MISSION HILLS – This year marks Ararat Home’s 70th anniversary, which will be celebrated with a banquet on Saturday, May 11, featuring a tribute program and wonderful entertainment.
Established in 1949 by a group of visionaries, Ararat Home was created to serve our community by caring for our elderly. For 70 years, it has been home to thousands of Armenians – men and women, parents and grandparents, generations of our compatriots, who have received comfort, compassion, and loving care there. With tremendous community support since its founding, Ararat Home has grown from its humble beginnings and has succeeded in carrying on its mission of care for seven decades.
As the tribute video prepared for the occasion shows (available online), Ararat Home’s journey began in Los Angeles’ Historic West Adams District with seven residents moving into film star Mary Pickford’s mansion, which was purchased for $12,000. From its early days, when securing funding for mortgage payments and daily needs was a struggle, through its periods of growth, the Home has today become a million dollar operation, employing over 400 staff and caring for 400 residents in three facilities on two campuses.
Ararat Home Board of Trustees Chair Michael Surmeian credits community support for this growth and success. “Thanks to the generosity and dedication of countless supporters – members of the community, philanthropists, and organizations – who have sustained the Home’s mission for decades, Ararat Home has become the pride of the Southern California Armenian community. And, in return for this investment of support, the Home has continually endeavored to serve the community well.”
“We consider it our duty and privilege to serve our community in this capacity,” says Chief Operating Officer Derik Ghookasian. “At Ararat Home, we strive to provide each of our residents with individualized, comprehensive, quality care. In the uniquely Armenian, family environment of the Home, residents find companionship, life enrichment and dignity, and their families find support, understanding and peace of mind. These are qualities that set Ararat Home apart in the industry of long-term, elder care. And, our community deserves nothing less than our very best effort.”
In order to meet the ever-increasing needs of the community and the demand for its services, Ararat Home has achieved several milestones during its 70 year history. In 1980, it purchased Ararat Convalescent Hospital in Eagle Rock. And, in 1981, it purchased 10.5 acres of agricultural land in Mission Hills, which it developed and opened as its new campus in 1992. After several phases of expansion through 2018, the campus is now home to Ararat Assisted Living Facility, Ararat Nursing Facility, Ararat-Eskijian Museum, Deukmejian Community Center, and Sheen Memorial Chapel.
With its most recent acquisition of 13 acres of virtually undeveloped land adjacent to its Mission Hills campus, Ararat Home is planning to create a true Continuing Care Retirement Community with independent living units, recreational areas, additional assisted living and skilled nursing capacity, and memory care units.
Mr. Surmeian remarks that the new project builds upon the successes of the past. “70 years of unparalleled service to the community is certainly worth celebrating. Ararat Home is a pillar of our community; we are all in some way connected to it, and it belongs to all of us. With the endless possibilities of a new campus awaiting us, the Home needs your support now. Come dream with us and help bring this dream to fruition!”
A 70th Anniversary Banquet is planned for Saturday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. in Deukmejian Grand Ballroom on the Ararat Home campus, in Mission Hills. Entertainment will be provided by ALLEN G. ORCHESTRA, and television personality and author Jill Simonian Panossian (website) will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Tickets are $175, and sponsorship opportunities are available. For inquiries, you may call (818) 365-3000, email, or visit the website.