EAGLE ROCK, Calif.—During the past few years, Homenetmen in the Western USA has acquired a 25-acre campground in Frazier Park, CA, opened it’s new state of the art 8500 square foot center/headquarters in Eagle Rock, CA, a new center in Little Armenia, Hollywood and athletic facilities in Glendale and Pasadena, CA. On top of all that, construction is scheduled to start for a gym in Burbank, CA. To say these are historic times for Homenetmen does not begin to describe the achievements the organization has enjoyed in recent years.
“By realizing these magnificent dreams in such a short time, we have set the tone of where we need to go,” said Steve Artinian, Chairman of Homenetmen Western USA.
To top off an incredible run, the Regional Executive Committee officially opened the Homenetmen Western US Regional Kevork Andonian Hall with a very chic and stylish event on Sunday, October 31. Members of the Andonian family were on hand along with chapter leaders, past and present Honorary Presidents, Exemplary members, central and regional committee members and supporters.
The days events started with a Sunday Brunch. Master of Ceremony, Raffi Hamparian summed it all up by saying, “This is a new beginning for Homenetmen.” The Homenetmen Kevork Andonian Hall was designed and built by the Ian Thomas Group, a Glendale based general engineering and contracting firm. “We believe that design represents the ultimate integration of art and science” said Vahagn Thomasian, the partner in charge of the Homenetmen project.
During the brunch, Artinian addressed the enthusiastic guests on behalf of the Homenetmen Regional Executive board. He started by sharing the importance of such a center within the community. “This center will serve generations to come,” Artinian said. “This is where we’re going to build leaders, as well as educate, empower and elevate our youth, all by instilling in them a sense of belonging.”
Artinian continued by thanking all the individuals that brought this project into fruition, particularly Alice Andonian whose donation of $200,000 funded this project. Vice Chairman Koko Balian acknowledged the great accomplishments of the Regional Executive committee and expressed the organizations appreciation to the Andonian family.
Betty Andonian Gulezyan, daughter of Kevork Andonian, delivered the remarks on behalf of the Andonian family. Gulezyan spoke about the significance of the hall named after her father. “Homenetmen’s mission of serving the youth is a noble one and we’re proud to be a part of this huge family,” she said. She continued by thanking the organizers of the event and everyone that worked so hard in making it happen. Board member Ano Mansourian was in charge of the brunch. “We wanted this brunch to be an unforgettable experience for our guests and based on the reaction it seems that we have,” he added.
Guest mingled and enjoyed the tasty buffet as scouts, marching band members and supporters that came to witness the official Ribbon Cutting gathered outside the doors. Anticipation grew as the Andonian family along with the chapter and regional Homenetmen leaders proceeded toward the front of the double glass doors where the ribbon cutting ceremony would take place. Master of Ceremony for the ribbon cutting Viggen Davidian thanked everyone for being there and shared a touching story of Homenetmen’s many accomplishments. He ended his remarks by saying, “be proud” and the audience was.
Artinian then addressed the audience and talked about the new era that Homenetmen Western USA is fast approaching.”The next generation has choices. We must work hard towards involving them. We must provide superior service and facilities such as this center and this hall will help us do just that,” he said, introducing Rubina Andonian, granddaughter of Kevork Andonian. Rubina emotionally spoke about what this day would mean for her grandfather and how proud he would have been.
Baydsar Thomasian, Senior Field Representative of Assemblyman Kevin de Leon’s Office presented Homenetmen with a certificate of acknowledgement for Homenetmen’s dedication to community youth. Thomasian proceeded by presenting Andonian with a Certificate to mark the special day.
Davidian than introduced the Rev. Father Vazken Atmajian, Pastor of St. Marys Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale. After his brief remarks, Rev. Atmajian asked the audience to join him in a prayer. After the prayer, Andonian was joined by Homenetmen and community leaders for the cutting of the ribbon. “I’ll remember this day forever. Thank you Homenetmen for doing such a wonder job in the name of my late husband,” she said, as the program came to an end.
The audience was then invited back into the hall for refreshments. Guests toured the modern facility, mesmerized by it’s beauty. Framed pictured of children’s faces lined the halls as guests went from room to room. Homenetmen used this occasion to also unveil the Hagop Ovayan Homenetmen History Museum located within the center.