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ARARAT CENTER RECEIVES GENEROUS FURNITURE DONATION FROM SHERATON COMMANDER HOTEL

(GREENVILLE, NY) – The Ararat Center of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), was gifted with furniture from the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Cambridge, MA, owned by Ed Guleserian. The Cambridge Sheraton has been in midst of renovations over the past couple years. Initial discussions began between Guleserian and the former Diocesan Executive Director, Dr. Sam Mikaelian, at the beginning of the year defining the needs at both the Diocese and the Ararat Center. Guleserian, enlightened by this discussion, generously offered to donate an entire floor of hotel furniture to help refurbish both the Diocesan guest rooms and various buildings at the Ararat Center.

The logistics of the move were complex as coordination between the hotel, truck rentals, and groups of volunteers for loading as well as unloading the trucks had to meet very specific time schedules. The planning paid off on November 11, Veteran's Day, as these volunteer teams accomplished the task at hand of removing the hotel furniture and transporting two large truck loads to both the Diocesen Complex and Ararat Center.

The move, however, was quite the undertaking as volunteers began the tedious preparation process days prior which ranged from removing lamp shades from their bases to shrink wrapping furniture. On Friday, efforts for the move began at 8:00 a.m. Energy levels were high as volunteers from the Massachusetts Armenian Churches of Holy Translators, St. James, and Holy Trinity worked together. Not only did adults participate, but ten teens who had the day off from school were also determined to assist. They included: Andrea Durgarian, Oscar Derderian, Jeffrey Hyde, Lauren Piligian, Chris Seifel, Danielle Seifel, Greg Torosian, Mark Torosian, Michael Tutunjian, and Nicko Voskanian. There was even a younger participant, Adam Zouranjian who was there the entire day manning the elevator and helping to move the furniture. Not once was a complaint heard from the many who spent the entire day moving the necessary items onto the truck. Kudos to the younger generation for their enthusiasm in making improvements to their camp home.

Due to a great deal of sweat and elbow grease, the job was completed by 6:30 p.m. The exhausted crew of volunteers were finally able to go home. The task of driving the two 26-foot trucks to the Diocese and Ararat Center was still in store. Early Saturday morning the trucks were off and running. One drove directly to the Ararat Center and was unloaded with help from the Center’s facility managers and staff. The other truck made a first stop at the Diocese, unloaded six rooms of furniture with the help of the Diocesan maintenance staff, and continued its way up to Greenville, NY, to unload the rest of the furniture at the Center.

The Ararat Center, purchased in January of 2004, serves as the permanent home of the St. Vartan Church Camp and host to numerous other church groups and events. Seven buildings sit on the 65-acre site located in Greenville, NY. While the Center is in good condition, there have been some renovations and upgrades to the facility over the past two years. The donation of this furniture has assisted in that effort to greatly enhance the rooms and create a more appealing and comfortable stay for all guests.



This wonderful donation of furniture will provide a complete interior change in the appearance of two buildings: Gesaria (South Annex) and Ani (Motel). Even with this great accomplishment, much work is still needed up at the Ararat Center to rearrange the furniture. Spring work sessions are being planned. Watch for details in the near future and join in the excitement of beautifying the Diocese newly purchased home.