Honored Survivors of the Armenian Genocide and Survival Pictures’ “The Promise”
NEW YORK—Children of Armenia Fund founder Dr. Garo Armen, Honorary Chair Tony Shafrazi, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, artist Tigran Tsitoghdzyan, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and Master of Ceremonies Andrea Martin and many more notables were among the 400 guests at this year’s 13th annual COAF Gala at Cipriani.
The Gala celebrated Armenia’s heritage, people and culture while paying tribute to the dedicated and talented team working to address the country’s ongoing challenges.
Oscar-winning Director Terry George and Producer Eric Esrailian accepted the 2016 Humanitarian Award, honoring the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Their important new film, Survival Pictures’ The Promise, stars Christian Bale and chronicles the time when world war was looming and the Ottoman Empire was crumbling, the era that began the decades long degradation of Armenian culture and loss of life.
The program opened with lively performances by the very children that COAF has worked so hard to help, including a piano performance by 10 year old Tigran Mardanyan, a vocal performance by 8 year old Ani Margaryan, and an eloquent speech from 17 year-old Khanum Gevorgyan who spoke of how COAF has dramatically changed her life.
The evening also featured an exciting live auction of artwork from major names including Richard Prince, Kenny Scharf and Joe Bradley, and was called by world famous auctioneer Simon de Pury. DiCaprio purchased a $65,000 painting by renowned American artist Joe Bradley.
The evening raised $3 million, the majority of which will go to completing COAF’s SMART expansion.
Thirteen years ago, COAF began a mission to improve Armenian life at the national, local and individual levels. Using education as the springboard to success, COAF found opportunity amidst tragedy, growth amidst destruction and hope amidst a seemingly undefined future. Today, they celebrate the first generation of COAF graduates, a group of healthy, educated, entrepreneurial young adults, who are the promise for Armenia’s future.