NEW YORK — The Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) reached a historic milestone on December 9, raising over $10 million during its 20th Annual Holiday Gala, “Two Decades of Unwavering Commitment.” All proceeds from the benefit will be invested in advancing COAF’s comprehensive initiatives in rural Armenia encompassing crucial education, healthcare, psychosocial support, and economic development programs. Furthermore, funds will bolster COAF’s ongoing Project H.O.P.E. rapid response addressing the immediate and long-term needs of forcibly displaced families from Artsakh.
The gala was co-hosted by Araksya Karapetyan of “Good Day L.A.” on FOX 11 Los Angeles, COAF Head of Development Haig Boyadjian, and renowned auctioneer Gabriel Butu. The evening featured captivating musical performances by New York-based jazz singer Astghik Martirosyan, as well as musical talents from Armenia — 10-year-old Menua Melik-Haykazyan on piano and 13-year-old Davit Babayan on violin. A distinguished lineup of celebrities made special appearances, including award-winning actress and longtime COAF ambassador Andrea Martin. Also in attendance were celebrated artists Michael Aram and Tigran Tsitoghdzyan.
This landmark event honored acclaimed actor Joe Manganiello with the prestigious Humanitarian Award for his support for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and for using his platform to share the story of his family’s history, roots and Armenian culture. Philanthropists and dedicated COAF supporters Tamar and John Akhoian of Los Angeles were recognized with the Save a Generation Award for their critical impact on advancing the organization’s work in rural communities.
Major Gala sponsors and donors include the Youredjian Family Charitable Foundation, COAF Founder and Chairman Garo Armen, the Afeyan Family Foundation, JHM Charitable Foundation, Victor Zarougian and Judith Saryan, the Ajemian Foundation, as well as several anonymous donors.
Over the last two decades, COAF has achieved incredible progress by prioritizing initiatives that promote economic and social stability, provide educational opportunities, and facilitate resources for career and economic advancement in overlooked rural regions. Touching the lives of over 100,000 people across 82 communities in Armenia and Artsakh, COAF’s success proves that building a stronger nation, starting with its villages, is not only an achievable goal but also well within reach.
The significance of the organization’s 20th-anniversary Gala goes beyond celebrating these contributions to village communities; it signifies a continued commitment to the holistic development of Armenia’s rural families and children as well as a historic opportunity to unlock the potential for a better future. Given the current challenges facing Armenia, this year’s fundraiser will additionally support COAF’s Project H.O.P.E. rapid response efforts. This initiative is designed to assist families displaced from Artsakh through Housing, Opportunities in Education, Psychosocial and Health Support, and Empowerment through Capacity Building.