Armenia Fund Announces California Coast Bikeathon

LOS ANGELES–The two major "Hayastan" All-Armenia Fund affiliates in the Western Hemisphere announced Tuesday that they will be combining forces for a special six day Armenia Fund Bikeathon that will span more than 350 miles along the California coast, from Monterey to Los Angeles.

Sponsored by the Armenia Fund US Western Region and Armenia Fund Toronto, Canada, the "Armenia Fund Bike Ride 2008," with begin October 28 and end on November 2. The two affiliates announced that they have begun recruiting cyclists for the upcoming Bikeathon and are welcoming individuals interested to contact the respective Los Angeles or Toronto offices.

Cyclists have the option of participating in the full 350-mile ride or the final 70-mile stretch, which will take place on the last day of the event. According to the organizers, the partial ride is suitable for people who are unable to commit to a week, but want to help Armenia Fund. Individuals interested in participating in the bike ride as well as businesses interested in sponsoring the event should contact bikeride@armeniafund.org.

Extensive information as well as online registration will be available on the Armenia Fund website within the next few days.

Proceeds from the Bike Ride will benefit the construction of a school in Spitakashen village in the Martuni region of Nagorno Karabakh.

In May, the Toronto affiliate unveiled a new, similar school in Verin Horatagh in Karabakh’s Martakert region. The school, named after Baroness Caroline Cox, is part of "Armenia Fund’s long term development goal to help secure the future of the next generation of Armenia.

"It is our responsibility to empower these beautiful kids–the faces of Armenia. Let us give them the comfort of a warm, modern school to nurture them academically and morally," stated Maria Mehranian, Chairperson of Armenia Fund US Western Region. "The Bike Ride will be a special event that will help connect our supporters to the cause of Armenian nation building, at the same time, enjoying the California outdoors."

"We are very excited with this fundraising drive which is also demonstrating an excellent example of coordination between Toronto and Western USA chapters of the Fund," said Mig Migirdicyan, Chairman of the Toronto affiliate. "Together we can!"

Calabrina Boyajian of Toronto will volunteer as the Bike Ride’s event director. A professional in the fitness field for the past 15 years, Boyajian will lead the team of cyclists from Monterey to Los Angeles.

"On a personal level, the most memorable events were when I rode for 3 weeks through Wales and ran the Honolulu Marathon in support of the Diabetes Association," stated Boyajian. "This year we want to do something big that will capture and interest people’s imagination, and draw Armenia’s together to give more kids a brighter future."

"The ride will be a challenge, but with a little determination and motivation I really believe anyone can do it, so I strongly encourage others to join me," added Calabrina.

"The Bike Ride is a bold Los Angeles/Toronto joint initiative, intended to provide the participants one more path to contribute to the LA Telethon, and add another dimension to its success," declared Ara Boyajian, a member of Armenia Fund’s International Board of Trustees (Hayastan All-Armenian Fund).

Presently, Boyajian is working along with the Armenia Fund’s US Western Region offices in recruiting cyclists, as well as individuals and businesses who will serve in a supporting role to the riders.

"I want to thank Calabrina and the Toronto affiliate for partnering with us on this special event. The greater Armenia Fund family of affiliates is working together for the purpose of helping the Homeland," stated Sarkis Kotanjian, Executive Director of Armenia Fund US Western Region.

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 $190 million in development aid to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia Fund, Inc. is the U.S. Western Region affiliate of "Hayastan" All-Armenian Fund. Tax ID# 95-4485698

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