LOS ANGELES–With just a week until ANCA Telethon 2012, Armenian American leaders and benefactors are rallying in support of the ANCA Endowment Fund civic education mission at a series of benefit briefings and community receptions.
“I am the Armenian Cause” (Yes em Hai Tahd-uh) said guests gathered at the homes of Mr. and Mrs. Vahe and Aida Yeghiazarian, Mr. and Mrs. Ara and Sandy Bedrosian, and Mr. and Mrs. Hovsep and Elizabeth Boyajian, who graciously hosted the first three of a series of receptions leading up to the May 20th Telethon, which will be broadcast in major Armenian American communities and streamed live online from 2pm to 8pm PDT (5pm to 11pm EDT). The complete channel listing for the ANCA Telethon is featured at http://www.ancatelethon.org/watch
Hosts and participants alike stressed the importance of broadening Armenian American civic participation as a top priority in advancing community concerns. In his remarks at the first of these receptions on May 3rd, Vahe Yeghiazarian spoke passionately about the Armenian American community’s responsibility to defend Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh against the onslaught of foreign government funded disinformation campaigns in the media and within government.
His message was echoed by ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian, who noted that “The Hai Tahd movement, with the ANCA at the forefront – represents the second army of the Armenian nation — defending Armenian American rights, and advancing our shared interests.”
Dr. Viken Hovsepian, a prominent community leader, stressed the universal nature of the ANCA’s efforts, noting broad community support for the fundamental goals the organization advances, include a strong and democratic Armenia, self-determination for Karabakh and ongoing efforts to secure justice for the Armenian Genocide.
“May God bless all Armenians who work with the ANCA and its local chapters in raising their voices to defend the rights of the Armenian nation,” his Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the Western United States, told US Armenia TV. “As the May 20th Telethon approaches I urge everyone to participate in this noble effort because you and I are the Armenian Cause (Hai Tahd) and as children of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide, for as long as we have not achieved justice for the Armenian nation, the ANCA has much to do.”
Supporting Youth Participation in U.S. Civic life
A focal point of the ANCA Telethon’s efforts will be continued broad based support for the national, regional and local internship programs encouraging youth participation in U.S. civic life. Prominent entrepreneur and longtime ANCA activist Ara Bedrosian placed particular emphasis on the importance of the Capital Gateway Program and its efforts to assist young Armenian Americans to pursue public policy careers in Washington, DC. “My greatest wish is that more Armenian Americans get involved in Armenian and American civic life – move out to Washington, DC, explore careers in our nation’s capital. And the ANCA’s Capital Gateway Program is an extremely important effort in that regard.”
Mrs. Elizabeth Boyajian, who in addition to opening her home for the third ANCA Telethon reception has taken a lead in the fundraising campaign for the initiative, stressed the vital role the ANCA’s efforts play in the daily life of the Armenian American community. “From supporting youth education to inspiring broader civic participation, the ANCA’s efforts have touched each and every one of us in our quest to strengthen our local communities and advance our national aspirations.”
ANCA National Board Member Raffi Hamparian concurred, in an interview with Horizon Armenian Television. “The ANCA Telethon is all about capturing the spirit of American democracy, the spirit of participation, the spirit of engaging public officials. The ANCA, on the local level, on the federal level is fighting the good fight… Armenian Americans are saying Yes to the ANCA, Yes to Hai Tahd, Yes to advancing our common Cause.”
Additional fundraising receptions will be take place throughout Southern California and across the nation in the days leading up to the May 20th broadcast. In addition, community groups are planning to host an array of viewing parties and local events in support of the nationwide campaign.
The ANCA Endowment Fund supports a broad range of educational, youth, and civic programs that give voice to the views and values of the Armenian American community, strengthening our presence in the American civic arena, and empowering pro-Armenian stakeholders with the information and resources they need to take on the powerful forces aligned against the Armenian nation.
The first two ANCA Endowment Fund telethons, held in 2006 and 2009, raised more than $4.5 million for Armenian American educational, youth, and civic programs. Both programs touched a common emotional chord, speaking directly to the devotion to the Armenian Cause that rests in the hearts of Armenians from across the U.S., regardless of organizational or political affiliations.
Countless organizations, volunteers, churches, community leaders, local ANCAs, performing artists, Members of Congress, and state legislators from across the nation participated in the telethons, contributing to their enormous success. Both telethons featured several documentaries that highlighted various ANCA programs and numerous results the ANCA Endowment has achieved over the years, largely through its volunteer and grassroots network.
ANCA Telethon donations may be made online at http://www.ancatelethon.org/donate or by calling (855) 208-ANCA.