By Kevork Keushkerian
ALTADENA, Calif. — A fundraising banquet for the renovation of the Tekeyan Cultural Association’s Beshgetourian Center on Sunday, January 31, held at the center here, raised close to $20,000.
In attendance were Rev. Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian, representing Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, Rev. Sarkis Petoyan, pastor of St. Gregory Church in Pasadena, Rev. Hovsep Hagopian, pastor of the Armenian Church in La Canada, seven Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) Central Board members, and many members of the Armenian community in the greater Los Angeles area.
The honored guest was the reconstructive plastic surgeon, Dr. Vatche Bardakjian, who sponsored the event. In his opening remarks, Kevork Keushkerian thanked Bardakjian, members of the committee in charge of organizing the event and acknowledged Dikran Ekizian for his design and execution of the renovation. He then invited Arzoumanian for the blessing of the food. During the dinner, accordionist Nick Ariondo performed musical selections.
Prof. Osheen Keshishian served as the master of ceremonies. The program consisted of a vocal selection by Khatchig Nahabedian, a recitation by 11-year-old Mary Avedisyan, operatic selections by Boghos Ohannesyan, accompanied on the keyboard by his wife, Janna, two dramatic recitations by actor-director Setrag Bronzian, and a vocal selection by Tavit Samuelian, who performed Vahan Tekeyan’s “Oh, God.”
TCA Central Board of Director’s Treasurer and Chairwomen of its Board of Administrators Maro Bedrosian delivered the keynote speech. She presented the TCA’s vision and mission in the diaspora, stressing the preservation of cultural heritage and maintaining the means necessary to carry it out, such as schools, news media and TCA chapters.
Bedrosian dwelled upon the need to keep the ties between Armenia and the diaspora alive and healthy in order to help our compatriots there in times of dire economic conditions. To that end, she noted, the Board of Administrators was created, which 10 years ago embarked upon a project to help teachers in Armenia and Artsakh financially. Hence, the project “Sponsor a Teacher” was born, and in the past decade, a total of $400,000 has been distributed to teachers and school workers in four Tekeyan schools in Armenia and one Tekeyan school in Artsakh, adopted just last year.