Armenia Fund Launches Telethon for Crucial Artsakh Highway

The Telethon 2013 logo, designed by Edik Balaian

LOS ANGELES—On Friday, October 18, 2013, Armenia Fund U.S. Western Region kicked off the fundraising campaign for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day International Telethon with a logo unveiling reception at the House of Armenia in Glendale, California.

The live 12 hour program is set to air on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2013 beginning 8:00am PST. Proceeds from Telethon 2013 will benefit the construction of the strategically important Vardenis-Martakert Highway, spanning 72 miles and directly benefiting 30 villages along its way. The project is expected to cost $30 million and upon completion it will link the northeastern regions of Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) – giving a dramatic boost to the economy, tourism and trade. The project will be Armenia Fund’s 3rd major highway project, joining the Goris-Stepanakert and North-South Highways (finished in 1998 and 2004 respectively) and creating an integrated highway system that connects close to 300 towns and villages in Armenia and Artsakh.

The evening hosted Armenia Fund’s long time donors and community members who attended the event in record numbers. Sarkis Kotanjian, Executive Director of Armenia Fund U.S. Western Region, welcomed everyone and introduced the newly elected President of Armenia Fund, Mr. Antranik Baghdassarian. Mr. Baghdassarian, President and CEO of Karoun Dairies, serves the Fund in a volunteer capacity.

“Roughly twenty years ago our brothers and sisters returned us 11,000 square kilometers of our historic lands called Artsakh. They couldn’t have paid a heavier price for that land as they paid with their lives. When we sit around the abundant Thanksgiving Day tables on November 28 in the comfort of our warm homes, I want every American Armenian to realize that at that exact moment there are thousands of soldiers 12,000 feet above sea level in the Mrav mountains guarding Armenia’s peace in the freezing cold. We all have a choice every Thanksgiving: to be a bystander, point out all the flaws in today’s Armenia and do nothing or to be part of a solution helping Armenia develop and overcome its many challenges,” said Baghdassarian.

The evening’s guest speaker was Artur Aghabekyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, who is on visit to the State of California.

“If we want Artsakh to be self sufficient, we must unlock its full economic potential. We have to create jobs. We have to be able to engage our population in labor-intensive spheres of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. This will not be possible without fully integrating Artsakh’s and Armenia’s highway system. The Vardenis-Martakert Highway is that missing link,” said Aghabekyan

Community leaders at the evening reception

The logo was designed by Los Angeles based graphic artist Edik Balaian. It features the highway in the form of a dove, whose wings emblazon the flags of Armenia and Artsakh. The logo was unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Artur Aghabekyan and long time Armenia Fund donor Mrs. Anahid Kachberouni who recently visited Armenia and Artsakh on the Armenia Fund Donor Trip 2013.

Present at the evening reception were international trustees of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, Albert Boyajian and Ara Boyajian (Toronto, Canada) and former Presidents of Armenia Fund, Inc. Mrs. Maria Mehranian and Mr. Tomik Alexanian.

In Southern California, the Telethon will air live on KSCI Channel 18 for full 12 hours on Thursday, November 28, 2013, 8:00AM-8:00PM PST as well as on all Los Angeles based Armenian television networks. The entire telethon will be webcasted on Donations can be made over the phone by calling 1-800-888-8897 or through a secure server connection at beginning now.

Armenia Fund, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation established in 1994 to facilitate large-scale humanitarian and infrastructure development assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Since 1991, Armenia Fund has rendered more than $250 million in development aid to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia Fund, Inc. is the U.S. Western Region affiliate of “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund.


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  1. Gagik Melikyan said:

    To make an upcoming telethon a success, we need to show the general public what has been done since the last fundraising (Nov’12). By highlighting the projects that are either in the works, or have been completed, the organizers should avoid showing videos from the earlier years. It might create an impression that since the last Thanksgiving, the accomplishments made are not on par with those from the previous years. I would also suggest that the program(s) highlighting the good deeds should be widely publicized, and shown repeatedly on all Armenian channels. This is the only way to convince skeptics that funds do actually serve the intended purpose. There is an apparent need to substantially increase the number of people donating, and the only way to do it is by displaying the accomplishments.

  2. john goncuian said:

    I and my family are looking forward to donating to this vital hwy The impact of this project will be great moral booster to our brothers and sisters residing in those villages. God bless Armenia, Karabakh and Armeniafund.

  3. said:

    This became our family Thanksgiving tradition too! I urge everybody to donate generously and not leave it up to our millionaires. Their donations are welcome, but not reliable. Regular folk can set aside 1-2% of their income for Armenian causes and make a huge difference. Think about it – let others donate to non-Armenian causes and get your priorities straight.

    As for businesses, this is a great opportunity to become known and admired among Armenians. For example, ever since we learned about Karoun Dairies – and their contributions we only buy their dairy products! That’s hundreds of dollars in revenue per year just from our family. I have no affiliation with this company

  4. Mahmouzian said:

    Dont drink corona drink Armenian beer don’t drink every body wine drink Armeni wine being reconise one of the best wine in the world and naturallythe Armenian matzo on karooun very body will win specialy the worker in Armenia it will create jobs you like it or not