By Arpi Arukian
BAYSIDE, N.Y.—Fifty years ago, the Armenian community in Queens received a special gift that would keep on giving: the Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School (HMADS). HMADS first opened its welcoming doors as “Hye Bardez” in 1967 and has since become a second home to hundreds of students, staff, parents, alumni, and supporters. It seems fated that the 50th anniversary of HMADS arrives under the leadership of its new principal, Mrs. Seta Tavitian-Megherian, a proud alumna of the school.
Since its inception, HMADS has upheld a tradition of excellence in elementary education while inspiring a love of Armenian heritage in students from nursery to sixth grade. Surpassing the mandated New York State education standards, the school supplements its curriculum with daily lessons in Armenian language, history, and culture.
Recently, due to popular demand, HMADS introduced the cooperative Hye Bardez program for two and three-year-olds. From a very young age, students gain valuable knowledge, develop character and moral fortitude, and learn to become part of the bigger, unified picture as future members of the Armenian-American community. Class sizes at the fully accredited HMADS are small, allowing for a more personal, nurturing learning environment in which many lifelong friendships have blossomed. Graduates of the beloved school have gone on to distinguish themselves with various academic and professional honors. Three alumni proudly serve as HMADS Board members during this 50th school year, and many have returned to their alma mater as new parents, ensuring the continuity of the school and its mission.
The celebration of this milestone anniversary allows members of the close-knit HMADS family to reflect upon half a century of service as the community’s leading Armenian-American educational institution. One of the major celebratory events of this memorable year will be the Gala Dinner Dance, to be held on June 3 at the exclusive North Hills Country Club in Manhasset.
The gala is hosted by the Friends of HMADS fundraising committee, which has established itself as the financial pillar of the school since 1994. The Friends committee, currently chaired by school board co-chairman Hovannes Malikyan, has planned and executed various fundraising activities for over 20 years, working diligently to help HMADS keep its tuition affordable for families.
This year, the HMADS family is extremely grateful to have a special, dedicated mother and son team, Mrs. Mary Haroutunian and Mr. Berj Haroutunian, take the helm as Honorary Booklet Chairpersons of the 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner Dance. Mr. Haroutunian currently serves on the HMADS board, as well as the Friends committee, and Mrs. Haroutunian has been an ardent supporter of the entire Holy Martyrs community for many years. Together they will ensure the success of this milestone celebration.
On behalf of the Friends committee, we hope you will join us on June 3rd for an unforgettable evening celebrating 50 years of success, dedication and heritage. The elegant affair will begin with a lavish cocktail hour at 7:30 p.m., followed by a multi-course dinner served at 9 p.m. Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes, as the talented Arthur Apkarian and his band will provide the evening’s musical entertainment.
Your contribution to the commemorative booklet, as well as your $130 ticket donation, will greatly assist HMADS in continuing its mission to educate generations of Armenian-Americans. Here’s to another 50 years of success for our beloved school!
To inquire about the Gala Dinner Dance, or to learn more about the Friends committee, please call the school office at (718) 225- 4826, Mrs. Negdar Arukian at (718) 423-4813 or Mr. Siragan Varolian at (718) 631-7131.
Arpi Arukian, Class of ’92, is a HMADS School Board and Friends Committee Member