Armenia Fund Kicks off Thanksgiving Day Telethon

Telethon 2004–Make It Happen

GLENDALE–Armenia Fund–Inc. (AFI) officially launched activities for its annual fundraising event–Telethon 2004 Make It Happen–at a kick-off celebration on Thursday–September 16–at Glendale Studios in Glendale–California.

Scheduled for Thanksgiving Day–November 25 from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (PST)–Telethon 2004–airing live from Glendale–CA–is a 12-hour event that will be broadcast throughout the United States–Europe–South America–the CIS–and the Middle East.

The goal is to raise $12.5 million to complete the remaining 56 miles of the North-South "Backbone" Highway in Mountainous Karabagh. When completed–the $25 million–105-mile highway will link 150 towns and villages and provide crucial economic–trade and development opportunities for Karabagh.

Telethon 2004 will also provide continued assistance in health care–education–and infrastructure development in the Republic of Armenia.

The kick-off brought together prominent members of the Armenian-American diaspora–as well as elected officials including California State Assemblywoman Carol Liu (D-Pasadena)–Glendale City Mayor Bob Yousefian–Glendale City Councilman Frank Quintero–and Consul General of the Republic of Armenia Gagik Kirakossian.

"The Diaspora has played a vital and integral role in building a bright future for Armenia and Karabagh. The community’s enthusiasm for Telethon 2004 is unprecedented. We are committed to producing an innovative–quality program that symbolizes the collaborative efforts–dedication and spirit of our communities," said Maria Mehranian–chairperson of AFI–during the kick-off ceremony.

The event also marked the unveiling of Telethon 2004’s Make It Happen logo/theme created by renowned Los Angeles artist Vah Fattal. "I wanted the tone of the campaign to be inspirational and embody a sense of empowerment. It’s a cumulative process…each of us can make a difference," said Fattal. The Make It Happen theme will be incorporated in an international public relations/community outreach campaign designed to create awareness and generated increased support for Telethon 2004.

The broadcast will feature live entertainment by various Armenian performers–interviews with numerous celebrities and political leaders–development and construction footage from Armenia and Karabagh–stories of individuals impacted by AFI projects–as well as a phone bank with 50 operators and volunteers. To provide increased opportunity for international viewing and participation–Telethon 2004 will also be available in full-motion webcast on www.armeniafund.org. Internet users will be able to view and make secure contributions online.

For more information on Armenia Fund and Telethon 2004–818-243-6222 or visit the website.

Armenia Fund–Inc.–a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation–is the US West coast affiliate of the "Hayastan" All-Armenia Fund (HAAF). It was established in 1994 to facilitate humanitarian assistance to Armenia and Karabagh; HAAF has administered over $100 million in humanitarian–rehabilitation. and construction aid through the united efforts of Armenian communities internationally.

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