Ararat Center News
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FR. PAREE METJIAN HONORED DURING ANNUAL ARARAT CENTER FESTIVAL

(Greenville, NY) – For the third consecutive year, hundreds of people gathered to enjoy the annual Ararat Center Festival held in mid-July.  Sounds of the Philly Kef Band filled the air of this beautiful, Diocesan-owned facility located in Upstate New York as people dined on their choice of delicious barbecue chicken or luleh kebob meals and Armenian pastries, participated in the 50/50 raffle, and visited vendors selling their goods.

A program, presided over by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, was held in the mid-afternoon.  One of the highlights of the program included a special presentation and testimonials made to the Rev. Fr. Paree Metjian honoring his many years of dedicated service to the St. Vartan Camp program.  Fr. Metjian served more than a decade as the director of St. Vartan Camp upon being appointed by then Primate, Archbishop Torkom Manoogian in 1980.  The camp program was started in 1979 as a project of the ACYOA Seniors.  What began as a one-week program with 50 participants grew into a two-week camp with nearly 150 campers under the leadership of Fr. Paree.  It was through his early vision of this camp which helped it to continue growing into its current status of six-weeks.  In addition, without the foundation that was successfully laid for St. Vartan Camp, there would be no need for a permanent site for this program.  But indeed, this has become a very-well earned reality in what is now known as the Ararat Center.

Following this presentation, Archbishop Barsamian and several other Diocesan clergy conducted a short blessing service and pavilion ground-breaking ceremony.

The afternoon concluded with a performance by the Sipan Dance Group of Albany, the announcement of the 50/50 raffle winners, and the winner of the 2007 campership drawing.

This Festival, which was organized by the Ararat Center Board of Directors, took place between sessions A and B of the ever-successful St. Vartan Camp program.  To learn more about the Ararat Center, please visit www.araratcenter.org.