GLENDALE–A special ceremony–dedicated to the completion of the final stage of construction for the Homenetmen’s Ararat Chapter Center was held on Sunday with more than a thousand people in attendance. The ceremony opened with the unveiling of a plaque in appreciation for the generous donations of Homenetmen benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Zareh and Seda Baghdasarian–which was consecrated by Prelate Mushegh Mardirossian & read: "From Our Children To The Children of Tomorrow," from the Baghdasarian Family.
In her remarks Ararat Chairwoman Lilit Baghdasarian mentioned the significance of turning the center into an educational institution for Armenian youth.
The master of ceremonies was attorney Simon Manucharian–who asked the audience to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of September 11th victims. Then he acknowledged the official guests of the ceremony which included Prelate Mushegh Mardirossian–Council General of Armenia Valerie Mkrtumian–Congressman Adam Schiff–Glendale City Council members Raffi Manoukian–Frank Quintero–Bob Yussefian and Dave Weaver–Los Angeles City Council member Eric Garcetti–ARF’s Western America’s Central Committee Shahan Stepanian–Prelacy’s Executive Council’s Chairman Arsen Danielian–ANC -Western Region Executive Director Alex Sardar & Board member Berj Karapetian–Homenetmen Central Executive member Koko Balian–Glendale Board of Education Members Chuck Sambar & Greg Krikorian–Armenian Relief Society’s Western Region’s Board of Executive–Armenian Fund President Tomik Alexanian–Homenetmen Western USA regional chairman Manuel Marselian–and many other distinguished members of the community–as well as representatives from the offices of Senator Jack Scott–Dario Frommer–Carol Lieu–Michael Antonovich–Scheriff Lee Baca–and LAPD Captain Karl Jackson
Baghdasarian said–"We are proud to announce that the we have completed the final stage of construction on the Homenetmen Glendale ‘Ararat’ chapter center." She stressed the importance of such institutions which give the future generations of Armenian youth a truly Armenian education. Vigen Davidian–a member of the Finance Committee said that regardless of financial difficulties they faced–the construction–which costs over $4 million–was completed thanks to the generous donations of various benefactors–fundraisers–as well as funding from the Glendale City Council. With the help of Homenetmen’s Central Council–the Ararat Center received a $1.2 million loan–which helped to complete the final stages of construction.
The entire Board of executives of the Homenetmen Ararat Chapter took stage to present the following people with appreciation plaques & awards–who had dedicated countless hours of their professional services & were instrumental in the completion of the center project. Masis Mkrtumian–Markar Grigorian–Arto Kazarian–Noel Petrosian–Martik Aratun–Vigen Davidian–Armond Gorgorian and Hrair Mesrobian–Edik Martikian–Armik Ebrahimian–& Victor Martin.
Government officials and sister organizations did not pass the opportunity to congratulate the Ararat chapter by presenting resolutions & plaques.
Later Council General Valeri Mktrumian stressed the importance of Homenetmen’s service to Armenian youth and the community in general particularly the close ties it possesses with Armenia.
On behalf of Homenetmen’ s Regional Executive Manuel Marselian reaffirmed the region’s constant readiness to support and assist the center in any way necessary. Special award & recognition was presented to Edik Marouthkhanian–who had gone above & beyond the call of duty to complete the construction project in the past 9 months–by spending countless hours–day & night in room adjacent to the foyer & the Multipurpose Hall. For this–the Chapter’s Board of Executive dedicated & named the room after him.
Zareh Baghdasarian–the major benefactor and a member of the chapter was awarded the Homenetmen’s Service Award–the highest honor in the organization by Manuel Marselian for his dedicated service & royal contribution to Homenetmen Ararat Chapter.
Koko Balian a Homenetmen Central Executive member said–"We look upon this Center with great pride–hoping and working towards the realization of Homenetmen’s dream for every Homenetmen chapter to have its own center."
Archbishop Musegh Mardirossian concluded the historic ceremony by presenting blessings from His Holiness Aram Catholicos of the Great Sea of Cilicia and blessed the center with a special prayer.