LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK—The Diamond Anniversary Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) Summer Soiree will be held virtually this year on August 15 to raise funds for the organization’s COVID Emergency Relief Fund. COAF has been at the forefront of rural development in Armenia for 16 years, providing youth with opportunities for advancement through improved infrastructure and state-of-the-art education, health, social and economic programs.
COAF’s existing rural health and social services programs have been the focus of attention during the pandemic. Partnerships with the European Union (EU) Delegation in Armenia and the Austrian Development Agency have provided humanitarian assistance to vulnerable families throughout 64 beneficiary communities, along with medical equipment to village health centers. The organization has also increased online education programming for students and is in the process of assisting small rural businesses that have faced financial hardship.
The COAF Summer Soiree is an annual benefit historically held in New York City. Like most fundraising events during the pandemic, this year’s Soiree will be available virtually, allowing Armenians worldwide to register for free to learn more about COAF and its COVID outreach in Armenia. Funds raised this year will be reinvested into COAF’s health infrastructure in rural Armenia, providing critical support to village medical facilities in the form of equipment, supplies and capacity-building.
This year’s Summer Soiree is being hosted by Araksya Karapetyan of Good Day LA on FOX 11 Los Angeles. Born in Armenia, Karapetyan moved to the US at a young age and was inspired to become a journalist after visiting her homeland for a summer vacation where she found herself documenting on camera the everyday reality of life there. Karapetyan also hosted the Annual COAF Holiday Gala last December in New York City, helping raise over $6 million.
Special performances this year include musician/singer/songwriter and one-half of the Los Angeles-based Indie pop duo, Capital Cities! Sebu Simonian toured the COAF SMART Center last year while in Armenia, where he met with students and treated them to a concert. Popular comedian Mary Basmadjian, a recent guest on COAF’s INSTALIVE series on Instagram, will also deliver a comedic sketch during this year’s Soiree. Conan O’Brien’s right-hand woman Sona Movsesian will also be featured with a special appearance.
COAF’s team of child musicians from Armenia will also participate, including kanon-playing duo Meri Musinyan and Kristine Yengoyan, along with pianist Armen Puchinyan & Friends accompanied by jazz sensation Narine Dovlatyan. Musinyan, Yengoyan and Puchinyan have all delivered memorable musical performances at past COAF galas in New York City.
This year has been marked by one crisis after another, whether the global pandemic, the civil rights movement in the US, the escalation of violence on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, and the devastation in Beirut. COAF is taking all necessary steps to prepare for the anticipated waves of COVID-19 infection expected in rural Armenia this fall/winter. All funds raised from the Soiree will go directly to the COAF COVID Emergency Fund, allowing COAF to step up efforts in combatting the COVID-19 crisis. The lives and livelihoods of thousands of people are at risk and your generous contributions will give COAF the opportunity to expand exceptional humanitarian assistance to more beneficiary villages.