Armenia Fund Launches Telethon 2009 Campaign: “Our Shushi”

Baroness Cox Presented “Angel of Artsakh” Award

Telethon 2009 Logo-CSLOS ANGELES–Armenia Fund U.S. Western Region is pleased to announce the launch of its 12th International Telethon campaign. The live fundraising program will air on television sets in all major Armenian-American communities in the U.S. and across the globe on November 26, 2009, 8am-8pm PST as well as on the internet at www.armeniafund.org.

On Saturday, October 3, 2009, Armenia Fund’s long time supporters and donors gathered at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Ara and Julia Aghishian, Chairman of Armenia Fund U.S. Western Region, to unveil the 2009 Telethon logo. The unveiling event has become a tradition over the past years and marks the launch of the campaign. The Guest of Honor at the special dinner reception was the Rt. Hon. Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury. Lady Cox is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom. She has been a strong advocate of Nagorno Karabakh’s right to self determination and has visited the country numerous times on humanitarian missions.

Present at the event were members of the board of directors of Armenia Fund U.S. Western Region, as well as the Honorable Grigor Hovhannesyan, the Consul General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles.

Ara Aghishian welcomed all guests and thanked them for their continuous financial and moral support to Armenia and Artsakh. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church convened the opening prayer appealing to the greater Armenian-American Diaspora to continue its noble support of the Armenia Fund and its humanitarian mission.

Attendees at the event got a firsthand look at the conditions surrounding Shushi through a video segment.

“Besides being the cradle of Armenian culture and arts, Shushi is a town that symbolizes the turning point in our modern history. After centuries of losing lands and crumbling under the yoke of oppressive nations, on May 9, 1992 we had a victory which lifted the spirits of an entire Armenian nation and inspired our soldiers to win truly heroic battles, thanks to which today we have a free Artsakh. Your support will ensure that collectively we remove Shushi’s ruins – reminders of the brutal war – and replace them with new schools, hospitals, kindergartens and residential buildings so that the streets of Shushi are once again filled with children’s laughter…”, said Aghishian.

Baroness Cox offered her remarks telling her story of how she became involved with Armenia and specifically, Artsakh. She shared her eyewitness account of the horrors of war in Nagorno Karabakh.

“Armenia and Artsakh and its heroic people have a special place in my heart. For years, I have been closely following the works of the Armenia Fund…a commendable organization worthy of the highest praise. Your efforts have helped dignify the lives of your fellow countrymen… Shushi, this heroic town that symbolizes a new day for the Armenian people needs your help and care today. May God Bless you and the Armenia Fund”, said Lady Cox.

Aghishian and Vice Chair of the Fund, Koko Balian jointly presented Baroness Cox with the “Angel of Artsakh” award in recognition of her continued support and service to the Armenian people.

Mr. Edik Balaian, the artist of the 2009 Telethon logo offered his brief remarks regarding the concept of the logo and choice of colors. He mentioned that the concept of the logo stems from the Angel of Artsakh – a prominent symbol depicted on the bell tower of the St. Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi.

Chairman Aghishian invited Berj Boyajian, Tomik Alexanian, and Maria Mehranian, former Chairpersons of Armenia Fund to join Baroness Cox in unveiling of the Telethon 2009 logo.

The event also secured the participation of 400 community members for the Armenia Fund Annual Gala. The gala will be held on Sunday, November 22, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California. The Guest of Honor at the 2009 Gala will be H.E. Arayik Harutyunyan, Prime Minister of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

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 (www.armtv.com). Los-Angeles based 24 hour Armenian Russian Television Network (www.artn.tv) and Horizon Armenian TV (www.horizonarmeniantv.com) will also air the Telethon in its entirety, on its cable, satellite and internet networks.

For more information, please log on to www.armeniafund.org

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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