By Jennifer Chelebi
BAYSIDE, N.Y. – Devotion to family is the cornerstone of our beloved Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School (HMADS). Parents devoted to the Armenian culture and heritage often travel long distances to bring their children to HMADS. Our generous benefactors are often the parents and grandparents of HMADS students and graduates. As we celebrate HMADs’ 50th Anniversary, it is only fitting that our booklet co-chairpersons be a mother and son who have committed their time, energy and money to the school.
The Friends of HMADS committee, and this year’s booklet co-chairs Mrs. Mary Haroutunian and Mr. Berj Haroutunian invite you to join them for the Annual Gala Dinner Dance, taking place on June 3 at North Hills Country Club in Manhasset, Long Island.
Mrs. Haroutunian is the daughter of genocide survivors Gulvart and Kapriel Karamanian, and was born in Cairo, Egypt. At Kalustian Armenian National School, her love for her Armenian heritage flourished. In 1969, she immigrated to the United States with her husband Garo and sons Berj, Robert, and Gabriel. Since her arrival in New York, she has pursued a successful career in the insurance industry, raised a wonderful family and given of herself in the service of the Armenian community. Mrs. Haroutunian has been a dedicated member of the Holy Martyrs Armenian Church, where she attends church services regularly. She has a generous spirit and is always ready to serve, volunteer and donate her time and resources.
As an active member of the church community, Mary has served as the co-chair of the Women’s Guild and been a member of the Women’s Guild Central Council. She also served on the Nominating Committee, the Festival Committee, Caring Hearts, New Directions Group and has been an active participant of the Shnorhali Choir since its inception.
Mary strongly believes in the importance of education. The Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School has a very special place in her heart. She established an HMADS endowment fund in memory of her son Gabriel and also an annual social studies award. As Mrs. Zarmine Boghosian fondly acknowledges, Mrs. Haroutunian’s boundless generosity extended to yearly HMADS graduations, where she donated to the Armenian books library, making it possible for HMADS students to read Armenian books at lunchtime with the help of the sixth graders.
Mrs. Harotunian passed down her generous spirit to her children, grandchildren and great grandchild. She is the proud grandmother of two HMADS graduates Christina and Diana. Mrs. Harountian’s son Berj has taken over the family mantel as a beacon of strength for the Armenian community.
A successful, businessman and President and Chairman of the Board of Vital Two Way Radio Inc., Berj is responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operation of New York’s oldest and most respected Black Car company. He is the proud father of two sons Greg and Michael, who along with daughter-in-law Melissa, and grandson Matthew, have brought so much joy into his life. Mr. Haroutunian is a dedicated member of the school board and the Friends of HMADS committee;he opens his generous and hospitable arms wide to invite this group of fundraisers to conduct the school’s annual telethon that raises many thousands of dollars to benefit the school.
Mr. Harotunian considers his mother a role model and is proud of her and his brother Robert’s unending devotion and love to the Armenian community.
Join us and our esteemed booklet co-chairs Mary and Berj Haroutunian at this year’s festivities, which will commence at 7:30 p.m. with a lavish buffet and open bar, followed by a delicious multi-course dinner served at 9 p.m. Your Gala Dinner Dance contribution of $130 will greatly support the efforts of the Friends committee and HMADS, benefiting future generations of Armenians. For further information about this highly anticipated event, or to find out how to become a part of the Friends of HMADS, please contact the school office at (718) 225-4826, or Negdar Arukian at (718) 423-4813.