corner tables have become mini gambing kiosks..
Following a decade of tradition the All-Armenian
Fund will present "Telethon 2003" next
Thursday (November 27, Thanksgiving Day in the
US), offering viewers in several parts of the
world a chance to make donations to projects that
will benefit Armenia.
Originating in Los Angeles, the five-hour program
(12 hours in Los Angeles) will be hosted locally
by actors Vardan Petrossyan and Hrant Tokhatyan.
Started in 1993, over the years the telethon
has raised some $81 million for projects in Armenia
Each year the fund has designated a special project
to draw viewer attention. One year, funds from
the telethon helped complete the road connecting
Armenia and Karabakh. This year's fundraiser will
serve a similar purpose, asking viewers to make
pledges of money for finishing the North-South
Highway in Karabakh.
Executive director of the fund (former Minister
of Foreign Affairs of Karabakh) Naira Melkumyan,
says the road is of strategic significance for
"This road is very important for Karabakh
and we can't delay its construction any longer,"
says Melkumyan. "It's necessary to collect
another $15 million and I hope that this issue
will be solved in two years."
While the Armenians in Los Angeles are preparing
for their telethon, the council of the Fund in
Europe already considers its November 13-16 telethon
For four days, 600 young Armenians from France
were making phone calls to thousands of Armenian
families in different European countries offering
them a chance to pledge to the Fund.
As a result, about 10,000 families from France,
Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Portugal
promised to send a total of 740 thousand
(about $900,000) to the All Armenian Fund.
According to board of trustees member Petros
Terjyan the French telethon collected about 55,000
more than last year.
"Each year the network of the telethon
broadens. Only in France the number of participants
has increased by a thousand," says Terjyan.
"Today Diaspora are more aware of the problems
in Armenia and Karabakh and they wish to contribute
to the prosperity of their native country."
During the years of its activity All Armenian
Fund has built more than 100 schools, kindergartens,
hospitals and apartment buildings. The main funds
to carry out all this work were collected through
telethons, using television, telephone and Internet.
To find out the broadcast schedule for your country
or how to make a donation, logon to www.himnadram.org.