For Immediate Release
December 9, 2005
ARMENIA FUND USA’S THANKSGIVING TELETHON 2005
Over $7.7 million raised by Armenia Fund USA and its worldwide
NEW YORK, New York – On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2005,
Armenia Fund USA’s fall fundraising campaign culminated in the
traditional Thanksgiving Telethon. Originating from the California
office of the West Coast Affiliate, and scheduled for 8:00a.m.
to 8:00 pm (PST), Telethon 2005 was a 12-hour live broadcast airing
throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and the CIS
and the Middle East. Featuring leaders of Armenia, Artsakh and
the Diasporan communities around the world, the telethon was aired
east of Mississippi, in more than ten states – New York, New Jersey,
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Florida, Illinois,
Road Island, Michigan and Wisconsin. Armenian communities throughout
the United States were able to view Telethon 2005 program which
included cultural programs, interviews/speeches of Armenian leaders
and entertaining programs and performances of favorite Armenian
musicians. Armenian dance and music, as well as guest appearances
of many well-known figures in the Armenian community accompanied
the telethon broadcasting all day! Among the guests were Foreign
Affairs Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Vartan Oskanian,
President of Nagorno-Karabakh, Arkady Ghoukasian, as well as the
primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic church,
Archbishop Barkev Mardirossian.
The 8th Annual Thanksgiving Telethon raised 7.7 million globally.
Major contributions were made by Louise Manoogian Simone with
a donation of $1 million from the Eastern United States and Ara
Abrahamyan from Russia with a gift of $250,000. The Toronto community
raised $250,000. Armenia and Karabakh contributed about $1.2 million.
The fundraising Phonathons in France, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal
and Spain raised another $1.2 million. Armenian communities in
Lebanon, Argentina and Great Britain raised $100,000, $51,000
and $31,000 respectively. Armenian communities in many other countries
also contributed to the Telethon. Hrach Kaprielian from New York
pledged $50,000. Donations received at the time of broadcasting
from the general public and donors of Eastern United States were
Telethon 2005 once again demonstrated the support
and great interest of the Diaspora in rebuilding the Armenian
homelands through major infrastructure development projects and
initiatives. Funds raised through Telethon 2005 will go towards
the regional development program “Rebirth of Artsakh”.
Funds raised by Armenia Fund USA will go directly towards the
Agricultural Initiative, the economic underpinning of the “Rebirth
of Artsakh” Regional Development Program. The Agricultural
Initiative is a
three-region project designed to develop the agricultural economy
of Karabakh. Armenia Fund USA will share the agricultural component
of the Regional Development Program – a strategic initiative that
is expected to bring long-term sustainable development for the
region. Funds raised will go towards establishing Agricultural
Development Associations (ADAs) throughout the Mardakert region.
These ADAs will set up facilities to own, maintain and operate
various types of appropriate farm equipment and provide mechanized
services to farmers, to work the land at affordable rates. The
ADAs will provide a technology package including access
to farm equipment (tractors, harvesters, haying) along with other
support elements such as fertilizer, plus training in farm management
and animal husbandry. The Agricultural Initiative for the Mardakert
region alone requires $2.5 million funding to serve the region’s
After secession from the USSR and its liberation, Nagorno-Karabakh
has become an internationally unrecognized territory having no
rights to official statehood. This considerably impacts the recovery
efforts of an already war-torn region, as Karabakh cannot receive
international aid from intergovernmental and regional organizations
as the United Nations and the European Union, and receives no
assistance from such specialized development programs as the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank. Because
of this, Nagorno-Karabakh has been left to fight for its survival
alone in order to sustain the land that was liberated at great
human cost. This is why the necessity of supporting the region
has fallen on the shoulders of the newly independent Republic
and the Armenian Diaspora.
The development support to Nagorno-Karabakh is on the agenda
of Armenia Fund USA and its 18 worldwide affiliates. Let us hope
that such major fundraising initiatives as Telethon 2005 will
give us an opportunity to bring hope to people who await it.
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