Armenia Fund Telethon 2008 to Air on Thanksgiving

LOS ANGELES–Armenia Fund’s International Telethon, a Thanksgiving Day tradition for Armenia’s around the world will air for the 11th time on November 27, 8am-8pm PST. Building on the results of last year, the pan-Armenian fundraiser will benefit major infrastructure development projects in the remote border villages of Armenia and Artsakh.

“Our guiding light in choosing the beneficiary projects are the decisions of the International Board of Trustees of “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund. They decide the nature of the projects and their respective priorities. Working in conjunction with the governmen’s of Armenia and Artsakh, our Executive Board in Yerevan spends several months performing feasibility studies on several dozens of proposed projects,” said Armenia Fund’s Western US Chairperson Maria Mehranian. “The purpose of the extensive studies is to help decide what plays a key role on the development of border villages. After implementation, the goal is to have maximum impact on the lives of residents of those communities,”

In Southern California, the Telethon will air on KSCI Channel 18 for full 12 hours, 8:00am-8:00pm PST. Around the world the Telethon will be featured on H1-Armenian Public Television. Los-Angeles based 24 hour Armenian Russian Television Network and Horizon Armenian TV will also air the Telethon in its entirety, on its cable, satellite and internet networks. It will reach every continent, entering Armenian homes through satellite, cable and internet.

This year’s broadcast will feature a selection of the top Armenian performers from Armenia and the Diaspora. Artists will include Arame, Razmik Amyan, Gagik Badalyan, Emma and Aramo, Harout Hagopian, Helen, Arax Karapetyan, Martik, Gor Mkhitarian, Armen Movsisyan, Harout Pamboukjian, Sako, Hovhannes Shahbazian, Sonya Varoujian and others.

The program will also feature a live performance by the 2007 and 2008 season winners of Shant TV’s National Singer contest show, Sevak Amroyan and Haykuhi Babakhanyan, made possible by Los Angeles based Armenian Russian Television Network (ARTN).

“In the last 6 months Armenia Fund production crews, including myself, have traveled extensively in Armenia and in Nagorno Karabakh, documenting the impact of Armenia Fund’s projects on the lives of ordinary people in the villages. What struck me the most during my travels was the determination of the Armenian people to better their lives and the lives of future generations in an independent and free Armenia. I never sensed despair in Armenia. I always found hope,” said the telethon’s executive producer, Michael Levin.

Last year more than 250,000 Armenian families around the world participated in the Telethon, generating more than $15 million from individual donations ranging between 100 drams (30 cents) to several million dollars.

“This year we are asking our donors to join our “DOLLAR-A-DAY” campaign by contributing $365 for the year 2008. If you think about it this is the most practical way of fulfilling our “azkayin dourk” ‘s national giving, a concept that was at the crux of issues when “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund was formed 17 years ago,” explained the executive director of Armenia Fund’s Western Region, Sarkis Kotanjian. “My modest calculations put the number of Armenian families in the United States at 270,000. If every family gives a dollar a day in the United States alone, that makes it close to $100 million a year. Think about it when you watch the Telethon this Thanksgiving Day, November 27. Donate a dollar for every day of 2008. Say that you care about Our Home, Armenia every day!”

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