LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Children of Armenia Fund’s (COAF) Annual Holiday Gala historically held in New York City will be replaced this year due to the pandemic with a virtual televised benefit titled “Moving Mountains” on December 5, 2020, at 5:00 PM PST / 8:00 PM EST. Armenians worldwide can watch the event online and donate to help address the crisis in Armenia. Funds raised this year will focus on several projects to be carried out over the next two years, including accommodating 2,500 refugees from Artsakh with permanent housing in COAF-supported villages in Armenia, the continuation of COAF education, the implementation of regional and village infrastructure upgrades as well as health, social and economic programs in over 60 villages.
This year’s “Moving Mountains” fundraiser will be hosted by Araksya Karapetyan of Good Day LA on FOX 11 Los Angeles. Karapetyan previously hosted the annual COAF Holiday Gala last December in New York City, as well as the COAF Summer Soiree this past August. Accompanying Karapetyan will be COAF Senior Director of Development Haig Boyadjian and world-famous auctioneer Gabriel Butu. Musical performances this year include pop superstar Iveta Mukuchyan and violinist Ara Malikian. There will also be special appearances by Andrea Martin, Serj Tankian, Sean Hayes, Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Tina Fey, Mark Geragos, David Alpay, Martin Short and Victor Garber.
“Moving Mountains” will be broadcast online and simultaneously televised for the first time on USArmenia TV and ARTN satellite television channels. The virtual/televised fundraiser will feature musical performances by talented youth from Armenia, important footage of COAF’s work on the ground in rural Armenia, as well as a moving tribute to the fallen heroes from our villages who lost their lives during the 44-day war in Artsakh.
COAF has been at the forefront of rural development in Armenia and is committed to implementing critical projects aimed at addressing the devastating consequences of the recent conflict in Artsakh. A major refugee and humanitarian crisis has unfolded in Armenia with the influx of 90,000 refugees from Artsakh who have fled to Armenia. The organization is working to create conditions for those who will not return to Artsakh and ensure that they are integrated into their newfound communities. Preliminary estimates suggest half of these refugees will at some point return to Artsakh. This means a significant number of families must be provided with housing, education, healthcare, social services and employment opportunities. COAF is ideally positioned to accommodate these needs due to its strong presence and infrastructure in rural communities. Confidence must be built with immediate and innovative actions, so that stability and hope for the future are not lost.
Immediately following the attack on Artsakh, COAF addressed the vital needs of 500 refugees who arrived in their beneficiary villages by providing them with accommodations and humanitarian assistance. COAF plans on securing temporary housing and integrating displaced people from Artsakh into its programs and services, for an additional 2,000 additional refugees by yearend. After providing temporary housing, COAF will provide permanent housing for those who will not return to Artsakh and ensure they have access to education, healthcare, social and economic programs.