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Armenia Fund

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Established in 1994 in Los Angeles, California, Armenia Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-governmental, non-political corporation. Serving as the United States’ Western Region affiliate of the “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund along with its nineteen affiliates around the world, Armenia Fund, Inc. has implemented over $120 million of infrastructure development assistance and humanitarian aid for Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

By rallying the resources of the Armenian Diaspora, Armenia Fund has facilitated critical and urgent assistance for the fledgling republics of Armenia and Karabakh.

As a premier fundraising organization, Armenia Fund unites major Armenian-American organizations and churches west of the Mississippi under a common goal: raising vital humanitarian and infrastructure development funds for Armenia and Karabakh. Armenia Fund is not only a trailblazer in actualizing the Pan-Armenian ideology, but also a pioneer in the important task of nation building.

Armenia Fund builds its decade long reputation on high levels of accountability and financial transparency. Undergoing rigorous financial audits on an annual basis, Armenia Fund has clearly demonstrated its financial transparency to its donor base. It actively participates in oversight measures, both financial and/or project related, with Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. Quarterly visits to project sites and meticulous examination of financial documents help maintain accountability within the operational sphere of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. Based on this, Armenia Fund has built a track record of trust amongst its donor base and the Armenian Diaspora at large.

Actively promoting grassroots involvement Armenia Fund has been able to raise over 80% of all funds from the general public. With a support base well over 20,000 donors, Armenia Fund is the largest Armenian-American grassroots, non-membership charity in the United States. Through its public outreach campaign, Armenia Fund engages all levels of the community and brings Armenia closer to the Diaspora.

In the states East of the Mississippi River, the mission of All-Armenian Hayastan Fund are led by its East Coast affiliate, Armenia Fund USA. Based in New York, the office leads fundraising efforts in the Eastern region of the United States, as well as special projects such as the Stepanakert Polyclinic.

Contents

Telethon

Annually, on Thanksgiving Day, Armenia Fund hosts a live internationally telecast fundraising event: The Armenia Fund Telethon. Broadcasted live from Glendale, California, the 12-hour event airs throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, the Middle East, the CIS and Armenia. The Telethon features interviews with celebrities, Armenia Fund supporters and political leaders from Armenia, Karabakh and the Diaspora. It also features progress reports on Armenia Fund projects and shares stories of lives impacted by them.

Since 1996 the Telethon and has raised over $125 million dollars for large infrastructure development projects in Armenia and Karabakh including the construction of the vital Goris-Stepanakert Highway that links Armenia and Karabakh via the Lachin Corridor and the strategically crucial North-South Highway that stretches 106 miles connecting over 150 towns and villages in Karabakh.

2002

Pan-Armenian Fund Raises $5 Mln. For Major Karabakh Road
By Hrach Melkumian

The Diaspora-led All-Armenian Hayastan Fund has secured more than $5 million in donation pledges at its annual televised fundraiser in support of an ambitious plan to link the northern and southern parts of Nagorno-Karabakh with a modern highway, fund officials said Friday.

They said the money collected during Thursday’s “telethon” broadcast live from Los Angeles to Armenia and major Armenian communities abroad will enable Hayastan to complete half of the $25 million project.

Work on the 170-kilometer road, described by Armenian officials as Karabakh’s future transport “backbone,” began in 2000. Several of its sections with the total length of some 40 kilometers have already been built and are now open for traffic.

The bulk of the contributions came, as usual, from the Armenian community in the United States. A large part of that was donated by three wealthy Armenian-Americans, with Louise Simone Manoogian and Hirair Hovnanian pledging $1 million each. Another U.S. businessman of Armenian descent, Albert Boyajian, gave $500,000.

Manoogian runs the U.S.-based Armenian General Benevolent Union, one of the largest Diaspora charities that has long assisted Armenia and Karabakh.

The influential Armenian community of France was the telethon’s second-largest contributor, with a total of $650,000 in donation pledges. It was followed by Armenia proper and Karabakh which together raised over $260,000 -- much more than during previous fundraisers.

According to Hayastan’s deputy director, Samvel Yengoyan, most Armenia-based contributors are businesspeople. “In the past, their participation was negligible. There were some donations, but they were not large and regular,” Yengoyan said.

“Now this business class has taken roots in Armenia. They have steady revenues as a result of economic growth and are more willing to engage in charitable work,” he added.

Last May, for example, Hayastan opened three new apartment buildings in Spitak, an Armenian town razed by the 1988 earthquake. Their $450,000 construction was funded by several businessmen from Armenia.

The planned Karabakh highway is the biggest of 138 different infrastructure projects in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh implemented by Hayastan since its establishment in 1992. The fund has so far spent more than $75 million on them.

2003

$6 Mln Pledged For Major Karabakh Road
By Hrach Melkumian

An annual televised fund-raising in Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora has generated just over $6 million worth of promised donations for the ongoing construction of a 170-kilometer highway running across Nagorno-Karabakh, its organizers said on Friday.

As always, the bulk of the money raised at the “telethon” broadcast from Los Angeles the previous night came from the United States, which is home to the most affluent Armenian community abroad. Armenian-American donation pledges totaled some $4 million this time.

The overall figure, which is 20 percent higher than the sum raised last year, includes $900,000 collected by the Armenian community of France in a separate phone campaign earlier this month.

The latest telethon, organized by the All-Armenian Hayastan Fund, saw a further surge in donations from Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh which contributed $720,000, or almost three times more than in November 2002. Most of the contributions came from local companies and wealthy individuals.

Large-scale donations dominated the Diaspora fund-raising. Louise Manoogian Simone, whose Detroit-based Armenian General Benevolent Union has long engaged in charitable work in Armenia, gave $1 million for the second consecutive year.

