AGBU So Cal Honored Yenovk Balikian at Sold-Out Society Dinner

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Friday, December 21, 2007

AGBU Southern California District Honors Yenovk Balikian at Sold-Out
Society Dinner

The fourth annual AGBU Society Dinner, which was held on October 13,
2007 in the Viennese Ballroom of the Huntington Ritz Carlton Hotel,
served not only as a fundraiser but also the occasion to honor Yenovk
Balikian for his six decades of distinguished service to AGBU, in
Lebanon and California.

Many of the guests were well-known leaders of the Californian
Armenian-American community. Also present were civic leaders of the
California State Senate and the Assembly, local government officials,
Armenian religious leaders, the Consul General of the Republic of
Armenia, and friends of the extended Balikian family.

A unique silent auction, as well as a champagne and hors d’oeuvres
reception, with live Armenian music, preceded the dinner.

Emcee Toros Yetenekian summarized the accomplishments of the AGBU
Southern California District Committee (SCDC), of which he is a member,
in the last four years. Stella Maloyan, Chairman of the Society Dinner
for the last four years, thanked the attendees and introduced the
Organizing Committee members.

Vahe Imasdounian, SCDC Chairman, gave an overview of fundraising
successes, in which he emphasized three of several accomplishments as
significant: last year’s opening of the AGBU Pasadena High School,
progress in the sports and youth programs, and revitalization of the
Pasadena Chapter’s overall activities.

Hon. Paul Krekorian, State Assemblyman representing Burbank and
surrounding areas, presented a biography of his colleague Hon. S. Joe
Simitian, state senator representing the Palo Alto district of Northern

Taline Boyajian, daughter of honoree Yenovk Balikian, described her
father’s character, determination and drive, which are well known to
many Armenians. The audience then enjoyed a very informative video clip
depicting the honoree’s life and accomplishments.

Dr. Kevork Keshishian, former Central Board of Directors member and
staunch AGBU supporter, presented the honoree’s biography, beginning
with the days of his youth in Lebanon, moving on to his professional
career and, especially, his many accomplishments with AGBU. The speaker
emphasized that, without Balikian’s dedication, perseverance and
pursuit, the AGBU Pasadena High School would not have opened its doors.

Numerous congratulatory messages were read on this occasion, including
those from AGBU President Berge Setrakian and AGBU Council of Trustees
Member Nazar Nazarian. Setrakian referred to the honoree as "one of our
organization’s most long-serving and dedicated members" and cited his
accomplishments in the following words:
"Mr. Balikian’s professional accomplishments, as a civil engineer, are
sufficient by themselves to earn him a place in ‘Who’s Who’…However,
not satisfied with merely carving out a professional niche, Mr. Balikian
has distinguished himself in four other areas: (1) Armenian Youth
Association and Armenian General Benevolent Union; (2) Lebanese and
international sports; (3) Armenian secular and religious education; (4)
Lebanese community in Nigeria."

Yenovk Balikian, humbled by all the well-deserved accolades and praise,
thanked AGBU for the recognition and honor given to him.

Sinan Sinanian, member of AGBU Central Board of Directors, then
presented Balikian with the newly established AGBU "Boghos Nubar"
recognition medal. Balikian is the first recipient of this honor, which
is given to people who have given a lifetime of outstanding service to

The evening’s celebration came to a close with the benediction by
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Western Diocesan Primate. Prior to his
prayer, the Primate presented Mr. Balikian with the Sts. Sahag and
Mesrob medal, which was bestowed by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme
Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Established in 1906, AGBU () is the world’s largest
non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City with an
annual budget of $36 million, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian
identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian
programs, annually touching the lives of some 400,000 Armenians on six

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