FAR Received a Bequest from Dr. Armand Bedikian

Fund for Armenian Relief
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Edina N. Bobelian
Tel: (212) 889-5150; Fax: (212) 889-4849
E-mail: [email protected]

April 7, 2004


Dr. Armand E. Bedikian, who passed away in July 2001, was a patriotic
Armenian-American. He was a strong American, excelling in his studies –
Dr. Bedikian was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Sigma Xi honor
society – enlisting in the Vietnam War and becoming a recognized leader
in operating room configuration and anesthesiology. The New
Jersey-native was also a passionate Armenian whose final thoughts
included the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) and the people of Armenia.

FAR is a non-profit charitable organization based in New York, with
offices in Yerevan and Gyumri, Armenia as well as in Stepanakert,
Karabagh. Since the 1988 earthquake, FAR has been active in Armenia,
implementing various relief, development, social, educational, and
cultural projects. To date, FAR has channeled more than $200 million to
Armenia and Karabagh. It remains the preeminent relief and development
organization operating there.

Dr. Bedikian initiated contact with FAR on December 16, 1988 when he
made his first contribution to help Armenia. Since that time, the
physician was one of Armenia’s most dedicated philanthropists, traveling
to the land of his ancestors seventeen times, and a loyal FAR donor.

The St. Stepanos Armenian Church member coordinated urgent medical care
for earthquake survivors; 49 people were flown to the U.S. for medical
attention and two separate teams of physicians traveled to Tbilisi to
perform a host of operations, including open heart surgery, at the
Children’s Hospital in September 1990.

Throughout the 1990s, Dr. Bedikian collected and distributed truckloads
of clothing to Armenia, Turkey, Karabagh, and Iran. He provided
extensive medical aid and supplies to field hospitals in Armenia during
the Karabagh War and distributed humanitarian relief supplies and winter
clothing to refugees trapped in the Caucasus Mountains.

When Simon Y. Balian, FAR Executive Director spoke with Dr. Bedikian in
1994, the physician was planning to retire and be more active in
Armenia’s development. Dr. Bedikian believed the future prosperity and
security of Armenia would depend on the education of its children.
“Freedom and democracy are not a spectator sport; the children must be
prepared to win the challenges confronting them for there is no
substitute for winning,” he said.

To become more effective, he created the Armand E. Bedikian Foundation.
FAR helped Dr. Bedikian realize his projects in Armenia, unrelated to
its own programs, providing logistical support as well as general
advice. The soft-spoken, gentle man inspired the children’s Armenian
spirits through his benevolent actions and taught them perseverance to
help overcome difficult times.

Honored by President Robert Kocharian and Yerevan Mayor Suren
Abrahamyan, the St. Stepanos 1998 Man of the Year also helped renovate
and repair school buildings, founded a specialized school for war
orphans, supplemented teachers’ salaries, purchased a minibus for
teachers’ transportation and children’s field trips, and opened computer
labs for war orphans through his foundation. It was his way of
emphasizing the importance of education and winning.

On his frequent trips to Armenia, Dr. Bedikian would visit the FAR
offices and projects. He was always favorably impressed with the
nonprofit’s operations. “He received tremendous satisfaction from
personally carrying out his philanthropy. However, he always stated
that he would entrust the continuation of his work to FAR because he had
witnessed its excellent work on his trips to Armenia,” said Mr. Balian.

In his will, Dr. Bedikian assigned the remainder of his estate to FAR.
FAR’s dedication to Armenia since its inception in 1989, its experience
in implementing humanitarian and development projects in Armenia and
Karabagh, and its outstanding track record appealed to the determined
philanthropist. Upon his death in 2001, Dr. Bedikian’s foundation was
dissolved to allow FAR to continue his mission to serve Armenia and its

Grateful for the bequest, FAR continues Dr. Bedikian’s vision for a
strong Armenia by sustaining the very educational and humanitarian
projects that he had initiated and supported. For more information or
to send donations, interested persons should contact the Fund for
Armenian Relief at 630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016; telephone
(212) 889-5150, fax (212) 889-4849; e-mail [email protected], website

— 4/7/04

E-mail photo available upon request.

PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Armand E. Bedikian assigned the remainder of his
estate to the Fund for Armenian Relief to continue his vision of a
strong Armenia by sustaining the educational and humanitarian projects
he implemented through his foundation.

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