NEW YORK — The 11th annual Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) Holiday Gala took place at Cipriani 42nd Street on December 12, 2014, in New York City. More than 450 guests attended the gala fundraiser, including honorary chairs Victor Garber, Susan Kendall Newman and Tony Shafrazi. Special guests included Michael Aram, Donald Baechler, Eric Bogosian, Peter M. Brant, Patricia Field, Henry Hay, Peter Marino and Stephanie Seymour.
This year’s honorees were longtime COAF supporter Ara Arslanian, who was given the Humanitarian Award for his philanthropic work, and Alexis Ohanian, who received the Save the Generation Award as a pioneering Internet entrepreneur and activist. Both awards were presented by COAF Executive Board member Michael Aram. For the eighth year in a row, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress Andrea Martin entertained guests throughout the evening as Master of Ceremonies.
The evening featured exclusive performances by soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and “The Voice” finalist Will Champlin. As a special highlight, child musicians from Armenia delivered spectacular performances, including on traditional Armenian folk instruments.
The program featured highlights of COAF’s recent accomplishments, as well the organization’s ambitious plans to expand into new village communities throughout Armenia. The $2.4 million raised this year will go toward a state-of-the-art smart center to be built in Armenia which will act as a hub to surrounding villages. Funds will also be allocated to infrastructure improvements and projects in COAF-supported villages.