BY PATTYL APOSHIAN KASPARIAN
I’m not easily impressed. These days, there are a few venues cozier than the back lot of CBS Studios where Homenetmen threw a victory party for its 36th annual Navasartian Games. As twilight dimmed to dusk, the 36th Navasartian logo was projected in white stencil font on one side of the building as the opposite side shined with camera lights and red carpet.
Mher Tavitian was instantly recognizable as I walked down the red carpet—with his look of permanent concern, stylish rectangular glasses and short silvery hair highlighted with strands of experience and hard work.
The event was unlike any other. It wasn’t because of the food, venue or guests. That part, we’ve grown accustomed too. It was the program—short and very significant that I appreciated. Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Armand Dorian stressed the value of Homenetmen—not just for athletes and scouts but for family bonding too.
Rouben Gourjian, recipient of this year’s Exemplary Member of the Year award humbly accepted his award and shattered the mold of a quintessential acceptance speech. There was a refreshing quality in his drive and the trappings of old-school elegance. His appreciation towards his upbringing in Iran and his parents sacrifice spoke volumes about the discipline and magnitude of Homenetmen in the life of a growing youth.
Another reason for this years’ success was the After Dark celebration. After the formal program concluded young athletes and scouts swarmed the dance floor in their Saturday best to celebrate another successful Navasartian.
In was a bitter sweet moment to make peace with being replaced with the future generation. It wasn’t that long ago when “we” used to pay our nominal entrance fee and crash the “big people’s” party. Now, I was amongst the “big people” who would share the dance floor with the leaders of tomorrow.
More than 200 young college students and professionals attended the After Dark celebration. It was the perfect mix to capture the true Homenetmen motto, “Elevate Yourself and Others with You”. The evening was an ideal reminder for members and supporters that we have a responsibility to cultivate relationships with fellow Armenians, young and old, and work together to guarantee the continuance of a strong and structured Armenian culture.
Job well done to Cima Garabedian and her dynamic volunteer committee for organizing a successful event!