LOS ANGELES–Community members and leaders gathered Sunday at the site of a new Armenian youth center in Hollywood’s Little Armenia neighborhood, where Western Prelate Arch. Moushegh Mardirossian officiated a ground-blessing ceremony organized by the Armenian Cultural Foundation and Homenetmen Los Angeles chapters.
Following the flag ceremony and the singing of the Armenian and US national anthems, Master of Ceremonies Garo Ispendjian welcomed the guests, including Arch. Mardirossian, Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau members Dr. Vicken Hovsepian and Vigen Baghoumian, ARF Western US Central Committee chairman Avedik Izmirlian, the St. Garabet Church Board of Trustees, the administration of the Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, as well as representatives of the local chapters of the ARF, Armenian National Committee, Armenian Relief Society, Homenetmen, Hamazkayin, Ani Dance Troupe, Armenian Youth Federation and the ARF Junior Organization and the center architect Sam Yousefian.
"It was our dream to see a youth center in the heart of Hollywood, that will serve the community of ‘Little Armenia,’" said Ispendjian.
The center is the culmination of years of planning and activity and is made possible through generous contributions willed by Mr. & Mrs. Dickran and Zaruhi Der-Ghazarian and Haig Garabedian.
Seto Boyadjian, a close friend of the benefactors, told the gathered community members that the Der-Ghazarians were survivors of the Genocide and their generosity throughout the years has helped several projects in the community.
Boyadjian explained that the Der-Ghazarians and Garabedian decided to will their estate for the advancement of the community and nation.
Prelate Arch. Mardirossian officiated the ground-blessing ceremony, following which those in attendance had the opportunity to add a shovel of dirt to the foundation of the soon-to-be-constructed center.