COAF Press Release



Children Of Armenia Fund
Contact: Mary Ann Kibarian
[email protected]

Christopher Hitchens of Vanity Fair to be Keynote Speaker at COAF
Gala at the St Regis Hotel, New York

New York- June 16th, 2004- Christopher Hitchens, columnist and
contributing editor at Vanity Fair, has been chosen as the keynote
speaker for the Children Of Armenia Fund (COAF) Gala to be held on
Thursday, June 24th, 6:30 pm, at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City.

“I am delighted that Mr. Hitchens will be delivering the
keynote address,” stated Dr. Garo Armen, President and Founder
of COAF. “Mr. Hitchens’ unique knowledge of disadvantaged people,
including Armenians, makes the delivery of his keynote address very
meaningful for this occasion.”

Christopher Hitchens began his journalism career in London in 1971.
After emigrating to the United States in 1981, he has established
himself as a columnist and contributing editor, book reviewer and
essayist for a wide array of publications from The Nation to Vanity
Fair. Mr. Hitchens has also authored numerous books including Cyprus:
Hostage to History; The Elgin Marbles; The Monarchy: A Critique of
Britain’s Favorite Fetish; and many others. Mr. Hitchens is the
recipient of the 1992 Lannan Foundation Literary Award for Non-Fiction
and the 1996 Professional Integrity Award from the Society of Print
and Broadcast Media.

The COAF gala will honor Cynthia and Larry Feinberg for their
exceptional contribution towards the betterment of children living
in impoverish conditions in Armenia. Other featured speakers at
this event are acclaimed author Peter Balakian and Dennis Walto of
Save the Children. Mark Gavoor, Director of Customer Service and
Logistics for Colgate-Palmolive, will be the Master of Ceremonies.

About COAF

COAF’s mission is to find sustainable solutions to the current plight
of many Armenian children, culminating from a most tumultuous past
15 years. Its objective is to address all areas of essential child
development by creating sustainable and effective programs designed to
reverse the current impoverished conditions that affect the majority
of the population and beneficially impact the greatest number of young
Armenians. Key programs include improving healthcare and nutrition,
developing improved sanitation to provide clean and safe drinking
water, and expanding irrigation and food processing capabilities.
This recovery process will provide Armenians with the means necessary
to foster economic growth and re-build the community

In 2003, Dr. Armen , with Executive Director, Mary Ann Kibarian and
the COAF Board of Directors, launched an aggressive campaign to bring
hope and recovery to children of rural Armenia with the COAF Rural
Development Initiative. This past May, Dr. Armen presided over the
opening of the COAF offices in Yerevan, established to oversee ground
operations and manage COAF partnerships with such international
organizations as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
COAF has successfully completed a program in partnership with the US
Department of State to bring demining team of dogs and handlers to
rid Armenia of the landmines left from the war with Azerbaijan. This
was a $400,000 project.

In addition to Dr. Armen’s position as President of COAF, he is the
Chairman and CEO of Antigenics, a publicly held biotechnology company
that develops breakthrough therapeutics for cancer. In July of 2002,
Dr. Armen served as Chairman of Élan Corporation, a biopharmaceutical
company. At Élan, Dr. Armen initiated a recovery plan that ultimately
saved this company from certain collapse. In May, Dr. Armen was named
one of the recipients awarded the 2004 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

COAF Gala Contact Info
Arienne Orozco
Susan Ulin & Associates
[email protected]