Armenians around the world have more than doubled on their last year’s donation pledge for a Diaspora-funded pan-Armenian charity as a result of a 12-hour Thanksgiving Day telethon in Los Angeles, USA.
Despite the global financial crisis that has hit the world’s major economies this year, the All-Armenian Fund Hayastan on Thursday managed to attract more than $35 million in donation pledges from Armenians in the United States and other parts of the world for its infrastructure projects in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. A similar telethon staged a year ago raised only $15.3 million.
According to the Fund’s report, Russia’s wealthy businessman Samvel Karapetian had made the biggest single donation of $15 million during the annual fundraiser held for the eleventh time. The businessman designated the money for the construction of a hospital in Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital Stepanakert.
Several wealthy businessmen and philanthropists from Armenia and its Diaspora again accounted for a large part of the telethon donations.
The fundraiser’s total proceeds also include the pledges made during charity dinners as well as phone-a-tons and other charity actions held in Diaspora communities in the month preceding the main event.
“We have proved again that our nation is strong in its unity,” said Hayastan Fund Acting Executive Director Ara Vartanian. “It is hard times not only for Armenia and Karabakh, but for the whole world considering the continuing global economic crisis. But against all the odds the worldwide Diaspora has again extended a helping hand to compatriots in the homeland.”
The latest telethon in Los Angeles also featured Karabakh President Bako Sahakian, Head of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Abp. Pargev Martirosian, donors and other prominent Armenia and Diaspora figures.
The Fund will use the proceeds from this year’s telethon for its core projects in remote rural areas of Armenia and Karabakh targeting healthcare, water and education infrastructures.