PARIS–On Friday–December 7–a concert–organized by the ARS entity–Armenian Blue Cross of France for the benefit of the Armenian Bone Marrow Registry–took place at the Salle Gaveau in Paris–France. This concert–featuring noted international performers–violinist Vladimir Spivakov and pianist Helene Mercier–enjoyed the patronage of Dr. Bella Kocharian–First Lady of the Armenian Republic–whose welcoming words appear below. A select audience of almost a thousand music lovers included–besides the First Lady–His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s–diplomats and other notables–among whom the International Chairperson of the Armenian Relief Society–Inc. Maro Minassian–and Executive Secretary Ojik Gregorian. A program–featuring works by Jean-Sebastian Bach–Ludwig Van Beethoven and Cesar Franck–impeccably rendered by Mercier and Spivakov–delighted the enthusiastic audience.
First Lady–Dr. Kocharian greeted those present with the following brief address: "Dear Friends–We are here tonight–brought together by art and generosity. I thank you for your presence. In spite of the many difficulties facing the world today–manifestations such as this give us reason to hope.
"We can overcome obstacles and assure the welfare of future generations thanks to the good will and joint efforts of each one of us. This concert–organized to profit sick children–is the perfect illustration of the mission and strength of art: To serve the noble causes of mutual help and benevolence. Let us continue to strive for the relief of those who suffer so that they may regain the joy of life–so that we may see them smile again."
It must be noted that this memorable musical event enjoyed the active support of the Hamazkaine Cultural Association and the Armenian General Benevolent Union organizations of France.
A day prior to the concert–the Armenian Embassy in Paris hosted a press conference–during which the Bone Marrow Registry executive director Dr. Sevak Avakian of Armenia and the chairwoman of the organization’s board of directors Dr. Frieda Jordan briefed the press regarding the activities and imperative of the project.
Dr. Jordan reported that the registry has–thus far–collected 2042 donor samples. The organization’s aim is to gather 2,500 more donors–with a projected registry of 10,000 samples within four years.
Dr. Avakian explained that the registry has been welcome by the people of Armenia–as well as the officials of the government. He specifically thanked the First Lady for her support and leadership in realizing the mission of the project.