LOS ANGELES–The Armenia Fund’s annual Telethon, broadcast live from Los Angeles on Thanksgiving Day, raised a record-breaking $15,275,000 with Armenian participatin g from around the world, as well Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
The festive mood and anticipation of a great national celebration kept Armenia’s around the globe in front of their TVs for the long 12 hours of The Armenia Fund 10th Telethon.
Among guests from Armenia, Karabakh and the US were President of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakian, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese Archbishop Pargev, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vartan Oskanian, Special Assistant to the Foreign Minister Salpi Ghazarian, The Armenia Fund Executive Director Vahe Aghabegians, Deputy Director Ara Vardanyan, benefactor Vahe Karapetian, businessman and benefactor Levon Hairapetian, other outstanding benefactors and public figures.
A significant amount of contributions from Armenia and Russia was provided by donors’s the youngest among them was 12 year-old Janik Simonyan from Yerevan whose explanation of his wish to contribute $10 was “We all have to participate, don’t we?”
The final tally included funds raised during phonathons in Armenia, Karabakh, Europe and a special fund-raising effort in Argentina.
“With the Rural Development Project we hope to end rural poverty in Armenia and Artsakh. This is a task that we can accomplish only if we unite our resources and potential. We want Armenia’s regain pride in their schools, hospitals, sport and cultural facilities that they were formerly so proud of – but which have fallen into a sad state of disrepair. We want people to be better off than before: materially and morally, we want a quality and secure life for our citizens,” said Armenia Fund Executive Director Vahe Aghabegians.
Since May 2007 when the Armenia Fund Board of Trustees approved the Rural Development Project, The Armenia Fund Director Vahe Aghabegians has had numerous visits and meetings in Armenia and Artsakh as well as in France and USA as part of the traditional pre-telethon rally. The centric theme of the meetings and long discussions was the newly adopted Rural Development Project in Armenia and Karabakh. Following that, the newly elected President of Nagorno- Karabakh Bako Sahakian made a three-city inaugural visit to the United States including New York/New Jersey, Detroit and Boston where he presented the project to Armenian communities.
Since 1996 funds raised at the Armenia Fund telethons were directed toward vital projects that improved socio-economic conditions in Armenia and Karabakh through construction of roads, water and gas distribution networks, schools and hospitals. In addition to this, within the Rural Development Project, activities will be carried out towards development of agriculture and establishment of sound market economy. “The Armenia Fund is going from infrastructure development to sustainable development,” The US Western Region Chairperson Maria Mehranian pointed out during the Telethon.
Among major donors of Telethon 2007 are:
Levon Hayrapetyan ‘s $2.5 million
Vahe Karapetian – $1 million
Project Cure – $700,000
Louise Simone Manoogian ‘s $500,000
Hirair Hovnanian – $500,000
Varaz Samvelyan ‘s $500,000
The Armenia Fund French local committee – $1.6 million
Armenia ‘s $1.2 million
Nagorno-Karabakh – $1 million
George Pagoumian ‘s $260,000
Feed the Children ‘s $250,000
The Armenia Fund local committee of Argentina ‘s $250,000
Eduardo Eurnekian – $125,000
Armen Ekserdjian – $200,000
The Armenia Fund Local Committee in Great Britain- $200,000
Community of Switzerland ‘s $150,000
AGBU ‘s $150,000
Joy Yalkezian ‘s $100,000
Toronto – USDB 200,000
The Armenia Fund Local Committee of Lebanon ‘s $100,000
New York Life Insurance ‘s $200,000
AXA Insurance Company – $200,000
Los Angeles Apostolic Church ‘s$50,000
K – Telecom – AMD 45 million
Karabakh Telecom ‘s AMD 32 million
Ardshininvestbank bank – AMD 15 million
Armenian Railway CJSC ‘s AMD15 million
Central Bank – AMD 10.5 million
Ministry of Defense – AMD 10 million
Armenian Molybdenum Production CJSC – $20,000
Yerevan Fund ‘s AMD 5 million