GLENDALE–A group of friends and supporters of the Armenian Cultural Foundation gathered Friday at the organization’s headquarters at 104 North Belmont St. to witness an unveiling ceremony–participated by well-known benefactors Richard and Tina Carolan and their son Richard–rededicating the ACF Center in memory of Tina Carolan’s parents Lussik and Kerope Peschekerian.
The rededication ceremony–which took place on the newly remodeled third floor of the center–was a result of a generous contribution of $500,000 by Richard and Tina Carolan to the ACF.
Present at the reception were representatives of affiliate organizations and tenants of the center–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–the Armenian Youth Federation–the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region–AYF Camp and the Armenian Relief Society–which is occupying office space at the center until final touches are completed on its new headquarters on Glenoaks Boulevard.
Also present were Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Lebanese Consul General to Los Angeles Dr. John Makaroon and his wife–Norayr Ghaloumian representing the Armenian Consulate General in Los Angeles and Glendale City Councilmember Rafi Manoukian.
ARF Western US Central Committee member Viken Yacoubian addressed the crowd–saying that the event was not a mere rededication ceremony–but rather an expression of gratitude and appreciation toward a couple who–throughout the years–have embodied the true essence of dedication–in its complete and multi-faceted form.
"As we stand here to dedicate this building to the memory of Lussik and Kerope Peschekerian–we cannot help but be utterly moved by the fact that a legacy has been bestowed. One that through Mr. & Mrs. Richard and Tina Carolan–symbolizes our people’s unwavering will to survive and to struggle for what is just," commented Yacoubian.
"Today–we are gathered here not to only recognize the extremely generous half million dollar donation that Mr. & Mrs. Richard and Tina Carolan have made to the Armenian Cultural Foundation center–but to convey our infinite gratitude to them for supporting our organization and the cause it champions in serving the Armenian people," said Yacoubian.
"Mr. & Mrs. Carolan have given their support continuously and–above all–courageously–even at dark junctures in our recent history when our organization had become the target of an unjust and divisive campaign," added the ARF leader.
The reception began at 6 p.m.–and as the crowd mingled and toured the center facilities–the mother-daughter team of Salpy and Sossi Kerkonian entertained the attendees with traditional Armenian melodies.
Master of Ceremonies Ara Khachatourian briefly outlined the importance of the center and listed–in general terms–some of the activities which have emanated from the center since its occupants moved in five years ago.
"Generations were nurtured through the AYF–the ARF Badanegan and the AYF Camp; legislation was passed restricting US assistance to Azerbaijan and ensuring the education of the Armenian Genocide in California public schools–through the work of the Armenian National Committee of America; More than $8.5 million was raised to feed–house and clothe–and–yes–when necessary arm our brothers and sisters in Karabakh. All of this was done from this center and under the leadership and astute guidance of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation," said Khachatourian in his welcoming remarks.
He went on to praise the Carolans for their commitment–dedication and belief in the Armenian Cause and the activities of the ARF and its affiliate organizations.
Khachatourian anecdotally recalled a statement which Tina Carolan made several years ago at a reception. She said–"All I’m doing is what I learned as a young AYF member in New Jersey." Khachatourian pointed out that goals can be achieved with the proper belief and commitment to that end.
Prior to the unveiling ceremony–Bishop Mardirossian said a special rededication prayers especially arranged for the occasion.
Joining the Carolan family for the unveiling of a plaque–which will be mounted at the front entrance of the center–were Bishop Mardirossian and ARF Central Committee chairman Hovig Saliba.
In conclusion–Khachatourian thanked the Kerkonians–as well as the rededication ceremony committee members Azita Yacoubian and Hilda Saliba.