“Within 16 Years of our Telethon we Raised 1 Million 400 Thousand Dollars!”
Why did I start this Project?
On 1999, 17 years ago, Mr. Balayan started his first telethon when he received a phone call from Laert Movsesyan, president of the Philharmonic Organization in Armenia. Laert reached out to Mr. Balayan to help him raise money for children in Armenia. His plan was to make Christmas Events for Orphaned and Disabled Children in different parts of Armenia and then passing gifts out to the kids after the events. Mr. Balayan decided that the best way to reach the goal would be a telethon, which he broadcasted in the tri-city area of Glendale, Burbank, and La-Crescenta. Neglecting the negativity and discouraging comments from other people, Mr. Balayan stayed defiant and was able to successfully raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in 1999. Mr. Balayan states that he raised $17,000 within 1 hour of his show. He says that it was an exceptional success that he made, which he associates with the luck of children in Armenia. Mr. Balayan adds, “This showed that people trusted me.” With the amount of money raised, Mr. Balayan sponsored an event at Aram Khachatrian’s Event Hall in Yerevan where he gifted 4,500 disabled and orphan children. The Event took 3 days, every day was different groups of children. Mr. Balayan proudly announced that the success he had from the beginning motivated him to continue his work to make children happy every year. “Since all my life I have been very connected with children and loved them just like I loved four of my own children.” And then he continued: “On 2000, the money raised exceeded $75,000 which gave me hope that God loved my plan and helped me with it.” Today, on 2016, our organization is very strong. As a non-profit organization we are known by United States of America, IRS, and our Organization is called Armenian-American Orphans and Disabled Children Fund, Inc. AAODCEF, Inc. has more than 120 board and regular members in total that help Mr. Balayan. “Our annual telethon raises more than $250,000 and every year that amount is excelling. Our Fund’s family members are all happy for these achievements and that they are involved in this humanitarian project. Thank you to all the members and people who participated in the Fund who became the backbone within 16 years of our organization’s life. We are happy to say that today, our organization has renovated and built 7 orphanages, schools and kindergartens. There are more than1,400 children safely attending and living each of these places that we have built.”
Mr. Balayan explains that he remembers when Santa Clause would visit his school and give each child an orange. He said, “The orange was not a big deal, we ate oranges every day but just the fact that the orange was coming from Santa Clause, it meant the world to us. I want to pass on that same feeling to these children in Armenia. “
Mr. Balayan had written his satirical newspaper, Kach Nazar, for the past 40 plus years. Which he no longer publishes. .
Just as he has done in past with his print publication, Mr. Balayan said,
“Political systems change, different rulers come and go. The only thing that truly makes a nation survive is its culture and people. That is why it is incumbent upon me to do this telethon, to help out my motherland, thousands of homeless and disabled children that are waiting for help, in any way we can.”
Currently, he hosts a Live TV Show called Kach Nazar every Sunday on AABC TV Chanel 380, at 10pm to 12:30am Pacific Time.
by Vanuhi (Vann Adrik)