LITTLE ARMENIA – In a strong show of grassroots participation that reinforced the power of national community participation, $2.6 million was raised during the May 31st six-hour nationally televised ANCA Endowment Fund Telethon.
“Once again, our community has demonstrated its enduring faith and commitment to the ANCA Endowment Fund’s efforts to expand Armenian American civic participation and youth development programs,” said ANCA Endowment Fund President Ken Hachikian. “Each donation – large and small – will also play a pivotal role in educating elected officials, and the media – locally and nationally – about pressing Armenian American concerns facing our community.”
Bolstered by a matching donation of $150,000 by Kirk Kerkorian’s Lincy Foundation, the telethon attracted a broad cross-section of the community and the final results proved the commitment of the Armenian-American community to the advancement the Armenian Cause.
Thousands of Armenian-Americans took part in the fund-raising effort, with hundreds more volunteering their time, services and other resources to ensure the telethon was a success.
“This telethon was more than a 6-hour broadcast,” said Telethon Outreach Coordinator Pattyl Aposhian Kasparian. “The outcome reflects the importance of bringing together the entire community around the work of the Armenian Cause and truly reflects our grassroots power. We thank each and every donor.”
The program, aired nationally on Horizon Armenian Television and the Armenian Russian Television Network (ARTN) and local television stations acros the country, featured segments highlighting the ANCA Endowment Fund’s achievements and activities in Genocide education, youth empowerment, advocacy training, the advancement of an enduring relationship between the United States and Armenia and the promotion of public awareness of the circumstances surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh.
The telethon, which was filmed live in the Horizon studios, also featured appearances by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, leader of the Armenian Catholic Community Father Antoine Saroyan, Rev. Joe Matossian of the Armenian Evangelical Church, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, ANCA Endowment Fund President Ken Hachikian, Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian, as well as major donors and sponsors.
Video messages were provided by Western Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, California State Assemblyman Paul Krikorian, San Francisco Mayor and California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom, as well as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and California State Assemblyman Kevin de Leon.
The 2009 Telethon Committee, which has been planning and executing the project for the past several months, had produced a well-executed program hosted by 11 community and media leaders from throughout the United States, all of whom emphasized the importance of the ANCA Endowment Fund to the advancement of Armenian- American community aspirations.
Hosts Karine Birazian, Paul Chaderjian, Alina Dorian, Saro Haroun, Silva Harapetian, Ari Killian, Roxanne Makasdjian, Steve Mesrobian, Anahid Oshagan, Aram Sarafian and Manoug Seraidarian adeptly navigated the audience through the six-hour broadcasts, which was intertwined with information and education segments, live
in-studio appearances, and pleas from community leaders.
“Organizing a 6 hour live broadcast which is to air throughout the country is complicated but we were fortunate to have a number of professionals and volunteers who were up to the task,” said ANCA Endowment Telethon Chairman Leonard Manoukian. “They each brought to bear their special skills, talents and experience, but most importantly, they brought with them the passion which sets Hai Tahd apart from other causes.”
Another highlight of the telethon was the participation of community organizations, churches and schools, which had activated their membership and raised funds that were presented on behalf of the respective groups.
The funds raised during the telethon will be allocated to furthering the mission of the ANCA Endowment Fund to educate and empower the community toward advancing issues of concern to Armenian-Americans.