23 December 2013, 21:42
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Children Of Armenia Fund gala raises $2.9 million

The  Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), a non-profit organization working to improve the living conditions for village children in Armenia, hosted its Tenth Annual Holiday Gala on Friday, December 13, 2013 at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan, New York. The event was a resounding success as more than 400 longtime friends and supporters gathered together for an unforgettable evening, and raised nearly $3 million to support COAF’s community-led programs. Special guests in attendance included Michael Aram, Patricia Field, Kerry Butler, and Benjamin McKenzie.

For the seventh year in a row, Emmy and Tony Award winning actress Andrea Martin entertained guests throughout the evening as the Master of Ceremonies. Of Armenian descent herself, Ms. Martin is a longtime advocate of COAF’s work. She is best known for her work on Broadway and roles in the films Wag the Dog and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She received her second Tony Award this year for her role in the critically-acclaimed show Pippin.

Award-winning film and television actor Victor Garber served as the Honorary Chair for the evening. Mr. Garber’s introduction to COAF was at the 2011 Gala, where he was awarded with the COAF Humanitarian Award. Since then he has shown steadfast commitment to the organization. He is best known for his role in major motion pictures such as Titanic, Milk, and Argo.

Guest speakers of the evening included bestselling author Chris Bohjalian and internationally-renowned photographer Scout Tufankjian. A true highlight of the evening was the children who traveled to New York from Armenia to showcase their extraordinary musical talents. Additionally, COAF welcomed back Anahit who spoke at COAF’s 2012 Gala. This time she was accompanied by Nerses, another of student from Lernagog. Together, they expressed their deep appreciation for having COAF help their great aspirations become realities.

In addition to the performances by the talented children, Kerry Butler serenaded the crowd with a rendition of “It’s a Small World/God Bless the Outcasts”.  So You Think You Can Dance finalist Paul Karmiriyan electrified the dance floor with his dance partner and closed out the formal dinner, and sparked the after-party which lasted past midnight.

The event featured a high-tech silent auction using BidTech’s iPads and a live auction conducted by Sotheby’s celebrity auctioneer Aileen Agopian. The money raised from these auctions will jumpstart COAF’s expansion into 100 new villages in the next 10 years.

The Children of Armenia Fund is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental (501)(c)(3) organization. COAF works to secure a future for children in Armenia’s impoverished rural villages through improved education, health care, community life and economic conditions. At their core, our programs create and sustain opportunities for growth and progress.

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