Ararat Center News
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(Greenville, NY) – The Father & Son Weekend, sponsored by the Ararat Center Board of Directors, will be held on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21 at the Ararat Center located in upstate New York.  The orginal length and program has been modified and shortened to a two day, one night event.

"We are sponsoring this weekend to offer an opportunity for fathers and sons 12 years old and up to enjoy some time together with no other distractions and share it with other fathers and sons from around the Diocese in a wonderful setting that lends itself perfectly to this purpose," said Michael Zeytoonian, one of the Ararat Center Board members organizing the weekend.  "These days, the schedules of fathers and sons are so packed with sports, extracurricular activities, work and other obligations that there’s little time to get away for a day or two with your son and just enjoy each other’s company," noted Zeytoonian.  "In fact, we had to scale our original plan from a whole weekend down to a shorter version to accommodate those whose packed schedules couldn’t be freed up for an entire weekend."

“If you build it, He will come” is the theme for this unique Father & Son program which will begin with a delicious barbecue dinner Friday, followed by a campfire with an informal discussion on the relationship between fathers and sons led by Fr. Shnork Souin and Michael Zeytoonian.  The first evening will conclude with a movie and popcorn.

On Saturday, those who like baseball are in for a treat, but the program will also feature options for those who prefer outdoor activities.  After breakfast, participants will have a choice of either a field trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, or golfing, hiking, and bicycling in the local area.  Bicycle enthusiasts should bring their own bicycles and be advised that the terrain in and around Greenville is hilly and not for the faint hearted.  For those fathers and sons who find pleasure and relaxation in manual labor, they will also have the option of participating in one of the Ararat Center’s popular work weekends, which will be scheduled concurrently at the facility that same weekend. 

These work weekends are focused on the upkeep of the Ararat Center.  And while it may sound odd, these volunteer work weekend have been one of the most popular activities at the Center.  Every time one is scheduled, about 20-30 volunteers of all ages from different parishes come up and have a great time together.  These volunteers have truly enjoyed the weekends of hard work, camaraderie with brothers and sisters working side by side during the day, while breaking bread together around the evening dinner table. In addition to the satisfaction of giving of themselves for a great project, the younger generation that participate in these work weekends also have the opportunity to earn "Ararat Dollars" which can be used toward the cost of any activities or programs held at the Center. 

All of these options will be scheduled to end at around 3:30 pm Saturday. Participants will be then invited to the informal onsite sports activity of their choice: basketball, volleyball, tennis, touch football or less taxing efforts like horseshoes, ping pong or tavloo.  These activities will be followed by a hearty chicken and pilaf dinner, after which the program will be concluded.

"So this weekend is not a retreat or a weekend with a heavy agenda; only a chance to focus time on each other and enjoy it.  We hope with some effort, this will become an annual event that fathers and sons look forward to sharing with each other and other friends from various parishes," Zeytoonian summarized. 

This casual program is open to fathers with their sons ages 12 and older.  Registration is $200 for a father and one son, with each additional son only $60.  This fee includes Ararat Center accomodations, meals, program, and an Ararat Center tee-shirt.  It does not include the cost of admission to the Hall of Fame or golfing fees for those who choose those options.

For more information or to register for this unique opportunity, please contact Michael Zeytoonian at 508-634-2957 or at