Prelate Presents “St. Mesrob Mashdots” Emblem to Sam And Sylva Simonian on Behalf of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I at the AEF 70th Anniversary Gala

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, the Armenian Educational Foundation celebrated its 70th anniversary with a gala held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. This year, the AEF honored longtime AEF board member, sponsor, and volunteer Vahik Petrossian with the Lifetime Service Award, and TUMO Center for Creative Technologies founders Sam and Sylva Simonian with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, attended and delivered his congratulatory remarks, and on behalf of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, presented the Great House of Cilicia “St. Mesrob Mashdots” emblem to Mr. and Mrs. Simonian for their valuable contributions through the TUMO Center. Executive Council member Alec Baghdasaryan was in attendance.

The program began with by the national anthems performed by Mesrobian and Ferrahian School students. Clergy members delivered the invocation. Welcoming remarks were conveyed by AEF Board President Peter Baghdassarian, who also gave a brief overview of the organization’s mission and thanked all those involved in the fulfillment of that mission. Armine Haroyan, Executive Director of the AEF in Yerevan, delivered her message. Two videos were shown, one on the work of the AEF and the other on the AEF scholarship program.

The presentation of awards followed. AEF Vice-President Dr. Aida Rechdouni Jooharian introduced Vahik Petrossian and invited him to receive his award, and Gala Chair Al Cabraloff introduced Sam and Sylva Simonian and invited them to receive their award. Remarks were conveyed by the honorees. Remarks were conveyed by entrepreneurs Vahe Kuzoyan and Ara Mahdessian, who expressed their solidarity and moral and financial support to the TUMO Center.

The Prelate delivered his congratulatory remarks, in which he lauded the AEF’s mission of spearheading the establishment of Armenian Schools here within our community and abroad, providing valuable resources to existing schools, scholarships to students, and much more. He blessed and commended the members and volunteers for their utmost dedication to providing opportunities for our youth to achieve a bright future, as well as the generous sponsors and donors who make it possible for the AEF to fulfill its goals. He recognized in particular the evening’s honorees and their tremendous contributions to the vital and noble cause of educating our youth.

The Prelate joyfully announced that in response to the appeal of the AEF Board, he and the Executive Council humbly requested from His Holiness Catholicos Aram I to honor Sam and Sylva Simonian for their pioneering work through the TUMO Center, to which our Pontiff responded favorably. Thus, he invited the Simonians to the stage to present to them the “St. Mesrob Mashdots” emblem and Pontifical encyclical on behalf of His Holiness. In the encyclical, His Holiness had commended the Simonian’s valuable input within the Armenian Educational Foundation and especially their significant contributions on a pan-Armenian level through their founding of the TUMO Center.

The program concluded with closing remarks by the Board President.

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