A True Inspiring Story

By Kevork Keushkerian

PASADENA, Calif. — The theme of the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2015, is “Inspiring Stories.” It pays tribute to those who have loved unconditionally, preserved courageously, endured patiently and accomplished on behalf of others.

The American Armenian Rose Float Association, which spearheaded the first-ever Armenian float to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, had a successful fund raising event on Saturday, June 21. During this event, more than $100,000 was raised for this cause, but much more is needed as the estimate for the float is about $300,000. The float is designed and being constructed by the Phoenix Decorating Company.

A Pasadena resident, Manoug Tabakian, approached the president of the American Armenian Rose Float Association Chris Chahinian and informed him that his grandson, Shant Bashdjian, has collected $100 from his friends and relatives and wanted to donate it to the Armenian Rose Float.

Amazingly, Shant is a 9 and a fourth grader at Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School in Pasadena. He had heard about the Armenian Rose Float from his grandfather, wholeheartedly believed in the project and felt obligated to do his share for this once in a lifetime adventure. This reminds me of the story of the Widow in the Bible, who gave all she had.

Bravo Shant. Let your example be a shining guide for the rest of the skeptics among us who although are financially well enough to contribute generously, but begrudge the Armenians all over the world from telling our “Inspiring Stories” and sharing our rich cultural heritage with millions of people in over 90 countries worldwide.

We would also like to congratulate Dickran and Zenna Bashdjians, Shant’s parents, for raising their son in the spirit of their Christian faith and Armenian heritage.