BY DR. RAZMIG KRUMIAN
Optimism was in the air on the chilly evening of November 19 as the School Board of Holy Martyrs Ferrahian/Cabayan/Pilavjian Schools held a dinner fundraiser at the home of Rafi and Anoush Kuyumjian in Tarzana, California.
Invitations to attend this beautifully appointed event were sent to members of the greater Ferrahian community. It was attended by more than one hundred parents, alumni, and community members who were all unified in one objective: to help support the raising of the next generation of Armenian Americans.
The delightful mood of the evening was initially set by the large white tents which enclosed the different areas of the venue. Beautiful lights decorated the entire enclosure which included a formal dining area as well as a lounge. The relaxing atmosphere allowed guests to socialize, mingle and feel right at home!
Dr. Garo Tchakian, a longtime community supporter, Ferrahian alumnus and parent said that it was a night that was both impressive and humbling, all wrapped under an elegant tent. “We felt like we were taken to another far-off location with friends, but felt like one big family. We all had one goal with open hearts and great hosts.”
Host and school board chairman, Rafi Kuyumjian, expressed his heartfelt appreciation to all who attended and urged them to be as generous as possible. The guests then enjoyed the vocal performance of Araxia Varteresyan. Afterwards, Principal John Kossakian informed the audience about the academic and financial state of the school and kept the crowd laughing by adding humorous anecdotes relating to school life. He also surprised everyone with his promise to jump into the cold swimming pool should the evening’s pledges reach $100,000!
By the end of the evening, $100,000 had been pledged and the crowd watched in amazement as Principal Kossakian kept his word and dove fully dressed into the pool! “United we stand!” said Ferrahian alumnus and parent Seta Aghjayan. “It was an evening filled with magic, exciting memories and accomplishments! Thank you to the gracious hosts and hostess for opening your hearts and exquisite home. Many thanks to our Principal, John Kossakian, for creating an ambiance that will be remembered for many years to come.”
The recent downturn in the economy has negatively impacted the financial health of Holy Martyrs due to a decrease in both enrollment and donations. In addition, the school has had to face another financial challenge. For more than a decade, the Lincy Foundation has helped all Armenian Schools with its sizeable yearly donations. With its dissolution, the school has lost yet another important form of support.
Despite these difficult times, Holy Martyrs Armenian School has refused to compromise the quality of its curriculum. It continues to value the exposure of its students to the fine arts, technology, health and many other enriching co-curricular and extracurricular programs and activities.
Encouraged by its success, the School Board plans to organize smaller scale events that will not only help the school raise much needed funds, but also unite the community in a common goal. The School Board is grateful to all those who took part in this event by generously contributing their time, money, and talents.