navasartian president.
Before the conclusion of the program–Homenetmen Central Executive member Koko Balian addressed the gathering saying "It is difficult for me to believe that 25 years ago when we began the Navasartian Games–it would become such an enriching reality for the community."
In closing–Balian thanked Ashkhen Pilavjian–who in memory of her late husband Alexan–agreed to become this year’s Navasartian President.
The Victory Ball continued with a celebration highlighted by the vibrant performance of Dark Eyes band.