For Immediate Release
MILLIONS OF REASONS FOR GIVING THANKS!
Armenia Fund USA’s Annual Thanksgiving Day Telethon a Success!
NEW YORK, New York — Every Thanksgiving Day marks the annual
Armenia Fund Telethon, and this year was no different. Contributions
poured in from around the globe to volunteer and staff phone bank
operators in the 18 affiliate offices of Hayastan All Armenia
Fund. From calls received from throughout the U.S. to the New
York City and Glendale, California offices to the calls to affiliates
within Germany, Russia, France, England, Holland, Brazil, Argentina,
and even Armenia and Karabakh, people gave from their hearts to
support our projects.
The Telethon is a monumental initiative that brings us together
and reminds us that, although we are so scattered, we are obligated
to rise to the occasion and help Armenia and Karabakh.
This day echoes the words of William Saroyan from so long ago,
“…for when two Armenians meet anywhere in the world, see if they
will not create a new Armenia.”
That is what the Telethon proves again and again. The North-South
Highway, a much needed infrastructure development project in Karabakh,
has been funded with an additional $11 million dollars.
This doubles the funds contributed in 2003 and puts us at the
finish line for completing this bold $25 million project that
started a mere 5 years ago. This means that 150 towns and
villages throughout Artsakh without access to food and other necessities
so basic that most of us don’t think twice about having, now have
a chance for a better life. It’s no wonder everyone refers to
the North-South Highway
as the Backbone of Karabakh.
This major fundraising initiative is the collaboration between
Armenia Fund USA based in New York City, serving all constituents
in the Eastern United States, and Armenia Fund Inc. based in Glendale
and serving the constituency in the Western United States. These
are two of the 18 affiliated offices around the world to Hayastan
All Armenian Fund based in Armenia. Each affiliate serves the
constituency it is indigenous to it by adopting infrastructure
development projects in Armenia and Karabakh and directing their
own fundraising campaigns. The North-South Highway is the project
that brings the affiliates together this year for this worldwide
What went into the success, broadcasted via the organization’s
Thanksgiving Day Telethon, was a year’s worth of hard work. Kevork
Toroyan, Board Chairman of Armenia Fund USA, the Eastern United
States affiliate, reported that the major fundraising campaign
was more than just what was aired on Thanksgiving Day. It involved
leadership gifts from leaders in the community, mass mailings,
advertisements, phonations, and regional events. The efforts culminated
with the global reach of the Telethon to bring the viewership
an interesting program and raise money for a worthy cause. The
program showcased new development footage direct from Armenia
and Karabakh, messages and performances from popular artists like
Metropolitan Opera Singer Isabel Bayrakdarian and Zulal, various
musical talents, keynote messages from political leaders such
as Massachusetts Representative Peter Koutoujian, New Jersey Congressman
Frank Pallone, as well as countless other supporters. Broadcasting
reached 45 million households in the US alone, with extended viewing
capabilities from satellite TV and web-casting garnered involvement
from smaller Armenian communities in the US such as those in South
Carolina and Georgia.
This comprehensive campaign, designed to direct positive change,
got off to an amazing start with the pre-telethon fundraising
initiatives hosted by Armenia Fund USA (NYC) with the much anticipated
delegation visit headed by Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasyan
and accompanied in part by Himnadram (Armenia) Executive Director
Naira Melkoumian. They participated in special engagements and
public speaking appearances in Boston, Detroit, and the New York
Metropolitan area - all to drive awareness for the telethon and
before they headed off to the studios in Glendale, California.
These regional events and other meetings culminated with nearly
$6 million in donations from notable philanthropic leaders and
other supporters in various Eastern US cities.
On behalf of the Manoogian Simone Foundation, Mrs. Simone contributed
$1 million during pre-telethon fundraising initiatives, with an
additional $1 million pledged during the Telethon. It was a gracious
effort on her part standing true to her convictions and recognition
that, “…the North-South Highway is a crucial project to the future
development and stability of Karabakh, one that every Armenian
must extend themselves to help complete.”
Contributions received from additional philanthropists include
individual $1 million donations from Hirair Hovnanian, Kevork
Hovnanian, and Sarkis Acopian; $500,000 from Carolyn Mugar; and
$50,000 each from Gerard Cafesjian and Hratch Kaprelian. Adding
to this unprecedented response from supporters in the Eastern
United States to reach the grand worldwide total of $11 million
were contributions from Argentina: $1.5 million; Western United
States: $1.4 million; Armenia and Karabakh: $1.1 million; France
and the rest of the world: $1.3 million.
Armenians worldwide should be proud of the teamwork generated
to “Make it Happen,” as the Telethon slogan directed, proving
once again that the Diaspora is as strong as ever in its support
for building infrastructure to sustain Armenia and Karabakh’s
security and future. Sending this kind of message of support only
gives credence to “The Economist” journal’s unbiased and unsolicited
recent reports indicating that investment from the Armenian Diaspora
has boosted Karabakh’s economy and that the roads of Karabakh
may be the best maintained in the Caucasus.
This is all with thanks to our many donors and friends.
The overwhelming results from the year-long effort indicate that
Armenia Fund has the mandate worldwide to go beyond the one-day
Telethon to raise money, but systematically cultivate its base
of support for years to come. Armenia Fund USA and the other seventeen
affiliates promise to continue promoting large scale initiatives
to further build upon the large imprint it has made. And, as part
of its mission, Armenian Fund USA will continue to adhere to the
stringent processes of accountability and transparency that has
enabled the organization’s supporters to give with confidence.
Focused on infrastructure and high standards of accountability,
Armenia Fund is a unique organization in that its sole purpose
is to promote Armenia’s growth in order to sustain itself for
future generations. Armenia Fund dedicates itself to supporting
large-scale initiatives in both Armenia and Karabakh and is supported
by Armenians world-wide. Endorsed by all major Armenian political
and religious factions, Armenia Fund maintains its independence
from these umbrella organizations and works closely with the governments
of Armenia and Karabakh building roads, schools, medical facilities,
utilities and humanitarian programs.
ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: ARMENIA FUND USA, founded in 1992,
was the first of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 19 international affiliates and serves constituents in all states east of the Mississippi.
As a non-profit, non-governmental, nonsectarian organization,
the Fund represents all Armenian constituents.
Armenia Fund USA is the largest contributor among the 19 international affiliates – supporting strategic infrastructure projects in Armenia
and Karabakh, and having helped build 138 miles of roads, 100
miles of waterways, 36 schools, 3 electric transmission networks,
210 residential buildings and 15 healthcare institutions.
Armenia Fund USA’s Mission is the development of strategic
socio-economic infrastructure in Armenia and Karabakh, focusing
on major projects such as major highways, schools, drinking water
to communities and humanitarian programs in education, training
and medical facilities. The Fund has adopted a policy to go “Beyond
Bricks and Mortar” to provide sustainability for projects it sponsors.
To learn more about Armenia Fund USA, please visit
our website at
or call us at 212-689-5307.
Armenia Fund USA
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 301
New York, NY 10038