NEW YORK — The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund raised a record-breaking $20.8 million in pledges at its 13th annual telethon, held on Thanksgiving Day. The live 12-hour show aired from KCET Hollywood Studios and reached millions of households globally on satellite and cable networks, in addition to being broadcast online.
The live program featured a rich presentation of Armenian music and entertainment, as well as celebrities, political and community leaders and long-time Armenia Fund supporters and donors. Several prominent celebrities endorsed the telethon and its efforts, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneger, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, French actor Gerard Depardieu, reality TV star Kim Kardashian and others.
The telethon culminates Armenia Fund’s global fundraising campaigns that included phone-a-thons, gala dinners, charity concerts, radiothons as well as the annual benefit gala held in Moscow and the 11th Pan-European Phone-a-thon held in Paris. Russian-Armenian businessmen Levon Hayrapetyan and Samvel Karapetian donated $2 million each, constituting this year’s single-largest donors. The funds collected through the 2010 fundraising drive will help extend clean drinking and irrigation water throughout Artsakh.
The organization will continue its rural development program in the border villages of Armenia and Artsakh through a comprehensive development strategy, bringing visible, feasible and profound change where it is needed most.
Donations are still being received via Armenia Fund USA’s website at www.ArmeniaFundUSA.org. By December 15, Hayastan All-Armenian Fund Executive Director Ara Vardanyan will hold a press conference to give detailed information regarding the total number of donors.