Tavloo Players At the 49th Annual Detroit AGBU Golf Day

Annual Golf Outing Supports Michigan’s AGBU School


WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. —  The AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School has served the Metro Detroit Armenian community for 49 years, and for all of that time, the AGBU Special Projects group has supported the school through its annual Golf Day and Backgammon Tournament.

The Golf Day this year, which took place at the Pine Lake Country Club on August 9, raised over $100,000 for the school this year.

The Special Projects group, a committee of 45 Detroit-area Armenian-American businessmen and professionals, has supported the school since its inception. These dedicated individuals come together every year in support of their community institution, regardless if they have children and grandchildren that attend the school or not.

The Special Projects organization has raised more than $5.5 million for the school over the years.

Detroit’s AGBU Special Projects Group

In addition to the Backgammon Tournament led yearly by Dr. Vigen Darian, the golf outing this year offered a silent auction and a wine pull. The golf tournament was followed by a banquet at the club’s outdoor dining area overlooking Pine Lake. Despite heavy rain that interrupted otherwise pleasant weather, the golfers persisted and finished out their round to return to the clubhouse for dinner.

When it was time for dinner, Fr. Aren Jebejian of St. John’s Armenian Church gave the blessing. Brian Thomas thanked the committee members and Dicran Kurjian spoke on behalf of the School Board, introducing 2021 Co-Valedictorian Yuliya Velhan. Velhan, who came to the school from Ukraine in 6th grade knowing no English, is the first graduate of the Manoogian school to receive a full-ride scholarship to an Ivy League university and will attend Brown in the fall. Velhan gave an inspirational speech thanking the attendees and telling how the school has helped her to succeed in America.

Left to right: Edward Mardigian, Jr., Matthew Mardigian, Gary Reizian

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This year’s co-chairmen of the Golf Day were Matthew Najarian and Brian Thomas. Norman Messelian was in charge of tee times. Paul and Tom Krikorian were in charge of sponsors. Peter Sarkesian was Club Chairman. Gary Reizian was in charge of gifts. Andrew and Marty Shoushanian were in charge of printing. Richard Kurjian headed up the silent auction. Paul Jingozian and Richard Simonian were in charge of “hole sponsors.” Robert Simonian was the treasurer. Chris Korkoian and Dr. Harry Kezelian were in charge of the dining room.

The official Special Projects group members are Bernie Akkashian, Rick Akkashian, Mark Anusbigian, Richard Apkarian, Jr., Mark Artinian, Mike Arzoumanian, Dr. Gary Assarian, Ara Atesian, Howard Atesian, Dr. Edward Bayleran, Greg Boyajian, Dr. Vigen Darian, David Dolik, Michael Ducato, Gene Gargaro, Dicran Haidostian, Bob Harrison, Greg Jamian, Paul Jingozian, David Karagosian, Edward Karamanian, Dr. Harry Kezelian, Chris Korkoian, Adam Krikorian, Paul Krikorian, Tom Krikorian, Richard Kurjian, Greg Mamassian, Doug Manoogian, Richard Manoogian, Edward Mardigian, Matthew Mardigian, Norman Messelian, Matthew Najarian, Dr. Neshan Ohanian, Gary Reizian, John Reizian, Peter Sarkesian, Andrew Shoushanian, Martin Shoushanian, Richard Simonian, Robert Simonian, James Stamboulian, Robert Stepanian, and Brian Thomas.

AGBU School 2021 Co-Valedictorian Yuliya Velhan Addressing Attendees

The AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School, founded in Southfield in 1969 by Alex and Marie Manoogian, began with the goal of providing educational opportunities for area youth.

Students continually display their academic abilities on a statewide, regional and local level. As the aptitude of students rises, enrollment has been steadily increasing to follow suit. At its inception only 10 individuals were enrolled in this unique educational institution. The number of students has flourished since Central Michigan University chartered the Manoogian School in 1995. There were 189 students when the charter was granted and enrollment grew to nearly double that in 10 years.


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