By Aram Arkun
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Armenian Heritage Park in Boston has been successful on many grounds up until now. It is a focal point for immigrants and tourists with its abstract sculpture and labyrinth, and a memorial to the Armenian Genocide and all genocides that have followed. Aside from attracting much attention from non-Armenians, it has brought together diverse elements of the Armenian community in its support. The Chefs’ Party for Our Park benefit on May 18 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge was a prime example of this.
Nearly 300 guests sampled great food and drinks provided by over a dozen chefs and a number of comestible and beverage companies while the John Baboian Trio played jazz and Armenian melodies for the crowd. The guests were financially supporting the Armenian Heritage Park Foundation, which in turn maintains the park and its various public programs. More than $200,000 was raised for the park’s endowment fund. At the same time, the guests were creating stronger bonds between one another.
During the brief formal program, James Kalustian, president of the Armenian Heritage Park Foundation, thanked the guests and the chefs for their support. He said: “One of the greatest accomplishments of the park and the process of putting the park together was the fellowship that we created in our community. And tonight is a wonderful example of the fellowship that has built across our entire community to unify in support of a cause that is dear to all of us.”
The Sheriff of Middlesex County Peter Koutoujian, an honorary chair of the foundation’s board of directors, said: “This Armenian Heritage Park brought us all together. Tonight we have the great blessing of having many Armenian friends and many non-Armenian friends getting together to help us celebrate this park, to contribute to this park, and to share their love and food.”