GLENDALE–More than $5 million was raised Thursday during a telethon organized by Armenia Fund Inc. benefiting the construction of a highway connecting Karabakh’s north to the south. At the conclusion of the 11-hour live broadcast $5,006,196 was registered as the closing sum–with donations still continuing throughout the holiday weekend.
Present at the telethon was Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Arkady Ghoukassian who led a delegation of officials to the telethon. Also present is Armenia’s foreign minister Vartan Oskanian and other officials.
President Ghoukassian made a personal plea to the public for support toward the construction of the highway.
The 169 kilometer north-south highway–termed the "Backbone of Karabakh," is estimated to cost $25 million. Telethon organizers urged the public to help in the construction effort "a meter at a time." Each meter was estimated at $150.
Participating in the telethon with donations were the Lincy Foundation ($1 million)–Mr. & Mrs. Albert Boyajian ($500,000)–the Cafesjian Family Foundation ($450,000)–Louise Manoogian-Simone ($350,000)–Mr. & Mrs. Hrair Hovnanian ($250,000)–Mr. & Mrs. Antranik Berberian ($250,000)–the Hai Zoravar Antranik Farm [Hratch Kaprielian] ($100,000)–Mr. & Mrs. Vahakn Hovnanian ($100,000) and Carolyn Mugar ($100,000).
Minutes before the conclusion of the telethon at 8 p.m. Thursday–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee chairman Hovig Saliba announced a donation of $25,000 to round off the collected figure to $5 million. The said donation was in addition to the ARF’s initial pledge of $10,000–due to which the party sponsored 15 minutes of the telethon.
The first three hours of the telethon was simulcast in Armenia via Armenian State Television. Armenia’s in Europe–the Middle East–CIS and elsewhere were able to view the telethon via satellite in markets carrying the Armenian State Television. The telethon was also webcast on www.armenianradio.com.