BY KATIA KARAGEUZIAN
ENCINO—Earlier this fall, at a historic general membership meeting with a record attendance of more than 150 members, San Fernando Valley’s Homenetmen Massis Chapter voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of a property in Canoga Park, which will be used as a scouting and sports facility for the chapter.
In attendance were Homenetmen Western USA Regional Executive Committee Chairman Karnig Abrahamian, Vice Chairman Pierre Manougian and Athletic Director Alec Araradian, Exemplary Homenetmenagans Albert Ounjian and Zakar Chorbajian, Massis Chapter founding member Chris Abkarian, members of Rosdom and Arshavir Shiragian Gomidehs, many previous Massis Executive Committee members, alumni, as well as scout leaders, parents, coaches and team moms. Most notable was the great turnout of enthusiastic Massis scouts and upper division athletes, eager to vote for this project.
The meeting was led by Massis Chapter Chairwoman, Katia Karageuzian, who was joined by members of the chapter’s Strategic Planning Committee Aram Chobanian and Alex Beylerian during a comprehensive presentation of the facts and figures involved. The challenges caused by the lack of a central location were discussed in depth. The public school gyms that the chapter currently rents are constantly subject to cancellations due to conflicts with the schools’ own needs and higher biddings by competing organizations and even the movie industry. Not only has the lack of a facility created challenges in management, safety and storage, it has also translated into thousands of dollars being poured into rentals instead of the mortgage of a property that can belong to our community and Armenian generations to come.
The chairlady went on to reflect upon the immensity of the moment at hand, and acknowledged the work and effort of the past two decades that contributed to this project ever since a 1995 Massis general membership meeting unanimously decreed the commencement of a fund dedicated to the purchase of a gym for the chapter. The fund has grown through the years with the fundraising efforts of each succeeding Executive Committee and many donations made in the memory of departed community members. The search for a property had intensified in recent years to take advantage of the prevailing rock bottom real estate prices and low interest rates. A Gym Purchasing Committee was created last year comprised of many previous Massis Chairmen and alumni. The committee morphed into a Strategic Planning committee under the current Vartchutyun’s vision and was asked to analyze the financial status and borrowing potential of the chapter, and scout accordingly for properties that matched the chapter’s budget specifications.
A Question and Answer session followed the presentation where several members were given the opportunity to ask questions. The value that this scouting and athletic facility will contribute in empowering the San Fernando Valley Armenian community was emphasized by statements made by Regional Chairman, Karnig Abrahamian and Vice Chairman Pierre Manougian. Massis chairlady Katia Karageuzian added that this investment move imbued from a proactive business and management decision designed to safeguard the future of the chapter. Not having its own facility is hampering the progress of the chapter and it is not a situation that should be passed on to future Homenetmen Massis members.
A call for a unanimous vote was seconded and the proposal was passed with a unanimous and celebratory show of hands. The current Massis Executive committee thanked Ferrahian High School for providing Avedissian Hall as the venue for the meeting, and salutes all those who were part of this historic vote which will set the future course of the chapter!