For Immediate Release
August 13, 2008
ARMENIA FEST 2008: METRO DETROIT ARMENIANS CELEBRATE TO SUPPORT ARMENIA FUND USA
NEW YORK, New York — Armenia Fund USA is pleased to announce the successful celebration of Armenia Fest 2008 through which Metro Detroit Armenians raised more than $10,000 to support Armenia Fund’s ongoing projects. The event took place on July 23, in Birmingham, Michigan and brought together the Armenian and non-Armenian communities to share Armenian culture and joy on a beautiful summer evening. The event was conceived last year when a small group of Committee members headed by Edgar Hagopian and Corinne Khederian decided to host an Armenian Festival in downtown Birmingham. With their commitment and dedication, and together with vendors and talented artists, Armenia Fest 2007 was held with a great success drawing more than 2500 Armenians and non-Armenian from all over Metro Detroit. With the success of 2007, the City of Birmingham invited the Committee to host Armenia Fest 2008.
To make the Fest more meaningful, the Committee decided to partner the fantastic reception received last year with a worthy Armenian cause and join forces with Armenia Fund USA. The proceeds from the Fest and its generous benefactors were earmarked for Armenia Fund’s rural development projects in Lori Region of Armenia. The initiative contains social development components including a cultural center to serve for community gatherings, cultural events and weekend activities for children. Lori is home for many artists and musicians, among them Armenia’s most renowned poet Hovhannes Toumanian. Thus, the Fest is symbolic and meaningful in that a Festival celebrating the richness of Armenian Heritage be a platform to build cultural infrastructure into a vital region.
Armenian and non-Armenian communities line up for an Armenian dance.
Armenia Fest featured a collage of Armenian culture with local Armenian vendors throughout the park offering home baked Armenian breads, pastries, kebabs and other delicacies for the community to savor. In addition, beautiful artworks, crafts and jewelry by talented Armenian artisans were available for purchase. The festival featured opening introductions by Co-Chairs, Edgar Hagopian and Corinne Khederian followed by a presentation of the flags by the Knights of Vartan. American ad Armenian anthems were then performed by St. John Armenian Church Deacon Rubik Mailian who performed a capella and whose inspiring voice was met with a rousing applause.
Highlights of the evening include an outstanding performance by the Hamaskayin Dance Troupe comprised of talented Armenian youth from Metro Detroit who are dedicated to maintaining their heritage. They were led by their Director Nayiri Karapetian and were outfitted in brilliant costumes which were partially funded by donations received from Armenia Fest 2008. The Dance Troupe performed flawlessly to an exuberant crowd that did not want to see the performance end and clapped endlessly when it finally did.
The dance performance was followed by talented musicians Ara Topouzian and his equally talented Ensemble which performed exquisite sounds of Armenian music. Nationally known Armenian artists Mal Barsamian entertained the crowd with flawless sounds emanating from his clarinet. The guests were so moved by the sweet melodic tones echoing throughout that both Armenians and non-Armenians were line dancing before the stage.
Co-Chair Edgar Hagopian presents a donation of $10,000 to Fund’s Executive Director Irina Lazaryan for the Lori Marz project.
Edgar Hagopian and Corinne Khederian were assisted by a group of talented and deeply committed Committee members including Hagop Alexanian, Ed Bedikian, Ray Boujoulian, Ken Khezarjian, Paul Kulhanjian, Shirley Sarkisian, David Terzibashian, Madeline Thomasian, Gregory Vartanian and Pam Coultis, as well as the support from all the metro Detroit Armenian Churches, organizations and generous sponsors. A donation by the Co-Chairs and the Committee members of $10,000.00 was presented to Irina Lazarian, Executive Director of Armenia Fund USA for the Lori Marz projects. Ms. Lazarian, who made a special effort to come to the Festival from her offices in New York City, thanked the Committee and donors for making the event one that would live on in Armenia. In addition, Armenian youth, Henry and Victoria, who sold water and soda in an effort to donate their proceeds to the much worthy charity, Armenia Fund USA, presented Ms. Lazarian with $150.00 of monies they earned at the festival.
Armenia Fest 2008 closed with attendees asking for the date of Armenia Fest 2009! The Committee succeeded once again in bringing the Metro Detroit Armenians together to enjoy all things “HYE” with an evening of celebration, dance, music and culture!! See you at Armenia Fest 2009!
ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: founded in 1992, was
one of 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. 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