Armenia Fund Telethon Raises $13.7 Million

The annual telethon organized by the Armenia Fund Thursday raised unprecedented $13,700,000 in pledges for various projects in Nagorno-Karabakh. The raised sum also includes pledges made during a traditional Phonathon preceding the telethon, held in Armenia and Europe. On November 15 to 17, the Phonathon held in Armenia raised 35 million drams (about $95,000) and the Phonathon in five European countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland, raised 1.1 million euros (about $1.4 million). Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Arkady Ghoukassian and President of Armenia Fund Naira Melkoumian were on hand at the telethon and urged viewers to pledge funds. Video messages were also broadcast from President Robert Kocharian, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenia’s, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other political officials. Representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee of Western US John Kossakian and Aram Kaloustian articulated the party’s and its members’ support for rebuilding projects in Armenia and Karabakh and urged viewers to make donations to the Armenia Fund. Also represented were the Armenian Relief Society, the Homenetmen, the Hamazkayine and small and large Armenian-American organizations. The Armenian schools also participated enthusiastically in the telethon, each school donating funds raised through inter-school activities. Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and Western Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian were joined by other religious leaders from all denominations in encouraging participation in the telethon. The funds gathered during the 12-hour telethon will be used for development projects of vital importance to be carried out in Nagorno-Karabakh’s Hadrut region, including construction of a hospital, roads, gas and water supply systems, development of agricultural segment and other projects. The development project of Hadrut is the continuation of the similar Martakert Project and also the continuation of the projects "Life-line" and the North-South Highway.

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