Members and supporters gathered for Homenetmen’s 44th Navasartian Games’ Victory Banquet at the Beverly Hilton. Attendees demonstrated their support and respect toward the organization, which has furthered its philosophy of “A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body” for over a century. Homenetmen instills the spirit of love, independence, and preservation of the Armenian homeland.
More than 600 guests attended the event to celebrate the victories surrounding the 44th Navasartian Athletic Games. Much like the founding members of Homenetmen—which include Shavarsh Krissian, Hovhannes Hintlian, and Dikran Khoyan—participants strive to educate their peers with the “Elevate Yourself and Others with You” motto.
Dedicated and supportive attendees filled the venue where Honorary Presidents of the 44th Navasartian Games, Garo and Sosse Eshgian, would formally accept this prestigious role.
Official guests in attendance included Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian; Vicar General Bishop Torkom Donoyan; Consul General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles Dr. Armen Baibourtian; Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of the Artsakh Republic to the United States; Congressman Brad Sherman; Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno Berj Apkarian; Homenetmen Central Executive members Vicken Tavitian and Armando Torkomian; Central Executive Council members of the Holy See of Cilicia Vahe Yacoubian and Gaidzag Zetlian; Hamazkayin Central Executive member Manoug Joukhajian; Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia Arman Tatoyan; Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Artsakh Artak Beglaryan; Republic of Armenia’s Olympic Committee Board Member Hagop Kermezian; ARF Central Committee representative Avedik Izmirlian; ARS Regional Executive Chairperson Silva Poladian; AGBU representative Sinan Sinanian; Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian; Glendale City Councilmember Vartan Gharpetian; Judge Dickran Tevrizian; representatives of the Armenian Bar Association, Armenian National Committee, Armenian Youth Federation; former honorary presidents, former Exemplary Homenetmen Members, chapter representatives, and supporters.
The event officially began with an entrance by the Homenetmen Regional Marching Band and scouts. Later, Ivana Krikorian, a member of the Homenetmen Ararat Chapter, sang the American, Armenian, and Homenetmen anthems.
Archbishop Mardirossian performed the invocation and delivered table blessings. The Prelate congratulated all the participants of the 44th Navasartian Games, Honorary Presidents Garo and Sosse Eshgian, the 2019 Exemplary Homenetmen Member Vartkes Shekherdimian, and the Homenetmen family at large.
A video chronicling the organization’s history and programs was viewed, after which Homenetmen member Charlie Ghailian took to the stage to carry out his role as the event’s Master of Ceremonies. After welcoming guests, Ghailian extended sincere thanks to the event’s organizing committee members and recognized their presence while inviting them to stand. Thereafter, he acknowledged the presence of the soccer team from Argentina, which is participating in the 44th Navasartian Games. Ghailian reflected on the upcoming American Independence Day and focused on the significance of freedom. He then focused on the 101-year-old Homenetmen organization, which was founded in 1918 in Constantinople and has led Armenian youth to ongoing successes through its scouting and athletic programs.
The Homenetmen Regional Executive’s message was delivered by Chairperson Hagop Tufenkjian, who stated, “Homenetmen has survived for over a century as a result of its mission, objectives, and programs. These programs and projects, which speak to the hearts of our youth, work miracles throughout the world and in our homeland, and soon in the Artsakh Republic.” Tufenkjian gave special mention to the organization’s founders, who established Homenetmen to unite Armenian youth. He acknowledged that the 44th Navasartian Games are successfully underway as a result of community support and the dedication of parents, members, and supporters.
He extended special thanks to the ARF, which demonstrates its utmost care and support to Homenetmen both in the Diaspora and in Armenia, to the 44th Navasartian Games’ Honorary Presidents Garo and Sosse Eshgian, to the 43rd Navasartian Games’ Honorary Presidents Hamlet and Greta Chraghchian; and to all those who help elevate the organization as a result of their unwavering and selfless service.
Following dinner, a video was demonstrated highlighting the biography and organizational life of the 2019 Exemplary Homenetmen Member, Vartkes Shekherdimian. He was welcomed to the stage, where he delivered his remarks to guests, extending special thanks to the Homenetmen Regional Executive for the honor they bestowed upon him.
“As for many of you, Homenetmen has become a second home for me. It has given me a wide and close circle of friends. On this occasion, I’d like to extend my utmost appreciation to the leaders of this organization and my good friends, who have played their part in giving my life special meaning. I am thankful to the Homenetmen Shant Chapter, where I have been a founding and active member, and gained a great deal of experience to help overcome any challenges,” stated Shekherdimian.
He extended gratitude to his family, who has continually supported his organizational life. “Homenetmen is a part of my life through which I have learned to love…to love my family, my community, the Armenian people, and our homeland, all the while believing in its ‘Elevate Yourself and Others with You’ motto,” he concluded.
Following Shekherdimian’s impactful remarks, Homenetmen Regional Executive Chairperson Hagop Tufenkjian presented him with a plaque, honoring him as the 2019 Exemplary Homenetmen Member for his dedication and impeccable work in serving the organization.
Afterwards, a video was presented highlighting the biographies of Garo and Sosse Eshgian. Following the video, the Eshgian’s were invited to the stage, and welcomed with warm applause. The previous Honorary Presidents of the 43rd Navasartian Games, Hamlet and Greta Chraghchian then transferred the tricolor ribbon to the Eshagian’s.
Assuming the responsibility of Honorary President, Garo Eshgian first and foremost extended appreciation to Hamlet Chraghchian for fully carrying out his responsibilities during the prior year. He also congratulated Vartkes Shekherdimian for his honor of exemplary member, wishing him a long life, happiness, and continued service in Homenetmen. “I personally commend all of our organization’s volunteers. Of course, our donors and sponsors are also of the utmost importance, and I recognize our volunteers alongside them,” Eshgian stated.
He extended special thanks to the Homenetmen Regional Executive for entrusting him and his wife, Sosse, as Honorary Presidents. He highly commended the organization’s members and all those who work behind the veil, without any need of recognition. He requested that banquet attendees acknowledge these members through their applause. Eshgian reflected on his days when he first joined the organization as a scout, and the pride he felt while wearing his scouting uniform.
“I had many dreams associated with this uniform and one of those dreams came true today. I have been able to play my part in extending my token of appreciation to Homenetmen. It has been the one organization that has tied my heart to Armenia, and the Armenian people. I will always be proud of my past through this organization and, in the coming days, my wife and I will do our utmost to ensure the success of all work and activities,” Eshgian asserted.
Eshgian conveyed special gratitude to his wife for playing a monumental role in his life’s successes and recalled on the many sacrifices she has made for their family, filling their home with prayer, light, and hope.
In conclusion, Eshgian affirmed that he renewed his oath to the organization and promised that he and his wife, Sosse, would continue to do dedicate their time to ensure the success and continuation of the organization and its work.
Following Eshgian’s remarks, Homenetmen Regional Executive Chairperson Hagop Tufenkjian made a surprise announcement that former honorary presidents Bedig and Maro Fermanian made a donation of $25,000 to Homenetmen, on the occasion of their dear friends Garo and Sosse Eshgian serving as the Honorary Presidents of the 44th Navasartian Games.
After the end of the evening’s official program, guests enjoyed entertainment by the Allen G Orchestra.