Asbarez: ACF Will Allocate $1 Million for Assistance to Displaced Artsakh Armenians

More than 350 supporters gathered for the ACF annual gathering dedicated to Artsakh

The Armenian Cultural Foundation announced on Sunday that it will allocate $1 million to the displaced Artsakh Armenians during its annual gathering held at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The ACF’s annual event, which has become a much sought-after tradition, took on a more solemn note as the ongoing crisis in Artsakh and Armenia was top of mind for organizers and attendees alike.

It was abundantly clear that each and every one of the more than 350 people in attendance was committed to advancing the the mission of the ACF, which for more than four decades has been providing assistance to community institutions, Armenia, Artsakh and Javakhk, as well as elsewhere, such as the communities of Lebanon and Syria.

ACF President Avedik Izmirlian ARF Central Committee chair Dr. Carmen Ohanian Speaking on behalf of the Armenian-American youth, were Talar Minassian and Tro Ashdjian Event committee chair Elizabeth Boyajian ACF committee member Garen Kirakosian, Esq. Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian

ACF President Avedik Izmirlian informed the gathering that the organization already has begun the process of identifying the best possible avenues for the assistance to reach those desperately in need.

“As a nation we are witnessing the tragic exodus of Armenians from Artsakh and the loss of a critical part of our homeland that poses an existential threat to Armenia as our enemy’s aggression and incursions into our territory continue fanning the flames of domestic instability,” Izmirlian said in his remarks.

“Given the circumstances, we had seriously debated canceling this event. However, since this is a fundraising event and not a celebration, and that since more than ever we have an obligation not only to continue our work, but to make an extra effort to help our brothers and sisters who were evacuated from Artsakh as well as those who in our homeland, we realized that we do not should not cancel but should come together more resolutely to carry out the mission of the Armenian Cultural Foundation,” added Izmirlian

ACF event committee members

He also extended a special heartfelt gratitude to Mr. & Mrs. Sarkis and Nune Sepetjian for their ongoing and unwavering support of the ACF and its activities. Izmirlian also announced that long-time community benefactors Mr. & Mrs. Varant and Hoori Melkonian, once again, had sponsored the event.

A video presentation chronicled the ACF’s activities both here and abroad, especially highlighting the installation of mobile health clinics in Artsakh and providing assistance to the families of fallen soldiers in Armenia.

Izmirlian then paid a special tribute to veteran community activist and advocate of advancing Armenian culture, as well as a staunch supporter of the ACF, Nazareth Kevonian, who passed away this year “he will always be remembered.”

The urgency of assisting the displaced people of Artsakh and the unwavering need to strengthen Armenia’s statehood was emphasized by Dr. Carmen Ohanian, the chairperson of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun Western US.

“We are living the most detrimental chapters of our people’s history, punctuated by war, the loss of thousands of lives, and the most unspeakably cruel: the loss of historic Artsakh’s independence, which was achieved through a valiant struggle,” Ohanian said as she addressed the gathering.

“The pain of our people today is unfathomable. The entire Armenian population of Artsakh has become refugees, having been forcibly uprooted from its centuries-old home and land,” added Ohanian.

“We have to stand united — like one strong fist— and come to the aid of the tens of thousands of displaced Artsakh compatriots, and especially to defend the safety and security of Armenia’s borders and its statehood,” said Ohanian.

The program began with the performance of the U.S. and Armenian National Anthems by  Krystal Kajaoghlanyan. Later during the event singer Andre Havanyan performed a moving rendition of the Artsakh National Anthem.

Speaking on behalf of the Armenian-American youth, Talar Minassian and Tro Ashdjian recounted their journey to advance the Armenian Cause and the critical role the ACF has played in that process, each reaffirming their commitment to fight for justice.

Elizabeth Boyajian, the event’s committee chairperson, welcomed the guests to the gathering. Speaking on behalf of the organizing committee, attorney Garen Kirakosian emphasized the crucial role the ACF plays in improving the cultural and educational institutions in our community by creating and maintaining Armenian centers but also providing an avenue for advancement of our national aspirations.

Kirakosian also emphasized the need to come together at this critical juncture in Armenian history to not only assist the homeland but to salvage the Armenian Nation.

Singer Hovnanyan was also joined on stage by Araksya Amirkhanyan who provided renditions of traditional Armenian songs accompanied by the Amirkhanyan band.