BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN
GLENDALE–The newly-appointed executive board of Armenia Fund Inc. held a press conference Wednesday– where president Bob Barsam announced that the Fund would focus its efforts on the reconstruction of the earthquake zone.
Barsam also reported that the fund has received a list of projects–estimated at $14 million–which would be the focal point of its National Dues Campaign and an upcoming telethon–scheduled for May of next year.
In his opening remarks–Barsam thanked the previous Executive Board for its hard work and accomplishmen’s over the past several years.
A ten-minute video presentation highlighted the scope of the earthquake-zone related projects–following which Barsam announced that within weeks–the Armenia Fund Inc. would kick off its campaign to raise funds for the Earthquake Zone. This process will begin by the mass mailing of more than 20,000 letters–seeking contributions to help rebuild and reconstruct the Earthquake Zone.
"It is the responsibility of every Armenian to eliminate the results of this terrible tragedy," he said. "On this ten year anniversary of the earthquake–I hope you all will join us in this effort and do your part to transform this region in Northern Armenian from a place of misery and suffering to that of hope and promise."
In response to reporters’ question–former Board president Rafi Ourfalian announced that 85 percent of the $2.7 million in pledges during the 1997 Armenia Fund telethon had been collected. He assured that all funds collected for reconstruction efforts in Karabakh–mainly the Goris-Stepanakert highway–the Stepanakert-Mardakert road and a water main in Shoushi would be allocated to those projects and would not be diverted to the earthquake zone reconstruction project.
Barsam introduced the new Executive Board which is comprised of Zaven Khanjian (Vice President)–Talin Yacoubian (Secretary)–Vartan Nazerian (Treasurer)–Hrair Balian–Hratch Simonian–and Tomas Yeterian. They joined ex-officio members Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Primate Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian–Father Raphael Minassian and Reverend Joseph Matossian.