A $1 million payment to Hayastan was also made by businessman Albert Boyajian. Speaking at the telethon, Boyajian complained that fellow Armenian-Americans are too tight-fisted with regard to their historical homeland. They should have raised much larger sums, he said.

Also taking part in the fund-raiser were Armenians living in Russia. Their most famous leader, Ara Abrahamian, gave $200,000.

The $25 million project launched in 2000 aims to link northern and southern parts of Karabakh with a modern highway which officials say will boost the Armenian-populated region’s security and economy. Direct transport communication between those mountainous areas has for decades been carried out via nearby lowlands in Azerbaijan proper.

A 44-kilometer stretch of the road has already been build, and work is currently underway on its separate 26-kilometer section. Hayastan officials said before the telethon that $15 million is needed for completing it.

2004

In 2004 Armenia Fund’s Make It Happen Telethon, with its affiliates from around the world reached new heights by raising a record $11.5 million dollars for Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

2005

Raised money for the Martakert Project.

2006

ANNUAL TELETHON RAISES $13.7 MILLION FOR KARABAKH

By Ruben Meloyan

The annual telethon organized by the All Armenian Fund “Hayastan” ended in Los Angeles on Thursday, with $13,700,000 raised in pledges for various rehabilitation projects in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The raised sum also includes pledges made during a traditional Phonathon preceding the telethon, held in Armenia and Europe.

On November 15-17, the Phonathon held in Armenia raised 35 million drams (about $95,000) and the Phonathon in five European countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland, raised 1.1 million Euros (about $1.4 million).

The funds gathered during the 12-hour telethon will be used for development projects of vital importance to be carried out in Nagorno-Karabakh’s Hadrut region, including construction of a hospital, roads, gas and water supply systems, development of agricultural segment, etc.

The development project of Hadrut is the continuation of the similar Martakert Project and also the continuation of the projects “Life-line” and the North-South Highway.

Press secretary of the All Armenian Fund “Hayastan” Anush Babayan told RFE/RL on Friday that the sum raised during this year’s telethon is close to organizers’ expectations, who hoped to exceed the level of $15 million to symbolize the 15th anniversary of Armenia’s and Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence. The sum of pledged money this year is nearly twice as much as the sum raised in 2005.

The share of large donations was big in the raised funds. Kirk Kerkorian’s Lincy Foundation pledged $2 million for educational establishments throughout Nagorno-Karabakh, Project Cure also pledged $2 million for the hospital of Hadrut. Fund “Hayastan” Board of Trustees member Albert Boyajian donated $1,250,000 on behalf of his friend Jerry Turkanjian. Philanthropist Vahe Karapetian donated $1.5 million for the construction of a road in Amaras. American-Armenian philanthropist Sargis Hakobian donated $550,000 and Louise Simone Manoogian donated $500,000.

Chairman of the Union of Armenians of Russia Ara Abrahamian donated $1 million for the construction of a school in Stepanakert.

This year Armenia provided about $1 million in donations. From among Armenia’s businessmen Mikhail Baghdasarov donated $100,000, Samvel Alexanian and Ruben Hayrapetian donated $50,000 each.

Ruben Hayrapetian told RFE/RL that he donates money every year and that this donation has nothing to do with the pre-election year. Moreover, he said, he has “no pre-election problem.”

According to the “Hayastan” Fund’s spokeswoman, wealthy businessman Gagik Tsarukian or the Prosperous Armenia party led by him have not made any donations yet.

2007

$15.3 million pledged during Armenia Fund Telethon 2007.

2008

$35 million pledged during Armenia Fund Telethon 2008.

2009

$15.9 million pledged during Armenia Fund Telethon 2009.

2010

$20.8 million pledged during Armenia Fund Telethon 2010.

2011

$12.3 million pledged during Armenia Fund Telethon 2011. For water and rural development.

2012

$21.4 million pledged during Armenia Fund Telethon 2012. To build multi-purpose community centers.

2013

$22.6 million pledged during Armenia Fund Telethon 2013. For Vardenis-Martakert Highway.

2014

$12.4 million pledged during Armenia Fund Telethon 2014. For Vardenis-Martakert Highway.

2015

$10.4 million pledged during Armenia Fund Telethon 2015. To build homes for needy large families (5+ kids).

Projects 1993-2000

  • Water pipeline Hovsepavan-Askeran
  • Water pipeline Mushkapat-Martuni
  • Irrigation pipeline to Martuni
  • Water pipeline Parzget-Hadrut
  • Water purification station of Hadrut
  • Vararakn springs and water-main
  • Reservoir and water-main of Aknaberd
  • Pump station of Kashatagh
  • Water pipeline of Baluja-Stepanakert
  • Annular water main in Stepanakert
  • Water supply of Guishi, Upper and Lower Sezneks, Khnatzakh villages and "Traket-1" station
  • Electric transmission line Shushi-Karmir Shuka
  • Electric substation of Stepanakert
  • Electric transmission line Maghavuz-Martakert
  • Electric transmission line Hadrut-Arakyul
  • Stepanakert Physics and Mathematics School
  • School in Vaghuhas village
  • Desks for school of Agnaberd
  • Children's infectious hospital in Stepanakert
  • Reconstruction of 68 houses in Vaghuhas village
  • Reconstruction of residential buildings in Stepanakert
  • Humanitarian aid to MKR

Projects 2001-2010

  • North-South Highway
  • Water supply of Sghnakh village
  • Design of polyclinic in Stepanakert
  • 21 houses in Haterk 28 in Vaghuhas
  • Allowances to children of MKR soldiers
  • Gas supply of 4 villages in Martakert

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