LOS ANGELES–"Hayastan" All-Armenian Fund announced that $7.77 million was pledged globally during its 8th Annual Thanksgiving Day Telethon on November 24. The live 12 hour program originating from Los Angeles was broadcast live to most major American cities–as well as internationally–in Armenia–Europe–the Middle East–and Asia. The Telethon once again proved to be one of the most effective channels of contributing to infrastructure development efforts in Armenia and Karabagh.
"I commend our US Western Region affiliate–Armenia Fund–Inc. for putting on a great Telethon and as always absorbing the bulk of the costs associated with the program"–stated Naira Melkoumian–Executive Director of "Hayastan" All-Armenian Fund. "The Telethon has become a vehicle that unites our diaspora and I am proud that Armenia Fund–Inc. spearheaded this triumphant effort"–added Melkoumian.
Initial figures indicate that 84% of the donations came from the general public and mid-level donors. This unprecedented success became possible through an extensive and year-long donor outreach and public relations campaign. Immediately following the Telethon 2004–Armenia Fund–Inc. escalated its presence in states west of the Mississippi River. Initial figures show tremendous growth from Arizona–as well as Nevada–Texas–and Washington.
The growth in donations from the general public indicates its growing trust in the organization through its financial transparency and accountability measures. The organization–along with its 19 affiliates–undergoes an annual financial and construction audit led by an independent auditing firm Grant Thornton Amyot.
"This is yet another historical day for Armenia Fund–since we proved that interest and participation of the Diaspora can be increased and maximized through an effective public outreach program. The message and urgency to rebuild the region was clearly relayed to the public thanks to the high quality programming of the telethon. The 2005 Telethon opened a new page in the history of Armenia Fund proving that the general public and mid level donors are united around Armenia Fund and are ready to rebuild Martakert," stated Maria Mehranian–Chairperson of Armenia Fund–Inc. "This telethon certainly expands our outlook for 2006 and the years to come"–added Mehranian.
President of Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR) Arkady Ghoukasian–Foreign Affairs Minister of Armenia–Vartan Oskanian–Speaker of the MKR National Assembly–Ashot Ghoulian and the Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church–Archbishop Barkev Mardirossian made guest appearances during the Telethon. The program also featured Arsine Khanjian–Mark Geragos–and Larry Zarian–heads of all major Armenian American organizations and churches in the western region of the Untied States. For the first time live segmen’s were shown with Yerevan–Armenia; Buenos Aires–Argentina; Paris–France; and Moscow–Russia.
"Initial figures in the Western United States appear very solid and encouraging"–stated Sarkis Kotanjian–Executive Director of Armenia Fund–Inc. "Thanks to our large broadcast footprint and widespread public relations activities spanning from Missouri to Texas and Washington–we were able to reach more than 80 million households in the United States," added Kotanjian. "The Telethon would have been impossible had it not been the volunteer efforts driving the operations; we thank the young and bright students who willfully joined us in manning computers and telephones," added Kotanjian.
Detailed statistical information about the Telethon will be released after all the data is processed. For more information call (818) 243-6222 or visit www.armeniafund.org.
Armenia Fund–Inc.–is a non-profit 501(3) tax-exempt corporation established in 1993 to facilitate large-scale humanitarian and infrastructure development assistance to Armenia and Karabagh. Armenia Fund–Inc. is the US Western Region affiliate of "Hayastan" All-Armenian Fund. Tax ID# 95-4485698.