FRESNO–Benefactor and the recent recipient of the Cilician Prince medal from His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–Sarkis Boghossian–announced a $300,000 contribution to the newly established Armenian Revolutionary Federation Endowment Fund–at a gathering last Saturday honoring his 70-year service to the political party.
The gathering–which was hosted by the ARF Bureau Finance Committee members Manas Boujikian and Varoujan Koundakjian–and took place at Boukjikian’s vineyard–climaxed with Boghossian’s surprise announcement.
Koundakjian–in thanking Boghossian–took the opportunity to discuss the committee’s projects and activities–as well as goals and aims for the coming two years.
The Finance Committee–which established to secure financial revenues for ARF’s activities–during its last plenary session in June–decided to create a $2 million ARF Endowment Fund.
"With his princely donation–Sarkis Boghossian provided an exciting kick off to our activities–as well as an added optimism for our endeavors," said Boujikian–who along with Koundakjian has brought the old-world Kessab tradition of "Prpour" [foam] to the Pacific Coast.
The "Prpour" celebration is the traditional feast of extracting the foam from the sweet syrup of grapes and the subsequent tasting with bay leaves.
ARF Bureau member Vicken Hovsepian from Canada discussed the specifics of the endowment fund–announcing that through fund by-law provisions–contributors of $100,000 or more could earmark their donation for specific projects.
During the evening–the chairperson of the ARF "Soghomon Tehlirian" Gomideh–Mher Chekherdemian addressed the gathering–as did ARF Western Region Central Committee member Viken Yepremian and the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America Mourad Topalian–who was in Fresno to attend a local ANC banquet the previous night.
Also speaking during the celebration were ARF Bureau member Martoun Matevossian from Armenia and Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian.
ARF Bureau member Apo Boghigian honored Boghossian and presented his 70-year accomplishmen’s as an ARF member and vibrant member of the community.
Boghossian called on those present and–through them–the entire Armenian nation–to bring their participation in national activities and support the dedicated mission of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
At the close of the short program–on behalf of the ARF Bureau Finance Committee–Koundakjian presented a set of ARF Centenary commemorative gold coins to Boghossian–who announced that he would send them to Armenia for permanent display at the National Museum.
Among the more than 150 attendees were Armenian Relief Society Central Executive chairperson Vanouhi Issadjanian–ARS CE members Mako Mgrdichian and Haigoush Keghinian-Kohler–as well as aide to Rep. George Radanovich–Steve Samuelian; Asbarez Daily executive editor John Kossakian; ARF Western US Central Committee members Hovig Saliba–Ara Khandjian and Charles Lousararian and ARF Bureau member Mario Nalbandian–who was on the West Coast from Argentina for other organizational matters.