A total of $12,505,456 has been raised in donations and pledges at the 20th annual Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s Telethon 2017 held in Los Angeles, California, on Thanksgiving Day, November 23.
The theme was “Fruitful Artsakh” and the result will be very fruitful.
The telethon, which started at 10 am, local time, lasted for 12 hours and was broadcast live on Armenian TV channels, including the Public Television and online on the official website of Armenia Fund. The telethon was aired in Southern, Central and Northern California, Las Vegas, and other areas. The donations will be used to drill deep-water wells, install new irrigation water networks and solar power stations in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
Earlier, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s annual Pan-European Phoneton, held by the Fund’s French affiliate on November 15-19, raised 1.23 million Euros in donations and pledges. The large-scale fundraising campaign mobilized the Armenian communities of France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Lebanon, Iran and other places. The Phoneton is held traditionally ahead of the Telethon, and this year President of Artsakh Bako Sahakian was in France to participate in the event.
For a quarter of a century, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has raised about $350 million, channeled into more than one thousand projects that contributed to contributed to strengthening Armenia’s independence and improving the quality of life of more than ten thousand residents of Armenian and Artsakh.
The first phase of this year’s project will cover 4000 acres and will include 70 pre-selected hardworking farmers who are willing to learn and adopt modern drip irrigation technologies, according to Maria Mihranian, President of Armenia Fund.
If all 250,000 acres of available lands in Artsakh start producing, the country’s economy will add an estimated $300 million to some $600 million annually.
Five master of ceremonies ran the program including Araxia Karapetyan, Paul Chaderjian, Datevik Ekizian, Hrant Tokatian, and Ardak Herikyan. Appearing on the program were Armenia Fund President Maria Mihranian, Board Member Mark Geragos, Executive Director from Armenia Ara Vardanyan, West Coast Director Sarkis Kotanjian, and others.
His Holiness Karekin II, His Holiness Aram, as well as Primate of Artsakh Archbishop Barkev Martirossian, the Primate of the Western Diocese Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, and others, also Armenian Political Parties, and organizations. Almost all the Armenian schools donated money and appeared on television.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Paul Krikorian, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Tulsi Hubbard, have all spoken in favor of donating money.