PARAMUS, N.J. — On Sunday, November 22, the Armenian Presbyterian Church had their Thanksgiving Dinner in honor of Andrew Torigian. Andy has been a key individual in many Christian, Armenian and other philanthropic organizations for many, many years making a significant difference in the lives of many people. This was evident at the dinner which was packed with a crowd of over 250. The dinner was exceptional and emotionally stirring as person after person commented on how much they appreciated Andy’s labor of love and guidance.
There were some lighter moments, too, as his children shared fond and sometimes humorous memories of their dad over the years. First came his daughter, Dr. Cathy Torigian, who spoke of her father’s influence in her life and memories of love expressed in many tangible ways throughout her life. She mentioned that he had rescued an eight-year-old boy by diving into a pool fully clothed. Then, Dr. Christine Torigian gave a presentation into the many humorous moments in her father’s life. His son, Dr. Drew Torigian, underwrote the cost of the dinner. In the end, it was apparent how much Andy had done for his children and the love and appreciation they have for him.
Matthew Russo, administrator of the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC), commented on the wisdom and guidance provided to the ANRC and to him personally. Andy serves as president of the ANRC. Dr. Herand Markarian, executive secretary of the Armenian Medical Fund (AMF), spoke on Andrew Torigian’s leadership proficiency as vice president within the organization. The AMF fights tuberculosis in Armenia and Lebanon.
Leo Manuelian, grand district representative of the Knights of Vartan (KOV), commented on the strategic direction he has provided to the organization. The KOV was formed to alleviate the suffering of the Armenian people; to ensure the safety of displaced Armenians; and to train leaders to serve the religious, cultural and charitable needs of the Armenian people. Andy was the only commander to serve three consecutive terms. In 1998, he became the Commander of the Mid-Atlantic Lodge in NYC and subsequently became the Chairman and Master of Ceremonies of the Annual Times Square Genocide Commemoration, which takes place each year at NYC Times Square. In 1999, Andrew Torigian became the chairman and master of ceremonies of the annual national Hrand Convocation of the KOV. He also received the KOV Man of the Year award in 1999.
Frank Scott, commander of the Paramus American Legion, spoke on the aptitude Andrew Torigian brought to the organization in helping to set and steer its course. The American Legion is the oldest national veteran’s organization requiring wartime service to be a member. Andy served as Post Commander for 20 consecutive years. He served three times as the grand marshall of the Paramus Memorial Day Parade. He was chosen to serve with the New Jersey State Circle of Honor Committee which erected the monuments at the Hackensack Court House Park, honoring veterans from WWI to the Gulf wars. He was also awarded the American Legion Man of the Decade award.
Maureen O’Brian, Paramus councilwoman, commented on the wisdom, guidance, and direction Andrew Torigian has provided to the town. He served five years on the Paramus Planning Board and several years as president of the Paramus Republican Club and Paramus Veterans Council. He served seven years as the editor of the Paramus Republican Club Newsletter. He served as co-chair to upgrade the Veterans Memorial Monument at Memorial Middle School. He received the Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award and an award from the mayor for serving as Marshall of the July 4th Parade.