Kevorkian & Madenlian LLP donate $5,000 to AYF Camp in Hovig’s memory
GLENDALE–The Armenian Youth Federation Camp of California will continue the memorial fund created in memory of Hovig Akmakjian, a 22 year old beloved young AYF member and Homenetmen scout who the Armenian community lost on February 21, 2014 in a tragic motorcycle accident in Fountain Valley, Calif.
“This was truly a tragedy that impacted our entire community” said Garo R. Madenlian, chairman of the Orange County ARF and partner at Kevorkian & Madenlian LLP, the firm that represented Hovig’s estate and the Akmakjian family. He recalled how less than a month before this horrific accident, during the annual AYF-ARF football game he and Hovig discussed the future including employment opportunities and being active in the community. Garo went on to say “Our firm decided to donate all fees from the third party claim to a project which would best preserve Hovig’s memory and at the same time help other Armenian youth. When we discussed this idea with the Akmkajian family, without hesitation they chose AYF Camp because camp was a special place for Hovig and continues to benefit Armenian youth every year.”
Hovig’s parents, Sam and Nargis Akmakjian, have been and continue to be active members in the Orange County Armenian community, having served on various committees including the Forty Martyrs Church Board and Ladies Auxilliary, and the Homenetemen Sartarabad chapter executive. They are staples at the Armenian Community center routinely helping with the Friday night family dinners and serving on committees.
At a very young age Hovig’s parents instilled in him the values of community service and volunteering, preserving Armenian culture and heritage, fighting for the Armenian cause (Hai Tad), and the importance of family and friendship in one’s life. Hovig was an active member of Orange County “Ashod Yergat” AYF and “Sartarabad” Homenetmen scouts and athletics. All who knew him continue to describe his insatiable smile that affected those around him; his undeniable strength that empowered his friends and family; his positive outlook even in the face of tremendous adversity; and his caring and loving spirit.
Hovig loved attending AYF camp and scouts camp every summer and winter. He especially enjoyed AYF camp because he understood the value of spending a week in the mountains with his Armenian brothers and sisters who all shared a common identity and worked towards the same goals as they developed a strong bond and friendship that endured.
Ani Akmakjian, Hovig’s sister, active member of the Orange County Armenian community and chairperson of the 2014-2015 “Ashod Yergat” AYF chapter said, “Hovig would be very happy knowing that a sponsorship program was created in his memory and implemented to sponsor Armenian youth who would otherwise not have the means or opportunity to attend that special place where lifelong friendships are built while fostering the Armenian culture, heritage, and spirit.”
The Hovig Akmakjian Memorial Fund will continue to sponsor campers attending AYF summer camp in 2016 and beyond as the Akmakjian family plans to hold an annual dinner in Hovig’s memory and raise funds to keep the sponsorship active and growing in the coming years.
To learn more about the Hovig Akmakjian Memorial Fund or to make a contribution, please contact the AYF Camp office at (818) 242-7494 or [email protected]
AYF Camp has offered a genuinely rewarding experience by serving as a place for Armenian youth to make new friends and memories of a lifetime. AYF Camp is the largest and oldest Summer Camp program in the Western United States, focusing on Armenian culture and heritage. Visit www.AYFCamp.org for more information and sign up as a “Friend of AYF Camp” to receive news and updates on programs and events.