ORANGE COUNTY—More than 500 community members attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Mihranian Sports Field at Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School in Orange County. The state of the art outdoor basketball courts and soccer field was made possible by the generous donation of the Mihranian family, Mr. & Mrs. Mihran Mihranian and Mr. & Mrs. Haig Mihranian, along with the multitude of community members who also made financial contributions and dedicated their time to help complete the long overdue project.
Dikran Sassounian, Chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Armen Karo Gomideh, and Hourie Keuroghlian, representative from the Board of Regents, were in attendance along with representatives and members of the ARF, ARS, Homenetmen, AYF, ARF Badanees, Hamazkayin, Forty Martyrs and St Mary Churches, AG Minassian faculty, students and parents, and members of the OC Armenian community.
The program began with the Homenetmen conducting the flag ceremonies during which AG Minassian students sang the Star Spangled Banner and Mer Hairenik. The Master of Ceremonies, Kevork Keshishian, said a few opening remarks after which the opening prayer was conducted. AG Minassian Student Body President, Araz Madenlian spoke on behalf of the students and expressed their appreciation for the field and reaffirmed the importance of AGM in providing a quality education for the younger generation in a family environment emphasizing their Armenian culture and heritage. Andy Mansourian, a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County who is also a candidate for Superior Court Judge and whose children attend AG Minassian congratulated the School Board and the community for coming together and transforming the parking lot into a modern sports complex for the children.
Prinicpal Kohar Zaher reminded the attendees that AGM has finally realized the dream of having a sports field and assured everyone that this was the first step in the continuous process of improving AGM. She emphasized that together with the AGM school board and with the support of the community we will continue to move forward. Mr. Mark Karatas, a member of the AGM School Board spoke about the “Brick Project” and encouraged those in attendance to purchase a brick with their choice of engravings. The bricks will be placed at the entrance of the Sports Field. Many supporters signed up to participate.
Chris Guldjian spoke next about the dedication of the school board and community members who gave up their free time and helped every day to build the Mihranian Sports Field. Guldjian thanked the community for trusting the school board with the education of their children, the next generation of Armenians in Orange County, as well as with their financial contributions and emphasized the importance of mutual trust in a small tight knit community. Chris explained how the Sports Field was built at less than a third of the cost. He then acknowledged all those who were instrumental in the success of the Mihranian Sports Field, including but not limited to Kevork Der Alexanain the former Chairman of the Forty Martyrs Church, Garo Khacherian for his equipment and work on the field, Talin Minassian for securing the disposal companies, Perga and Costco for the synthetic grass, Behr for the special paint for the Basketball courts, Powerade for their donations, Harout Guldjian and Souren Kouyoumdjian for their tireless dedication, PBS and the Go Green With Joel Greene show for filming and highlighting AGM in their program, and too many others to mention.
Guldjian also announced that one of the former Ferrahian Armenian School classes had just hosted an alumni event and donated the proceeds to AGM. He also announced that numerous members of the community members were encouraged by the event and made donations, including long time AGM supporters Mr. and Mrs. Ohanessian who contributed an additional $5,000.
The program concluded with the Mihranian family taking the stage and expressing their commitment to the community and future generations, and asked all those present to follow in their example and contribute however they can to help advance AG Minassian.
The crowd then gathered around the red, blue, and orange ribbons as Mr. & Mrs. Mihran Mihranian officially cut the ribbons signaling the official opening of the Sports Field. Immediately thereafter the students and the youth rushed onto the field and played soccer and basketball while the community members enjoyed the festival atmosphere with Armenian food and music.
Please contact the school’s offices at (714) 839-7831 for more information and enrollment dates for AGM.