Armenia Fund USA Finalizes Plans for 20th Anniversary Gala


NEW YORK — Armenia Fund USA has formally announced its gala celebration to be held in midtown Manhattan at Gotham Hall on September 29 at 7 p.m.

“It’s an ideal location for a grand celebration such as the one we are planning, complete with sumptuous dining and ballroom dancing,” stated 20th Anniversary Gala Chairperson Vesna Markarian.

At the top of the roster of participants is Mark Geragos. Widely recognized as one of the top defense attorneys in the US, Geragos has been on the Board of Trustees of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund since 2006. As such, for the past 10 years, he has taken time to host the 12- hour long Armenia Fund Thanksgiving Day Telethon, broadcast live from Los Angeles. He will preside over the festivities in New York.

The keynote speaker will be Eduard Nalbandian, the foreign minister of the Republic of Armenia.

In an homage to the 22 worldwide affiliates that have been established over the past two decades, the entertainment will be provided by French-Armenian pop singer Patrick Fiori, making his New York debut.

“Our geographically diverse partici- pants reflect the worldwide unity that Armenia Fund has come to stand for, “ explained Khoren Bandazian, chairman of the board of directors of Armenia Fund USA eastern region.

“Over these two decades, we have proven that Armenians from different parts of the world can work together for a noble cause worthy of our ancient and great nation. Our constructive relation- ships with the governments of Armenia and Karabagh as well as diaspora affiliates are essential to bringing Armenia and Karabagh into the 21st century,” Bandazian stated.

Building on the theme of the 15th anniversary celebration, “Building Armenia’s Tomorrow Today,” the slogan of the 20-year milestone is “Building a Homeland Built to Last.” Irina Lazarian, executive director of Armenia Fund USA, described the evolution of the message this way: “When we refer to ‘a homeland built to last’, we are acknowledging that nation-building is an ongoing process. We must continue to challenge ourselves to work smarter, act faster, and think bigger. For example, despite all our successes in modernizing the physical infrastructure of rural Armenia, there are still too many people leaving towns and villages in search of jobs and a better life. “This trend puts national security at risk. So in addition to infra- structure projects, we are focusing on education, health care delivery and community life,” said Lazarian. “These are the four building blocks that will make it possible to live, work, raise a family and most of all, raise hope.”

On the 20th Anniversary Steering Committee, Vesna Markarian is managing a fully-engaged team of volunteers including Alex Karapetian, Aline Markarian and Kristine Toufayan Casali.

Bandazian, who served as chairperson for the 15th anniversary gala, is also on the committee. Honorary chairs are Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Garen Nazarian and his wife, Nana.

Tickets can be ordered online at www.armeniafundusa.org.