All Armenian Fund Telethon Raises Record-Breaking $35M

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LOS ANGELES — Hayastan All Armenian Fund held its most successful ever telethon on Thanksgiving Day, November 27. The telethon raised $35 million during the 12-hour live broadcast from Los Angeles.

The funds raised during the Telethon 2008 will go towards the revival of border villages in Armenia and Artsakh.

Donations made by the Hayastan Fund affiliates include: Hayastan Fund USAWest Coast affiliate, around $1,300,000; Lebanon, around $200,000; Montreal, around $130,000; Argentina, $100,000; Great Britain, $200,000; Netherlands, $40,000; Australia, $50,000; US Fund New York, $200, 000; France, $1,500,000;
Germany, $85, 000; Switzerland, around $33,000; Toronto, $250,000; Greece and Cyprus, around $40,000.

In the days leading to the Telethon, a number of fundraising activities were organized around the world including phoneathons held in France, Argentine and New York, fundraising bike-ride, radiothon, galas and charity concerts registered unprecedented activity, significantly upping the bar of the precious fundraising
efforts.

Telethon 2008 secured a significant increase in public participation, as well as small and medium-sized donations next to large ones. Russian-based Armenian businessman Samvel Karapetian has pledged $15 million, which will be used to construct a hospital in Stepanakert. Other major donors include VivaCell-MTS, Mikael Vardanyan, Samvel Aleksanyan, Eduardo Eurnekian, Gagik Adibekyan, Varujan Grigoryan, Gagik Zakaryan, Norik Petrosyan, Barsegh Beglaryan, Aram Kocharyan, Khachik Manukyan, Karapet Aleksanyan.

Armenia’s involvement in Telethon 2008 was marked by a significant rise in the number of people who made a donation, making their investment in the future of our homeland. People made their contribution by transferring funds to the Hayastan Fund’s accounts, through the local post offices or by visiting the Fund’s office on the Republic Square. Among the ordinary donors was the Hovsepyan family from Yerevan, who visited the Fund’s Executive Board office shortly before midnight with the young members — Armen 4, Vache 11, Arman 11 and Ara 13 — each contributing several dollars to the telethon. Ara said he had participated in the last year’s telethon as well. His wish was that Hayastan Fund constructs more nice schools and kindergartens.

Eleven years since the first telethon was broadcast from Los Angeles on Thanksgiving Day, these annual events have grown to become an established and time-honored tradition attracting thousands of millions of viewers during the twelve hours of live airtime. This year, Armenians from around the world were able to tune in using television, satellite, cable and Internet networks and be part of the all Armenian effort of bringing change and a new hope to the people living in the border communities. These villages — some ravaged by war, others by economic turmoil — face a variety of complex issues, some of which will now be possible to solve thanks to the patriotism and generosity of our compatriots from around the world and Armenia itself.

Among the guests were President of Nagorno-Karabagh Bako Sahakyan, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese Archbishop Parkev Martirossian, Hayastan All Armenian Fund Acting Executive Director Ara Vardanyan, other benefactors and public figures.

“This year’s telethon is a testament to the strength and unity of our nation,” said Vardanyan. “These are trying times, not only for Armenia and Artsakh but for the entire world that was badly shaken by current economic crisis. And yet, despite the many difficulties and obstacles, Armenians from around the world have come forth and extended a helping hand to their compatriots in the villages of Armenia and Artsakh in
an unprecedented show of compassion and patriotism. I think that this is a day when each of us should be especially proud to be an Armenian, part of the nation that never gives up and is ready to build the future with its own hands.”

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