COAF holiday gala raises $1.4 million

Published: Friday December 30, 2011

Dr. Garo Armen with fashion model Maryam Abdullina and COAF board members Khajak Keledjian and Dr. Alice Saraydarian.

New York - The Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), a non-profit organization working to improve living conditions for village children in Armenia, hosted its Eighth Annual Holiday Gala on December 15 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing.

More than 300 attendees came out in support of the organization, which raised more than $1.4 million.

For the fifth year in a row, Emmy and Tony award winning star of the screen and stage, Andrea Martin was the master of ceremonies for the evening. Multiple Tony and Emmy Award Nominee Victor Garber was honored with the 2011 COAF Humanitarian Award. The gala featured a number of musical performances by children from COAF-sponsored villages in Armenia. In addition, Tony Award Winner Christine Ebersole performed two songs, closing the program with her rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

The COAF Humanitarian Award was created to recognize individuals doing outstanding work in advocacy and awareness outside of the organization. This year's recipient, Victor Garber, was chosen for his work in raising awareness for Alzheimer's Disease and Juvenile Diabetes. Garber's longtime friend and colleague, Tony Award Winner Matthew Broderick presented him with the award.

In addition to the evening's performers and the presenters, the gala featured a long list of celebrity attendees including Twilight's Angela Sarafyan, the Food Network's Geoffrey Zakarian, Logo's Robert Verdi and producer and director, David Alexanian.

A charity auction conducted by Sotheby's celebrity auctioneer C. Hugh Hildelsey was held to raise money for the renovation of a school in the Armenian village of Karakert. Last year's auction raised money for the renovation of a school in the village of Myasnikyan. With the financial backing of supporters at the 2010 gala, the Children of Armenia Fund was able to complete renovations of the school in Myasnikyan in fewer than nine months.

The Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental (501)(c)(3) organization that uses community-led approaches to reducing rural poverty, with a particular focus on children. COAF was founded by Dr. Garo H. Armen in 2000.The organization directly funds, implements and oversees its programs with a support staff on the ground in Armenia. To date, COAF has raised more than $14 million and currently operates in 12 rural villages. The organization has no political affiliation.

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