HOLLYWOOD– Armenia Fund concluded its 13th International Telethon on Thursday by raising $20.8 million in pledges. The live 12 hour show aired from KCET Hollywood Studios and reached millions of households globally.
The live program featured a rich presentation of Armenian music and entertainment, as well as celebrities, political and community leaders, and long time Armenia Fund supporters and donors.
The Telethon culminated Armenia Fund’s global fundraising campaigns that included Phone-a-thons, gala dinners, and benefit concerts, as well as the annual benefit gala held in Moscow and the 11th Pan-European Phone-a-thon held in Paris.
Much of the money raised this year came as pledges during live the telethon, while $8 million was donated by Russian-Armenian businessmen at a fundraising gala in Moscow attended by President Serzh Sarkisian last week. According to Armenia Fund, another $1.8 million was contributed by thousands of Armenians in Europe who took part in a “phoneaton” held this month. The Yerevan-based fund, which has offices in major Armenian communities abroad, will continue accepting contributions from residents of Armenia until the end of this year.
The majority of donations from this year’s telethon will finance the building or refurbishing of drinking water and irrigation networks in villages across Karabakh. The rest of the money is to be spent on other infrastructure projects in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and border villages in Armenia proper.
Karabakh has been the main beneficiary of such assistance ever since the fund’s establishment in 1992. Some $15 million raised by it last year was mostly channeled into the reconstruction of the war-ravaged town of Shushi.
To date, Armenia Fund has implemented some 700 large and small infrastructure projects worth a total of more than $200 million. That includes the construction of hundreds of kilometers of roads, water pipes and gas transmission lines, as well as over 400 apartment buildings and houses. The fund has also built or repaired 218 schools and 34 healthcare facilities in Armenia and Karabakh.
Asbarez will provide extended coverage of the telethon and provide more information as it becomes available.
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